How Prevalent Is Alcoholism?
There are roughly 17 million Americans suffering from some degree of alcohol use disorder, whether they realize it or not. Many of them will deny that they’re alcoholics, or that they ‘aren’t like the other alcoholics’ depending on their perceived control over their drinking habits. Since alcohol is legal to purchase and consume in most of the country, alcohol abusers are often deluded into a false sense of security by thinking that alcohol is ‘less serious’ compared to other addictions. They try to deny the severity of their problem and often claim that they can ‘stop whenever they want’, thinking they have the situation under control.
But there are ways to tell if someone’s drinking habits have become unhealthy and have gone outside the bounds of their control.
Signs of Alcoholism
Since alcohol is legal for adults to obtain and consume all over the world, but especially in the United States, casual alcohol usage is common. Because of this, it can be difficult to determine who is drinking appropriately versus those drinking in a risky manner, especially in a social setting. One sign to look out for is when alcohol use morphs into a habit someone engages in compulsively instead of a fully lucid choice.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction
- Common signs of alcoholism include:
- Spending significant amounts of money on alcohol
- Feeling the need to consume larger quantities of alcohol more often
- Behavior changes after drinking
- Inability to control your alcohol consumption
- Strong alcohol cravings when you’re not drinking
- Prioritizing alcohol over personal responsibilities and other activities
What Does Treatment for Alcohol Addiction Involve?
The goal of a successful alcohol addiction treatment program should be to help the client lead a healthy life without the need for alcohol. Addiction can be terrifying. If you or someone that you care about has been struggling with a substance use disorder, then you’re probably familiar with some of the devastating impacts this disease can have on a person’s life. Rehab treatment for alcohol use disorder (alcoholism) can help your loved one get their life back on track.
The most important first step when approaching addiction recovery is getting the abused substance out of the addict’s system. By detoxifying the body, rehab treatment can continue in a more controlled fashion.
Unfortunately, detoxification can be lethal, especially with alcohol addiction, if done improperly. Self-detox is extremely dangerous and highly discouraged by medical professionals. A medically supervised or aided detox program is the safest way to undergo detox treatment. In some cases, medically assisted detox is also an option, which combines a supervised detox program with medications that help control withdrawal symptoms in the patient.
Some of the medications commonly used to assist alcohol detox include:
- Acamprosate (Reduces alcohol cravings and withdrawal symptoms)
- Naltrexone – (Reduces cravings and the pleasurable side effects of alcohol usage)
- Disulfiram – (Causes negative effects when alcohol is consumed instead of positive or “rewarding” effects)
A medically supervised detox program is usually necessary for alcohol addictions, in part because the withdrawal symptoms for alcohol can be severe. Some alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:
- Mood Swings
- Increased Heart Rate
- Headaches or Migraines
Addressing the Root of the Issue
After the detox process is complete, the therapy and education component of the addiction treatment process begins. A high-quality alcohol rehab program will utilize a variety of treatment processes and methods, customized to the individual’s needs, which may include:
- One-on-one counseling
- Group counseling
- Education sessions teaching life skills such as healthy eating, coping with stress,
- Experiential therapy using outlets such as art, sports, music, recreation, etc.
It’s important that alcohol addiction treatment addresses the underlying issues that caused the person to abuse alcohol in the first place. Addressing the underlying causes of addiction helps greatly reduce a person’s chance of relapsing after treatment.
Sober Living and Life After Rehab
It can be difficult to stick to your guns after rehab, especially since alcohol is such a widely used and “socially accepted” substance. Taking care of yourself after rehab could mean that you don’t go to bars with friends anymore. It could mean going to a different convenience store if the one nearest to you sells alcohol and one farther away doesn’t. And that’s okay. It’s important to know your own limits and not push yourself too hard, especially in your first few months of being sober. There are also a wealth of resources available to help you, from support groups to alumni services offered by your rehab facility.
When to Seek Professional Alcohol Addiction Intervention
If your loved one is in denial about his or her alcohol addiction, you may find that a professional interventionist can make progress where you have failed when it comes to convincing the loved one to go to alcohol and drug rehab. Interventionists have seen it all and heard it all and they know what to say – and what not to say – to convince a person to seek treatment.
In addition, it’s important for family members to seek professional education and counseling to help them deal with the impact of addiction. Addiction often runs in families, and one family member’s addiction can easily lead others to a similar coping mechanism.
When everyone in the family gets the help they need – regardless of whether or not they themselves have an addiction – they can support each other rather than enabling addiction in a family member.
Find the Alcohol Addiction Treatment You Need Today
Trying to find the alcohol addiction recovery treatment that’s best suited for your unique situation can be hard to do by yourself. Don’t struggle to find treatment alone. We can help you find rehab treatment for alcohol dependency for yourself or a loved one and let you know what treatment programs are covered by your insurance.
Are you ready to get started finding treatment for yourself or a loved one? Then give us a call today. Our specialists ready and waiting to help you 24/7 for your convenience.