Want to Stop Drinking? Seek Help at an Alcohol Treatment Center
You may think that because alcohol is promoted so heavily by the media that it’s a safe substance to drink. Though there are some people who can drink alcohol socially every once in a while, there are a large number of people who cannot.
- There are those caught up in binge drinking, perhaps going all week without drinking, but binging on the weekend. They will drink heavily and party, without having any thoughts about having a problem. They think it’s normal and since it’s not causing them problems, that it’s fine.
- There are also those that drink every day, after work or at their leisure. They may think that they have it under control, but if they were to try to stop, they’d find it challenging.
- Then there are those who are flat-out alcoholics, who drink to excess more times than they can count. Some of them know they’re alcoholics, and some of them are still in denial.
The reality is that there are millions of low and high-functioning alcoholics in the United States, and whether they realize it or not, they could benefit from alcohol treatment.
What is Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol addiction is a condition in which a person has a compulsive need for alcohol. It is when a person has a strong craving for alcohol and often times when he or she cannot consume it, symptoms of withdrawal will occur. It is more than just wanting to drink sometimes. It is an urge that does not go away and is very difficult to fight off.
Not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic, but there are plenty of alcoholics who have no idea that they are struggling with the disease. The thought might cross their minds once in a while, but they shrug it off and go about their lives. Alcoholism affects millions of people in various ways. The disease is progressive and can take a normally happy individual and turn them into a miserable, lonely, angry person.
If you’re wondering if you are struggling with alcoholism or if you think a loved one is, here are 10 red flags when it comes to the disease:
- You think about drinking a lot and tend to drink much more than you used to. You begin to base your life around alcohol, parties, etc.
- When you get angry, stressed out, fearful, etc., you reach for a drink to try to cope with the negative emotion. Even though you think the alcohol will make you feel better, you end up feeling worse.
- When confronted about how much or often you drink, you become angry and defensive.
- You begin hiding alcohol and lying about home much or how often you drink.
- You promise yourself and others that you will not drink anymore. You assure them that you are done, yet you find yourself drinking again despite negative consequences.
- Your drinking gets you into trouble with the law, such as committing a crime while intoxicated, getting DWI, assaulting someone, etc.
- Your relationship or marriage is suffering because of your drinking. Your partner comes to you concerned and you shrug it off or become defensive or angry.
- You crave alcohol immensely when you try to stop drinking. You may even have some withdrawal symptoms like sweating, anxiousness, nausea, and more.
- You do your best to just have a few social drinks, but you have a difficult time stopping at a few and go overboard regularly. You may even have blackouts.
- You begin to wonder if you have a problem with alcohol and sometimes think about reaching out for help to stop drinking.
If some of these resonate with you, you very well could be struggling with alcoholism. It might be difficult to admit that you have a problem, but in doing so you can then accept it and plan on beginning a journey of recovery.
Is it easy to quit drinking?
Many people think that it is easy to quit drinking and if someone has enough willpower, they can certainly do it. This is not the case. Alcohol addiction is a disease of the brain that affects men and women in such a way that they simply can’t stop drinking on their own. Most of the time they need the support of others and a good alcohol treatment program to stay clean.
Causes and effects of alcoholism
Substance abuse professionals assert that alcoholism tends to run in families, but environmental factors can play a role as well. Some scientists state that alcoholics have a certain brain chemistry that makes them more susceptible to addiction. They assert that this is the reason that some people can drink and not become addicted, while others drink and become highly addicted.
Alcohol addiction leads to various problems throughout life. Emotional problems arise, as well as behavioral and health issues. An alcoholic can suffer from mood swings, depression, anger, and even resort to physical violence. An alcoholic has more of a chance to suffer from health problems, such as liver disease and heart disease. Trouble with law officials can also occur, as many alcoholics drive while drunk or execute poor judgment while intoxicated.
Alcohol causes brain cells to die, which over the course of many years can lead to brain damage. It also negatively affects the central nervous system, leading to potential memory problems. Have you ever heard of someone “blacking out” while drinking? This is because the significant intake of alcohol causes the oxygen supply to the brain to decrease dramatically, which causes a blackout. What this means is that the person will not remember what happened for a period of time until he or she passes out.
What should you do?
If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol addiction, consider seeing a substance abuse professional that can offer assistance. There are a variety of treatments available, ranging from alcohol treatment programs to 12-step groups to individual counseling.
Inpatient alcohol treatment
Inpatient treatment or rehab is available for those who would like to pack up and stay for a short time at a rehab facility for alcohol treatment. Treatment times vary, but usually, they range from 30 to 60 days. One of the great things about inpatient treatment is that you’re surrounded by substance abuse professionals 24/7, and they can monitor your alcohol treatment. You’ll be able to receive individual and/or group counseling, and not have outside distractions or be triggered like you may at home. Though inpatient alcohol treatment may be more expensive than some of the other treatment options, many find that it’s well worth the investment.
Outpatient alcohol treatment
An outpatient alcohol treatment program is run much like an inpatient program, but you don’t live at the facility. You simply attend a certain number of meetings per week, usually starting off around three or four. You’ll be able to receive some counseling, and perhaps attend some group meetings or 12 step meetings. You’ll learn about the disease of alcoholism and learn various coping skills that will help you navigate your life sober. Over time, the frequency of your meetings will decrease, until the time that you feel as if you don’t need to attend anymore. Most likely, you’ll be given a plan for aftercare services, so that you will continue to have support in your recovery once you’re done with your sessions.
Many people who want to recover from alcoholism find individual counseling valuable. There, they not only get to learn about the disease of addiction, but they get to learn other coping skills that perhaps were lacking. They can also begin contending with any emotional issues that perhaps have been bothering them. Often, when someone get sober, emotional issues may arise, such as depression or anger, and it may be necessary to process such emotions with a trained counselor. It usually does people world of good to dig below the surface to get to the very roots of the possible reasons they started drinking in the first place.
Many people find 12-step groups helpful in keeping them sober. There you can connect with others who have been in your shoes and have overcome the challenges associated with alcoholism. There you will be able to get a sponsor and work the 12 steps, which will help you significantly in your recovery from alcoholism. You might even make a few really good friends.
What if my loved one won’t get alcohol treatment?
If your loved one is an alcoholic and simply will not admit, can’t see it, or refuses to get help, you can consider hiring an interventionist to perform an intervention. If you’re not quite familiar with what an intervention is, it’s simply a substance abuse professional who is experienced in doing interventions and helps you try to reach the alcoholic. Oftentimes, the interventionist will have the family write letters to the alcoholic, and read them during a family meeting. At the end of this meeting, the alcoholic is given the opportunity to go right away to alcohol treatment. Sometimes interventions do work, and sometimes they don’t. There’s really no way to know for sure if they will.
However, they can be effective at getting an alcoholic to realize that he needs help and provides phenomenal resources to aid in helping to keep a recovering alcoholic sober.
Reach out for help
Do you, or someone you know have an addiction to alcohol? if so, rest assured that alcohol treatment is available and can help anyone overcome an addiction to alcohol. Recognize that when it comes to treatment, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. What works for one might not work for another, so it’s important to find out what your unique recovery path is. If you’ve tried meetings before and they haven’t worked for you, then perhaps try alcohol treatment via rehab this time. The important thing is to make the effort toward getting treatment.
If you need help deciding your next step, please give us a call now. We’d love to assist point you in the right direction to begin getting your life back on track, sober and free.