Alcohol Rehab Centers
Many people can drink socially without ever thinking about alcohol interrupting their lives or causing serious problems. But if you drink alcohol on a regular basis, or if you drink to cope with emotional problems, distress or pain, you may be suffering from a condition called alcohol abuse. Although alcohol abuse isn’t as severe as alcoholism, it can, and often does, lead to alcohol dependence, which can be both difficult to treat and equally difficult to cope with.
Dealing with alcohol abuse problems isn’t easy, especially if you are also trying to hold down a job, support and spend time with your family, or even cope with a devastating loss. It is important to realize that help is available and that seeking treatment and assistance is always preferable to suffering in silence.
Call 800-481-6320Who Answers? now to speak with a treatment advisor who can help you make a change for the better in your life. You can begin to recover from your alcohol abuse problems safely and without fear of relapse.
Signs of a Drinking Problem
People who have drinking problems are not just those who struggle with finding or work or who are unable to care for themselves. Many people who drink excessively get up every day and go to work. They also may come home every night and spend time with their families. In order to determine whether or not you may have a drinking problem, you must put aside your preconceived notions of substance addiction and abuse and realize this issue can strike anywhere and anytime, especially when someone is suffering from despair, grief, or depression.
- Have you recently lost a loved one and started drinking more and more in order to cope with that loss?
- Are you struggling with past traumas and don’t know how to cope in any other way than drinking?
- Are you struggling with feelings of shame or a tarnished self-esteem and constantly reach for another bottle because it’s the only thing that makes you feel good?
If any of these scenarios apply to you, you are likely suffering from problem drinking.
Recognizing the signs that you may have a problem with your drinking can be difficult—most people reach a state of denial long before they ever admit to or are willing to accept that they have a drinking problem. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism, various tools and identification measures can be used to determine whether an individual has a drinking problem or not.
It is completely possible to have a drinking problem without actually being considered an alcoholic. These signs are as follows:
- You have begun neglecting your responsibilities in favor of drinking more.
- You may still be able to deal with work and home life around your drinking and everything on the outside could seem fine. However, if you are making your alcohol intake more of a priority than anything else, this is a serious issue.
- You often drink at times when you know you shouldn’t be drinking.
- This can include times when you are supposed to be working or watching your children. You may even know this is a problem but you do it anyway because you are able to justify it somehow.
- You have gotten into trouble as a result of your drinking.
- Being unable to stop drinking even when serious issues occur is a sign of addiction, but consequences happening as a result of your consistent drinking is still a sign of a problem. These can include getting a DUI, getting reprimanded at work, or getting into constant fights with your significant other about your alcohol abuse.
- You have begun to drink in order to cope with your emotions.
- If you are struggling with serious feelings of grief, loss, depression, or despair and you drink to cope with them, this is a problem. It may not be an addiction now, but continuing down this road is likely to lead you to one.
Alcoholism is dangerous but so is problem drinking and alcohol abuse. Still, you won’t have to live with these consequences any longer if you choose to seek help.
Alcohol Abuse vs. Alcohol Dependence
Alcohol abuse is not the same thing as alcoholism, but it is the first step that you will take toward becoming addicted to alcohol. Here are the differences between these two types of issues.
- Both alcohol abusers and alcoholics will often drink excessively on a regular basis. Both may also continue to drink even if they experience serious consequences of their alcohol use, and both may become tolerant to the substance and its effects over time.
- Men who drink more than 4 drinks in a single day and 10 in a week are putting themselves at risk of developing an alcohol use disorder, according to the NIAAA. For women, the numbers are 3 and 7 drinks respectively.
- When a person is dependent on alcohol, however, this means they will experience withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop drinking. Alcohol abusers and those who struggle with excessive drinking will not experience symptoms this intense at it is easier for them to quit without any major physical or psychological repercussions.
As stated by the NIAAA, an estimated 30 percent of people who drink alcohol and do not suffer from alcohol dependence make the decision to quit drinking following advice that they receive from their primary care physician (NIAAA 1). As such, it is important for patients to be open and honest with their physicians about their drinking, and it’s equally important for physicians to recognize the early signs of alcohol abuse in order to provide their patients with the best possible advice and care.
You should also be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse in yourself. If you have begun to realize that your drinking has become excessive and is affecting the other areas of your life, you are dealing with an alcohol use disorder. It may be milder than alcoholism, but this doesn’t mean you won’t still require help in the form of professional treatment.
Symptoms of Alcoholism
Alcoholism can also potentially occur over time if you do not seek help for your substance abuse. Especially if you are suffering from feelings of sadness, loss, or grief, you will be more and more likely to keep using alcohol as a coping mechanism, which will only intensify your problems and make it harder to stop.
The signs of alcoholism include
- Tolerance or the requirement of higher doses of the substance in order to achieve the same effects (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
- A lack of control over your drinking
- A desire to quit but an inability to do so
- A desire to drink above all else that leads you to avoid people or activities that will make it difficult for you to drink
- Continuing to drink even after you have realized that your drinking has caused significant problems in your life
- Withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol
Alcohol withdrawal usually only occurs when an individual has become dependent on the substance, although some people can experience minor symptoms after drinking large amounts in one sitting. Alcohol withdrawal causes symptoms that include
- Mood swings
As stated by the National Library of Medicine, there is also a severe form of alcohol withdrawal known as delirium tremens. This syndrome causes additional symptoms like hallucinations and seizures. It is considered a medical emergency for which an individual will require help immediately.
Effects of Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse can affect nearly every aspect of your life causing an array of complications, consequences, problems, and pain. Sustained alcohol abuse, with or without the presence of alcohol addiction, can result in damage to vital organs in the body. Drinking also affects the psychological well-being of an individual. The effects of alcohol abuse don’t stop with the physical burden and psychological mishap, as sustained drinking can cause problems in your relationships, your career, your finances and other important areas of your life.
Some of the common effects of alcohol abuse as stated by the NIAAA include both physical and psychological troubles.
Physical Effects of Alcohol Abuse
- Brain damage
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Steatosis or cirrhosis of the liver
- Weakened immune system
- Cancer of the mouth, liver, throat, esophagus, etc.
- Alcohol poisoning, coma, etc.
Psychological Effects of Alcohol Abuse
- Hepatic encephalopathy
- Job loss
- Relationship and family problems
- Financial issues
- DUI, DWI, fines, arrests, etc.
Not only does can it cause an impact on your own life, alcohol abuse has a negative impact on society too. The NIAAA states that, in 2010, alcohol abuse cost the U.S. over $249 billion. This isn’t just in crashes resulting in fatalities or in treatment for alcoholics but also in the lost work days and productivity associated with alcohol abusers who called out, left early, or simply couldn’t meet their quotas.
Alcohol Rehab & Treatment for Alcohol Abuse
Many different options are available to help those who are addicted to alcohol, but there are also programs for those who are alcohol abusers who need help. Alcohol abuse treatment often takes place in an alcohol rehab center which provides around-the-clock care for the individual while offering medical intervention and supportive care. If you’re ready to take the steps toward getting help for an alcohol abuse or alcoholism related problem, your first steps toward recovery will likely take place in an alcohol rehab center
Detox is usually the first part of recovery:
- This program helps those who are dependent on alcohol to put an end to their dependence through medically-supervised withdrawal.
- After detox, it is vital that an individual also receive addiction treatment.
- Addiction treatment is similar to alcohol abuse treatment in that the same general options are utilized.
Medications may be necessary to treat individuals with lingering cravings for alcohol as well as those who simply need extra help staying away from the substance. According to the NIDA, these can include:
Behavioral therapies are also utilized to treat one’s psychological symptoms as well as to help patients learn to cope without alcohol. If you are struggling with dual-diagnosis—including depression over the loss of a loved one—behavioral therapy can address these issues in addition to your addiction.
Underlying problems such as mental illness, health conditions, traumatic experiences or similar factors may come into play during alcohol addiction treatment. Most alcohol rehab centers provide treatment for dual diagnosis and focus heavily on getting to the root of the alcohol addiction so they can provide effective treatment for the addiction that will help to prevent future relapse.
Don’t be afraid to talk with your counselor, therapist or another professional about any underlying conditions or worries that you may have. As you grow stronger in recovery, you will realize that alcohol is not the answer to everything and that you can enjoy life while coping with any hurdles along the way—without drinking.
Alcohol Rehab Centers
Choosing the right alcohol rehab center is also important to a safe recovery. There are several types of program, and one may be more effective for your needs, including:
- Inpatient centers, which provide hospitalized, 24-hour care in a controlled environment
- Residential centers, which provide non-hospitalized, 24-hour care in a controlled environment
- Outpatient centers, which provide non-24-hour care where patients can come and go by appointment.
- Spiritual centers where patients receive access to spiritual help and guidance as well as physical and mental health treatment
- Natural centers where patients do not receive medication as part of treatment.
Natural programs or those that do NOT include medical intervention is not recommended for those who are likely to experience delirium tremens or other severe withdrawal symptoms.
Drug and alcohol rehab centers help alcoholics and those suffering from alcoholism to understand alcoholism, recovery from alcohol abuse, and ultimately, sobriety. The type of alcohol treatment received will largely depend on the type of services offered at the alcohol rehab center, the severity of your condition, and of course your own individual needs. Support of friends and family members is a large part of the alcohol abuse recovery process.
Your treatment may last a month, several months, or longer, depending on your requirements for care and the severity of your substance abuse. The most important thing to remember is to choose the best treatment for your safe recovery.
Call Today to Learn More About Your Recovery Options
You should not have to suffer alone from alcohol abuse or addiction, and we want to help you recover safely. Call 800-481-6320Who Answers? to speak with a treatment advisor and to begin your recovery as soon as possible. Don’t wait; a better future—free of alcohol abuse—is waiting for you.