One in ten people will develop an addiction to alcohol during their lifetime. Drinking too much, too often can harm their health, and destroy their relationships and happiness. Family interventions outline the consequences of alcohol abuse and can push them into entering rehabilitation programs. Treatment centers offer relapse preventing coaching, counseling and group therapy sessions, and continued support for recovery. Over 50% of those who seek treatment relapse, making aftercare an integral part of continued sobriety for life. No one needs to suffer in silence, and you can get help to learn to lead a happier life.
What Is Considered Alcohol Misuse?
There are two characteristics of an alcohol abuse disorder. Some people have difficulty controlling the amount of alcohol they drink and usually can’t stop after one or two drinks. Others will continue to drink even though it’s damaging to their health and relationships. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the maximum limit for men is two drinks a day, or one drink per day for women. A standard drink is considered 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. Individuals who drink over this amount have a higher risk of becoming alcoholics. Moderate drinking is not 100% safe. Studies show that even moderate alcohol consumption can increase your risk of cancers of the esophagus, larynx, mouth, liver, and stomach.
Stages of Alcoholism
In the beginning stages, the drinker regularly drinks but hasn’t faced many consequences. This phase is the most comfortable time to make a change. During the second phase, you likely are a functioning alcoholic and are beginning to see your job and relationships slowly deteriorate. During the late stage of alcoholism, your job is affected, you probably have legal and financial problems, and you may have medical issues.
Alcohol Withdrawal And Detox
There are many symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal including:
- Sweating, tingling
- Chest tightness
- Heart palpitations
- Headaches, dizziness
- Anxiety, insomnia, irritability
There are serious even deadly withdrawal symptoms that require immediate medical attention including:
- Delirium tremens
- Gran mal seizures
- Heart attack
If you are a heavy drinker that suddenly stops drinking alcohol you’re at a higher risk of these potentially fatal symptoms. It’s crucial that heavy drinkers or long-term alcohol abusers safely detox under the supervision of a medical professional. In a rehabilitation facility, your symptoms are monitored continuously and minimize your risk of dangerous complications.
Alcohol Detox To Prevent Withdrawal
Severe withdrawal symptoms typically occur within the first 36-72 hours after your last drink. To detox safely, medications are prescribed from the benzodiazepine family such as Valium, Ativan, or Librium. Rehab is done in either an outpatient or inpatient program.
Alcohol Abuse And Treatment
If you’re ready to take the next step and get help, there are many resources available such as online groups, counselors, rehabilitation, and self-help groups. Any support group will help you feel like you’re not alone. Taking advantage of what these groups have to offer will increase your chance of long-term sobriety.
Millions of alcoholics have recovered successfully from self-help groups. You can speak with peers who are going through the same thing. These groups give you the chance to reach out and avoid isolation. While it may be difficult to talk about your addiction, you aren’t judged in self-help groups.
Acknowledging that you have a problem is the first step to recovery. Through alcohol counseling, a trained professional will help you hold yourself accountable. Medical professionals and counselors help addicts to develop coping skills will teach you that self-medication isn’t the answer.
There are several options when it comes to alcohol rehab including outpatient, inpatient, evening programs, and day-patient. You’ll find more structure in an inpatient facility and they usually run for 30, 60, or 90 days. Inpatient rehab is a way to remove yourself from your destructive environment so you can recover without distractions. Rehab will teach you how to handle cravings, manage stress, prevent relapse, and help you identify high-risk situations.