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Alcohol Abuse and Consequences
The moment has arrived. You are done. You are done seeing every single part of your life unravel. You are done feeling horrible every waking hour. You are ready.
Coming to this juncture, that pivotal moment when the reality of your disease dictates change, is usually the punctuation point of a very long and arduous journey. Seeing firsthand the havoc the disease of alcoholism has caused in your life, and the life of everyone in your orbit, is painful. But by successfully knocking down and plowing through each obstacle to treatment you are finally ready to take the impressive turn toward seeking help for alcoholism.
A daunting challenge, for sure! No way can anyone facing such fundamental change that will impact every aspect of one’s life claim to be blasé about it. This is big. But staying alive is bigger. With the support of a loved one, seeking help for alcoholism is the first step toward reclaiming your life, wiping the slate clean, and rediscovering fresh purpose.
What Is the “Bottom” Anyway?
So often people say, “They have to reach their bottom before they will accept help,” when discussing that mythical sweet spot when an alcoholic is finally ready for treatment. This is a dangerous assumption to make, when the only for sure bottom anyone can call is death itself. Bottoms come and bottoms go. It is a mistake to stand by and watch someone’s life implode while waiting for the loved one to hit their particular bottom.
The alcoholic suffers daily. Each day brings its own set of unpleasant circumstances that define the eternal ongoing “bottom” that characterizes the disease. Losing one’s job, one’s spouse, one’s home, one’s health, one’s mind. Alcoholism takes no prisoners. It seduces them into a life of misery, slowly and stealthily, and presents new lows on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis. Do not wait for that ultimate bottom before seeking help for alcoholism.
What to Expect in Alcohol Detox
Alcohol detox is not to be attempted without medical supervision, as there are potentially life-threatening and unpredictable withdrawal complications that would need immediate attention. A medical detox provides a team of trained professionals who will be monitoring progress, vital signs, and withdrawal symptoms throughout the detox process. The severity of withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the length of history involving high alcohol consumption, the coexistence of a mental health condition, and general health status. In most cases, alcohol detox will take 5-7 days.
The team will administer medications and psychological support to help greatly minimize the effects of withdrawal. The interventions provided can make the difference between sticking it out and successfully completing detox, or relapsing back to alcohol use.
Alcohol detox withdrawal symptoms include:
- Hand tremors
- Nausea and vomiting
- Elevated heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
- Delirium tremens or DTs
How is Alcoholism Treated
Alcohol addiction treatment immediately follows the detoxification process and can be procured in either an outpatient setting (mild to moderate alcohol use disorder) or a residential setting (moderate to severe alcohol use disorder. The residential setting provides a higher level of care, with 24-hour support and monitoring and a full daily schedule of treatment elements.
In general, alcohol addiction treatment involves:
- Psychotherapy. Therapy is the bedrock of alcohol recovery, as it helps the individual examine underlying emotional issues or past traumas so these can be processed and heal. Cognitive behavioral therapy provides a roadmap for making core changes in thought-behavior patterns that have kept a person trapped in addiction behaviors. The recovery skills learned in CBT help reframe disordered thinking toward positive, affirming thoughts and subsequent behaviors.
- Education. Learning about the impact of alcohol on brain chemistry and structure can be a deterrent to relapse, and includes guiding the individual to creating relapse prevention strategies and learning new coping skills.
- Naltrexone. Naltrexone is a non-narcotic medication that can assist in reducing alcohol cravings and relapse for those who meet criteria for usage.
- 12-step or non 12-step meetings and programming. Peer support is a key element in recovery, and these meetings provide the opportunity to share experiences, challenges, fears, and goals with others in recovery.
- Adjunctive activities. Rounding out rehabilitation are several activities that augment the psychotherapy, including mindfulness training, yoga, art therapy, acupuncture, recreational therapy, equine therapy, and other activities that teach individuals relaxation techniques.
Information About Alcohol Use Disorder and Treatment Options
The Treatment Specialist is an online provider of high quality material regarding addiction, mental health, and dual diagnosis. When seeking help for alcoholism, reach out to The Treatment Specialist for important information about planning for detox and rehabilitation. Speak to a compassionate specialist with experience guiding individuals towards treatment options, and are here for you. Please do not wait another day to get the help you need. Give a Treatment Specialist a call today at (866) 644-7911.