Treatment for Alcohol Addiction
Achieve a Lasting Recovery from Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction is not always obvious. For many people, going out for a few beers with friends after work or reclining on the couch with a glass of wine has become the norm. For this reason, many people fail to recognize the signs of alcoholism in their friends and family members. Those who live with alcohol addiction may be in denial about the severity of their problems, and this can lead to a refusal to seek help from highly effective alcohol treatment programs.
In the United States, about 15 million adults are considered alcoholics. Unfortunately, many of the people who live with this addiction may view seeking help as weakness. This is not the case. It is certainly not easy to break out of the cycle of alcoholism on your own. In fact, seeking treatment for alcoholism requires a lot of emotional strength. When you turn to alcohol treatment facilities for assistance, you are taking steps forward. Alcohol treatment can change your life.
Many people wonder why drinking alcohol is so pleasurable. When you drink alcohol, which includes beer, hard liquor, and wine, the ethanol it contains releases endorphins in your brain. These endorphins create a pleasant sensation in the moment, but they can also slowly rewire your brain to become more dependent on drinking alcohol to feel the same way later.
Daily drinking increases the chance that your brain will begin to rely on alcohol to feel like yourself. When you stop drinking alcohol, you may experience symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal is more than unpleasant–it can actually have devastating health consequences.
What Causes Addiction?
You might wonder what causes one person to become an alcoholic while others are able to control their drinking with ease. There is no single cause of alcohol addiction. In short, genetic and environmental factors both play a role in one’s tendency toward addiction. While one single gene has not been pinpointed as the cause, people who have alcoholic parents are more likely to become addicted to alcohol themselves. Additionally, children who grow up with easy access to alcohol may begin drinking earlier than those who do not.
Mental health can also exacerbate or contribute to a drinking problem. Many people who are addicted to alcohol may also experience bipolar disorder, anxiety, or depression. For this reason, the initial stages of entering treatment for alcohol abuse involve a screening for these issues as well. To learn how to stop drinking, you may have to address your mental health condition through therapy and medication.
In some cases, people build an emotional reliance on alcohol as a coping mechanism. They may be going through a difficult time, and alcohol can provide a sense of relief from daily stressors. Seeking treatment involves building healthy coping skills and strategies.
Alcohol Abuse Is Serious
Did you know that alcoholism is the fourth leading cause of preventable death in the United States? Alcohol use contributes to deaths throughout the world not only because of its health effects but also based on the role drinking plays in accidents. People who drink may be more prone to accidents, including those linked to drowning, falling, and drunk driving.
Additionally, alcohol abuse has other physical side effects, including weight gain and liver dysfunction. Daily drinking impacts your heart, kidneys, and digestive system. It can also increase your risk of having a stroke.
You may have heard alcohol described as a “gateway drug” that can prompt you to try other drugs. Alcohol may increase the risk of using other substances, including tobacco and marijuana. These substances certainly have a physical impact on one’s health as well. Smoking tobacco can cause lung cancer, for example.
The social effects of alcohol abuse are monumental. In fact, alcohol dependency can contribute to domestic violence. Many children grow up in homes where one or both parents live with alcoholism. For those who face legal consequences associated with criminal behavior under the influence, the financial side effects may also feel devastating.
Many people believe they do not need treatment for alcohol abuse because they are “high-functioning alcoholics.” These are people who are able to continue working and maintaining a home and family in spite of their alcohol use. They still exhibit many of the signs of alcoholism, including mood swings, memory loss, blackouts, and a desire to drink more than to eat. Alcohol abuse can still cause health issues and social consequences in spite of one’s ability to hold down a job.
The Warning Signs of Alcoholism
Alcohol affects every person differently, and some people may appear to be social drinkers when they are actually dealing with a larger issue. The signs of alcoholism include:
- Desire to drink as soon as you get out of bed
- Drinking alone
- Alcohol cravings
- Prioritizing drinking over other obligations, including work and health
- Guilt caused by drinking
- Mood swings, especially when alcohol is not available
- Feeling unable to stop drinking
- Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, including shakes, nausea, sweating, and anxiety
- Drinking that causes problems in a romantic relationship
- Secretive or aggressive behavior
- Signs of anxiety and depression
- Financial issues
- Changes in sleeping habits
If you believe you or somebody you love is experiencing the symptoms of alcoholism, you should speak with a professional to determine if treatment is a good option. You could be saving your loved one’s life.
A Diagnosis of Alcohol Addiction
When doctors diagnose you with alcohol addiction, they consider several factors, including your medical history. The doctor will also consider whether you have experienced an increase in your physical tolerance to alcohol and whether you experience withdrawal symptoms when you cease alcohol use. Your doctor will assess if you are able to follow through with the desire to stop using alcohol and if you neglect your normal activities to spend time drinking.
In order to receive an accurate diagnosis, it is crucial that you are honest with your doctor. Be clear about your drinking habits to prevent a misdiagnosis that could prevent you from receiving alcohol treatment. The same applies to assessments you take during treatment.
The Fairwinds Alcohol Rehab Process
Initial Assessment – The first step of alcohol treatment at Fairwinds involves an assessment of your needs. The team wants to provide you with a personalized care program based on your circumstances. Part of your assessment involves a dual diagnosis screening, which examines the role mental health issues may play in your alcoholism. We also examine the severity of your problem.
Detox – Most people who enter an alcohol program will require a detox period. Our facility offers a comfortable and safe place for your body to eliminate harmful substances. In many cases, this part of the program is necessary because detox can be severe enough to involve seizures and hallucinations. Alcohol treatment centers with doctors available 24/7 will help you through this difficult process.
Levels of Care – At Fairwinds, you will find five levels of care for those suffering with alcohol addiction. Your treatment team will help you determine which level of care is most appropriate for your program.
- Inpatient Rehab: This is the best option for people with mental and medical complications that result from addiction. If you require inpatient care, you need immediate supervision and potentially life-saving medical care.
- Residential Rehab: Residential rehab provides daily structure to prevent you from reverting to dangerous habits. You will feel safe and welcome during your stay.
- Partial Hospitalization: Some people dealing with alcoholism benefit from being able to commute to rehab each day while living at home.
- Intensive Outpatient Rehab: Some rehab patients live at home and come in for therapy several times a week. Coming to individual or group therapy regularly can prevent relapse.
- Outpatient Rehab: If you are very motivated and dedicated to recovery, you can attend regular meetings with your treatment team while living at home. Even though you live at home, you maintain most aspects of your normal daily routine.
Therapy – Once an addictive substance like alcohol is out of your body, you are ready for the next stages of recovery. The best way to prevent relapse is to build strategies through individual, family, and group therapy. The strategies will help you learn how to stop drinking in the most comfortable environment possible.
Fairwinds Treatment Center
Addiction is a complex issue, and it is not something you can resolve overnight on your own. It is okay to ask for help. In many cases, treatment for alcoholism through rehab provides the best chance of long-lasting recovery.
Fairwinds Treatment Center offers alcohol rehab with a compassionate angle. Not only do we provide physical detox and therapy, but we also provide support for patients and their families as the full scope of the addiction is revealed. Many alcohol treatment centers do not take a holistic approach, but we consider all aspects of your life to help you through this difficult time.
Contact Fairwinds Treatment Center Admissions for a free assessment. Our treatment center has the highest level of medical care and a personalized treatment plan to ensure the best possible psychiatric care and recovery.
WE CAN HELP
If you are ready to discuss treatment for yourself or a loved one, the Fairwinds admissions team is here to help.
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