Friday, May 24, 2024

How To Help With Alcohol Addiction

Utilize The People In Your Life

How to Help Someone with an Alcohol Addiction | Akhil Anand, MD

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.

Attend Therapy And Support Groups

Helping someone with AUD can be emotionally draining, and you want to make sure you are not putting your mental health at risk to support them. You may also want advice from a mental health professional who understands the complexities of addiction.

To protect your mental health, visit a therapist to process your emotions and discuss your experiences with your loved one. You can also join a support group for loved ones of alcoholics to learn from the experiences of others in similar situations.

Supporting A Loved One After Treatment

After your loved one seeks professional help, they will need additional support after they leave the rehabilitation facility.Your loved one may attend peer support groups and therapy sessions for their AUD. They may need to stop spending time with people or at events where alcohol use is encouraged.

Aside from their professional treatment plan, your loved one will need support from you and their family to continue on the path to recovery.

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How Can Addiction Be Successfully Treated

Addiction is a chronic disease that causes significant changes in the way the brain functions and how a person behaves. It is characterized by the compulsive misuse of a substance, even though it brings about significant negative consequences. Addiction can be treated and managed successfully through evidence-based behavioral therapies and, in some cases, medication.4 Some rehab centers use alternative therapies in treating addiction.

Addiction develops after a person uses or misuses substances and then loses their ability to control their use, negatively affecting their home, work, school and/or family life.4 This loss of control is often fueled by the way the body adapts to regular exposure to a substance: tolerance and physical dependence.

Tolerance is characterized by the need to take more of a drug to keep feeling the desired effects.5 As an individual exposes their body to regular use of certain drugs, the body adapts to its constant presence. When the drug is taken away withdrawal symptoms emerge as the body re-adjusts to not having the drug anymore. This can lead to strong cravings for the substance to relieve uncomfortable or distressing withdrawal symptoms, and may result in an individual struggling to quit using and relapsing or returning to substance use.

Treatment for drug and alcohol addiction focuses on management of the disorder, much like the process of managing other chronic diseases, including asthma or heart disease.6

Talking To Someone With A Drinking Problem

Alcohol Abuse Chart

Talking to your loved one who engages in unhealthy or hazardous drinking can be extremely effective and constructive if done tactfully, with compassion, and with the proper tools. The process of confronting someone with a substance use disorder in a nonthreatening manner is known as an intervention.

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American Addiction Centers Can Help is a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers , a leading provider in outpatient programs, drug and alcohol detox care and inpatient rehab programs. If you are struggling with addiction and considering detox or rehab, call our team for free to help you find the treatment you need. You can reach us at .

American Addiction Centers accepts many insurance plans and can work with you on a manageable payment plan. Find out if your insurance coverage includes addiction rehab and treatment by verifying your insurance instantly or visiting the links below:

Find Treatment Programs In Your Area

Seeking professional treatment is the most important step someone with AUD can take. These programs offer medical supervision for withdrawal symptoms, therapy sessions to help people with AUD develop healthy coping skills, and a strong network of support. Approaching your loved one with concrete options for seeking treatment can help them on the path to recovery.

Before you talk to your loved one, compile a list of AUD rehab programs in your area. The best treatment option for your loved one depends on a number of factors, such as their level of dependence, co-occurring addictions or mental health conditions, and their previous attempts to quit. Together, you and your loved one can research and decide which one to attend.

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How To Help A Drug Addict

The first thing that you need to know is that the difficulties involved with stopping substance use are complex. Using drugs or alcohol affects areas of the brain associated with self-control. As an individual keeps using drugs or alcohol, the way these areas of the brain function are changed, making it difficult to stop or otherwise control compulsive substance use.1 It is also important to know that it is unlikely that you alone can make them quit using drugs. However, loved ones of drug addicts can help them get off drugs by supporting their motivation to change.

Encouraging your loved one that seeking some form of professional help for addiction is a positive step towards recovering from drug and alcohol abuse can put them on the path towards a sober life. Whether you are seeking help for a problem with alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, heroin, crystal methamphetamine or any other addiction, recovery is possible.

Consequences Of Neglecting Treatment

Addiction and Recovery: A How to Guide | Shawn Kingsbury | TEDxUIdaho

Addiction is a brain disease that can lead to other behavioral health disorders such as depression and severe physical complications like organ failure, coma, or even death.

An individual with alcohol use disorder is at a greater risk of taking their own life, and in 2017, 2.6% of all deaths in the United States involved alcohol.

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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
  • Id have to find another way to deal with problems.
  • Id lose my drinking buddies.
  • I would have to face the responsibilities Ive been ignoring.

Five Steps To A Sober Lifestyle

  • Take care of yourself. To prevent mood swings and combat cravings, concentrate on eating right and getting plenty of sleep. Exercise is also key: it releases endorphins, relieves stress, and promotes emotional well-being.
  • Build your support network. Surround yourself with positive influences and people who make you feel good about yourself. The more you’re invested in other people and your community, the more you have to losewhich will help you stay motivated and on the recovery track.
  • Develop new activities and interests. Find new hobbies, volunteer activities, or work that gives you a sense of meaning and purpose. When you’re doing things you find fulfilling, you’ll feel better about yourself and drinking will hold less appeal.
  • Continue treatment. Your chances of staying sober improve if you are participating in a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous, have a sponsor, or are involved in therapy or an outpatient treatment program.
  • Deal with stress in a healthy way. Alcohol abuse is often a misguided attempt to manage stress. Find healthier ways to keep your stress level in check, such as exercising, meditating, or practicing breathing exercises or other relaxation techniques.
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    What Causes Alcohol Dependence

    Usually, several different factors contribute to someone becoming alcohol dependent.10

    The society that you live in plays an important role in how likely you are to develop problems with alcohol. For example, how easily available alcohol is, how much it costs, and pressure from friends, family or colleagues to drink.

    And alcohol dependence can run in families. Its partly down to your genes,11 but is also influenced by your familys attitudes to alcohol and the environment you grow up in.

    Stressful events, such as bereavement or losing a job, can also trigger heavy drinking in some people, which can then lead to alcohol dependence.

    People who are alcohol dependent have higher rates of other mental health problems than the general population particularly depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychosis and drug misuse.12

    Often, people drink to try and reduce symptoms , but in the long-term alcohol makes these disorders worse because it interferes with the chemical balance in our brains.

    Loving An Addict Or Alcoholic: How To Help Someone With Addiction

    Alcohol Addiction

    If you love someone who is struggling with addiction, you may feel helpless, scared, confused, and desperately want them to seek treatment. This page will discuss the symptoms of drug or alcohol abuse, how codependency affects these relationships, and where to find addiction help for your loved one.

    Though there are common themes and issues in a relationship with a person who has a substance use disorder, each persons situation is different, and the solutions discussed here may or may not work in your situation.

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    Cannabis As Treatment For Alcohol Dependency

    A great number of studies from distinguished research groups and medical journals concluded that cannabis can be an excellent substitute for alcohol. Cannabidiol or CBD is one of the predominant compounds found in marijuana. Its responsible for alleviating the symptoms of alcohol addiction and withdrawal.

    Cannabis helps with alcohol addiction because of the plants effects on the body such as the ones listed below.

    • Reduces stress and anxiety

    Many who suffer from AUD know how miserably sick one can feel when going through the withdrawal phase thats why they keep impulsively going for another glass or bottle even when theyre well aware that they shouldnt. Those who experience alcohol withdrawal may feel heart palpitations, high blood pressure, insomnia, excessive sweating, and many more that are anxiety-inducing.

    Cannabis can alleviate the stress and anxiety that come from alcohol withdrawal. Several reports claim that people who use CBD in forms like tinctures, lotions, creams, gummies, or vapes felt calmer and more relaxed.

    • May prevent liver damage

    Liver damage is a known side effect of alcohol addiction. If AUD is left untreated, people who suffer from it may eventually develop liver cirrhosis its an irreversible disease that occurs when the organ is badly scarred. Fortunately, a recent study conducted found that CBD may help prevent liver damage.

    • Reduces cravings

    How Is Alcohol Use Disorder Treated

    Treatment may include a combination of:

    • Behavioral therapies: Counseling, or talk therapy, with a healthcare provider like a psychologist or mental health counselor can teach you ways to change your behavior. Motivational, cognitive-behavioral, contingency and 12-step facilitation are the most commonly used techniques.
    • Medications: The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has approved naltrexone and acamprosate for the treatment of alcohol use disorder. Topiramate and gabapentin can also decrease cravings in some people. An older medication disulfiram is now used only rarely. These medications seem to help decrease the background obsessional thinking around alcohol.
    • Support groups: Group meetings with other people who have alcohol use disorder can help you stay sober. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are usually free and are available in most communities. Other styles of recovery groups include: Celebrate! Recovery , Rational Recovery and Recovery Dharma .

    Your treatment setting will depend on your stage of recovery and the severity of your illness. You may need inpatient medical , residential rehabilitation , outpatient intensive therapy or outpatient maintenance.

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    How To Talk To Someone With A Substance Use Disorder

    When you talk with your loved one about their substance use, there are things that you can do and not do that can help the conversation be more productive and potentially result in a positive outcome.7, 8

    • Express your concerns and state facts, not opinions.
    • Offer help, including information about treatment, how it works and how it can help them get off drugs.
    • Offer to go with them to the doctor or to an appointment.


    • Neglect your own needs. Take care of yourself, regardless of the outcome.
    • Dont yell or act angry.
    • Enable the person.

    How To Tell If Your Loved One Has An Alcohol Use Disorder

    Intervention: HEAVY Alcohol & Drug Addiction Takes Over Krystalâs Life After Traumatic Past | A& E

    An alcohol use disorder is a diagnosable medical condition that occurs when an individual is unable to stop unhealthy drinking habits despite negative effects in other areas of their life. Although symptoms can range from mild to severe, there can be long-lasting changes made to the brain at any level.

    While an alcohol addiction can only be diagnosed by a medical professional, you can evaluate the concerns you have for your loved one through a list of common warning signs. Your loved one may have an addiction to alcohol if they exhibit any of the following.

    • They are drinking in larger quantities or for longer periods of time.
    • They have had unsuccessful attempts at stopping alcohol use.
    • They experience cravings for alcohol.
    • They struggle to meet their obligations because of their drinking habits.
    • They stop doing other activities that they enjoy in order to drink.
    • They frequently drink alcohol in dangerous situations.
    • They have developed a tolerance for alcohol.
    • They have withdrawal symptoms when they are not drinking.
    • They continue to drink although it causes health or personal issues.

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    Advice For Friends And Family Members

    Caring for a person who has problems with alcohol can be very stressful. It is important that as you try to help your loved one, you find a way to take care of yourself as well. It may help to seek support from others, including friends, family, community, and support groups. If you are developing your own symptoms of depression or anxiety, think about seeking professional help for yourself. Remember that your loved one is ultimately responsible for managing his or her illness.

    However, your participation can make a big difference. Based on clinical experience, many health providers believe that support from friends and family members is important in overcoming alcohol problems. But friends and family may feel unsure about how best to provide the support needed. The groups for family and friends listed below may be a good starting point.

    Remember that changing deep habits is hard, takes time, and requires repeated efforts. We usually experience failures along the way, learn from them, and then keep going. AUD is no different. Try to be patient with your loved one. Overcoming this disorder is not easy or quick.

    Pay attention to your loved one when he or she is doing better or simply making an effort. Too often we are so angry or discouraged that we take it for granted when things are going better. A word of appreciation or acknowledgement of a success can go a long way.

    Dont Offer An Ultimatum

    More often than not, someone with a drinking problem will choose alcohol over any other option they are given, resulting in more stress, frustration and pain. Instead of offering ultimatums, offer advice or options for help. This means doing your research ahead of time and knowing some good programs to refer a loved one to, or being familiar with a professional they can talk to for help.

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    What Are Other Possible Serious Side Effects Of Vivitrol

    VIVITROL can cause serious side effects, including:

    Depressed mood. Sometimes this leads to suicide, or suicidal thoughts, and suicidal behavior. Tell your family members and people closest to you that you are taking VIVITROL.

    Pneumonia. Some people receiving VIVITROL treatment have had a type of pneumonia that is caused by an allergic reaction. If this happens to you, you may need to be treated in the hospital.

    Serious allergic reactions. Serious allergic reactions can happen during or soon after an injection of VIVITROL. Tell your healthcare provider or get medical help right away if you have any of these symptoms:

    • swelling of your face, eyes, mouth, or tongue
    • trouble breathing or wheezing

    Learn About Alcohol Addiction

    TMS Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

    Without fully understanding alcoholism or AUD, it can be hard to talk about it with your loved one whos struggling.

    According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, an alcohol use disorder is when one can no longer control their use of alcohol, compulsively use it despite its negative ramifications, and/or experience emotional distress when they are not drinking.1

    AUD is a chronic, relapsing disease that is diagnosed based on an individual meeting certain criteria outlined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders .

    Additionally, according to the DSM-5, alcohol use disorder is believed to have a strong heritable component. Between 4060% of the variance of risk is attributable to genetic factors.2

    However, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to understanding alcohol use disorder. It is a multifaceted and complex disease, so while someone may inherit a predisposition to it, genes do not fully determine a persons outcome.

    The American Society of Addiction Medicine also explains that because alcohol use disorder is a disease, it is an involuntary disability.3 This means that although people choose to drink initially, it may be out of their control to quit once they become addicted.

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    While The Addicted Is The Only Person Who Can Stop Their Own Substance Use Loved Ones Can Still Take Steps To Bring Light To A Drinking Or Drug Problem

    If you or someone you love has been through alcohol or drug treatment, youve likely heard something along the lines of, You cant make an addict stop. They will only stop when theyre ready.

    While the addict is the only person who can stop their own alcohol use, loved ones can still take certain steps to try and curb addictive behaviors. If youre exploring how to help an alcoholic stop drinking, the following methods may help bring light to your loved ones drinking or drug problem. Here are some tips on how to help an alcoholic stop drinking.

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