An addiction to alcohol is more than just a destructive habit, it is actually a complicated and chronic type of disease that requires professional treatment and ongoing care. When it comes to drinking habits, it can be very difficult for people to tell when someone or even they themselves have crossed the line into addiction. Some people drink socially or when there is something to celebrate but others might binge drink or consume alcohol on a regular basis.
Alcoholics tend to drink to self-medicate or escape certain emotional issues and over time their drinking can cause a lot of personal problems. Eventually alcohol abuse will only create more problems instead of providing relief and that is when it becomes necessary to seek treatment. Going to a rehab center can be a very positive learning experience for people who have lost control of their drinking and need to get their life back on track. This alcoholism guide hopes to get the long road recovery started.
Do You Need Alcohol Recovery?
People with addictions often struggle to see that their own behavior and relationship with alcohol has become something that needs to be addressed. Denial can be very powerful and represents one of the biggest obstacles in people getting the help they need for an alcohol problem.
Even though many problem drinkers will believe that they have their drinking under control or that they can quit anytime there are actually certain signs that can indicate alcohol abuse.
If you frequently drink and begin to feel guilty or ashamed about your drinking, leading you to lie about your habits or hide the fact that you drink often then you might have a drinking problem. Addiction usually causes people to deceive others around them so that they can continue their abuse without any interference. If friends or family members are beginning to worry about your drinking habits, you need to drink in order to relax or if you tend to black out every time you drink then these could all be signs that you are a problem drinker.
Symptoms Mean Alcohol Treatment is Necessary
Frequent drinking may mean you have issues with self-control but an alcohol addiction can be much more serious. There are specific symptoms which will indicate that you are in fact an alcoholic and need to seek treatment as soon as you can. If you have been repeatedly neglecting important responsibilities such as avoiding your family or not taking care of your children, frequently calling out of work or missing deadlines, failing classes or dropping out of school then this can be a sign of serious addiction.
Alcoholics also tend to get involved in risky and dangerous activities such as drinking and driving or mixing alcohol with other drugs and medications that could cause them to end up in the hospital. Other symptoms of alcoholism include experiencing legal problems, continuing to drink in spite of obvious consequences, and drinking to avoid feeling withdrawal symptoms. These are all signs that treatment is absolutely necessary before things escalate even further.
Why People Enter Alcohol Rehab
Alcoholism is an issue that affects millions of people but there are many who can drink occasionally and never become addicted. What causes some people to develop an addiction to alcohol to the point of needing treatment? Although it is unknown whether there is one specific cause for alcoholism, there are a number of risk factors which can contribute to an individual’s tendency to become addicted. Many people have a genetic predisposition to develop an addiction if their parents, grandparents or others in their immediate family have struggled with substance abuse in the past.
Addictive tendencies can actually be an inherited trait that cause people to lose control. Issues such as mental health problems, high levels of stress and low self-esteem can also be major contributing factors in someone developing an addiction. Frequent drinking over time, causes chemical changes in the brain and body leading people to become dependent on alcohol.
Finding Support and Alcohol Addiction Help
If you think you have several symptoms of alcohol addiction then it is a good idea to reach out to someone and talk to them about what your next steps will be for recovery. Since you have probably been hiding or pretending for a long time it might feel like a huge relief to finally talk to someone about such a dark secret.
Talking to someone right away about your addiction also holds you accountable so that you will be less likely to change your mind and slide back into old habits. It might feel like a big risk to reveal this problem but if you find someone you trust to help you then it will give the courage to take the next step. Friends could initially react with shock or disbelief but someone that cares about you in the end will offer their support and love. They can be there to give you some assistance in finding the right treatment center.
Researching Alcohol Rehab Centers
Once you have recognized that you have a problem and talked to someone close to you about it, the next step is to look for an alcohol rehab treatment that will help you recover. Rehab is something you must take very seriously because it is an opportunity to really educate yourself about your disease and prepare yourself for a life of sobriety. Part of the process is to research different treatment centers and find one where you feel comfortable enough that you would have no problem living there for a few months.
Inpatient residential treatment is often the best option especially for people with very severe alcohol addictions although outpatient is also a viable option for those with less serious problems. Whatever type of treatment you choose, make sure to talk with a representative from the treatment and even visit the facility before enrolling so that you are certain it will be the right place for you.
Making a Commitment to Alcohol Addiction Treatment
As you begin the process of enrolling in treatment it is a good idea to check in with yourself and make sure that you feel mentally and physically prepared for rehab. Going through treatment requires a lot of commitment and dedication to a program that may lead you to experience a lot of ups and downs. Before treatment you must consider whether you will be able to follow the rules and guidelines of the facility and make every effort to do your best.
Choosing to quit drinking is a major decision that will affect nearly every aspect of your life. Make sure that you are willing to be on board with whatever the program asks of you and you will be as open-minded as possible. Rehab is a learning experience that requires patience and hard work from every individual so that they can provide you with the necessary tools to manage your addiction.
First Steps in Treatment for Alcoholism
After you choose a treatment center for your recovery you will most likely be evaluated by addiction specialists at the facility. When you get an evaluation or assessment, experts can determine what level of treatment you need and whether you have any medical problems that need to be addressed or mental health issues that need to be treated alongside your addiction.
An evaluation provides the opportunity for both you and the staff at the treatment center to have a better idea of the severity of your dependency and whether or not you will need intensive treatment. After the assessment you will then enter a detox program either through the facility or at a separate location prior to residential rehab. Detox will help get rid of all the toxins in your body so that you will no longer be physically dependent on alcohol. Although detoxification can involve a lot of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, in a licensed detox facility you will be provided with care around the clock.
What Happens in Rehab for Alcoholics
Following detox, most alcoholics will enter a residential treatment program to begin the real process of recovery. People with addictions need a lot of structure to help maintain their sobriety in the early months of recovery so most programs will include a strict daily schedule of activities. The schedule will usually include specific meal times, therapy sessions, meetings, classes and group activities.
Therapy is one of the main tools that addiction treatment centers use to allow patients to better understand their disease and how to manage the symptoms. In counseling sessions, an addict can talk about past traumas and personal feelings that could have contributed to their need to self-medicate. Group counseling sessions and meetings are a great way to help people in treatment connect with each other and listen to other stories of alcohol addiction which may be similar to their own. Different forms of therapy and education make up the majority of time in rehab but there are also moments for reflection, journaling or fun social outings.
Developing a Support System in Drug Rehab Facilities
Even though recovery can be a special chance to understand yourself and your own behavior, one of the bigger goals of rehab is to create a network of people for support. People with addictions like alcoholism often lack the type of personal connections that help keep them healthy and grounded. Talking to friends and opening up to the people around you can be a crucial coping mechanism in times of stress.
Alcoholics who are deeply involved in their abuse will isolate themselves and use drinking as a way to handle their feelings. Learning how to communicate with others, stay connected and rely on friends for help can minimize some of the secretive behaviors that occur with addiction. A support system of people you trust is a major stress reliever that can allow you to remain focused on your goal of staying sober. As you complete your rehab program, think about who will be a part of your support network when you leave so that you do not have to worry about being isolated when you return home.
The Long Term Outlook After Alcohol Treatment Centers
Alcoholism is considered a chronic disease because many people suffering from alcohol addiction may never completely rid themselves of the symptoms. Even after being sober for many years, people still experience cravings and feelings of temptation for the rest of their life in some cases. Relapse can be a strong possibility and addicts have different types of relapses ranging from a temporary misstep to a more dangerous return to old habits.
With careful maintenance of their symptoms, however, most people can prevent relapse or quickly get back on track if they make a mistake. Once you have been educated in the foundation of sobriety and gone through the necessary steps of recovery you are more likely to fight to stay abstinent from alcohol. Every individual has a different response to recovery with some people being successful right away and others having a longer and more difficult to battle with alcohol dependence.
Living a Sober Life
In order to try and stay sober long term, patients in alcohol rehab must be prepared to deal with the realities of their daily life outside of the treatment center. This means having a plan ready for when you leave treatment so that you can handle the stresses of work, relationships, family, school or anything else that might come up at home. After care treatment can be helpful in the initial transition between rehab and going back to living on your own.
As long as you have a routine that helps you stay sober, people to support you, strategies for dealing with stress and you continue going to meetings then you can avoid falling back into addictive habits. Sobriety is never an easy choice for someone who has suffered from an addiction but ultimately it is the best decision they can make for themselves. Even after treatment you will need to continue reaffirming your decision to be sober in difficult moments but the choice becomes easier as time goes by.