Alcoholism has been, and continues to be, a prevalent problem throughout the United States. Because it’s readily accessible and relatively inexpensive, alcohol remains one of the most abused substances in our country. In fact, it’s been estimated that approximately 15 million Americans abuse alcohol in some manner each year.
Serious health conditions such as liver disease, brain damage, and malnourishment are possible when an individual suffers from alcoholism. Many of those suffering from alcoholism also experience difficulties maintaining proper employment, financial struggles, and the breakdown of family relationships. The information below will discuss alcoholism in more detail, as well as cover comprehensive treatment options for those suffering from this condition.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is generally defined as an addiction to the consumption of alcoholic beverages. In many cases, this addiction can manifest in both a physical and emotional sense. Those suffering from alcoholism will likely place the act of drinking above all other obligations, including those relating to secular work and family.
Over time, most individuals who drink heavily can grow accustomed to the effects that alcohol has on their body and mind, which can resemble a tolerance to its harmful side effects. This can lead to the desire to consume more alcohol or to drink more frequently to achieve the same results. A person who is physically dependent on alcohol will usually manifest withdrawal symptoms if they attempt to stop consuming it.
Signs of Alcoholism
As with any other serious condition, it is important to be able to recognize the signs of alcoholism to know when to seek help. While alcoholism can affect individuals in different ways, the following list covers some of the most common signs of alcoholism.
Secretive behavior regarding drinking
Individuals struggling with alcoholism will often drink in private or attempt to hide behaviors surrounding their drinking habits. They may hide empty liquor bottles, store alcohol in hidden containers, or attempt only to drink when they feel no one is watching them. In some cases, alcoholism can continue in secret for a long time due to these well-hidden behaviors.
Tolerance to the effects of alcohol
As stated above, developing a tolerance to the effects of alcohol is a clear sign of addiction. As a person continues to drink excessive amounts of alcohol, their body becomes used to its side effects. This means that the next time they want to experience those same effects, they will need to progressively consume more alcohol.
Loss of interest in hobbies or previously enjoyed activities
In many cases, those suffering from alcoholism may become reclusive or stop expressing a desire to participate in activities they previously enjoyed. These activities could include family gatherings, hobbies, or sports that were once considered enjoyable.
Depression or anxiety
Depression and anxiety are extremely common among those suffering from alcoholism. These conditions can be caused both by the alcohol itself as well as the stress associated with keeping the behavior hidden from others.
Irritability or appearing unwell
Irritability is a common withdrawal symptom and may be experienced by those who are addicted to alcohol in a physical sense. Weight loss, signs of malnutrition, and a general sense of being unwell often accompany alcoholism as well.
Common Treatment Options
Treating alcoholism professionally is the most important step toward a full recovery and a happy, fulfilling life. The list below covers five of the most common treatment options used to combat alcoholism.
Detoxification is often the first step toward complete recovery from alcoholism. While the detoxification process can be very unpleasant, it is necessary to completely stop all alcohol consumption for a full recovery to occur. Detox is often performed in an in-patient medical setting where professionals can assist with unpleasant physical withdrawals symptoms as they occur.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of counseling performed by a mental health professional, coach, or counselor. CBT can help the individual suffering from alcoholism to change dangerous thought processes that enable him to continue his self-damaging behavior.
In many cases, prescription medications are also used as part of the treatment process for alcoholism. Medications such as these can work by reducing the desire to drink, causing the individual to feel sick after drinking, or lessening the effects that are experienced by consuming alcohol.
Contingency Management Interventions
Contingency management interventions are designed to help a recovering alcoholic continue to experience success once he or she has completed the treatment process. These interventions can include continued follow-up, helping the individual create a new routine separate from previous triggers that encourage drinking, and providing access to resources for continued support.
Strength is often found in numbers. Attending support meetings full of other individuals who have also overcome alcoholism can be a continual source of encouragement, strength, and wisdom.
Top Rehabilitation Facilities
Inpatient rehab facilities are the ideal option for the treatment of alcoholism. However, finding the best treatment facility can seem overwhelming. Below are three of the best rehabilitation facilities and the treatment options offered by each.
Addiction Solutions of South Florida
Addiction Solutions of South Florida is a well-known treatment center offering quality rehabilitation programs in a beautiful and serene setting designed to encourage healing. One-on-one counseling, group therapy, detoxification, and continued follow-up are all part of the recovery process at Addiction Solutions. Most importantly, the qualified and caring staff can offer real-life solutions to the problems faced by those suffering from alcoholism, making this facility one of the top-rated in the country.
Sober College of California is a facility that places primary focus on treating alcoholism in young adults. Sober College provides everything needed for a complete recovery, including detoxification, therapeutic interventions, and extended care follow-up treatment options. Additionally, each person who undergoes treatment here can earn up to fifteen college credit hours to apply towards a degree. This certainly makes the treatment process time well spent in this facility.
Indiana Center for Recovery
The Indiana Center for Recovery is one of the most luxurious rehabilitation centers in America. This facility focuses on a five-domain approach to recovery for each client. These five domains include physical fitness, mental soundness of mind, emotional maturity, social responsibility, and spiritual resilience. Each of the domains provides access to qualified professionals designed to help support, encourage, and motivate clients through every step of the healing process.
While costs of these programs can vary widely across the country, it is important to note that alcoholism treatment is usually covered by insurance. All the facilities mentioned above accept a wide variety of insurance carriers to make the treatment process that much easier and more affordable.
Untreated alcoholism can lead to serious health conditions, relationship struggles, job loss, and financial strain. Facing alcoholism alone can be a heavy burden. Thankfully, professional help for alcoholism is widely available for those who seek treatment. There are many drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities around the country that are ready to assist those suffering from alcoholism. With their guidance, complete recovery is possible for those who want to break free from addiction to alcohol.