Substance Use

Alcohol Intoxication Supportive Therapy Treatment: Complete Guide

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Alcohol intoxication health care can support and guide Americans in need, helping them work through their alcohol use disorder and alcohol consumption.

Alcohol Intoxication Supportive Therapy Treatment (AISTT) is a form of psychotherapy that helps individuals struggling with alcohol intoxication gain insight into their drinking behavior and develop management strategies. AISTT focuses on understanding the causes of addiction, establishing coping skills, and building a support system to help maintain sobriety.

According to gov sites and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), approximately 29.5  million adults had AUD, with an additional 414,000 adolescents affected. 

Annual alcohol-related deaths, encompassing liver disease and accidents, reached around 95,000, emphasizing the pressing need for effective interventions and comprehensive treatment approaches to tackle this widespread public health issue. (1)

Learn more about AISTT and whether it may be helpful for you or a loved one.

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What is Alcohol Intoxication Supportive Therapy?

Alcohol Intoxication Supportive Therapy, often referred to as AIST, is a specialized form of treatment designed to provide immediate care and support to individuals facing acute intoxication or withdrawal symptoms due to alcohol use. (2)

The primary objective of AIST is to address the immediate physical and psychological effects of alcohol intoxication, offering a supportive environment that focuses on stabilizing the individual during a crisis. (3)

In AIST sessions, the approach encompasses several key components. Firstly, immediate care involves closely monitoring vital signs and ensuring the individual’s safety.

This may include:

  • Administering intravenous fluids to combat dehydration and stabilize blood sugar levels
  • Offering nutritional support
  • When necessary, providing pharmacological interventions

Some CDC-approved medications, like benzodiazepines, are offered to manage withdrawal symptoms or complications associated with alcohol intoxication. (4)

AIST places a strong emphasis on psychological support. Trained professionals guide individuals through the emotional distress that often accompanies alcohol intoxication, providing reassurance and assistance in coping with the challenges they are facing.

This aspect of AIST recognizes the importance of addressing both the physical and emotional aspects of alcohol dependence.

Moreover, AIST extends its focus beyond crisis intervention by incorporating a strategic approach to problem-solving. Sessions often go into teaching practical and constructive problem-solving techniques that individuals can apply to manage stressors in their everyday lives without resorting to alcohol as a coping mechanism. 

This includes identifying triggers, exploring alternative coping strategies, and building resilience to confront the root causes of alcohol dependence.

Ultimately, AIST represents a comprehensive and integrative approach to alcohol-related issues. It not only aims to stabilize individuals during acute episodes of intoxication but also endeavors to equip them with the skills and coping mechanisms necessary for sustained recovery.

Benefits of AISTT

Supportive care like alcohol therapy treatment can provide many benefits to those struggling with alcohol addiction, including:

Gaining Self-Awareness

AISTT helps individuals become more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to drinking. This increased self-awareness allows them to better understand the triggers that lead them to drink and how they can avoid or manage those actions in the future.

Increasing Motivation

Through AISTT, individuals learn about the risks associated with continued drinking and the rewards of staying sober. This knowledge often motivates them to abstain from alcohol even when faced with temptation or difficult situations.

Building Stronger Communication Skills

During treatment sessions, people practice communication skills such as active listening and assertiveness training, which are essential for successful relationships inside and outside recovery programs.

These skills also help reduce conflict between family members or friends who may be affected by a loved one’s drinking.

Developing Effective Problem-Solving Strategies

AISTT sessions often focus on problem-solving techniques to use in everyday situations. These techniques might include dealing with stressors or managing finances responsibly without resorting to alcohol as a coping mechanism.

A big part of these sessions involves teaching people practical ways to solve problems they face every day without turning to alcohol for relief. This means helping them figure out what stresses them out and finding better ways to handle those situations. AISTT wants to give people the tools to deal with the reasons they might depend on alcohol.

For example, they might teach ways to manage money well so that financial stress doesn’t push someone to drink. The goal is to help people solve problems and not just the alcohol-related ones.

AISTT aims to help individuals develop skills that last, so they can face life’s challenges without relying on alcohol to get through them.

What Does the AISTT Process Look Like?

The first step in AISTT is for the therapist to understand what led to the person’s current alcohol dependence. This involves exploring past experiences, such as traumatic life events or family history, and mental status that may have contributed to their addiction.

Next, the therapist, with psychiatry practices, helps the individual develop healthier coping mechanisms for stressors and emotions without using alcohol consumption as an escape. (5)

Examples of healthier coping include:

  • Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or guided imagery
  • Setting realistic goals
  • Building self-esteem
  • Managing time more effectively
  • Creating positive relationships with others
  • Engaging in healthy activities like exercise or hobbies instead of drinking
  • Finding ways to enjoy life without relying on alcohol consumption for pleasure

5 Key Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment Approaches

Understanding and addressing Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) requires a multifaceted treatment approach. Here are the five key strategies that form the foundation of effective alcoholism treatment for inpatient or outpatient use.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors. CBT helps individuals recognize the connection between their thoughts, feelings, and actions, encouraging them to replace unhealthy habits with healthier ones. (6)

This therapy can treat alcoholism by helping individuals understand why they drink and how it affects them physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a form of counseling that uses open-ended questions, reflective listening, empathy building, and goal-setting to help people explore their ambivalence about changing behaviors related to alcohol use disorder. (7)

The therapist works with the individual to increase motivation for treatment or abstinence from alcohol.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a type of therapy that combines medications, such as naltrexone and acamprosate, with behavioral therapies. (8)

The medicine reduces cravings for alcohol, while behavioral therapies help individuals modify their behaviors and recognize triggers or situations in which they are more likely to drink.

Group Counseling

Group Counseling involves working with multiple clients who have similar struggles with substance abuse problems.

During group counseling sessions, participants learn more about themselves through sharing experiences, gaining insight into others’ perspectives, receiving feedback from peers, practicing decision-making skills, and expressing emotions safely in a supportive environment.

According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, group therapy sessions that include members who suffer from similar conditions can provide a powerful feeling of connection and understanding. (9)

When patients see that their symptoms are not exclusive to them, they realize they are part of a larger community facing a common challenge. Harnessing this collective strength and empathy can play an essential role in the treatment process by creating an environment of acceptance and belonging.

Family Therapy

Family Therapy focuses on improving communication and strengthening relationships among family members. This type of therapy is especially beneficial when treating alcoholism, as the disorder can affect families beyond the individual.

During family therapy sessions, members are encouraged to discuss their feelings and experiences related to the alcohol use disorder under the guidance of a trained therapist.

What to Expect From Your First Session

Entering Alcohol Intoxication Supportive Therapy can feel like a significant step toward recovery. During your initial session, you can anticipate a supportive and non-judgmental environment.

The therapist will likely begin by gathering information about your alcohol use, medical history, and any immediate concerns you may have. Expect open and honest conversations about your experiences, as this forms the basis for tailoring the therapy to your specific needs.

The therapist may also explain the goals and structure of AIST, emphasizing the immediate care aspects such as monitoring vital signs, providing hydration, and addressing any pressing health issues. (10) Additionally, you might discuss the emotional and psychological support AIST offers, ensuring you feel heard and understood.

This session serves as a foundation for building a trusting therapeutic relationship.

Who Can Benefit from AISTT?

AISTT supports those who drink excessively, as it can help them recognize the signs of an impending relapse and develop strategies for avoiding or managing these situations. In addition, those who have already stopped drinking but still experience cravings or other related issues may find this therapy helpful.

Friends and family members can also learn about AISTT to better understand what their loved one is going through and how they can support them in recovery.

Excessive drinking falls into two categories:

  • Binge Drinking: Binge drinking is when an individual consumes enough alcohol that their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reaches 0.08% or more. (11) In many cases, those who experience acute alcohol intoxication need to go to an emergency department immediately to stop the detrimental effects. (12)
  • Heavy Alcohol Use: Heavy drinking is when an individual consumes more than four drinks per day for men or more than three drinks per day for women. Drinking alcohol, in large amounts daily, will likely fall under heavy alcohol use no matter the alcoholic beverages consumed. (13)

What is Excessive Alcohol Consumption?

As stated above, excessive alcohol consumption is a form of substance use and has a lot of risk factors. Excessive alcohol consumption, simply put, is drinking too much alcohol.

It’s like a constant alcohol overdose. It goes beyond moderate or social drinking and involves drinking in a way that can harm your health.

For men, this usually means having more than four drinks in a day or 14 drinks in a week. For women, it’s more than three drinks in a day or seven drinks in a week.

Excessive drinking can lead to various health issues and high blood alcohol levels, impact relationships, and increase the risk of accidents or injuries.

The Dangers of Excessive Alcohol Use

Drinking too much alcohol comes with serious dangers. It can harm your liver, heart, and brain over time. Issues in the central nervous system could occur, or cardiovascular problems may arise. (14)

Regular excessive drinking may lead to addiction or alcohol use disorder. It can mess with your judgment, making accidents more likely.

Excessive alcohol use can strain relationships with family and friends and affect your job or school performance. Long-term health problems like liver disease, hypoglycemia, respiratory depression, heart issues, and mental health concerns are common risks associated with excessive alcohol use. (15)

It’s normal for those to experience serious alcohol withdrawal or symptoms of alcohol poisoning after excessive alcohol use. No matter the type of alcohol that is consumed, alcohol intoxication can happen with large amounts of alcohol consumption.

Can You Die From Alcohol Poisoning?

Yes, you can die from alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning happens when you drink a dangerous amount of alcohol in a short time. It can happen unintentionally during binge drinking. Signs include confusion, vomiting, seizures, lowered inhibition, slow or irregular breathing, withdrawal syndrome, and unconsciousness. (16)

Likely, these effects will be alcohol toxicity and cause airways to decrease in size, affecting your breathing.

Additionally, there could be electrolyte or thiamine level abnormalities and neurological effects that affect your whole body.

If someone shows these signs, it’s an emergency, and you should call for help immediately. Alcohol poisoning can be fatal, so quick action is crucial. Don’t hesitate to seek medical assistance if you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning or alcohol impairment; it could save a life.

Take the First Steps Towards Healing

Alcohol intoxication supportive therapy treatment can provide the support and guidance needed to help individuals make positive changes in their lives and recover from the life-threatening effects of alcohol use disorder or substance ingestion.

At Zinnia Health, we recognize the effects of alcohol abuse and decreased mental health and provide a range of supportive therapy treatment programs to help. Call us 24/7 at (855) 430-9439 or the national drug abuse hotline if you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction.


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(855) 430-9439
Why call us? Why call us