Alcoholism is a common condition. In the US, 17.6 million adults have identified alcohol dependence issues. Several million more engage in risky alcohol consumption, which could manifest into addiction. Between 2010 and 2012, alcoholism was a contributing factor in 30 percent of those who died from alcohol poisoning.
Identifying alcoholism can be tricky. Some people drink in excess for one night, and never think about touching alcohol again. Others find that the desire to drink becomes uncontrollable and intoxication quickly becomes a way of life. When it comes to alcoholism, it’s not just quantity or frequency of alcohol consumption, but the impact it has on your life.
Susceptibility Of Alcoholism
Genetic predisposition can play a big role in the development of alcoholism. Over 50 percent of adults are predisposed due to family ties to alcohol dependence. Socioeconomic, psychological, and the use of other substances can also increase the chances that alcoholism will develop. Studies have concluded that:
- 75 percent of alcohol poisoning deaths involve adults between the ages of 35 and 64.
- The majority if alcohol deaths are among male Caucasians.
- American Indians and Alaskan natives have the highest concentration of alcohol poisoning deaths per million.
- Starting to drink earlier in life can greatly influence your relationship with alcohol later on.
Excessive drinking increases the likelihood of developing some form of dependency. Excessive drinking is defined by binging, heavy drinking, or any alcohol consumption by pregnant women or people who are underage. Binge drinking is defined as consuming 4 or more drinks for women, or 5 or more drinks for men, during a single occasion. Heavy drinking is defined as consuming 8 or more drinks per week for women, or 15 for men.
Identifying a predisposition to alcoholism can work in your favor, as you are able to be more mindful of your relationship with alcohol. If you find yourself questioning whether or not you are an alcoholic, there may be some issues that need to be addressed. Alcoholism is best identified when you consider the place that alcohol has in your life. Many people are unaware of the impact of alcoholism until something catastrophic happens. Knowing the symptoms can help prevent such occurrences. Some symptoms of alcoholism include:
- Legal, relationship, or work troubles due to alcohol use
- Inability to control consumption once you’ve started drinking
- Spending a lot of time drinking and recovering from the effects of alcohol
- Drinking at inappropriate or dangerous times, like while driving a car
- Blacking out without memory of your time under the influence
- Hurting yourself or others while under the influence
- Continuing to drink despite damage to health, or warnings from a physician
- Concern from loved ones that your drinking has gotten out of hand
- Making excuses for excessive drinking, or you hide it altogether
- Drinking alone, or first thing in the morning
- Being concerned with alcohol supply, and feel anxiety when alcohol can’t be obtained
- Feeling guilty for your drinking, but continue to drink
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you are not under the influence – Fever, chills, gastrointestinal discomfort, clamminess, agitation, depression, and anxiety.
There is a big difference between looking forward to having a beer after work and fixating on the beer until you get home. If you rely on alcohol for fun or function, this could be a red flag for you. If you feel that you spend too much time with, or recovering from, the effects of alcohol, it may be time to seek help. Addressing these issues swiftly can prevent more unfortunate circumstance and aid in regaining control of your health.
Help For Alcoholism
Alcoholism affects the lives of millions of people every day. While it is not easy, many of these people require some form of treatment to get better. Identifying the warning signs of alcoholism in oneself is the first step in finding a solution to the problem. If you believe that you are an alcoholic, you may wish to pursue treatment. There are many options for finding sobriety, including inpatient or outpatient rehab, AA, and one-on-one therapy. These methods of treatment have help many people regain control in their lives, and can help you, as well.
We Can Help
If you believe that you are addicted to alcohol, you may wonder where to go from here. The caring staff at AlcoholTreatment.net is here to help. We can guide you through the treatment process and help find resources for maintaining sobriety. Contact us today.
The holidays are a time for friends and family to come together. It’s a time of parties, packed shopping malls, and making memories for years to come. But, the holidays can also be a tempting time of year for people trying to recover from alcohol addiction.
This time of the year often overwhelms people and you or someone you know may need help staying sober or recovering from a holiday relapse. Seek that help through therapy and medication, as they are two of the most powerful ways to overcome an alcohol addiction and regain a sober lifestyle.
There are many different types of therapy options and medications available to help you recover from addiction. Treatment is not a one-size fits all approach. However, inpatient therapy has proven to be one of the most successful forms of treatment options.
Inpatient therapy requires an individual to stay between 30-90 days at a facility, depending on the severity of the addiction and its impact on their health. Inpatient facilities remove patients from the daily distractions of life and offer 24-hour care.
Many facilities even offer group or individual counseling sessions to treat co-occurring disorders, such as bipolar disorder or depression. Statistically, individuals that stay for 30 days or longer at an inpatient facility nearly double their success rates and are less likely to relapse.
Typically, outpatient therapy programs are best suited for patients as an aftercare option, after they have attended an inpatient rehab. Outpatient facilities generally require patients to meet a few hours a day, a few days a week. You can also take advantage of individual or group therapy sessions while in outpatient treatment. Outpatient therapy is a great way to help individuals connect with others who are also on the recovery journey and allows them to stay on track with their progress and sobriety. Should an individual get tempted or have a setback, outpatient programs can help individuals get back on track and can provide a great support system.
Treating Alcohol Addiction With Medication
There are many alcohol addiction medications from which you can choose. Keep in mind that medications are meant to be administered alongside inpatient or outpatient treatment. Medication should not be the only source of treatment for individuals because it is only addressing the physical aspect the problem. Addictions affect individuals physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually, which is professional therapy and inpatient or outpatient treatment must also be utilized.
The following are some of the most popular and effective medicines utilized in treating alcohol addiction:
- Antabuse: Approved over 50 years ago to treat alcohol addiction, this drug works by interfering with the body’s natural ability to absorb alcohol and causes unpleasant side effects when alcohol is consumed, including: palpitations, nausea, and even flushing. However, it doesn’t curb and you can still feel alcohol’s pleasurable effects until the medication kicks in.
- Naltrexone: This drug curbs cravings and minimizes the pleasure associated with alcohol by blocking receptor sites in the brain that receive endorphins. It can be taken once a day in pill form or injected once a month.
- Campral: Campral is taken three times a day orally and reduces withdrawal symptoms. It reduces anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and even unwanted mood changes that typically may cause a relapse..
- Topamax: Topamax has been approved by the FDA to treat seizures,but not alcohol addiction. However, it mirrors the drug Campral because it can reduce symptoms of long-term alcohol abstinence.
Battling an alcohol addiction can be a challenge not only for the individual but for friends and family who are watching their loved one struggle as well. Start your journey today and seek help now. Contact us today at AlcoholTreatment.net to speak to our caring counselors. They will help you address your concerns and find the right therapy center for your needs.
You’ve decided to stop drinking alcohol. Maybe you have attempted to stop before but have been unsuccessful, or perhaps this is your first decision to stop. The very first step to quit drinking alcohol is to seek professional help.
You might think that you can stop drinking alcohol on your own without professional help, but alcohol addiction is a mental illness. Alcohol changes the way our brain functions and this is why professional help is needed.
There may be many reasons why you are choosing to stop drinking alcohol. One reason could be weight gain. Alcoholic beverages contain many “empty” calories and deciding to stop drinking alcohol can help you shed pounds and live a healthier lifestyle. Or perhaps you have realized that your drinking behaviors are harmful to yourself or others and you need to gain your life back.
Other reasons you may have chosen to stop drinking alcohol include: desire to lead a healthy and sober lifestyle, religious reasons, taking other medications that require you to stop drinking, and many others.
Whatever personal motivation you choose to stop drinking, let it guide you to seek the help you need. And it’s okay if you don’t have a personal motivation. Sometimes, you may be in denial that there is a problem while others around you are asking you to stop your drinking behaviors. The best thing you can do in this situation is to be evaluated professionally by a psychologist, doctor, etc. They can help evaluate your drinking behaviors and patterns. They can then guide you in the next course of action.
What Not To Do
Never stop drinking “cold turkey”, but seek professional help immediately. Your friend might have tried to stop cold turkey and was successful. Your uncle may have stopped drinking cold turkey and never drank again. But your situation is unique from everyone else. And stopping cold turkey on your own without professional help is a huge risk to your health and safety.
If you stop drinking immediately (without professional monitoring) you will experience withdrawal symptoms. Severe withdrawal symptoms include: tremors, headache, irritability, confusion, nausea/vomiting, fatigue, fever, hallucinations, seizures, or other complications that can lead to death.
When you attend a rehab facility, you still may experience withdrawal symptoms but you will be under the care and supervision of medical professionals. They will be there to help you through the detox process and can monitor your progress in a safe and caring environment.
How can you stop drinking alcohol? Here are some quick tips to help you along your journey:
1. Attend Rehab
By choosing to attend a rehab facility, you are putting yourself first. We tend to put many things before ourselves: jobs, family, school, and other activities. When you put yourself first and focus on getting better, many other aspects of your life will fall into place. The CDC recommends attending a 90-day inpatient rehab as it doubles your rates of success. Seeking professional help is the best and most effective way to stop drinking.
2. Have Accountability
Before and after rehab, make your intentions known to family and friends. Let those around you know that you are quitting drinking alcohol. Establishing your intentions can help build accountability between you and your friends and family.
3. Avoid Temptations
You will encounter many situations that involve alcohol (your buddy wants you to grab a few drinks at the bar to watch the game, your family invited you to a holiday party that involves alcohol, or your friends want to take you out for a drink after work). While avoiding alcohol in every situation is unrealistic, you may want to consider avoiding temptations to increase your chances of maintaining sobriety. Try to pick other alternative activities that do not involve alcohol. You may even need to avoid or distance yourself from friends or family who influence you negatively.
4. Identify Your Triggers
If you have tried to stop drinking in the past but have been unsuccessful, try to identify your triggers. Did you attend an event involving alcohol and give in? Did you forget to mention to your partner or loved ones that you have decided to stop drinking? Was alcohol still prevalent in your home? Did your friends or significant other encourage or pressure you to keep drinking? Did you feel guilty if you weren’t drinking with friends? Try to identify your triggers and what derailed your progress the last time and try not to make those mistakes again.
5. Be Kind To Yourself
Sobriety is a journey and it’s the steps forward we take day by day that make us stronger. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up after rehab or have a few setbacks. Recognize that no one is perfect and that sobriety is a journey. Surrounding yourself with others that support your sober lifestyle is a great way to stay on track. Attending outpatient programs that can keep you strong during your sobriety journey are great aftercare options. Be kind to yourself and take life one day at a time.
If you are struggling from an alcohol addiction, now is the time to seek help. Our caring and compassionate staff will answer any questions you may have. We are here for you. Contact us today.
Living with a spouse who excessive drinks too often is a difficult problem, and if they suffer from an addiction to alcohol, it’s even worse. Not only will their behavior change, but their physical appearance and their overall health can severely deteriorate. That’s why it’s important to understand how to get your loved one to quit drinking. This process takes a carefully measured and monitored approach.
Knowing When Your Spouse Has A Problem
If you’re concerned about your spouse’s drinking, it’s important to gauge if they truly suffer from an addiction to alcohol or if they are a binge drinker. There is a fine line between binge drinking five beers on a Friday and drinking 3-4 beer every night. For example, people who truly suffer from an alcohol problem often show severe withdrawal symptoms whenever they stop drinking.
Feelings of nausea, headaches, paranoia, confusion, and even delirium tremens can and will occur in a person who suffers from true alcohol addiction and force them to continue drinking. A binge drinker may be sober six days in a week without any kind of physical withdrawal symptoms.
Other signs that your loved one may suffer from an addiction to alcohol include:
- Neglecting personal responsibilities to drink
- An increasing number of fights between you
- Using drinking as a form of relaxation or stress relief
- Legal problems associated with drinking
- Refusal to quit, even when it’s clear there is a problem
If your spouse is a binge drinker, you should still try to get them to stop drinking. Binge drinking can be physically and emotionally dangerous, especially if it leads to fights between the two of you. It can also lead to your spouse developing a real addiction to alcohol.
Alcohol Is Not Just A Problem With Men
When people think of a “drinking spouse,” they probably most often think of a husband. While studies have shown that men do suffer from alcoholism at a higher rate than women, that doesn’t mean women don’t. In fact, a wife suffering from alcohol addiction can be just as problematic and dangerous to a relationship.
And studies have backed up the fact that excessive alcohol consumption rarely does marriages any favors. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has stated that dual alcohol addiction had led to a variety of marriage problems, including:
- Difficulty communicating
- Severe violence
- Problems with financial stability
- Separation and divorce
These problems, whether you’re a husband or a wife, can tear your marriage in two. That’s why you need to find a way to help your spouse quit drinking and to steer them in the direction towards lifelong sobriety.
Breaking Down Addiction Triggers
Before talking to your spouse about their problem, it’s important to understand their drinking triggers. Everyone who suffers from addiction has activities, situations, or people that trigger their problematic behavior and your spouse is no different.
Maybe they drink after you guys have a fight or whenever you go out to eat as a couple. Perhaps a visit from their favorite cousin (a lifelong drinking buddy) pushes them into excessive bouts of drinking. Whatever the trigger, identifying them can help you work together to eliminate their negative influence.
Follow this process to identify your spouse’s drinking triggers:
- Pay attention to when they drink
- Write down instances that cause them to drink more
- Rate their triggers by severity
- Brainstorm ways to lessen or eliminate these influences from their life
Discussing Addiction Consequences
Sit down with your spouse and discuss the consequences of their drinking. This shouldn’t be a personal attack or a threat. Behaving in a negative or aggressive way will only cause further problems. Instead you need to calmly explain the problems associated with their drinking. Specific examples may include:
- Loss of friends
- Stalled career
- Disassociation with family (especially children)
- Marriage problems you’ve suffered
- Financial or legal problems caused by drinking
During this discussion, you’re going to have a lot of accusations thrown at you. They may even try to blame their addiction on some of your past behaviors or actions. Don’t get defensive, but instead, apologize for any legitimate problems you may have caused. This will encourage them to reconcile and admit they have a problem.
An honest, loving, and caring approach to discussing these consequences (and dealing with past issues in a constructive way) can help you and your partner move forward towards designing an addiction recovery plan.
Design A Recovery Plan
Once your spouse is ready to move forward in recovery, the two of you can work together to create a sobriety plan. This plan will recognize their drinking triggers, work to eliminate their occurrence, and create a plan that promotes emotional and physical sobriety.
Start by eliminating any of the physical triggers that may cause your spouse to drink. These acts may include no longer visiting certain friends or taking new routes around past drinking spots. Next, you need to work on eliminating emotional cues, such as fights between you or looking to drinking as a “relaxing” habit.
Implementing a plan that addresses these concerns should be more than enough to help your spouse quit drinking. However, you also need to create a relapse plan in case of an emergency.
Getting Help If You Need It
Attending rehab is a relapse plan that has been proven to be effective. Rehabs with programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, cognitive-behavior therapy, detoxification procedures, and even holistic alternative therapies are often effective. If your spouse is trying to quit drinking and needs help or has relapsed after a period of sobriety, please contact us at AlcoholTreatment.net.
Many people own a smartphone today or know of someone who does. Another tool that can help you or a loved one recover from an alcohol addiction is through apps on your smartphone. These alcohol recovery apps can help recovering individuals by tracking their sobriety, connecting them with meetings, contacting a sponsor, monitoring emotions and triggers, and more. While recovery apps are never meant to be used in place of treatment (or be the sole method of recovery), you might find that they can assist you on your journey and keep you on track.
Most of us use cell phones every day, so adding an alcohol recovery app and using it can help you continue along a good path. Many of us have our phones in our hands or at the ready throughout our day, so just looking at an alcohol recovery app on your phone could help remind you to stay on track. Some apps even offer to send inspirational quotes or messages daily to your phone. So, if you are interested in trying an app or two, you may wonder, what are the 10 best apps for alcohol addiction recovery?
12 Steps AA Companion App
This app is for iPad tablets, iPhone, iPod touch, and Android. It has a sobriety calculator that tracks the number of years, months, days, and hours you have been sober. If you are looking for an original app that has been used by members of Alcoholics Anonymous, then this is the app for you. It also features a Big Book reader (the Big Book is the writings that are the basis of AA), a search tool, the ability to add notes and copy text, an AA contact database, and more. You can purchase the 12 Steps AA Companion app for $2.99 in the Apple app store and $1.99 in the Android app store.
AA Big Book And More App
Pre-ordered Pre-oIf paying for an app is not your thing, you should check out the AA Big Book and More app. It is called the “AA Big Book and More” in the Apple store, and is simply called “AA Big Book Free” or “Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous” in the Android store. Both apps are free and contain the Big Book text, sobriety calculator, and also will deliver a daily motivational message to your phone.
AA Speakers To Go App
The AA Speakers to Go app is found on Apple products (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) and Android devices. If you are busy and don’t have time to read, this is the perfect app for you. This app comes with over 400 speaker tapes dating from the 1930s to the present, a Big Book study that was recorded in Nashville, and more. You will hear stories just like in an AA meeting. Whether you are on the road or just want to listen (and not read), this app could be right for you. It’s free in the Android store, and only $4.99 in the Apple store.
Today’s Step: Recovery App
The Today’s Step: Recovery app does not have a sobriety tracker like some other apps. However, if you love to receive daily inspirational quotes and messages along with video exercises to help you maintain sobriety, this is the app for you. It’s a great app that can give you the reminder you need to keep you on track. It has stories from people who are also in recovery, and also offers meditation assistance. This app is available for $2.99 for both Apple and Android products.
I Am Sober App
The I Am Sober app does not offer a Big Book study guide, so this app is best used along with an app that does offer the Big Book. However, this app’s simple yet easily navigable design and clean interface is appealing to users. It’s an easy way to track your sobriety and marks milestones on your sobriety journey. The I Am Sober app can be purchased for $1.99 at both the Apple and Android stores.
RecoveryBox Addiction Recovery Toolbox App
While not available for Android, the RecoveryBox Addiction Recovery Toolbox app might be a good option for those with Apple products. This app not only allows you track your sobriety, but it also allows you to track your triggers and activities to monitor your sobriety. It’s $1.99 in the Apple app store.
Twenty-Four Hours A Day App
The Twenty-Four Hours a Day app is offered for both Apple and Android users. If you have been to a 12-step program (or the like to utilize meditation on your road to recovery), this app could be the perfect fit for you. With this app, you will receive daily meditations (from the best-selling meditation book) on your road to recovery. You can share messages with your friends via sync to email, bookmark your favorite meditations, search meditations by keyword, get a reminder notification each day to read your daily message, shake your phone to get a random inspirational message, customize the font size, and more. The price is $4.99 for both Apple and Android products, but with so many features, it’s definitely worth the price. Android and Apple users give the app 5 stars.
Joe And Charlie Big Book Study App
Joe and Charlie Big Book Study can be found on the Android store. If you are an Apple user, look up the app under the name, “Joe and Charlie.” This app also allows you to track your sobriety and gives you access to recorded tracks of Joe and Charlie (members of AA) speaking about recovery. These tracks were recorded in 1988 after Joe and Charlie were sober for 20 years. Joe and Charlie are witty in these tracks, but they also have a serious side. It also offers text of the Big Book, the serenity prayer, a sobriety calculator, the AA Preamble, and many more things to help your sobriety journey. The app free and ready to install on your Android device right now, and just $2.99 in the Apple app store.
Sober Grid App
All of the apps so far have been some of the best apps out there to help with your alcohol addiction, but Sober Grid is something that’s different and unique. It’s also a FREE app for both Android and Apple devices that helps you stay sober anywhere in the world. It’s a sober social networking app that allows you to connect with a global sober community. You can make new friends or connect with current friends to help you stay sober. You can share content on the news-feed and have private chats with other sober individuals. It also gives you the access to seek help from the sober community. And, you have the option to stay completely anonymous or to provide as many details (or as few) as you want about yourself. This is an exciting app, so check it out and install it on your device today!
Apps And Your Recovery
There are hundreds of apps that can help you on your road to alcohol addiction recovery. Hopefully this list gives you an idea of the many top-rated apps out there. Check out the apps above (or others) to find out more information and to read app reviews. Finding an app to help you with recovery is a great tool to use in maintaining sobriety. Whether you find one or ten recovery apps that you like, it’s definitely worth a try! Contact us at AlcoholTreatment.net today for more information or for help getting into a recovery plan that is best for your needs.
When entering a rehabilitation facility for alcohol addiction, you will find that many aspects of the initial phase of recovery are beneficial to your overall success. Relieving yourself of addiction is never easy, but when you check into a facility, or even before you are set to go, getting detoxified and ridding your body of the alcohol you’ve come to rely on is extremely useful and can make your comfort level much higher when you begin the next phase of recovery.
Detoxification or detox, refers to the process of removing toxins that your body naturally undergoes during various medical circumstances. Drugs and alcohol are identified by the body as toxins which it naturally desires to reject. Medical detoxification addresses the detox and withdrawal process as something that can very easily be dangerous and must be monitored and aided by medical professionals.
Though medical detoxification isn’t always necessary, an addiction to alcohol is extremely dangerous in terms of withdrawal and should be monitored by a medical professional. Your body’s reliance on alcohol makes for some dangerous factors as you come off of the substance and your body begins to heal. Detox in a medical setting may not fit everyone’s preferences, but it can make the difference between healthy recovery and life-threatening sickness.
Symptoms Of Withdrawal
When you get to the point of needing to enter a recovery center or an alternative treatment plan, your body will begin to withdrawal from alcohol as you part from the substance and commit yourself to recovery. During this time, you will, without a doubt, naturally withdrawal from alcohol with symptoms that can be anywhere from mild to severely dangerous.
Common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
- Rapid heart rate
The more dangerous symptoms associated with withdrawal occur when your body cannot smoothly transition from having alcohol within its system to being rid of it. In these instances, one addicted to alcohol may experience a form of shock, which triggers other symptoms and can quickly cause heart failure or neurological problems.
More intense symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
- Delirium tremens
- Heart failure
- Drastic blood pressure changes
- Irregular heartbeat
While not everyone will experience the more extreme and dangerous symptoms of withdrawal, as everyone’s body is different and will react differently depending on the status of their addiction, everyone will, to some degree, have symptoms that cause discomfort. Your level of discomfort can increase when you are withdrawing from your addiction on your own. Being unable to gauge whether or not your body will suffer extremes, you may not be ready to go it alone.
Medical Detox Can Help
Instead of facing the risks of self-detox, enter into a facility where you will be assisted and eased off of alcohol. Medical detox caters to every level of alcohol addiction and can be found in many traditional rehabilitation facilities, as well as within holistic and alternative programs.
During medical detox, doctors, nurses, and even holistic healers facilitate your detoxification process using a variety of well-established, safe methods. Aiding you in successful detox, they will address common concerns, such as dehydration and heart rate. Your comfort is put first in these instances, and you are under constant supervision, lest your symptoms prove to be life-threatening.
Medical detox most commonly involves the administration of a similar–yet not illicit–substance on which a patient is dependent. Allowing for small doses to be tapered off over a set duration of time, the addicted individual will be eased, rather than rushed, into withdrawal. While coming off of alcohol, medicines are usually used to calm nerves, settle the body, keep sickness and nausea at bay, and to assist with any potential episodes of mental or emotional unrest.
At times, someone fearful of or known to be at risk of dangerous withdrawal side effects may be put under general anesthesia for their medical detox phase. This allows for illness-free and quick detox that can be monitored with heart rate and breathing equipment. A hospital-like setting is preferable for this style of medical detox, and when complete, the patient awakens to little or no withdrawal symptoms.
To Detox Or Not To Detox
Your recovery from addiction is dependent on your discontinuance of alcohol use. With that in mind, whether you opt for medical detox or not, sobering your body necessitates detoxification in one setting or another. Your body’s natural defenses and urge to heal itself will inevitably kick in when you enter rehab and are without alcohol.
Know that in entering a rehabilitation facility, you will not always have an easy and comforting detoxification phase before treatment begins. Your level of comfort should be kept in mind as you decide on the style of addiction treatment you need and what your selected program entails. Programs with an initial phase of medical detox are highly recommended for those who suffer alcohol addiction, whether treatment is in an outpatient or an inpatient setting.
It isn’t always easy to know what we need when we’re affected by something as heavy as alcohol addiction. The role addiction plays in changing our minds and making us behave against our better judgements can make for difficulties in deciding when and if to medically detox. Entering treatment is a big and wonderful decision for those of us who are within the everlasting grip of addiction. Getting help with decision-making can lend to the recovery process taking off much smoother as our loved ones are usually better able to assess our levels of addiction.
What we want isn’t always what we need and while we may not want to detox alongside doctors or in a hospital, receiving help for something this serious should be viewed as a need. Trust that loved ones will be recommending what is best in terms of comfort, safety, and success. Medical detox, specifically, may not be everyone’s need, but rehabilitation IS.
Get Help For Your Addiction
Beware of the dangers of withdrawal and why they are more prominent when you attempt to come off of alcohol on your own. Getting assistance can help relieve you of the symptoms that intensify your discomfort or cause serious risk to your overall being. Your safety is number one, which is why recovery is so important.
For help getting into a medical detox program or for assistance with any aspect of your addiction, contact us today at AlcoholTreatment.net. We are here to ease your mind and get you the care you deserve. Reach out to us today.
The Mind Is A Powerful Thing
Our thoughts can largely influence our behaviors and outlooks on life. Thinking the same things repetitiously can have a huge impact on our lives. It also influences how we view ourselves and the world. Sometimes we are not even aware of the things we tell ourselves mentally that can prevent progress if you are seeking treatment. Being aware of our thoughts and what some psychologists refer to as “self-talk” (what we say to ourselves or think about) is a step to better health.
Mindfulness Therapy For Addiction Treatment
And mindfulness therapy is just that: being aware of your thoughts, behaviors, and feelings but not labeling them as either “good” or “bad.” The thoughts just exist and this helps desensitize individuals from overreacting to certain thoughts. Mindfulness is focusing on our thoughts at that specific moment in time without ruminating about the present or the past. Mindfulness therapy teaches to accept the thoughts as they come and has been scientifically proven to increase our quality of life. In fact, Mindfulness Cognitive Based Therapy or MCBT helps those with depression, unhappy individuals, and can even help those with alcohol or drug addictions.
For those struggling with alcohol addiction or those seeking recovery, mindfulness based therapy is another tool one can use on the road to recovery. While this technique may not work for everyone, scientists and psychologists are happy to welcome new ways at combating addictions. Mindfulness, as mentioned earlier, can help us become more aware of our thoughts and gives us the power to know what our thoughts and feelings are telling us. In a way, it makes the person in control of their thoughts instead of their thoughts controlling them. Mindfulness therapy is living life in that moment. If you practice mindfulness (which is also linked to meditation), you will feel less stress, anxiety, and it also helps teach self-acceptance.
Cravings can be a huge problem for individuals who have drug or alcohol addictions. Using mindfulness can help the individual overcome their cravings. This is because mindfulness increases the plasticity in our brains and helps us figure out better ways to deal with addictions.
Mindfulness Therapy Techniques
Let’s take a look at a few of the different mindfulness therapy techniques. These are good techniques that anyone can use to help them shake off bad habits and be more mindful of their present states.
- Take A Walk. In mindfulness therapy, simply taking a walk may help an individual’s mind from focusing on their cravings. Mindfulness teaches us to be aware of each step you take, or count your steps. Focus on the weather, listen to the birds, or watch the sunset and your general mood will increase and you will distract yourself from your cravings. A change in scenery can break the habit and help you live in the moment.
- Reject Routine. Instead of eating your dinner first, eat your dessert first. Or if you walk the dog every day and then drink coffee, try mixing things up a bit and drink your coffee and then walk the dog. Or walk your dog and drink your coffee at the same time (if you are up for a real challenge!). Anything you do as a routine, shake it up. It could even be little things like brushing your teeth with your left hand (if you are right hand dominant). Get rid of the routine and do new things.
- Focus On Your Breathing. Not everyone can grab a yoga mat and do thirty minutes of yoga every day but everyone can practice just a few minutes of breathing. Try focusing on one deep breath. Take a break and think about how many breaths you take in a minute. Sit in silence and breathe for five minutes. Just relax.
- Unwind And Be In tuned To Yourself. Listen to music or watch a movie and write down your thoughts and feelings. Be really connected to why you feel and think those things.
Put Your Mind At Ease – Contact Us For Help
There are many other ways you can use mindfulness therapy to help with alcohol addiction. Contact us at Alcoholtreatment.net to learn more. And remember: mindfulness therapy reminds us to live in the moment. So make the moment count, contact us now.
When a person is in a marriage or partnered relationship with someone addicted to alcohol, it’s not just the person dependent on alcohol who suffers, the partner is also directly affected, as they have to deal with everything from emotional distress to financial worries. It often falls to the sober partner to “pick up the pieces” and maintain. The stress this puts on them is very real and they are just as deserving of help as the person who struggles with drinking.
The partner of a person who drinks is often in the sad position of being in conflict or distress with the very person who might ordinarily be their closest confidant. The person they would normally go to for support, advice or comfort is the source of the problem itself. This can leave them feeling very alone and without anywhere to turn.
Family And Friends Aren’t Always The Solution
Sometimes friends or family don’t grasp what the husband, wife, or partner of the dependent are dealing with. Often when one hasn’t had their own experience with someone struggling with alcohol addiction, they can’t fully empathize with someone who is going through the stress of being in such a relationship. This isn’t always true, but it is in many cases, particularly if the person who is dealing with the issue has a sparse circle of friends or family to go to.
It can be frustrating to try to seek solace from someone who leaves you feeling: They just don’t understand. Or someone who can’t see past their own anger at the situation. Their advice often boils down to just leave them and the relationship. This can be aggravating when have your own, informed reasons for not believing that that’s the right course of action. They may mean well, they love and care for you and just don’t want to see you hurting; but their dismissive viewpoint can actually add to your distress.
Barriers To Obtaining Help
Organizations and groups exist to help the spouse/partner of a person dependent on alcohol, but sometimes circumstances such as lack of transportation, a physical disability, or psychological condition such as agoraphobia could preclude a person seeking help outside of the home. Maybe one lives in a sparsely populated or isolated area where no such groups exist. They might be afraid of potential stigma attached to being open about marital problems. They may just be too shy to open up to someone publicly. Perhaps the spouse/partner has ideological disagreements with an available organization’s methods. In any case, sometimes support just isn’t easily at hand in everyone’s community.
Whether you just need someone to talk to, or need actual assistance of some sort, the internet can be a great alternative to traditional walk-in-the-door methods of getting help.
Talking It Out With Peers
Sometimes all you’re looking for is a way to vent your feelings, to talk about your situation instead of bottling it up. Talking to others who have been there or are going through the same things can be very supportive. There is a wealth of message boards, forums, chat rooms, and discussion groups you can find with a simple search. Often on these you’ll meet friendly people who can direct you to other helpful resources, or just lend a virtual shoulder to cry on. You can usually spend some time unregistered just “lurking” and reading what others have said to gauge whether or not a given website would be comfortable for you to actually take part in. If you don’t like the back-and-forth that takes place on one website, there are dozens more to choose from. Spend some time checking out various sites and you’re bound to find one or more that would work for you.
Some people find it easier to be open in an online setting than they would face-to-face. The anonymity of communicating from behind a keyboard can sometimes be freeing to someone who might be too shy to discuss things like alcohol dependency in person. A sense of privacy can be comforting, and maybe encourage a struggling spouse to seek further help of some sort. Maybe you’re not actually looking for a solution to a problem, either. If you’re not seeking feedback, but only want confirmation that It’s not just me going through this, you can just do some reading and not take part in discussions.
The Role Of Social Media In Support
Social media can be a great outlet, as well. This is best approached carefully, however. One should take into consideration that the privacy of all individuals involved needs to be respected. You might need to be more discreet about what you do and do not share in a social setting online, just as you would at an actual gathering of people such as a party.
Some people do go so far as starting a personal blog to share their experiences and thoughts. Sometimes all we need to do is get it out there, give voice to what’s going on in our lives and minds so that we can take a step back and look at where we are. Input from others who read can maybe shed a new perspective we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. And maybe sharing your own experiences might just help someone else. It can be empowering to know that by sharing your own situation, you have helped another going through the same thing. Beware, however. If your website allows commentary, not everyone is understanding or kind. Some people “troll” the internet with the sole intention of pushing people’s buttons, offending or criticizing for their own cruel and selfish entertainment. Website commentary is very often the venue of choice for a commenter’s snark.
Beyond Talk: Assistance From Resources
Sometimes the need is there for actual help of some kind, assistance or support that goes beyond just talking. The internet can be a valuable resource for this as well.
Books, Articles, And Reports
If it’s research you’re seeking, you can find scholarly articles, scientific reports, and medical journals reprinted online. Often these are readily available to the public and free. Sometimes there may be a fee charged by magazines that offer online versions of print issues.
You can shop for self-help or reference books as well through websites such as Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, Ebay, and many others. One benefit of doing your shopping online is that there may be reviews by people who have already read the books you are considering. You can look at the reviews and gauge whether or not said book would offer the sort of knowledge you seek. A few websites also let you read a selection of pages before purchasing.
Library websites can be great ways to find resources, as well. Many list their entire catalog so you can search for a book or other source such as a DVD by title, author, subject, etc. A lot of libraries are now making audio books, digital books, and reports available as downloads for e-readers, tablets, and cell phones. Usually these services are all free.
You can find some books or programs available for sale via downloads or direct sales. These would be on websites from the author or organization that created the book or program. It is helpful prior to committing to a purchase to do some searching to see if others have read these books or tried these programs and what they have to say about the value of them.
Support Groups, Outreach Centers, And Shelters
The internet is a great way to find local support groups. Many post locations and schedules for meetings or gatherings organized by locale. They also make phone numbers available to confirm dates and times, and sometimes can offer other types of support.
If things have reached a point where you might actually need to remove yourself from the situation with your loved one, many outreach centers and shelters for victims of domestic abuse have websites with information, addresses, and contact information. They usually have 24-hour emergency lines available and posted on their sites.
We Can Offer The Support You Need
If you find yourself in a domestic relationship with someone suffering from alcohol dependency and need assistance, AlcoholTreatment.net is here to help. If you don’t know where to turn or what to do, contact us – we’ll be happy to guide you toward what you need to not feel alone or helpless in your situation.
Moderation Management is an evidence-based secular organization dedicated to helping people with problem drinking achieve greater control over their drinking.
Someone considered a “problem drinker” isn’t necessarily addicted to alcohol, but their drinking may still be serious. If a woman enjoys a glass of wine with dinner each night, but on just one of those nights, drinks more than one glass, she is pushing the threshold beyond moderate drinking. Men can metabolize alcohol faster than women and can have up to two glasses before they are considered higher risk for the long-term damage caused by problem drinking. Problem drinking occurs when these thresholds are crossed often enough to cause health, family, or career troubles.
How Does Moderation Management Work?
Moderation Management programs work to change behaviors associated with drinking. It works by identifying patterns of drinking and empowers an individual to set boundaries and goals to reduce overall alcohol consumption. Nearly a third of those who participate in Moderation Management programming move on to an abstinence-based program like Alcoholics Anonymous. However, the majority of participants choose to continue drinking on some level, while addressing the fundamental issues making them more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol.
Moderation Management involves nine steps toward improving attitudes and behaviors toward drinking. These steps require regular meeting attendance, whether online or in person. And though the program is not an abstinence only program, it does ask individuals to quit drinking for a period of 30 days. During this 30-day period, participants are asked to consider the effects of alcohol on their lives, to create a list of goals and priorities, to examine patterns in how often you drank and the circumstances surrounding alcohol consumption, and to learn the guidelines and limits for moderate drinking as described by the program.
The last three steps involve setting limits and restoring balance to one’s life, regular review of progress as well as creating new goals based on that progress, and making other positive changes in life, including meeting attendance as needed.
The program is free and open to anyone who is serious about limiting their consumption of alcohol.
What As A Moderate Drinker?
There are some specific guidelines set down by the program that define what a moderate drinker is. Generally speaking, however, the goal of the program is to help you achieve drinking at a level that does not cause physical harm to you or others, or disruptions of your family, career, or any other aspect of your lifestyle.
Specifically, Moderation Management sets the following limits:
- That a person obey laws relating to drinking and driving
- That a person does not endanger themselves or others by drinking
- That a person does not drink daily, and that they limit drinking to three or four times weekly
- That women not exceed 1 unit of alcohol daily
- That men not exceed 2 units of alcohol daily
- That blood alcohol levels (BAC) do not exceed .055 percent
An individual may limit themselves further according to their own needs and goals.
Difference Between Drinking Problem And Alcohol Addiction
If you find it difficult to abstain from drinking for the initial 30-day period, or following cannot meet your moderation goals, an abstinence-only program may be recommended. If you are unable to slow your drinking without experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms, you may be physically addicted to alcohol. This is a more serious condition and requires a medically supervised treatment program that can monitor and mediate withdrawal symptoms as you undergo rehabilitation for the addiction.
Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, shakiness, profuse sweating, agitation or mood changes, gastrointestinal upset and headache, increased heart rate, and confusion. These symptoms vary in severity with the severity of the addiction. Someone who has been drinking for some time and is addicted to alcohol may experience more severe symptoms including seizures and heart attack.
Problem drinking, as addressed by a moderation management program, involves drinking in excess to points that generate complications in your life. For example, you may only drink on the weekends with friends, but tend to drink a lot, causing black-outs or memory lapses. This type of drinking, while not necessarily an addiction, can cause many ill-health as well as unintended consequences caused by impaired judgement.
Benefits Of Moderation Management
One significant benefit of moderation management is the educational component in helping an individual understand safe limits of alcohol consumption. This limits the long-term adverse health effects of problem drinking, like damage to the brain, liver, and other organ systems, as well as deterring unintended consequences like auto-related accidents or falls.
Moderation management also works to help an individual achieve balance in their lives, in some cases reducing overall stressors related to drinking. This can have an overarching positive effect on the individual, an individual’s immediate family, and close friends. Learning to set and achieve goals can also play a pivotal role in helping a person learn to advance in other areas of their lives.
Get Control Of Your Life Before Alcohol Does
AlcoholTreatment.net is your online resource for the professional support and comprehensive, evidence-based treatment options, including Moderation Management, available to meet your individual needs. Regaining control of your life over alcohol begins with one confidential phone call.
Contact AlcoholTreatment.net today and discover all the rewards that come with sobriety.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is now widely used to combat many forms of substance use disorders as well as mental disorders due to its initial successes in treating alcohol addiction. The therapy works on the principle that people respond reactively to stresses based on past experiences and traumas, rather than applying rational thinking. People with these disorders have developed maladaptive coping mechanisms. They are more likely to turn to alcohol and drugs to “numb” their emotional or physical suffering.
Cognitive behavioral therapy identifies these problem areas or triggers and reconditions the individual to cope with these stresses. The effect is one that is shown to reduce overall anxiety, depression, and cravings for alcohol.
The brevity of the program, in ongoing sessions, makes CBT an attractive and affordable option for many seeking treatment for alcohol addiction. It is also a therapy covered by many types of insurance, and as a mode of treatment, may be used alone or in conjunction with other methods of treating addiction.
Goals Of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy In Treating Alcohol Addiction
The primary goal of cognitive behavioral therapy in treating alcohol addiction involves identifying issues or past traumas that still affect the individual today. These traumas can create triggers, resulting in cravings for alcohol whenever a memory or associated stress arises. By reducing the effects of those stresses through the development of positive coping skills, opportunities for cravings to arise are also reduced.
Another goal of the program is to change negative thought patterns associated with these past traumas or stresses to new and proactive coping skills. During a three to four month period, a therapist works closely with the alcohol-addicted individual to build useful coping strategies and provide tools to aid them in identifying triggers and addressing these triggers constructively, rather than reactively.
There are six phases in CBT including an initial assessment, reconceptualization: the process by which an individual learns to conceptualize their situation, surroundings, or feelings differently, the development of positive coping strategies, and a post treatment assessment to see how the individual is applying these new skills some time out from the last session.
Phases of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Skills building
- Skills consolidation and application training
- Generalization and maintenance
- Post-treatment assessment
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy And Gender In The Treatment Of Alcohol Addiction
Research has demonstrated genetic predisposition is a primary risk factor for addiction. The Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program recognizes in the first step that someone is powerless in controlling the addiction. Other risk factors for addiction include socioeconomic and environmental factors and past trauma. For those who suffer from an addiction with risk factors associated with past trauma or other problem areas in their lives, CBT treats the maladaptive behaviors that may have resulted in the substance use disorder. Reasons differ between men and women as to why they begin drinking. These reasons may play a pivotal role in determining the most direct approach to treating the addiction.
Studies have shown a slight advantage for women applying cognitive behavioral therapy over men. This may be due in part to the greater prevalence co-occurring anxiety and depression in women, often due to sexual and physical traumas and other gender-based disparities addressed through CBT.
Awareness of the root causes of problem drinking in women versus men make cognitive behavioral a more prominent emerging therapy in treating the disorder among women. Overall effectiveness is improved for both men and women when CBT is combined with other therapies, including AA.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy As Part of Comprehensive Alcohol Treatment Plan
Cognitive behavioral therapy, while effective in controlling drug cravings, is most effective when used in conjunction with medications or other therapies and can be a powerful tool when part of a comprehensive alcohol treatment plan.
Often motivational enhancement therapy (MET) is used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan involving CBT in addressing substance use disorders. Motivational enhancement therapy is designed to reduce an individual’s apprehension about getting treatment for an addiction.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a nice compliment to 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, encouraging the assessment of coping strategies and addressing each, while also building a social support network so vital to both treatment types. Research has shown CBT is more effective when combined with other treatment types, including AA, as well as pharmacologic interventions.
One study compared CBT used in conjunction with the medication naltrexone, an opioid antagonist used to reduce alcohol cravings and in lessening the effects of alcohol, to a placebo control group. The control group suffered a 60 percent relapse rate compared with 38 percent in the CBT/naltrexone group, indicating increased effectiveness where both therapies were used in conjunction.
Get Help For Alcohol Addiction
If you or someone you love is suffering with an addiction to alcohol, hope is a phone call away. AlcoholTreatment.net can connect you with the online resources, professional support, and the evidence-based, comprehensive treatment options that will work best for you. Contact us today and speak with someone in confidence to learn more and begin a more rewarding life in recovery.