Alcoholism Treatment Program
Alcoholism is a complex disease of the brain and, according to the United States National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), some people are more likely to become addicted or develop an alcohol dependence because their brains are more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol and excessive drinking. It impacts the entire being – physical, spiritual and mental health can all suffer. It not only impacts the alcoholic, it affects nearly everyone the alcoholic comes in contact with, especially family members, work and social relationships. It is progressive and life threatening. It never gets better, only worse, until the alcoholic becomes abstinent.
ALCOHOLISM SYMPTOMS AND WARNING SIGNS
If you are concerned that you or a loved one is struggling with heavy drinking or alcohol problems, some signs and side effects to watch out for include:
- Slurred speech
- Impaired thinking and poor memory
- Inability to stop drinking even if the desire to stop exists
- Putting less focus on family, work and previously enjoyed hobbies/activities
- High tolerance for alcohol
- Drinking at inappropriate times, such as first thing in the morning
- Hiding alcohol and becoming more secretive
- Frequent blackouts and hangovers
Since people with a family history of alcohol abuse have an increased risk factor of developing a drinking problem themselves, this is something else to keep in mind when assessing one’s alcohol dependence and substance use struggles.
The good news is that alcoholism is treatable and while there is no cure, alcoholics can stay sober. Each day more individuals are getting sober and walking away from their struggle with alcohol. There are many people who were chronic alcoholics who have been able to stop drinking alcohol for decades.
For many, it takes a treatment program and an effective and affordable continuing care program. It often takes years or even decades to become an alcoholic and long term sobriety won’t be found in a few weeks. That is why continuing care and support groups are so important.
Below we address how alcoholism impacts us and what treatment options are available to recover from active alcohol addiction or alcohol use disorder past just short-term solutions and help during initial alcohol withdrawal.
GETTING HELP FOR ALCOHOLISM OR ALCOHOL ABUSE
Often, alcoholism and binge drinking are severe enough to require professional help. This can be found through many different programs or rehab; but, that first step is often the hardest one to take. If you are struggling, you may want to start by asking your personal physician for help. You may also want to find out more about alcohol or substance abuse treatment programs and providers that are available to you. If your loved one is showing signs of alcoholism (see our self-assessments), you may need the help of an interventionist as the long term effects of alcohol consumption can be dangerous or even life-threatening especially when withdrawal symptoms are severe.
The alcoholic is neither a good or bad person. They are a sick person whose disease has them often do things to the people closest to them that they would never do if they were sober – when their disease is in remission. Treatment for the disease of alcoholism is similar to treatment for many other diseases. The most effective approach for alcohol addiction is holistic, using a range of diverse group and individual interventions while the client lives in a therapeutic community. The group recovering together with the support of experienced clinicians creates real change and the basis to stay sober for the long term.
CENTER FOR ALCOHOLISM AND DRUG ABUSE
As important as primary care/treatment is affordable and effective continuing care. Addiction doesn’t occur in a few weeks and the addict needs to keep working on their program of recovery to keep their disease in remission.
The focus of addiction treatment at Recovery Works is on the group process with individual therapy and programs that address personal struggles. This is coupled with a strong emphasis on Continuing Care through Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.