Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Alcoholism has been a long-standing problem in the U.S. throughout history. It is classified as a disease that can take complete control of a person's life. A person's physical and emotional dependency on alcohol can cause severe damage to their health and well-being. It can also put their personal life, work life, and, in more severe cases, their own life at risk. In 2013, alcohol induced-deaths, not including accidents or homicides, reached 29,001. What is more alarming is that this is roughly a 12.9% increase since 2010.
What may start off as occasional social drinking can just as easily turn into alcoholism when a person becomes completely dependent on alcohol. Alcoholism may begin when a person starts to feels that they need alcohol to get through the day. It may also be that once the individual starts drinking, they feel that they are out of control or unable to stop because of fear of losing the feelings associated with drinking or being drunk. Warning signs of alcoholism include a deteriorating appearance, continuous odor of alcohol on their breath or skin, irritability when unable to consume alcohol, inability to stop drinking once a drink is consumed, drinking alone or hiding alcohol in strange places. An alcoholic may start to feel that they are completely isolated from everyone around them, which can cause them to fall deeper into alcoholism.
The first step in any treatment or recovery program involves the individual admitting that they have a problem and are willing to seek help. This is often the most difficult step for an addict to make, as the alcohol has most likely clouded their perception of their own life and they may be in denial of how badly the problem has become. Once a person admits that he or she has a drinking problem and finally enters the treatment facility, the detoxification process will begin.
The detox process will fully cleanse the body of any chemicals that have been stored from excessive consumption. Due to the body's dependence on alcohol, a detox will cause the affected person's body to go through withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms for alcohol addiction can be painful, but detox is a necessary process to cleanse the body of the toxins associated with alcohol consumption. These withdrawal symptoms usually start to appear anywhere from six hours to a few days after consuming the last alcoholic beverage and may include, but are not limited to:
- Trouble sleeping
- Tremors or shakes
- Increased heart rate
After the detox is complete and the physical dependence on alcohol is nearly gone, the treatment will then shift focus to the individual's emotional dependence. Psychotherapy sessions will be conducted to analyze and discuss the mental addiction to alcohol in order to find the underlying issues that may have lead to the individual's alcoholism. During the sessions, the afflicted individual will be educated on how to deal with certain issues without using alcohol as a crutch. The main goal of these therapy sessions is to put the person in a place mentally where they won't feel the need to revert to substance abuse to deal with their problems.
Additionally, group therapy meetings are available to provide individuals with peer support as they travel along their road to recovery. Here at the Treatment Helpline, we feel that it is beneficial for an individual to not only hear from trained counselors, but from others who have struggled with similar situations. Group therapy can help the individual feel less alone in their battle with addiction by seeing that others sometimes suffer from the same affliction.
Once a person is finished with their treatment program, The Treatment Helpline suggests that the individual transitions into an aftercare program, such as continuing group therapy sessions or entering into a 12-step program (i.e. Alcoholics Anonymous), to maintain the positive and life-changing progress made while in the treatment program. These aftercare programs are valuable in reinforcing what was learned during the treatment process and lessen the chance of relapse so that they can go on to live a happy, healthy, and sober life again.
If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol abuse, call The Treatment Helpline today. Our highly-trained addiction counselors can answer any question you may have and help you more about treatment options. All calls are 100% confidential and our representatives are available 24/7.