Exploring Treatment Approaches for Alcoholism: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
Alcoholism and the Need for Support
Many people suffer from alcoholism, but sometimes, they do not choose to reach out. Instead, they try to remain sober alone. Unfortunately, this does not help the addict move forward in any way. In Jeannette Walls’s memoir, she learns that an alcohol abuser’s addiction affects not only the abuser himself but also the friends and families who surround him. If the addict does not have any emotional or motivational support, he or she will still stay in the exact position the addict remained before. Alcoholics, like Rex Walls in The Glass Castle, can reach out for tools to help them cope with their alcoholism, such as taking the medicine gabapentin and participating in cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Gabapentin: A Medication for Alcoholics
Gabapentin would be able to help alcoholics like Rex Walls by providing support and relief. The article “Current Research in Medication Development,” written by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, reports that “gabapentin…has shown promise as an effective treatment for alcohol dependence, based on the results of a recent 150-patient clinical trial of the medication. The study found that alcohol-dependent patients using gabapentin were more likely to stop drinking or refrain from heavy drinking than those taking placebo.” When alcoholics obtain medication for their alcoholism, they have a higher chance of success. It helps treat the pain and epilepsy that come with drinking alcohol. The research showed that former alcoholics were better able to stay sober when prescribed gabapentin treatment.
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The gabapentin helped alcohol-dependent adults stay away from alcohol and not only improved their mood but eased their anxiety and insomnia. The medication, used to treat pain conditions and epilepsy, was shown to increase abstinence and reduce heavy drinking. Alcoholics who were prescribed gabapentin treatment announced that they had a lower alcohol craving and saw an improvement in mood, sleep, and appetite. In Jeannette Wall’s memoir, The Glass Castle, her sister says that “he tried stopping before, but it never lasted.” Like many alcoholics, Rex was unable to successfully quit drinking. When he was somber, he did not continue to work towards his recovery, so he would always go back to alcohol. Because he did not put in the effort to ask for help and receive medication such as gabapentin to cope with his alcoholism, he was unable to stop. If he tried to seek out help from others and was able to be prescribed gabapentin, then he would be able to remain somber for a longer period of time. Rex Walls could have also participated in cognitive behavioral therapy in his journey to maintain sobriety.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Coping and Recovery
Cognitive-behavioral therapy could have provided Rex Walls with support and relief from alcohol. The article “Statistics and Information on Alcohol and Addiction Treatment Help” by Alcohol.org reports that “the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs wrote that multiple studies showed that CBT was statistically significant in helping clients overcome their substance abuse urges, and it was effective across a ‘large and diverse sample’ of research studies involving addicted patients.” Cognitive-behavioral therapy conceptualizes drinking problems and helps find the appropriate interventions that develop adequate coping skills. CBT helps alcoholics develop coping skills that focus on alternative solutions when coping with stress in a situation instead of finding solace in drinking.
The therapy requires alcoholics to meet with therapists, and the program teaches them skills for coping with stress and depression. Alcoholics can use these skills taught during cognitive-behavioral therapy to help them reach sobriety. In Jeanette Wall’s memoir, she describes how “…he’d ruined the Christmas his family had spent weeks planning Christmas that was supposed to be the best [they’d] ever had.” Like many alcoholics, Rex Walls has a hard time controlling his emotions and actions when he drinks. CBT can help him cope with that. With support from other people, he will be able to stay sober for a longer period of time. The therapy will be able to continue to help him work forward to quit alcohol. Due to the many meetings during CBT, he would be able to continue to progress. Cognitive-behavioral therapy would help Rex cope with the stress and anxiety that his family and drinking problems bring.
Rex Walls’s Struggle with Seeking Help
In conclusion, alcoholics, like Rex Walls in The Glass Castle, can reach out for tools to help them cope with their alcoholism, such as taking the medicine gabapentin and participating in cognitive-behavioral therapy. Furthermore, Gabapentin medication can help relieve and treat the pain and epilepsy that alcoholics have when drinking alcohol. Like many other addicts, Rex Walls could have also benefitted from the medication to help him cope with his pain and agony. However, due to Rex Walls’s distrust of medical hospitals and help, he did not go see a doctor to help him with his alcoholism.
This caused him to never seek out medication treatment for his disorder. Therefore, he was not able to attain his sobriety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy could have also been a useful tool for Rex Walls’s journey to sobriety. These treatment options help alcoholics understand the cause of their alcoholism and provide options to help the addict cope with their disorder. Alcoholics would be able to learn skills from this therapy and will also be able to gain support through the many meetings available in the program. Even though Rex Walls was never able to quit alcohol, there are still many treatments to help him and other addicts live healthier lives.
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “Current Research in Medication Development.”
- Alcohol.org. “Statistics and Information on Alcohol and Addiction Treatment Help.”