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How To Treat An Alcohol Addiction

What Is Considered Heavy Drinking

Treating Alcohol Addiction (Advice from David Smallwood)

Heavy drinking is defined as 14 drinks/week or more for men and 7 drinks/week or more for women. The Centers for Disease Control provides some insight into heavy drinking among adults in the U.S.:1

  • In 2018, just over 5% of American adults 18 years old and older reported past-year heavy drinking.
  • Mood problems can lead to heavier drinking. Adults surveyed in 2018 who reported feelings of anxiety or depression were more likely than their peers who did not share these feelings to drink heavily.
  • Regular access to healthcare appears to be a factor in drinking behaviors. Adults surveyed in 2018 who said they had a specific location where they receive healthcare services were less likely to engage in heavy drinking than those who did not have a regular place to access care or who cited the emergency room as their location.

Binge drinking is defined as 4 drinks per occasion or more for women and 5 or more for men. The CDC reports that:3

  • Binge drinking accounts for about half of all the deaths and ¾ of the costs related to excessive alcohol use in the country.
  • One in 6 adults binge drinks weekly, having about 7 drinks each time.

Drinking to excess can be harmful, not only to your physical health but also to your mental health. Binge drinking and heavy alcohol use can increase an individuals risk to developing an alcohol use disorder, commonly called alcoholism.

Focus On Hydration First

Alcohol withdrawal causes a variety of different symptoms including fatigue, anxiety, depression, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. These symptoms are most severe between 24 and 72 hours after the last drink and may limit your ability to eat.

Make sure you drink plenty of fluids during this time as it will help rehydrate your body and get rid of toxins. Water, juice, broth, ice pops, and gelatin are good choices for hydration during the early stages of withdrawal.

How To Help Someone Stop Drinking

Alcohol abuse and addiction doesnt just affect the person drinkingit affects their families and loved ones, too. Watching a family member struggle with a drinking problem can be as heartbreakingly painful as it is frustrating. But while you cant do the hard work of overcoming addiction for your loved one, your love and support can play a crucial part in their long-term recovery.

Talk to the person about their drinking. Express your concerns in a caring way and encourage your friend or family member to get help. Try to remain neutral and dont argue, lecture, accuse, or threaten.

Learn all you can about addiction. Research the kinds of treatment that are available and discuss these options with your friend or family member.

Take action. Consider staging a family meeting or an intervention, but dont put yourself in a dangerous situation. Offer your support along each step of the recovery journey.

Dont make excuses for your loved ones behavior. The person with the drinking problem needs to take responsibility for their actions. Dont lie or cover things up to protect someone from the consequences of their drinking.

Dont blame yourself. You arent to blame for your loved ones drinking problem and you cant make them change.

Overcoming Addiction: Find an effective path toward recovery Find an effective path toward recovery. Special health report from Harvard Medical School.

Support organizations, professional resources, and helplines

Support organizations

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Alcoholics Anonymous And Other Support Groups

Many people addicted to alcohol also turn to 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous . There are also other support groups that dont follow the 12-step model, such as SMART Recovery and Sober Recovery.

Regardless of the type of support system, its helpful to get involved in at least one when getting sober. Sober communities can help someone struggling with alcohol addiction deal with the challenges of sobriety in day-to-day life. Sober communities can also share relatable experiences and offer new, healthy friendships. And these communities make the person with an alcohol addiction accountable and provide a place to turn to if there is a relapse.

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Looking For A Place To Start

Reach out to a treatment provider for free today.

Ask for friends and family to support you in the recovery process chances are theyll be proud of you for taking control of your life again. External support groups include Alcoholics Anonymous , which originated the 12-step program and now has approximately 2 million members. The 12 steps emphasize the participants ability to submit to a higher power to ask for help. The higher power doesnt have to be rooted in religion, though that is the case for many. Others look for a higher power within.

Will Medication Cure Alcoholism

The simple answer to this question is no. All the medications currently available as treatments for alcoholism can only be counted on to either reduce cravings or manage withdrawal symptoms. As stated earlier, there is no cure for alcoholism. There is only treatment.

It is also important to note that using medications without modifying drinking behaviour can create a more serious problem. A doctors prescription will be accompanied by advice directing you to seek counselling and/or support group participation.

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Can Addiction Be Cured

This is a tricky question and depends on how you define cure. Very few people achieve sobriety and never look back. Most people have enduring periods of relapse and recovery. In either case, even if the person stops using completely, there is often an enduring struggle to ward off cravings and remain sober. The individual, because of their biological/psychological makeup, environment, development, and personal history, must take greater care and caution to avoid relapsing.4,5,14 One might say that they will never be cured, but rather in the ongoing process of healing.

With this in mind, be wary of any individual or institution claiming they can undo a drug abuse problem. By following treatment guidelines, seeking the best addiction treatment support, and using proven strategies, the patient can experience fewer relapses and extend periods of recovery, and hopefully find lasting sobriety along the way.

Can Drug Addiction Be Treated

How To Cure Alcohol Addiction At Home | Alcohol Withdrawal

Yes, but its not simple. Because addiction is a chronic disease, people cant simply stop using drugs for a few days and be cured. Most patients need long-term or repeated care to stop using completely and recover their lives.

Addiction treatment must help the person do the following:

  • stop using drugs
  • be productive in the family, at work, and in society

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Understand The Americans With Disabilities Act

Once you complete addiction treatment programs and attend rehab, youll be protected from possible discrimination in the workplace under the Americans with Disabilities Act . Addiction, as a federally recognized medical condition and disability, qualifies for most protections under the law so that getting better is never held against you.

How Do I Know If I Have An Alcohol Use Disorder

You may have an AUD if you can answer yes to two or more of these questions:

In the past year, have you:

  • Ended up drinking more or for a longer time than you had planned to?
  • Wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?
  • Spent a lot of your time drinking or recovering from drinking?
  • Felt a strong need to drink?
  • Found that drinking – or being sick from drinking – often interfered with your family life, job, or school?
  • Kept drinking even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends?
  • Given up or cut back on activities that you enjoyed just so you could drink?
  • Gotten into dangerous situations while drinking or after drinking? Some examples are driving drunk and having unsafe sex.
  • Kept drinking even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious? Or when it was adding to another health problem?
  • Had to drink more and more to feel the effects of the alcohol?
  • Had withdrawal symptoms when the alcohol was wearing off? They include trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, and sweating. In severe cases, you could have a fever, seizures, or hallucinations.

If you have any of these symptoms, your drinking may already be a cause for concern. The more symptoms you have, the more serious the problem is.

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What Are Sobriety Coins And How Do They Work

Sobriety coins are tokens offered by Alcoholics Anonymous to commemorate the amount of time a person has remained sober. The purpose of these coins is to give the person who is in recovery from alcoholism a physical reminder of success that can serve as both a reward for the persons achievements and a motivation to continue on the path of sobriety.

Studies have consistently shown that an important element leading to long-term recovery is the commitment of the individual to complete treatment and stay sober. This motivation makes it more likely that the person will spend enough time in treatment for it to have a positive effect on reducing alcohol-seeking behaviors.

After treatment, this motivation can sometimes be a challenge to maintain. Sobriety coins and other motivational techniques can help to keep the commitment to sobriety strong so the person will continue to avoid relapse.

Take Your Vitamins And Minerals

What is Alcohol Addiction?

When youre detoxing in an inpatient or outpatient detox treatment facility, theyll usually prescribe medications to help ease withdrawal symptoms of alcohol. At home, you wont have that luxury. But there are some vitamins and minerals you can take that are often beneficial and help remove toxins. Some of these include B vitamins, multivitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, and calcium.

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Alcohol Addiction Help At Priory

Alcohol addiction treatment at Priory is delivered as part of a comprehensive Addiction Treatment Programme. Our Addiction Treatment Programmes typically last for 28 days, and consist of you staying at one of our nationwide alcohol rehab centres on a residential basis, for the duration of this time. During private addiction rehab, you will have the opportunity to undergo a medically assisted withdrawal detoxification process if this is required, before undergoing intensive individual and group addiction therapy in order to address the source of your addictive behaviours, increase your self-awareness and take steps towards recovery. Whilst 28 days is the recommended treatment time for alcohol addiction, treatment lengths at Priory can be flexible according to your unique needs, requirements and commitments.

Addiction treatment at Priory is based on the world-renowned 12-Step approach, which is an abstinence-based addiction treatment model that was first pioneered by the organisation Alcoholics Anonymous . The 12-Step philosophy provides a set of guiding principles for the addiction treatment and rehabilitation process, and focuses on your motivation to change your unhealthy behaviours and thought patterns, whilst also drawing upon elements of spirituality within the treatment and recovery process.

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.

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How Easily Can You Get Addicted To Alcohol

How easily you get addicted depends on multiple factors. Some people are more predisposed to addiction than others. Social factors also have an impact. If you work around alcohol or live in a family with a lot of alcoholism, you may be more likely to become addicted.

The age you start drinking can also have an effect. People who start drinking young are about 7 times more likely to become addicted than those who dont start drinking until they are older.

What Are The Stages Of Alcohol Use Disorder

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Alcohol use that turns into a use disorder develops in stages.

  • At-risk stage: This is when you drink socially or drink to relieve stress or to feel better. You may start to develop a tolerance for alcohol.
  • Early alcohol use disorder: In this stage, you have progressed to blackouts, drinking alone or in secret and thinking about alcohol a lot.
  • Mid-stage alcohol use disorder: Your alcohol use is now out of control and causes problems with daily life . Organ damage can be seen on lab tests and scans.
  • End-stage alcohol use disorder: Drinking is now the main focus of your life, to the exclusion of food, intimacy, health and happiness. Despair, complications of organ damage and death are now close.

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How To Determine And Treat Alcohol Addiction

By | Submitted On August 07, 2008

Addiction is almost a part of the average American psyche. People are addicted to many things, from smoking, to shopping, to browsing the web. There is a visual plethora of human addictions. One of the most serious addictions, an addiction to alcohol, is a fairly ambiguous addiction. Many people who have the propensity to drink do not believe they have a problem. Many people drink as way to “take the edge” off after a long day at work, or as a means to reduce stress after a fight with a friend or loved one. Many people use alcohol for different reasons, but determining if it is indeed an addiction and how to treat it is another story.

There are several ways to determine if you or someone you love has a drinking problem. This can usually be assessed by how often alcoholic beverages are consumed and why. Social drinking is usually an instance not necessarily correlated with a drinking problem. However, if you or someone you care about is out partying every single night then there may be an issue or addiction. While the person may say they’re addicted to having fun or the release that is felt by drinking alcohol, ask if they can still have a good time without drinking. If the answer is no, then there is a definite issue that needs to be addressed.

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What Does Residential Care Offer That Outpatient Does Not

For people who present a high risk of relapsing to drug use after detox, residential care can be an important next step. Residential care provides isolation from sources of the substance in case the temptation to use becomes uncontrollable, along with 24-hour supervision and support to help control cravings. Sometimes, medications can be provided to ease those cravings, and in residential treatment, this medication can be managed at any time to fine-tune the dosage for the maximum benefit. Medical supervision also ensures that these medications are not abused during treatment, if abuse potential is likely.

People who are at high risk of relapse include those who:

  • Are genetically predisposed to addiction
  • Have been through treatment for substance abuse previously
  • Relapsed previously
  • Were addicted to or abusing the substance habitually for an extended period of time
  • Have co-occurring mental health disorders that may increase drug-seeking behavior
  • Have easy access to the substance at home or through existing or unavoidable social networks

Similar to residential care for alcoholism treatment, another benefit of residential care for drug use disorders is fulltime focus on recovery without distraction.

Highly Skilled Alcohol Addiction Treatment Specialists

FAQ on Alcohol Addiction Los Angeles

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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