Overcoming Alcohol Addiction. Alcohol Help.
What is Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol addiction is also referred to as alcoholism. Anyone can suffer from alcoholism. There are various factors that could lead to alcoholism. These factors can be categorized into genetics, behavioral and psychological. Alcoholism is an actual disease because it alters your neurochemistry and brain functions. Thus, an alcoholic has little control over their actions.
Your level of addiction shows the severity of the disease. Your drinking habits also dictate the severity of the disease. You may find some people binge drinking and after that, maintain sober periods. Others engage in heavy consumption of alcohol throughout the day.
Signs of an Alcohol Problem
It may be hard to point out and accept a case of alcoholism. It is widely accepted in society, unlike other drugs like heroin and cocaine. You may have come across alcohol on many social occasions and celebrations.
Various cultures accept and have normalized heavy drinking. Furthermore, some social classes like teenagers and young adults praise heavy consumption of alcohol.
People find it hard to identify a case of alcoholism when heavy drinking is common, accepted and sometimes praised in society.
However, there are symptoms that you may use to identify a case of alcoholism. They include:
- An increase in the quantity of consumption
- An increase in the frequency of consumption.
- High alcohol tolerance which can be characterized by the absence of hangover symptoms.
- Drinking at inappropriate places and times, for example at work, in church or first thing in the morning.
- Avoiding events and places without alcohol.
- Friendship changes. An alcoholic will prefer drinking friends over those who don’t drink.
- An alcoholic will avoid contact with their loved ones.
- Private drinking habits, for example, drinking in seclusion or hiding alcohol.
- An alcoholic will depend on alcohol to function on a daily basis.
- You will note an increase in depression, lethargy or any other emotional issues.
- Alcoholics will face professional or legal issues such as job loss or arrests.
Alcoholism, like most diseases, tends to get worse over time if you don’t pay attention to it. Early treatment could help you avoid the major consequences like health, social, legal or professional consequences.
Alcohol addiction is usually a sensitive subject, especially when addressing an addict. You need to use a supportive approach. They could retreat or feel ashamed if you use a reprimanding tone or approach. They will end up resisting your help, and the disease could get worse.
What are the Treatments for Alcohol Use Disorder?
There are various forms of targeted treatments that will influence your treatment options. They also influence the type of professional help you need. There is no definite period for treatment and recovery when it comes to alcoholism. Each individual takes a different length of time to recover. Some take 28-days and others longer.
Start With Your Doctor
The first place to start is at your doctor’s office. They will give you professional advice you need and could prescribe medication or form of primary treatment. Your primary physician will perform the following treatment functions:
- They provide an evaluation of your overall health
- They work with you to come up with a treatment plan.
- They will assess your drinking habits and give a risk analysis.
- They will decide if medication is appropriate
You may visit various professionals who will use a certain type of treatment. Other professionals involved in treating alcohol addiction include:
- Your primary care provider
- A psychiatrist
- A psychologist
- A social worker
- An alcohol counsellor.
Behavioral treatment involves targeting behaviors that trigger alcohol use disorder. This form of treatment needs the help of a professional. There are different types of behavioral treatments. However, they have common features which include:
- They help establish a solid social support system.
- They will equip you with the skills you needed to reduce and eventually stop drinking
- They teach you how to avoid and cope with situations that may trigger a relapse
- They encourage you to set and work on attainable goals
Types of Behavioral Treatment.
Motivational enhancement therapy
Motivational enhancement therapy is administered over a short period of time. Its main goal is to create and reinforce your motivation to change your drinking behavior. You will gain exposure to the pros and cons of getting treatment, build your confidence, develop skills and build a plan in which you will apply these skills to change your drinking habits.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
You undertake this treatment either in a small group or one on one with your therapist. It aims at helping you change your thought process as you identify the situations and feelings that drive you to drink heavily. It also enables you to develop the skills you will need to cope with the situation and feelings for example stress management.
Brief interventions are conducted on a one-on-one basis or in small groups. The treatment also takes a relatively short time. An individual will talk to the counselor about the drinking patterns. The counsellor issues personalized feedback and points out potential risks. You will set goals under the counsellor’s guidance and get ideas on how you can change your drinking patterns.
Family and Marital Counselling
Family support in alcoholism treatment is invaluable. The treatment has spouses and family members present in the sessions and counselling. Furthermore, you will be able to improve family relationships, especially when alcoholism played a part in breaking the relationships. Family and marital counselling give you a stronger chance of maintaining your abstinence.
There are medications that prove to be useful in helping people reduce, stop drinking and prevent relapse. Some medications have been approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and more are under research. The ones currently approved include:
- Acamprosate – It is a medication that makes it easier to keep up abstinence. It helps to minimize your alcohol cravings.
- Disulfiram – it is a medication that inhibits the metabolism (break down) of alcohol by the body. You will experience unpleasant symptoms like skin flushing and nausea if you consume alcohol while taking Disulfiram.
- Naltrexone – it is engineered to help you reduce heavy drinking habits. It prevents the high feeling you get from drinking.
The first rule of all medication is Avoid self-prescription and medicating. You do not wish to jump from one drug problem to another. The medications above are not suited for everyone. Some people will respond better to other forms of treatment. It is up to your doctor to prescribe the treatment for you.
Mutual support groups
You may be familiar with 12-step and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) groups. The treatment is aimed at providing peer support to help you work on reducing your alcohol consumption and eventually quitting. The groups are anonymous, so researchers have a hard time determining the success rate of the treatment.
Tips for selecting a Treatment Option
You can rely on professional advice when choosing a treatment plan. You should also research on treatment programs and providers to make a personal decision, especially if you want private treatment. You could get such information from your doctor, or someone with firsthand experience. You may use the questions below to help you select an appropriate treatment.
- What Type of Treatment Does the Program Avail?
You need to confirm the treatment approaches the program offers. Some providers offer a single approach, while others use multiple approaches to treat alcohol use disorder. It would help if you looked for treatment centers that provide both medication and mental health care alongside alcohol addiction treatment.
- It the Treatment Meant for Groups or Individuals?
Are you looking for private treatment, or would you like to have peer support? Some treatment providers offer either while others offer both. Furthermore, you need to know if the treatment adapts to various needs and changes of a patient.
- What Is Expected of Me as a Patient?
Look at what the provider asks of you to see if your needs are addressed.
- Is the Success of the Treatment Measurable?
Various providers measure treatment success in various ways. Others fail to measure success. Analyze this factor to decide which treatment suits you.
- How Does the Treatment Provider Manage Relapse Cases?
As an alcohol addict, relapse is always a risk and it is very common. Find out how your treatment provider handles relapse cases before making a decision.
- Does the Program Offer Inpatient or Outpatient Services?
Inpatient means you will have to stay within the facility for the period of your treatment while outpatient means you can stay at home as you undergo treatment. Inpatient tents to be costlier but more intense and effective.
- What Is the Estimated Cost of the Treatment?
Do you have insurance? Is the treatment covered? If you lack insurance, what are the payment plans accepted by the treatment provider? Be sure to analyze the cost from various providers.
How a Rehab Centre Can Help
- A Secure Atmosphere
An addict’s life is prone to temptations to relapse, especially during treatment. Ebb Tide Treatment Centers provide a safe space to undertake in recovery and gives you a better chance to achieve abstinence.
- Access to Counsellors
Counsellors have the knowledge and experience of helping alcohol addicts control their drinking habits and quit eventually. Ebb Tide Treatment Centers provide appropriate counsellor that will guide yours to abstinence.
- A Learning Experiences
A rehab center has a lot to teach to alcohol addicts. They will learn how to conquer dependence, temptations and how to avoid relapse. Ebb Tide Treatment Centers provide the appropriate tools to help you learn how to cope with and tackle alcohol addiction.
- Peer Support
Peer support gives encouragements and resilience to people tackling alcohol addiction. You will be grouped with people facing similar challenges, and you will motivate each other throughout the recovery process.
- A Daily Routine
It would be best if you had a daily routine to occupy your mind and time. Ebb Tide Treatment Centers provides one-on-one treatment, group therapies, physical fitness therapy, nutrition therapy and the 12-step program.
- Zero Tolerance
Your treatment could come to a stop if you break the zero-tolerance policy. You will have lost the chance to a healthy recovery as rehab center do not tolerate drugs and alcohol within the premises. The policy keeps you and other patients safe from temptations and relapse.
Aftercare involves follow-ups on your treatment after you have left the treatment center. Remember, there still exists a chance of relapse occurring. Counsellors will follow up and be open to give advice and methods that will help you avoid relapse.
Alcohol addiction is a disease. If left unchecked, it can result in severe consequences in the social, financial, professional and legal aspects of your life. In our current society, it may be hard to recognize a condition of alcohol addiction, but there are symptoms that could help you point it out.
Examples of alcohol addiction symptoms is an increase in the frequency and quantity of consumption, keeping alcoholic company, social, legal and professional issues that arise from alcohol and private drinking habits.
There are various methods that could treat alcohol addiction. They include behavioral treatments, medications and medical support groups.
You should also consult your doctor and follow the criteria above before choosing a treatment method. You should largely consider a rehab center as it provides advantages such as learning, counsellors, peer support, a daily routine, zero tolerance and aftercare.