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Alavida is a comprehensive outpatient treatment program that combines professional therapy with pharmacological extinction.
The program is formulated to eliminate excessive drinking.
In a survey of 147 clients from the first clinic to try this method, nearly four out of five clients (78%) successfully reduced their drinking to a low-risk level or at least halved their alcohol consumption from what it was to begin with. A quarter of the clients reported having been abstinent during the last month.
Most people qualify for the treatment. During the initial visit, clients will be screened for specific exceptions. Unless you are:
then passing the screening should not be a problem.
The medication works by blocking the opiate receptors in the brain which prevents the reinforcement from drinking alcohol. Through this process, cravings are reduced gradually over the course of the program until drinking alcohol comes under the client's control. The medicine has no stimulating or tranquilizing effects.
Known side effects: The medicine is generally mild with no severe side effects; however, a small minority of clients in the beginning of the program may experience passing nausea, headache, irritability, etc.
Important note: The medicine does not reduce the effects of alcohol on driving, operating machinery, cognition, and other motor functions. It may actually increase the effects slightly. Clients should adhere to the local laws regarding alcohol use without exception. Medication will not alter the effects of a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) test.
The Alavida treatment program has been successful in treating a wide range of clients. The population to date has the following attributes:
No, we do not require detox or any “clean-time” prior to starting the program. In contrast, continued drinking is part of the program during the beginning of the treatment process as only by drinking with medication is our program effective. The Alavida method is based on the scientifically developed model of selective extinction. Through this process, cravings for alcohol are reduced gradually over the course of the program until drinking alcohol comes under the patient's control.
The medicine alone is not sufficient because a total change of a way of life is involved. The therapy provides a channel to observe what things and feelings are related to drinking from various points of view and to plan a new life free of dependence upon alcohol. The visits are important for educating the client about how the extinction works and how to accentuate the benefits from it. It is also critical to assure clients in the early stages that the craving and drinking decrease slowly over many weeks and that they should not worry if they do not see immediate improvement.
The therapeutic portion of the treatment is based on a cognitive-behavioral framework. An assessment is made of the client’s physical and mental condition to ensure they are ready. The treatment theory and the method are discussed in detail to create a proper foundation for treatment and adherence to the program. During treatment, clients keep a detailed diary of their drinking, medicine use, and reactions.
Key topics are covered during the course of the treatment, in the appropriate sequence. These include the following:
Drinking habits and amounts
Side effects, if any
Perceived reasons for drinking
Stimuli, situations, and moods eliciting drinking
Alternatives to drinking
The future and the various possibilities provided by a new life style
Currently Alavida treatment is not covered, but we are working tirelessly to get this treatment widely covered. Part of that is communicating the early positive results that we are seeing.