Alcohol addiction or abuse is a medical condition wherein a person becomes so psychologically dependent on alcohol that they struggle to function normally without it. In turn, this can impact a person’s social life, professional life, relationships, etc.
More often than not, alcohol abuse is noticeable. Some of the warning signs to watch out for either in yourself or loved one include:-
- No control over drinking
- Craving alcohol when you’re not drinking
- Putting alcohol above personal responsibilities
- Splurging a substantial amount of money every month on alcohol
- Feeling the need to keep drinking
However, no one is an addict by birth. An occasional drink with friends can lead to uncontrollable drinking habits. It’s a gradual process and differs from person to person.
If you or your loved one suffers from this problem, it is essential to act fast and seek professional help for alcohol addiction treatment to get rid of it and get back to living an everyday, healthy, fulfilling life.
Overcoming alcohol addiction will be a bumpy and long road. It may seem impossible, too, at times, but it isn’t. Depending on how severe your addiction is, there are different treatment options available.
Your health advisor will examine your condition and suggest a suitable treatment. However, there is no one size fits all when it comes to alcohol addiction treatment. Sometimes, one or a combination of treatment methods may be suggested to treat the problem.
First and foremost, consult a doctor. Depending on your condition and what you are trying to achieve, your doctor will suggest the best possible treatment plan.
For instance, in very mild cases, when the patient is cautious and feels their drinking can lead to problems later on, they may need help to cut down on drinking while others at a more advanced stage may need to stop drinking altogether to recover from addiction. Both have different goals.
This is very important for those having severe alcohol addiction. It is usually one of the first steps in the treatment process. The idea here is to get the person to abstain from alcohol consumption and give the body time to flush the alcohol out of the system. The patient may choose to stay in the hospital or treatment center and also there maybe recommendations to review options like this guide to detox drinks.
The patient may experience withdrawal symptoms like shaking, hallucinations, getting aggressive, seizures, etc. Depending on the symptoms, medicines may be administered. Doctors also prefer keeping a close watch on the patient during this time.
Counselor or Therapist
Abstinence from drinking is only a part of the problem. The real problem lies in learning new skills to divert the mind from alcohol and find new ways to deal with stress, anxiety. Also, you need to identify other triggers and build a robust support system outside of alcohol. This is where a counselor helps. It is not just the patient who is suffering. In alcohol addiction, other people close to you may also need counseling, like your parents, spouse, or siblings, to help you better.
You may usually get some medications at the detox stage, but it is important to note that there is no medication to cure addiction. At best, these medications help ease the withdrawal symptoms or stop the desire to drink. However, you can only take these medications for a specific period or under medical supervision.
Many alcohol addiction treatment centers for patients wish to focus solely on recovery without distractions from work, family, etc. The treatment programs at rehabs revolve around detoxification, behavioral therapies, counseling, and overall health and nutrition of the patient. It is much like any other hospital stay.
The Road Ahead
Whether you decide to tackle alcohol addiction by going to a rehab center or getting therapy or a self-directed approach, please don’t do it alone. The road to recovery is far from easy and full of challenges. It helps to have someone for support, encouragement, or guidance. Consider joining support groups that are led by people in addiction or ones who have recovered. It is satisfying to have someone who understands what you’re going through.
Recovery is a gradual process. It can take months or even years. Stay in rehabilitation can range from a minimum of one month and can last until six months or more, depending on the individual conditions.
Once out, you will need to build new connections, reconnect with old friends, and find a new meaning or purpose in life. In other words, you can build a new life where drinking no longer has a place.