When Should Someone Seek Help
Individuals often hide their drinking or deny they have a problem. How can you tell if you or someone you know is in trouble? Signs of a possible problem include having friends or relatives express concern, being annoyed when people criticize your drinking, feeling guilty about your drinking and thinking that you should cut down but finding yourself unable to do so, or needing a morning drink to steady your nerves or relieve a hangover.
Some people with drinking problems work hard to resolve them. With the support of family members or friends, these individuals are often able to recover on their own. However, those with alcohol dependence usually can’t stop drinking through willpower alone. Many need outside help. They may need medically supervised detoxification to avoid potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures. Once people are stabilized, they may need help resolving psychological issues associated with problem drinking.
There are several approaches available for treating alcohol problems. No one approach is best for all individuals.
Find New Meaning In Life
While getting sober is an important first step, it is only the beginning of your recovery from alcohol addiction or heavy drinking. Rehab or professional treatment can get you started on the road to recovery, but to stay alcohol-free for the long term, youll need to build a new, meaningful life where drinking no longer has a place.
Get Help With Alcohol Addiction
If you are struggling with drinking, you dont have to deal with this issue on your own. You can get help. Many people cant quit drinking on their own. With the right support, you can stop. You can learn to live a life without alcohol, and you can improve your health, personal life, and more.
Dont wait another day. Contact us today. At Bedrock Recovery Center, we care about you. We can give you the support you need to get past alcohol addiction treatments.
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Find Out If Youre Misusing Alcohol
Alcoholism is a common and different term for alcohol use disorder. Milder cases — when people abuse alcohol but arent dependent on it — are as well.
Your doctor or another health care provider can help with the diagnosis. They may say you have alcohol use disorder if you:
- Feel like you have to drink
- Cant control how much you drink
- Feel bad when you cant drink
When you meet with your doctor, talk about your goals. Are you trying to drink less or stop drinking completely? Together, you can start to make a treatment plan. You doctor also can refer you to a treatment center or experts who can help.
Ways To Curb Your Drinking
Are you concerned about your alcohol intake? Maybe you feel that you’re drinking too much or too often. Perhaps it’s a habit you’d like to better control.
It’s always wise to check with your doctor she should be able to help you decide whether it is best for you to cut back or to abstain. People who are dependent on alcohol, or have other medical or mental health problems, should stop drinking completely.
But many people may benefit simply by cutting back. If your doctor suggests that you curb your drinking, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism suggests that the following steps may be helpful:
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What Is Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction is a disease that affects all kinds of people. Anyone can face alcoholism. A range of psychological, genetic, and social factors can increase the risk of alcoholism. If alcohol is negatively affecting you or a loved one, you should reach out.
Alcohol addiction changes your brain. When you drink, your brain releases endorphins, and although alcohol is a depressant, you feel good. Over time, your body starts to rely on alcohol to feel good. And eventually, you can lose control of your actions.
Consider The Craft Method
If this first attempt is not effective, which it often isn’tin fact, even when your loved one is committed to changing, it can take several rounds of treatment before they truly stopthe next step you might take is an intervention.
Rather than a traditional confrontational intervention as depicted in movies, many addiction experts are now recommending community reinforcement and family training as the preferred way to get a loved one help. In fact, studies show that CRAFT interventions have a success rate ranging from 64% to 74% when it comes to getting a loved one with a substance use disorder into treatment.
CRAFT provides concerned significant others with tools to:
- Identify substance use triggers
- Break patterns that enable drinking or using
- Develop and improve communication skills
- Practice self-care and reconnect with their values
- Identify triggers for violence
- Develop a plan to keep themselves safe
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Figure Out How Much You Actually Drink
Maybe you dont think you depend on alcohol, exactly, but you still wonder whether you might be drinking too much.
Say you dont have any cravings when you go without drinking. All the same, a quick drink often turns into three or four drinks. When youre having a good time, you find it hard to stop, especially in the company of friends having the same amount.
What Are Substance Abuse And Addiction
The difference between substance abuse and addiction is very slight. Substance abuse means using an illegal substance or using a legal substance in the wrong way. Addiction begins as abuse, or using a substance like marijuana or cocaine.
You can abuse a drug without having an addiction. For example, just because Sara smoked pot a few times doesn’t mean that she has an addiction, but it does mean that she’s abusing a drug and that could lead to an addiction.
People can get addicted to all sorts of substances. When we think of addiction, we usually think of alcohol or illegal drugs. But people become addicted to medicines, cigarettes, even glue.
Some substances are more addictive than others: Drugs like crack or heroin are so addictive that they might only be used once or twice before the user loses control.
Addiction means a person has no control over whether he or she uses a drug or drinks. Someone who’s addicted to cocaine has grown so used to the drug that he or she has to have it. Addiction can be physical, psychological, or both.
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Alcohol Detox Timeline Summary
The most uncomfortable detox withdrawal symptoms usually peak around 10 to 30 hours after the last drink and start to lessen by 40 to 50 hours. Although delirium tremens is unlikely, roughly 30 percent of those who get it will also develop Aspiration Pneumonia. A medically-assisted withdrawal helps prevent serious complications, keeps track of a patients health condition, and relieves any painful effects.
Cutting Back Vs Quitting Alcohol Altogether
Whether or not you can successfully cut back on your drinking depends on the severity of your drinking problem. If youre an alcoholicwhich, by definition, means you arent able to control your drinkingits best to try to stop drinking entirely. But if youre not ready to take that step, or if you dont have an alcohol abuse problem but want to cut back for personal or health reasons, the following tips can help:
Set your drinking goal. Choose a limit for how much youll drink, but make sure your limit is not more than one drink a day if youre a woman, two drinks a day if youre a manand try to have some days each week when you wont drink alcohol at all. Write your drinking goal down and keep it where you will frequently see it, such as on your phone or taped to your refrigerator.
Keep a record of your drinking to help you reach your goal. For 3 to 4 weeks, write down every time you have a drink and how much you drink. Reviewing the results, you may be surprised at your weekly drinking habits.
Cut down drinking at home. Try to limit or remove alcohol from your home. Its much easier to avoid drinking if you dont keep temptations around.
Drink slower. When you drink, sip slowly and take a break of 30 minutes or one hour between drinks. Or drink soda, water, or juice between alcoholic drinks. Drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea, so make sure you eat food when you drink.
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How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Last
For people with severe alcohol addictions, withdrawal symptoms will manifest about five to 10 hours after the last drink. If your level of dependency isnt quite so dire, you will have a few more hours than that before acute withdrawal begins.
For most alcoholics, the acute withdrawal phase lasts between five and seven days. If you are more heavily dependent on alcohol, expect a longer acute withdrawal period.
Find Support For Your Addiction Recovery
Dont try to go it alonereach out for support. Whatever treatment approach you choose, having positive influences and a solid support system is essential. The more people you can turn to for encouragement, guidance, and a listening ear, the better your chances for recovery.
Lean on close friends and family. Having the support of friends and family members is an invaluable asset in recovery. If youre reluctant to turn to your loved ones because youve let them down before, consider going to relationship counseling or family therapy.
Build a sober social network. If your previous social life revolved around drugs, you may need to make some new connections. Its important to have sober friends who will support your recovery. Try taking a class, joining a church or a civic group, volunteering, or attending events in your community.
Consider moving into a sober living home. Sober living homes provide a safe, supportive place to live while youre recovering from drug addiction. They are a good option if you dont have a stable home or a drug-free living environment.
Make meetings a priority. Join a 12-step recovery support group, such as Narcotics Anonymous , and attend meetings regularly. Spending time with people who understand exactly what youre going through can be very healing. You can also benefit from the shared experiences of the group members and learn what others have done to stay sober.
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Utilize The People In Your Life
If you know someone who has successfully quit drinking, speak with them. Ask them how they finally came to terms with their problem and how they were initially approached. Of course, what works for one person will not necessarily work for everyone. However, if you think their experience sounds similar to that of your loved one, ask them if theyd be willing to talk to that person for you. Sometimes information and concern coming from someone who has been through recovery mean more than when they come from someone who has not.
Evaluating The Costs And Benefits Of Drinking
Make a table like the one below, weighing the costs and benefits of drinking to the costs and benefits of quitting.
|Is drinking worth the cost?|
|Benefits of drinking|
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Alcohol Effects On Behavior
Slurred speech, motor impairment, confusion and memory problems are just a few common consequences of alcohol consumption in the short-term. This can make drinkers more prone to accidents, injuries and violent behavior. Alcohol is a factor in more than half of fatal burn injuries, drownings and homicides. Its also a significant factor in moderate to severe injuries, suicides and sexual assaults. Alcohol plays a part in 40 percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes.
Heavy drinking may also result in risky sexual behaviors like unprotected sex, which can lead to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. These alcohol addiction effects can have lifelong consequences.
Highly Skilled Alcohol Addiction Treatment Specialists
Our highly qualified treatment team possess extensive clinical experience in treating alcohol addiction, and are able to deliver a wide range of established techniques to help you to address your alcohol addiction symptoms, and resolve the underlying causes and triggers for your alcohol addiction. We ensure that each individual who seeks support with us is placed at the centre of their alcohol addiction treatment and rehabilitation journey and is involved in any decisions that are made about their care. This ensures that you benefit from a truly collaborative and personalised treatment experience and the most positive outcomes for you as an individual. Our non-judgemental, highly compassionate addiction treatment environments provide you with the ideal setting in which to address your challenges and achieve a full and sustainable recovery.
It is important to recognise that without expert help & support, your alcohol addiction has the potential to become increasingly worse over time, resulting in a detrimental impact on all areas of your life including your ability to function, your relationships with others, your performance at work, and your general health and wellbeing. Untreated alcohol addiction may also lead to the development of drug addictions and other behavioural addictions. This is why seeking expert alcohol addiction treatment is crucial in order to overcome your alcohol addiction and resume the healthy, fulfilling, addiction-free life that you deserve.
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How To Stop Drinking Alcohol
Ashraf Ali, MD Chris Elkins, MA 6 sources
Before you try to achieve sobriety, you need to think about your drinking habits. The way that a social drinker stops drinkingis different from the way that ahigh-functioning alcoholic quits drinking. People with the disease of alcoholism require formal treatment. Thosewho arent addicted to alcohol may be able to quit on their own or with the help of friends.
You can find out if youre addicted to alcohol by taking analcoholism assessment quiz. These quizzes help you determine whether you meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder the medical term for alcoholism, alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse. Thediagnostic criteria for an alcohol use disorder were published in the American Psychiatric Associations fifth editionof the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
You can decide how much help you need to quit drinking based on the results of the quiz.
Overview: Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcohol use disorder , commonly referred to as alcoholism, alcohol addiction, or alcohol abuse, is a devastating substance use disorder . The effects of alcohol can damage your health, relationships, and overall well-being. Learning how to prevent alcoholism can mean the difference between a fulfilling life and one filled with alcohol-related challenges.
One of the most important things you can do to prevent alcohol dependency is to understand the risk factors of developing the disorder. Some people have a higher risk than others for developing an alcohol use disorder.
For instance, high-risk individuals include people who:
- Start drinking alcohol early in their adolescence
- Have a family history of alcohol or drug use
- Are men
- Binge drink
- Are dealing with a mental health issue, such as depression or anxiety
- Grew up and are still a part of a family or culture in which it is acceptable to drink a lot
Men who have more than five standard drinks and women who have more than four drinks per occasion within two hours face a greater risk for developing alcohol use disorder. Men who have more than 15 drinks and women who have more than eight drinks per week also do.
Its important to realize that there is no stereotypical or standard alcoholic, which makes it more challenging to figure out how to prevent alcohol use disorder. Addiction to alcohol can affect people from all parts of the general population, in all income brackets, and all career or educational situations.
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Looking For Rehab: What To Consider
If youre thinking about getting help for an AUD, there are some things to consider when looking for treatment:
- Medical detox. The withdrawal syndrome from alcohol can be very dangerous, sometimes inducing seizures and/or delirium tremens. If youre thinking of quitting alcohol, you need to line up a detox program. Some rehabs will include medical detox as part of the program.
- Qualifications of staff. When searching for programs, ask about staff credentials. This will help you to determine the quality of care youll receive and may help you feel confident about receiving treatment.
- Cost. First, start by asking if the program takes your insurance, if you have it. Have your insurance card with you when you call so that you have the necessary information at hand. You might also ask about options like financing, loans, and sliding scales .
- Amenities. When youre going to live at a rehab for 1-3 months or more, your comfort is important. If there are amenities that you know are must-haves, such as a private room, ask any potential programs if they offer them. However, do remember that your sobriety is priority #1, and benefits like pools, gourmet meals, and more are secondary.