House Call: Treating alcoholism

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Research shows conclusively that successful prevention and treatment of alcoholism leads to reductions in traffic fatalities, crime, unwanted pregnancy, child abuse, HIV, cancer and heart disease.

Therefore once an individual has been assessed for alcohol dependency and diagnosed with alcoholism, it is important to begin treatment with proper medical detoxification. For those who are alcohol dependent, quitting on their own or “cold-turkey” can be dangerous and sometimes life-threatening due to certain symptoms that occur with alcohol withdrawal.

Therapy also serves as an integral part of treating alcoholism and other substance abuse and/or addictions; with group therapy being the preferred treatment over individual therapy.  Working with their addiction specialists and related-healthcare providers, individuals decide whether to enter an intensive outpatient or residential treatment program.

Cone Health Behavioral Health Hospital offers a Chemical Dependence Intensive Outpatient Program (CDIOP), in which patients meet three times a week for three hours each time in a group setting.

If a patient relapses after completing CDIOP or if they have been alcohol dependent for a significant period of time, a more structured environment such as a residential treatment program would be recommended.

Like many other diseases, the earlier alcoholism is detected, the easier it is to treat.  Recognizing signs of alcohol abuse or dependency early and getting properly assessed quickly can certainly increase success of treatment.

Spokesperson Background:

Quylle Hodnett is a licensed clinical social worker at Cone Health Behavioral Health Hospital.  Currently working in care management for all patients at the hospital; Hodnett served on the Adult Inpatient Substance Abuse Unit for eight years.

She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology from Winston Salem State University in 1996 and earned a Master of Social Work Degree from the joint program at University of North Carolina Greensboro and North Carolina A&T University in 1999.