Treatment of alcohol dependence

For treatment of alcohol dependence the team of Medicus Alpha Plovdiv Clinic follows a world standard and therapeutic protocol including multidisciplinary care for the patient and a complex approach to all mental and psychological aspects of their suffering. This model ensures better safety and guarantees greater efficiency of outcomes. The mental care that onsets on the first day of the detox program improves the patent’s chances for a successful start into the process of curing the ailment. Each patient is being cared for by a variety of medical professionals prepared to take measures on every stage of overcoming and treating the somatic complications in alcohol dependence.

Medicus Alpha Clinic provides absolute confidentiality to its patients. They are accommodated individually, in fully furnished rooms and if the patient wishes, a companion may stay also. Treatment may begin at any time of the week, including weekends and official holidays, provided that a vacancy is available.

Stages of treatment of alcohol dependence – therapy is in three stages:

  • The first stage must be carried out in-hospital, since it sometimes has severe symptoms and without adequate medical care may lead to serious complications. This is the so called detox stage. It may last from 3 to 5 days depending on the particular patient’s condition. During this stage all the efforts are aimed at overcoming the symptoms of physical dependence on alcohol – restoring the water and salt balance, compensating for the biochemical and vitamin deficiency, treatment of the cerebral edema, tremor and insomnia, taking control over the risk of epileptic or hypertension crisis, medication treatment of the liver, which most often is heavily damaged.
  • The second stage is far more engaging for the patient themselves. It lasts for six months and concerns resolving the psychological aspect of the dependence. In this stage the patient is on medications that inhibit the alcohol receptors in the brain, lower the craving for alcohol and improve the comfort, and hence – the quality of life. If necessary, antidepressants and/or medications to relieve the concomitant suffering or complications are prescribed. Depending on the case, 1 to 4 consulting sessions per month are recommended. For patients non-residents of Plovdiv Medicus Alpha takes the care to communicate the case history to the local therapist selected by the patient.
  • The third stage continues till the end of the second year. During this stage the patient is recommended to fully refrain from consuming alcohol. After its successful completion, on the specialist’s discretion and support, the so called “controlled drinking” may be allowed. Researches show that with many patients suffering from alcohol dependence this type of control gives better results than complete abstinence.

The issue of “Alcohol dependence”
In Bulgaria there is no statistical data on the rate of incidence and the treatment of this suffering. International data shows that only 10% of the affected population in Europe receive treatment. About 90% of the people consume alcohol, however for a small part of them it can become a severe disease. The greatest risk is for a 5% group of people who are genetically predispositioned to develop such dependency. Women tend to grow complications much faster than men, and the rate of mortality is also higher, mainly within the age of 45 -50. With men, both complications and mortality are considerably later in age.
The modern therapeutic methods available and successfully applied at Medicus Alpha offer an individual approach to each patient’s specifics. The therapy objective is defined according to the preparedness of the patient to make a shift in their habits and therefore it may vary from complete giving up to optimal decrease in alcohol consumption.
The program for in-hospital treatment of alcohol dependence is a complex of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures of 3 to 5 days duration and it covers:

  • Clinical diagnostics, ECG, ultrasound and laboratory tests diagnostics;
  • Intravenous transfusions and medications, to the inclusion of intensive therapy in case of pronounced withdrawal and/or delirium;
  • Psychological and psychotherapeutic diagnostics and therapy;