As one of the most available habit-forming substances that is regulated only by age, alcohol is responsible for many cases every year of addiction, alcohol abuse and alcohol use disorders.
However, it is important to note that there is a distinction between alcohol abuse and addiction. In the first case, a user has a certain level of control over his use, even if he consumes high quantities of it on a regular basis. In the second case, an addict has lost control over how much she drinks, and she even ignores clear problems of her alcoholism as long as she can continue abusing the substance.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence lists some signs and symptoms of both disorders to help someone identify drinking problems, from neglecting responsibilities to alcohol tolerance and dependence.
Understanding the cause of alcoholism is an important aspect to obtain effective alcohol addiction help, so the American Psychological Association (APA) recognizes the following four factors:
The APA also states that heavy drinking is usually progressive whenever these factors are in play, and that alcohol dependence is the first sign of addiction.
5 Ways to Address Alcoholism
Substance use disorders are not treated with a single strategy, because everyone has unique access to programs, and what may help one person could have few benefits for another. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration mentions 9 strategies to consider in treatment, but the following five
are of particular use for people with alcohol addiction:
- 12-step groups – Peer support in 12-step groups was one of the first recognizable treatment options for alcoholics. The effectiveness of these groups lies in their widespread availability, the option to participate with discretion and often attending meetings at no cost. The sharing is mutual and group healing is encouraged.
- Your primary physician – Your doctor can not only help you address any health issues that have risen due to an excessive consumption of alcohol, but he can also help you control your problem with medication when that is an option. Furthermore, this professional can direct you to other treatment programs for addiction.
- Therapy sessions – In many instances, alcohol abuse appears as a response to an underlying cause, which can be family problems, the loss of a loved one, unexpected changes in life, everyday anxieties and other psychological issues. A therapist will help you detect these causes and control them without the need of alcohol or other addictive substances.
- Inpatient treatment program – An inpatient treatment program, or alcohol rehab, is one of the best options for those with extreme cases of alcoholism or for those who have had the problem for long periods of time. This option might be best for people who regularly drink dangerous doses of alcohol to the point of overdosing. Rehab also helps people detox safely while they are in the first stages of recovery.
- Aftercare programs – After achieving sobriety with the help of either inpatient and/or outpatient treatment, aftercare will be needed to avoid relapse and to learn how to control cravings for alcohol. An aftercare program might involve support groups or periodic visits with a counselor or therapist. These visits are great opportunities for the patient to express concerns, doubts or additional strategies to cope with everyday problems without resorting to drinking. An aftercare program may last as long as the patient needs it or even indefinitely.
Each person needs to evaluate her situation with the help of family, friends and health professionals to know what the best treatment is for her unique needs. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recognizes how technology has opened new options for treatment and diagnosis such as the Internet and social networks. In other words, recovery is possible and likely with the right support, so reach out today for professional help.
Help Recovering from Alcohol Abuse or Alcohol Addiction
After deciding to stop abusing alcohol, you might have some questions and doubts about what to do next. This hesitation is normal, because it is sometimes difficult to approach someone and explain face to face the situations you endure and how you handle the resultant stress. Or perhaps you know of someone with a problem of alcoholism, but he is reluctant to accept help, so you would like some advice on how to proceed.
You can obtain this sort of help by calling to our toll-free, 24 hour helpline, as our staff offers information and advice free of charge. Our admissions coordinators will provide the support you need for recovery from addiction and/or mental health disorders; they have comprehensive information regarding intervention services, family counseling, medically supervised detox and more. Give us a call today and take the first step toward long-lasting recovery.