People who begin drinking socially or recreationally may find themselves drinking larger amounts more frequently. Although alcohol is legal and easily accessible, it can be as harmful and addictive as illicit substances. People who begin drinking socially or recreationally may find themselves drinking larger amounts more frequently, and eventually, they may feel unable to relax or enjoy themselves without it. The alcohol addiction recovery process helps people overcome this. If you are in need of help for alcohol addiction, please call us or complete the short form for confidential support and assistance with entering treatment.
Alcohol Abuse Vs. Dependence
Some people frequently abuse alcohol without developing a physical or psychological dependence to it; however, they too can benefit from treatment for alcoholism recovery. Binge drinkers, for example, may be fine with going for weeks or even months without a drop of alcohol, but when they do drink, they have trouble stopping themselves from consuming far too much. This type of abuse can have many consequences, including health, social, and legal problems.
A dependence on alcohol is somewhat different. People with alcoholism have intense cravings for it, and this can cloud their thinking in everyday situations. They may be unable to focus at their jobs or in school. They might also experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms when they go without alcohol. These symptoms can include shakiness, anxiety, and cold sweats. The combination of cravings and withdrawal often leads chronic alcoholics to drink at inappropriate times and places, such as first thing in the morning or before work.
People who are addicted to alcohol require large amounts of it to feel drunk, as their tolerance to it increases because of frequent use. They typically have trouble controlling their intake, too. “Just one more” often leads to several more. Alcoholics with limited funds may choose to pay for beer or liquor rather than electricity, food, or rent. However, those with high incomes may still have financial difficulties from forgetting to make payments, incurring heavy fines for drinking and driving, missing work, and spending large sums on alcohol or social gatherings.
If you or someone you know might need help with alcohol abuse or dependence, please call us to explore treatment options and discuss alcohol addiction recovery.
Treatment Process Articles
Alcoholic detox is the procedure by which alcohol is removed from the body through a forced period of withdrawal. A licensed medical practitioner may administer other drugs designed to help limit the effects of alcohol withdrawal syndrome during the detoxification process, and the sufferer may also begin the rehabilitation program at this time.
Usually, the first step to alcoholism recovery is detoxification. This can occur in a rehab facility on an inpatient basis, or it can be the first goal in an outpatient rehab plan. In some cases, people who abuse alcohol without a dependency may be encouraged to try moderation rather than abstinence; however, if this proves ineffective, they too are encouraged to completely abstain from alcohol use.
Detox from alcohol can be medically assisted for people who may be at risk of severe withdrawal symptoms and for those who need help to complete the process. Medications are provided to ease the symptoms, and physicians monitor people’s vital signs and overall health. Following detox, a physician might also prescribe a medication to discourage alcohol use. Antabuse, for example, makes people ill when they consume even the tiniest amount of alcohol.
Once a person becomes sober, other conditions and issues may become apparent. People often turn to alcohol or drugs to help them cope with anxiety, depression, abuse, and other problems. Alcoholism can mask these issues. While in treatment for alcohol addiction, people can get help with other conditions and problems, as well. If a person is diagnosed with a mental health condition in rehab, he also has the option of getting dual-diagnosis treatment, which addresses mental illness and substance abuse.
Therapy is often a primary component of alcoholism recovery, regardless of whether a person has a mental illness. Therapy helps alcoholics identify and deal with stress that increase their urges to drink. In inpatient treatment, relaxation techniques may be taught and practiced in a group setting. In outpatient treatment, patients and therapists can discuss and practice stress management, and patients may be given homework.
Treatment for alcohol addiction often takes a holistic approach. In addition to addressing a person’s drinking habits, thoughts, and behaviors, professionals promote exercise, proper nutrition, and healthy relationships. Alcoholics Anonymous can also be an important component. Support groups provide helpful literature, a safe place to share concerns, and a network of people to turn to as needed.
Alcoholism is considered incurable, but that does not mean that people who have it cannot quit drinking. Many alcoholics successfully maintain their sobriety. Following the initial treatment phase, alcoholics are encouraged to continue their participation in therapy and support groups. This helps them manage their urges to drink, as well as any problems that trigger the urges. Ongoing support reduces the risk of relapse.
People who are interested in alcohol addiction recovery should call us. This 24/7 hotline can refer you to a qualified treatment facility, and it is free to call.