Why Doesnt The Status Quo Work
With all of the options available, why do many people remain addicted or relapse? One reason is that most of the addiction recovery programs in the U.S. are based on the chemical hook theory of addiction that certain substances are addictive and if you use them, you will become addicted. This is, for the most part, a fallacy. Anyone who has had surgery has taken a good amount of heroin in the form of diamorphine! And yet most people who have had surgery are not heroin addicts.
Now, there are some people who truly may have a physical addiction to a drug I have a friend who was given morphine in the hospital at age 10 and says it was the best feeling ever. But, most people who become addicts have something else going on so that the standard chemical hook approach to drying out and avoiding the substance you are addicted to whether you use a 12-step program, rehab, a medical approach or some combination doesnt work. In fact, many people recover from addiction to one substance, then become addicted to something else, such as sex, smoking cigarettes, or working too much.
This supports the theory that pain, whether its physical pain or emotional pain both of which register in the same parts of the brain is the root cause of addiction, not the substance itself. In other words, what addicts are really doing is avoiding pain by using or doing something that makes them unable to feel it.
Alcohol Counselling: How Does It Help
Counselors for this addiction are professionals who are trained to help individuals from diverse backgrounds accomplish their goals. Counseling can help a person with addiction change their thinking and behavior. Alcohol abuse counseling is a collaborative process with a specific objective.
An alcohol counselor is a non-judgmental and supportive professional who helps addicts develop strategies to remain sober. These counselors offer advice and provide solutions to help a person recovering from alcoholism overcome the challenges of giving up alcohol.
Professional counseling is beneficial for people who have attempted and failed to give up alcohol independently. Confidentiality is an essential part of addiction treatment.
The Difference Between Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism
People frequently confuse the terms alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction or dependence. They are often used to mean the same thing, but theyre really quite different from each other.
Its so important for you to understand these differences. Only then will you be able to fully understand what your relationship to alcohol really is. Once you know, beating alcoholism is something you can accomplish if you need to.
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Overcoming Alcoholism Is A Difficult Process And It Can Be Hard To Stay Motivated Still Positive Change Is Possible If You Can Remember Replace And Re
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Pain, anger and frustration often surround the struggle with alcoholism. Maybe youve tried to overcome your addiction but have relapsed and feel like giving up. Words like relapse prevention techniques, coping mechanisms, detoxification systems and support groups may feel abrasive at this point.
Perhaps youre realizing for the first time that you might struggle with alcohol and have no idea how to overcome it. Maybe you have a friend who is struggling and you want to help. Whatever the case, moving towards recovery can feel like a complicated process. It is vital to realize each persons situation is unique and influenced by many factors.
In a recent poll of people who wanted to stop drinking alcohol, more than half sought outside sources to help to stop their alcohol use, like their doctor, a support group or getting professional substance use treatment at a rehab facility.
Maintaining your motivation through the lifelong process that is recovery can be difficult. However, positive change is possible. Practical steps can be taken towards recovery if you can remember, replace and re-engage.
How To Stage An Intervention At Home
There isnt one right home-held intervention model. The best method will depend on the circumstances surrounding the individuals case. The amount of preparation put in the session itself will play a key role, too.
Furthermore, it is important to determine the extent of ones drinking problem and the potential repercussions. Finding out for how long the addiction has been going on will be the first step of assessing the situation and choosing between the intervention programs.
Only once the addiction context has been discussed in preparation for the intervention can one act to resolve it. One of the first steps is to ask all participants to write a personal letter.
Before staging an intervention, it is crucial to rehearse the scripts among participants. This will ensure no one gets carried away by the emotional intensity of the situation and will provide the attendees with a chance to listen to each other and figure out what sounds right.
The last thing an individual wants to do is come across as threatening or aggressive, and such gestures can be picked upon swiftly during the rehearsals. As soon as the participants go through each others scripts, a meeting time and place should be decided upon.
Keep the Following in Mind When Choosing a Time and Place for the Meeting:
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Types Of Therapy: What Is The Best Alcoholic Counseling
No one therapy can be said to be better than the other. For some recovering alcoholics, individual therapy is necessary to develop the skills to reduce drinking and set achievable goals.
Other people battling an addiction benefit from the challenges and support offered by group therapy. Peer support groups, which are not led by trained professionals, may benefit some individuals as part of the recovery process.
People trying to overcome addiction to alcoholic beverages while also suffering from significant mental health issues are more likely to require personalized counseling for alcohol abuse.
Some of the Options for Alcoholism Counseling and Treatment in This Regard Include:
- Seeking help from the primary care physician to determine whether an individual has a drinking problem, evaluate their overall health, and provide advice on the type of care necessary.
- Undergoing behavioral therapy with a professional counselor for alcohol addiction to change drinking patterns and habits that trigger alcohol consumption.
- Being prescribed medications to reduce or stop drinking and prevent relapse.
- Attending mutual-support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous to learn how to quit drinking or just to cut back.
- Going to group therapy sessions with a qualified counselor for alcohol addiction.
- Receiving one-on-one help from a counselor.
Individual or Group Counseling
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Family and Marital Counseling
Contingency Management Therapy
Motivational Enhancement Therapy
Strategies For A Holistic Approach To Recovery
Whatever outside support you seek to pursue, I firmly believe that long-term recovery depends on personal growth. You need to work daily to improve your life and protect yourself against the dangers of complacency. While you can and should seek support to help you in recovery, this is something you ultimately have to take personal responsibility for.
1. Action. Action. Action
Its easy to sit there and think about what youll do tomorrow. Its much harder to actually take action right now to change your life.
If youve relied on alcohol for physical and emotional release for years, then its going to take a massive, massive effort on your part to rebuild a life without alcohol. Youre going to have to:
- Learn to have fun without alcohol
- Learn how to process your emotions without alcohol
- Find true meaning in your life that makes your sobriety worthwhile
- Learn how to communicate openly and honestly
- Learn how to avoid relapse in a society that loves to drink
- Learn how to build positive, uplifting relationships
- Learn to cut out toxic relationships from your life
None of these are easy, all of them will require a ton of effort on your part, and you definitely wont see results overnight. If youre not ready to take action every single day to slowly move forward, youre going to have a really rough time.
2. Seek Medical Supervision When Detoxing
3. Get Physically Healthy
4. Build Up Your Self Esteem
5. Cut Out Toxic Relationships & Build Uplifting Ones Instead
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Commit To Giving Up Drugs And Alcohol
If you are wondering how to get clean and sober from drugs or alcohol you may find that committing to stop can be an excellent first step. Getting sober can take a lot of time and effort, so if you can find reasons to stop and state them clearly, you will likely have a better chance for recovery.
Committing is hard. We are more likely to commit when we truly feel the pain of the consequences of drug use. This isnt meant to make us feel guiltyjust to acknowledge that we may not be living the life we want to live.
- You would like to rebuild damaged relationships with children, a spouse, or other family members.
- Addiction is damaging your professional life and threatening your ability to make a living.
- You want to live a healthy lifestyle.
- You have put your life in jeopardy by consistently using drugs or alcohol in dangerous situations.
- The addiction has caused you severe financial stress or legal problems.
- Drug or alcohol use has caused blackouts and you want to be able to remember life events.
Setting Goals And Preparing For Change
Once you have decided to quit drinking, the next step is making clear drinking goals. It is best to be as specific, realistic, and clear as possible.
For example, your drinking goal may be to quit drinking entirely before a specific date. Or, your goal may be to stop drinking alcohol on weekdays, starting on a certain date. You may decide to limit weekend drinking to no more than three drinks per day or five per weekend in total.
Consider whether you want to stop drinking altogether or just cut back. If you aim to reduce your drinking, determine which days you may drink alcohol and how many beverages you will allow yourself to have per day. Try to dedicate at least two days per week when you will not drink at all.
ALCOHOL REHAB HELP
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How Can A Psychologist Help
Psychologists who are trained and experienced in treating alcohol problems can be helpful in many ways. Before the drinker seeks assistance, a psychologist can guide the family or others in helping to increase the drinker’s motivation to change.
A psychologist can begin with the drinker by assessing the types and degrees of problems the drinker has experienced. The results of the assessment can offer initial guidance to the drinker about what treatment to seek and help motivate the problem drinker to get treatment. Individuals with drinking problems improve their chances of recovery by seeking help early.
Using one or more of several types of psychological therapies, psychologists can help people address psychological issues involved in their problem drinking. A number of these therapies, including cognitive-behavioral coping skills treatment and motivational enhancement therapy, were developed by psychologists. Additional therapies include 12-Step facilitation approaches that assist those with drinking problems in using self-help programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous .
These therapies can help people boost their motivation to stop drinking, identify circumstances that trigger drinking, learn new methods to cope with high-risk drinking situations, and develop social support systems within their own communities.
Moderation As An Option
Alcoholics Anonymous and many rehab programs often present abstinence as the only option. However, scientific evidence indicates that this is not the case. In fact, for several decades now, the medication naltrexone has been successfully used to help people cut back and moderate their drinking, without requiring total abstinence. And in general there is sufficient research to suggest that moderation-based programs can be an effective alternative to traditional treatment.
There are several reasons that moderation may work better for an individual than complete abstinence. One may be that a persons drinking problem is mild enough that changing their behavior around alcohol isnt as big a challenge. Conversely, their addiction may be so severe that its best to think about harm reductionfinding the best way to reduce that persons drinking to a safer level for the sake of their health. The goal of cutting back can sometimes feel easier to attain.
Finally, even if your long-term goal is abstinence, moderation can be an effective bridge. Under the Sinclair Method, for example, participants can continue to drink moderately over a long period of time as long as they take naltrexone beforehand. The result of this method is that some people lose interest in alcohol completely, and wind up abstaining.
At the end of the day, alcohol use disorder can be treated through behavior modification, which means that some people can learn to drink moderately.
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Types Of Behavioral Treatments
CognitiveBehavioral Therapy can take place one-on-one with a therapist or in small groups. This form of therapy is focused on identifying the feelings and situations that lead to heavy drinking and managing stress that can lead to relapse. The goal is to change the thought processes that lead to alcohol misuse and to develop the skills necessary to cope with everyday situations that might trigger problem drinking.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy is conducted over a short period of time to build and strengthen motivation to change drinking behavior. The therapy focuses on identifying the pros and cons of seeking treatment, forming a plan for making changes in ones drinking, building confidence, and developing the skills needed to stick to the plan.
incorporates spouses and other family members in the treatment process and can play an important role in repairing and improving family relationships. Studies show that strong family support through family therapy increases the chances of maintaining abstinence , compared with patients undergoing individual counseling.
Brief Interventions are short, one-on-one or small-group counseling sessions that are time limited. The counselor provides information about the individuals drinking pattern and potential risks. After the client receives personalized feedback, the counselor will work with him or her to set goals and provide ideas for helping to make a change.
Weigh The Pros And Cons Of Drinking
On a sheet of paper, draw a simple pros and cons table. Under pros, write what alcohol gives you. In the cons, write what it has taken away. This can be something as small as a few extra dollars spent on a beer last night or as large as a relationship.
If one of your pros is that alcohol helps you relax, one of your cons might be that your relaxation takes away from the time you could be spending with others. It also takes away your energy and keeps you from facing your problems.
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The Effects Of Alcoholism
Weve all had hangovers after one too many bottles of beer. Its characterized by severe headaches the following morning a few hangover remedies get you sorted out.
However, continuous drinking, without a doubt, can quickly ruin ones life. It causes more than financial strains it can push people away- family and friends, it creates emotional imbalance and in the long run, affects personal health.
Below is a detailed break down of some of the side-effects of alcohol abuse that are common to most of us. Probably, you already have experienced some of these. Its however, vital that you know more to get a more unobstructed view and help you learn how to quit drinking as soon as you can.
Useful Contacts For Alcohol Problems
- Drinkline is the national alcohol helpline. If you’re worried about your own or someone else’s drinking, you can call this free helpline in complete confidence. Call 0300 123 1110 .
- Alcoholics Anonymous is a free self-help group. Its “12 step” programme involves getting sober with the help of regular support groups.
- Al-Anon Family Groups offers support and understanding to the families and friends of problem drinkers, whether they’re still drinking or not. Alateen is part of Al-Anon and can be attended by 12- to 17-year-olds who are affected by another person’s drinking, usually a parent.
- We Are With You is a UK-wide treatment agency that helps individuals, families and communities manage the effects of drug and alcohol misuse. If you are over 50 and worried about your drinking, call 0808 8010 750
- Adfam is a national charity working with families affected by drugs and alcohol. Adfam operates an online message board and a database of local support groups.
- The National Association for Children of Alcoholics provides a free, confidential telephone and email helpline for children of alcohol-dependent parents and others concerned about their welfare. Call 0800 358 3456 for the Nacoa helpline.
- SMART Recovery groups help people decide whether they have a problem, build up their motivation to change, and offer a set of proven tools and techniques to support recovery.
Caring for an alcoholic? Find out where you can get support.
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Relapse Is Part Of The Process
Relapse is common among people who overcome alcohol problems. People with drinking problems are most likely to relapse during periods of stress or when exposed to people or places associated with past drinking.
Just as some people with diabetes or asthma may have flare-ups of their disease, a relapse to drinking can be seen as a temporary setback to full recovery and not a complete failure. Seeking professional help can prevent relapsebehavioral therapies can help people develop skills to avoid and overcome triggers, such as stress, that might lead to drinking. Most people benefit from regular checkups with a treatment provider. Medications also can deter drinking during times when individuals may be at greater risk of relapse .
Mental Health Issues and Alcohol Use Disorder
Depression and anxiety often go hand in hand with heavy drinking. Studies show that people who are alcohol dependent are two to three times as likely to suffer from major depression or anxiety over their lifetime. When addressing drinking problems, its important to also seek treatment for any accompanying medical and mental health issues.