Alcohol is one of the most common substances used both as a social device and a coping mechanism. When alcohol use becomes problematic, health issues can start sprouting up. Problem drinking leads to many long-term health effects and also has a strong impact on those around us. Drunk driving, combative interactions and neglected self-care are just a few of the outcomes associated with excessive alcohol consumption.
Once alcohol use is discovered to be the root of certain issues, it’s time to get a medical professional involved. Starting with your regular doctor is always a great first step as many are able to identify and diagnose cases of alcohol use disorder, or AUD.
AUD is a condition that millions of adults struggle with every year. Symptoms include uncontrolled drinking and an endless preoccupation with alcohol meaning that’s all they typically think about. Whether it’s in the middle of drinking or searching for the next place to drink, those suffering from AUD will see alcohol as the primary goal behind everything they do.
When Should You Be Concerned?
Alcohol dependency is a major concern for those with AUD. When the mind and body become dependent, they can no longer function without having alcohol available due to years of accommodate the presence of the substance. Many will find that breaking the dependency sends them into withdrawal, a state of the brain and body going into overdrive while each part learns how to operate without alcohol again.
While the thought of withdrawal can put some individuals off, there are safe options to undergo the process. Medically-assisted detox is done under total supervision with medication and mental health treatment used to lessen the impacts of withdrawal symptoms. But how do you know if treatment is right for you? First think about the last few months of your life and see if you’ve:
- Spent a majority of your downtime drinking.
- Gotten sick from excess drinking or the following “hangover”.
- Wanted to quit and haven’t tried or been successful in doing so.
- Put off other responsibilities in order to drink.
- Continued to drink even if it started causing problems at home, work or with friends.
- Tried to stop drinking but started experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms causing you to drink again.
If you’ve experienced this yourself, or have seen it in a loved one, it’s time to address the issue and seek out the proper treatment. Getting an answer surrounding why alcohol use has such control over your life can offer both a direction to head and peace of mind knowing there’s a solution through treatment.
Getting Help By Seeking Treatment
It’s never too late to seek treatment for AUD, even if it’s caused problem drinking for decades. Withdrawal symptoms can be managed with medication making the toughest part of the process as comfortable as possible.
Long-term sobriety for someone diagnosed with AUD can only be achieved with the right education and resources, something provided during and even after a treatment program. These programs can range from traditional 12-step group sessions to full inpatient therapy where participants stay at a medical facility for intervals of 1, 2 and 3 months at a time.
Behavioral therapy is an approach to AUD that leverages counseling to uncover the connections between addiction and various parts of life such as traumatic events or specific environmental factors experienced.
Outpatient treatment programs will be a mix of 12-step, therapy and detox programs where participants are able to live at home and go about their daily responsibilities. Attending group and individual therapy sessions throughout the week let them instantly apply what they’ve learned in the real world. In severe cases of dependency, detox may still need to happen on-site with assessments done to make sure outpatient treatment is a safe option.
Treatment Prepares You for a Sober Life
Learning to live with alcohol use disorder takes more than the initial sobriety during treatment. AUD, much like drug addiction, is a chronic disease. While there’s no direct cure, the symptoms can be managed. With the right treatment, impulses and cravings will go from an all-consuming force to nothing more than a mental fly buzzing around your head.
With America’s Rehab Campuses, you aren’t alone after treatment. We work with individuals to break the cycle of AUD while also helping them understand the how and why behind all of it. Knowing addiction’s motives can help squash any attempt made to take control again. Maintaining sobriety requires these tools so don’t hesitate to arm yourself with the power you need to live a life free of alcohol addiction.