Alcoholism is the most severe form of problem drinking. People who abuse alcohol may show some of the same symptoms, such as neglecting responsibilities, using alcohol in risky situations (like when driving) or getting into legal trouble. However, only people who are truly addicted become physically dependent.
Individuals who rely on alcohol to function and who feel physically compelled to drink are typically alcoholics. Symptoms of dependence include the following:
- Growing tolerance
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Inability to stop drinking
- Drinking more and more over time
- Becoming obsessed with drinking
- Ignoring negative consequences
- Poor performance at work or school due to drinking
- Drug use in situations which are harmful to self and others, such as while caring for children
- Social problems, such as marital difficulties or losing old friends, due to drug use
Contrary to popular belief, individuals do not need to “hit rock bottom” before they get sober. In fact, people who seek assistance quickly—before physical and psychological dependence become too severe—benefit from improved chances of recovering and preventing relapse. It is never too early to ask for help.
Admission to Rehab Fast Facts
Once individuals recognize that they have a problem and become willing to seek help, admitting them to rehab quickly is paramount. Timing is everything for several reasons, including the following:
- The more time individuals have to rethink the decision, the more likely they may be to back out.
- When the immediate pain of “hitting bottom” or a binge wears off, the motivation to get help may leave.
- Friends who use may convince them not to go.
- Once cravings return, they may consider using “one more time” before entering rehab and get hooked for another prolonged period of use.
Quality recovery centers realize that the decision to enter rehab is difficult and that individuals who walk through their doors need support and encouragement. For this reason, the admissions process is designed to be fast and painless. It typically involves accomplishing several simple housekeeping tasks that may include the following:
- Settling the bill
- Meeting the care coordinator
- Touring the facility
- Learning the house rules
- Going to one’s room
Studies show that people who stay in treatment longer have fewer relapses. Treatment of 90 days or longer has proven to yield benefits that include the following:
- More post-detox treatment: People who spend several weeks withdrawing physically may need more time to work out psychological and emotional aspects of their addictions.
- Brain recalibration: Research shows that it takes a minimum of 90 days for the brain to heal enough to begin thinking clearly—an essential skill for avoiding relapse.
- Opportunity to practice: Being thrown back into society too quickly can be overwhelming and trigger relapse. Living in a halfway house can be a helpful way to practice new life skills while still receiving guidance.
- Time for new habits to take root: It takes between 30 days and three months to establish a new habit. People who practice a recovery lifestyle, including attending support group meetings, talking with a sponsor or therapist and building sober friendships, will be more stable once rehab ends.
With the right resources and help, it is possible to break free from alcohol addiction and learn to live a satisfying, sober life.
Getting Help for Alcohol Addiction
You can recover from alcohol addiction. Admissions coordinators are available at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to help you make the transition from addiction to a drug-free life. Don’t go it alone when help is just one phone call away. You never have to go back to a life of addiction. Please call today.