Alcoholism is a serious, often life threatening, disease that affects all socio-demographics. If left untreated, it can cause serious damage to you and those around you.
NIDA classifies alcoholism as a chronic, relapsing disease where long term recovery is achievable only in best case scenarios. They also state the following that there is no cure. What an addict can hope to achieve, after months of rehab and work, is what professionals have dubbed: “sustained recovery.”
Do I Need Alcohol Detox?
Unlike other diseases, alcoholism is a difficult illness to diagnose. Unlike opiates, alcohol isn’t a socially frowned upon substance. Drinking is part of society and often an integral part of your relationships.
A beer here, a cocktail there, or a couple of shots on the weekend doesn’t necessarily indicate alcoholism. Nonetheless, for some there is a tipping point in which they lose control of the habit and it takes control of their lives.
There are several warning signs, easily spotted and identified, that help identify alcoholism.
15 Signs That You Might Need Help
- You have problems at school or work because of your drinking. You are often late, act in a belligerent manner, don’t go at all, disrespect others, or lash out.
- You drink in risky situations. Despite warnings to the contrary, you drink before performing tasks that might end up harming you. Tasks like driving, skiing, sports, boat racing, and others are often preceded by drinking.
- You experience blackouts (you can’t remember what happened while you were drinking).
- You have legal problems because of your drinking.
- You get hurt or hurt someone else while intoxicated.
- You continue drinking despite the fact that you’ve been diagnosed with alcohol related health issues.
- Your friends or family members are constantly worried about your alcohol abuse.
- You cannot control the amount of alcohol you drink.
- You need to drink more to obtain the same effect as before. This means your body, dependent on alcohol, has become accustomed to its effects. You’ve developed a tolerance to alcohol and need greater doses just to get buzzed.
- You feel guilty or ashamed because of your drinking.
- You suffer from withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking.
- You have given up other activities so you can drink.
- You are often drunk for long periods of time.
- You drink at odd hours, such as in the morning after you wake up.
- You show physical signs of alcohol dependence (weight loss, sores, upset stomach, redness in nose and cheeks).
The Therapy Quiz
Thanks to technological advances, and the globalization of certain baseline techniques and norms, there are a number of online tools to determine if you are in the grips of alcohol abuse and quite possibly an addict.
One of the best tools out there to determine whether or not you need help is the National Council On Alcoholism and Drug Dependence self test.
The results of the self-test are not intended to constitute an assured diagnosis for alcoholism. It is only a guide to help you better understand the potential health issues you might be facing.
It’s difficult to self-diagnose addiction. As such it is important to listen to those that love you. Understand their objectives and perspective is a helpful way of comprehending whether or not you need help.
If you’re in doubt, simply ask someone close to you for their perception.
Benefits of Rehab
Why go to rehab? Why not simply fight it out on your own?
There are a number of benefits for choosing a professional treatment program over attempting an in-home detox. In both the long and short run, a professional program will not only stabilize you, but help you stay sober with the right type of follow up and out patient care.
After you stop drinking, particularly after your body has accustomed itself to an alcohol heavy diet, you will experience acute withdrawal symptoms. In certain extreme cases, serious and life-threatening symptoms can develop. Having a medical staff at hand to help you manage these issue is a key factor on your road to recovery.
One of the biggest concerns, after recovery, is the fact that relapse is only one drink away. Clinics like to keep tabs on their old patients and help them out with follow up care to prevent them from falling off the wagon. Aftercare is essential.
The fight against alcoholism take places in both the body and mind. In order to succeed and discover a true path towards recovery, every patient must first understand the underlying issues prompted them towards the in the first place. They have to discover, understand and hopefully minimize their triggers.
Peer Support: You are not alone. In a professional clinic, you’ll meet residents, some who have been through worse rough patches then you, willing to lend out a hand. You’ll lean on them, learn from them and ultimately develop friendships that will be critical throughout the rest of your life.
What to Do If You’re Struggling With Alcohol Addiction
If you’ve decided to get help, then congratulations, the hardest step is has been taken. You have a lot work to do, but that hurdle is out of the way. You are no longer alone – there are professionals that can help.
You need to find the right treatment.
One of the most important stages is detox. You must first take care of the physical problems associated with alcoholism, and the many trials the await a person who wants to quit, before venturing into any sort of rehab program.
Once you’ve determined the proper detox plan, you can also begin rehab and eventually maintain your state of recovery.
Ideally, you’ll be able to create a plan that involves both detox and rehab in the same location.
The road ahead may be challenging, but with support and the help of professionals, you can do it.