Alcohol is one of the most widely used addictive drugs on the planet, so it isn’t that surprising that alcohol misuse and addiction is so widespread. Unfortunately, there is still a good deal of stigma around the issue of alcoholism and many of those who are concerned that they are being affected by alcoholism are too afraid or embarrassed to seek professional help.
However, there are plenty of treatment options out there for those that want to be done with alcoholism.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is an addiction to alcohol. When we think of alcoholics, many of us picture people who are unhealthy, disheveled and showing the signs of their addiction. However, there are a great many alcoholics who hide their addiction. In fact, ‘functional alcoholics’ are able to hold down a job and in some cases a family life while they continue to drink throughout the day.
Before any treatment options for addiction can be successful, the addict must accept their issue and be ready and willing to work towards a solution. It is normal for alcoholics who are just coming to terms with their illness to feel powerless against it.
There is usually a latency period between an addict accepting that they have an addiction and them taking steps to address it.
Some of the symptoms to watch out for that may indicate a loved one is suffering from alcoholism include frequent binge drinking sessions, frequent dramatic mood swings, declining performance at school or at work, escalating negligence of responsibilities, denial regarding their alcohol use, more aggressive and violent behavior than usual, and a lack of interest in activities that would normally bring the person joy.
Treatment Options for Alcoholism
There are several treatment options available for those who are ready to address their alcoholism.
Whether you are seeking treatment for yourself or for a loved one, it is helpful to understand exactly what that treatment entails before you begin.
Detoxing is the first part of the process of treating alcoholism. Detoxing means allowing your body to eliminate any alcohol that is still in your system, and then adjust to operating without it. The reason that some drugs cause a withdrawal syndrome is because our bodies adapt to their constant presence in our system.
When the drug is removed from our systems, it takes time for our bodies to re-calibrate. During this period, withdrawing addicts will experience withdrawal symptoms.
In most cases, withdrawal symptoms are not fatal. However, alcohol is a drug that interferes with the production of glutamate and GABA, the body’s primary excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain. When we withdraw from alcohol, the levels of these neurotransmitters are completely out of whack. An excess of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate will cause anxiety and potentially seizures when withdrawing.
It is therefore essential that you undergo a supervised withdrawal, like the Sinclair Method Alcohol Treatment, or TSM – Ria Health goes into more detail on what the Sinclair Method is and why it is effective.
The first part of detoxing from any addictive drug consists of overcoming the emotional and physical withdrawal symptoms. However, this is only the beginning of the battle. Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) occurs after a patient has initially detoxified from a drug and includes a number of mostly psychological symptoms.
Many of those who quit alcohol or another drug will experience ongoing depression and other symptoms as they continue to adjust to life without their drug of choice.
Counseling is therefore a great idea for anyone withdrawing from a drug, whether it’s alcohol or anything else.
In the United States, there are a number of different treatment programs for alcoholism that patients can take advantage of. One of the most common of these is SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), which serves as both a hub of information and as a treatment referral service.
A growing number of states are focusing on ensuring that alcoholics have access to affordable treatment options. However, demand for alcohol-misuse services is on the rise and there are now waiting lists for many services.
Priority is usually given to the patients who are deemed to be most at risk, so it can be frustrating trying to get seen sometimes.
However, it is worth your perseverance.
How to Convince a Loved One to Go to Rehab?
If your loved one is addicted to some sort of drug or substance, it might be time to think about getting them into a rehab center. These centers are so much more than a place for your loved one to get over their addiction.
It’s a place for them to grow personally, learn how to lead a healthy life, become mentally tough, and get their life back together.
This is something that you surely want your loved one to go through, so it’s important to know how to convince your loved one to go to rehab in the first place. It can be pretty tough for someone who is addicted to a substance to understand the need to get to rehab.
You are going to have to be the one to convince them and help them turn their lives around. Keep reading down below to learn more!
Ask Your Loved One If They Are Open to Going to Rehab
The first step to convincing your loved one to get to addiction rehab is to just ask them!
Asking someone who is addicted to go to rehab can be a pretty big topic to bring up. So be sure to premise it with the fact that you really care about them and their health.
Be sure to tell them why you are so concerned and what the signs of their addiction are.
Check Out What Treatment Options Are Out There
Recovery from addiction isn’t something that everyone goes through at the same rate or through the same methods, and it is difficult to tell when your loved one will ever become completely sober.
There are so many treatment methods out there and it depends on your loved one’s case as to which they are going to go through.
Be sure to speak with experts in drug and alcohol addiction to understand which treatments your loved one is going to benefit most from.
There are natural options to help your loved ones recover from addiction, such as CBD Oil, Medical Marijuana, Maeng da Kratom, Match Tea consumption, and many others. Look around to see which type of rehabilitation process is best for your loved ones situation!
Plan Out a Sort of Intervention for Your Loved One
When you really want to get your loved one into rehab, then you’re going to have to organize an intervention.
This is best to do with your friends and family members around, but don’t make things too confrontational. You can also think about getting an interventionist involved who is an expert at dealing with these sorts of confrontations.
Give Your Loved One Plenty of Love and Understanding
And of course, during this whole process, the best way to get your loved one into a rehab center is do so with love and understanding.
When you come from a place of love and concern, then your loved one is going to be more accepting of the idea.
Getting your loved one into a rehab center is not going to be an easy task. However, with these tips on your side, you are sure to get them in rehab and help them deal with their addiction.
Common Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal to Watch Out For
Alcohol addicts can have it very rough especially during the first couple of days after quitting their addiction. If you are quitting alcohol, you can be sure to experience some severe withdrawal symptoms, and it’s never a simple process.
However, if you are dedicated enough to see the recovery process through and have enough of a support team behind you, there’s no reason you can’t do it.
As an alcohol addict, your body tends to become dependent on your drinking patterns and frequency.
But then, when you abruptly stop drinking, the body works to determine which chemicals it’s missing- and these are where all the side effects come in. Alcohol Rehab Los Angeles works to help its patients get through the withdrawal phase successfully and have you living a normal, healthy life again.
The extent to which alcohol withdrawal can harm its victim varies, there are instances where it can even cause life-threatening health complications. That’s why this is an issue that you must handle with extreme caution.
Also, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve only been drinking for weeks, or months, or even years.
It is still possible that you can suffer alcohol withdrawal syndrome, and that’s why you need to have professional care when trying to dislodge yourself from drinking, and Alcohol Rehab Los Angeles offers some of the best services for that.
Causes of Alcohol Withdrawal
Numerous factors can cause alcohol withdrawal.
Every time you drink alcohol, your liver is the organ that breaks down the alcohol. This is your body’s way of ridding itself of the substance through urine, and any alcohol that isn’t metabolized gets into your system.
As the substance reaches your brain, you get to experience feelings like relaxation and happiness. When excess alcohol amounts get into the brain, that’s when you experience symptoms of drunkenness. Symptoms such as slurred speech, memory lapses, and difficulty walking are few such effects. Your body then starts to crave for more to produce the same feelings.
When you quit drinking, hyperexcitability kicks in. The primary reason why withdrawal symptoms affect people differently. This is also the main reason why you find many people fear to quit.
The fear of the possible withdrawal symptoms can keep people drinking. By reducing the withdrawal symptoms, you can then focus more on how to get yourself better.
Acute Alcohol Withdrawal
In most instances, acute alcohol withdrawal syndromes occur when an alcoholic experiences sudden, severe withdrawal symptom. Mostly, this happens the first weeks after you quit drinking. At this time, you’ll be more at risk of developing delirium tremens, temporarily losing consciousness, or having seizures.
These life-threatening health complications make it especially wise that you stay in a medical institution for treatment. Alcohol Rehab Los Angeles is equipped with the right tools, staff, and services to tackle these health-related issues.
Throughout this time, a medical will be checking in on you to check how you are progressing throughout the day. To ensure that the withdrawal symptoms don’t escalate, that is.
Alcohol Rehab Los Angeles is one of the best facilities that specializes in treating patients with acute alcohol withdrawal. The team, together with their equipment, work to help minimize the withdrawal symptoms and prevent complications.
Overall, the teams’ work is to focus on your general well-being.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)
There are instances where some patients after their initial alcohol withdrawal symptoms subside, may experience prolonged side effects. This is what is called Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). PAWS can make the post-rehab lives of some individuals to be quite challenging. But then, it depends on your alcohol abuse severity. PAWS can last for anywhere between a few weeks to even a year or more.
Common symptoms of PAWS
- Irritability and emotional outburst
- Low energy
- Delayed reflexes
- Memory problems
- Trouble sleeping
- Increased accident proneness
The brain can heal and be independent of alcohol. However, the issue here is that sometimes, it can take quite a while for it to heal. Generally, PAWS symptoms can peak anywhere between four and eight weeks after you quit drinking.
This can be an especially traumatizing experience for the individuals looking to recover from alcohol addiction.
Treating Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
From the context mentioned above, it’s easy to deduce how fast alcohol withdrawal symptoms can shift. And in most cases, it can happen violently and quickly. You can experience anything from minor withdrawal symptoms to extreme side effects in just a few hours.
It is, therefore, never a good idea to attempt to undergo the withdrawal process alone.
You never know how it will affect your overall health. Plus, the chances that you will relapse and turn to your drinking was are also high.
However, with proper attention in a specialized rehab facility, you stand a higher chance of getting through the alcohol withdrawal process. Alcohol Rehab Los Angeles also have treatment specialists who work to help alleviate some of the painful alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Also, you get the best guidance on how to get through the entire recovery process.
Currently, you find that there are different types of therapy and services that rehab centers provide to their patients. These sessions depend significantly on the patients’ history of alcohol abuse. The most looked at factors here are the frequency of drinking and the amount of alcohol consumed during the time.
By this, you can conclude that there isn’t any one-size-fits therapy session or approach to treating patients with alcohol abuse, and that’s why you find many rehabs and other recovery programs consist of:
- Inpatient Treatment
- Outpatient Treatment
- Medication-assisted Therapy
- Individual Counseling
- Support Groups
Don’t Let Fear Prevent You From Getting Help
In as much as alcohol withdrawal can be quite a dangerous and painful process, it is one that’s necessary towards your recovery, and when conducted under appropriate supervision by medical professionals, alcohol withdrawal can be a much safer and more comfortable process.
What’s Next After Alcohol Rehab?
It’s not easy transitioning from being a Sober Living inpatient to everyday life. For one, it comes with a myriad of challenges that you have to deal with. Challenges which will determine whether the rehab sessions you had were successful or you turn to your old ways.
The recovery process of an alcohol addict is forever a lifelong journey. Alcohol rehab is only always the first step toward getting yourself sober and staying that way.
The next step of Sober Living is working to establish a solid recovery plan. One that works to reinforce all the lessons you learned when you were in rehab.
Nobody wants to see you revert to your drinking ways, especially yourself. It will be a huge blow both on yourself and your loved ones. It is essential that you create a long-term recovery plan. One that you are sure to stick to if you intend on maintaining your sobriety.
It is, therefore, best that you include an addiction specialist in the recovery plan process that you’ll be creating to help you keep things more focused on your goal.
The more specific and detailed you make your goals, the better your chances of keeping off alcohol.
It’s often entirely up to the alcohol recovering patient. After working hard to complete your rehab program successfully, you’ll finally be free in the outside world. Free to do whatever you want to do once again.
During this time, it usually takes a lot to readjust and get live a normal life once again. You can easily get overwhelmed by personal and professional responsibilities which can just as quickly pile up. And this can easily stress you out and test your limits.
Therefore, try not to exert yourself to too many responsibilities after completing your rehab sessions.
Before you leave the rehab center, ensure you make the following preparations
- Learn when to ask for help
- Establish a healthy daily routine
- Find living arrangements
- Arrange meet-ups with sober friends
- Keep a distance from potential triggers
- Look for local support groups
It’s quite easy for your life to feel more like a rollercoaster. It is because of this that only about 20% of patients that come from rehab centers remain alcohol-free for a year or more.
Sober Living is no joke especially if you used to be an excessive drunkard. However, you find that the individuals that get to make it past their first years of recovery increase their chances of living sober lives significantly. After two years of staying sober, the chances of relapsing drops to around 40%. It is essential to note that every additional alcohol-free year you add significantly reduces your chances of relapsing.
Types of Aftercare Programs to Consider While Trying to Maintain Sober Living
Managing to maintain your sobriety after coming from rehab requires a lot of hard work and patience. It won’t be an easy journey trying to stay sober especially if the environment you’re exposed to also isn’t all that favorable.
There are countless aftercare programs that you can try out to ensure Sober Living. Each one of the aftercare programs works to help you stay healthy and sober. It is, therefore, upon you to find the best aftercare program that fits your alcohol recovery needs.
Some of the most common alcohol aftercare programs include individual counseling, sober living homes, support groups, and family therapy.
Before you leave rehab, it is essential that you talk to your treatment specialist on the best community-based options to choose. They will always have some excellent options that you can choose from even as you develop your long-term recovery plans.
Also, you want to address any concerns you may have that can impact your life after rehab. Remember, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. Therefore, you must work to ensure you cover all bases that might hinder you from achieving your Sober Living goal.
Sober Living Homes
Right after rehab, you might want to consider moving to a sober living home for a while. It’s never an easy process adjusting to the new environment; a life without alcohol.
Everything will seem new for a time, and you may need to be in an environment that provides a safe and alcohol-free environment.
Not only this, but sober living homes also seek to encourage you to seek help from other local alcoholism groups and counselors which is also a good thing for you.
Individual Alcohol Counseling
Meeting with an alcohol counselor will help you identify any underlying mentally-related health issues. Once you are out of rehab, it is crucial that you take on individual counseling as this remains a critical step towards recovery.
In most instances, you find that individual counseling sessions are conducted weekly. However, the number of times can vary depending on your needs and preferences. The primary purpose of these meetings is to help you adjust yourself back into your previous personal and professional responsibilities.
Over time, the frequency of your counseling sessions may begin to depreciate. It is, however, crucial that you keep checking with your therapist to evaluate the progress of your recovery goals and outcomes.
From your experiences as an alcoholic, you may have seen just how much your addiction also affected those around you. Your friends and family members are usually the most affected, and by choosing to check into rehab, you’ll see just how much your friends and family members will work to help see you through the process.
Addiction can strain relationships on so many levels, to the point that your family may fall apart if it gets too extreme.
Choosing to go into rehab is one way of rebuilding your relationships and going back to living the life you once had. If anything, even more.
Support groups provide some of the most effective influences towards seeing your recovery process be a success. Choosing a Sober Living way of life isn’t an easy process. Therefore, being around other individuals who are also trying to get through the recovery process can be incredibly amazing. For one, you will know that you are not alone in the fight toward Sober Living. And you will strive to support each other toward achieving your Sober Living goals.
Concluding Thoughts – Options for Treating Alcoholism
If you think that you or a loved one might be affected by alcoholism, you should begin to investigate treatment options as soon as possible. The quicker you start getting help for your alcoholism, the sooner you can get the rest of your life back on track.
Quitting alcohol isn’t going to be easy. However, if you are truly committed to it, then it could be the best decision you ever make.
People in recovery require a lot of support, especially from their friends and families. However, much of the burden lies on the individual hoping to recover. You have to make it a point to fight the alcohol addiction problem for good, and ensure that it never affects you or anyone else around you.
If you have concerns about your drinking, talk to your doctor about them. They will be able to advise you on how best to proceed.