Alcohol addiction or alcohol use disorder remains a major problem throughout the United States. Abusing this drug is dangerous, but detox and rehab help people stop—far too many people attempt to quit drinking on their own without any real support. More often than not, those individuals are not successful.
Many people fail to recognize dangerous patterns in their drinking behaviors. They do not know how to stop, even if they want to. It is important to learn as much as possible about alcohol abuse. The more people know, the more they will see a need for change in their lives. For many, the problem is that it is perceived to be safe because alcohol is so readily available. But the reality is an alcohol use disorder can happen to anyone. Learning more about substance abuse and addiction is key. Here at Northpoint Washington, we believe in educating people on how alcohol addiction arises and providing practical steps to find the support necessary to heal from the disease of addiction.
What Is Alcohol Abuse?
Quite frequently, people confuse alcohol abuse with addiction. The two are not interchangeable, and it can help understand the definition of abuse. Alcohol abuse refers to drinking more than you should and more frequently than you should. Perhaps the most common form of alcohol abuse is binge drinking.
When you’re abusing this drug, it hasn’t become a need for you yet. However, that could happen at any given moment. Some examples of abuse might include having too many drinks with friends one time on a night out or drinking alone when you’re feeling upset about something that happened to you that day at work. In and of itself, abuse is something to be aware of, but it doesn’t necessarily always lead to addiction.
What Is Alcohol Addiction?
On the other hand, alcohol addiction always begins with abuse. When you’re addicted, you feel like you have to have a drink (or several drinks) to feel normal. Drinking quickly becomes a part of your identity, even though your addiction might be something you keep carefully hidden away from those close to you.
The line between alcohol abuse and addiction can become blurred for some people, so it can help to know some of the signs of alcoholism. They include:
- You’ve started lying about your drinking or how much you had to drink.
- You turn to alcohol to relax or improve how you feel.
- You’ve blacked out more than once after drinking.
- You feel powerless to stop drinking once you’ve started.
- You’ve been guilty of drinking when you knew you really shouldn’t, such as before going to work.
- You’re beginning to neglect your home, work, or school responsibilities.
What to Expect During Alcohol Addiction Treatment
When new patients come to us for help, they are often nervous because they do not expect it. The first step for recovery is to go through detox, which we discussed earlier. Everyone responds differently once they stop drinking, and delirium tremens can happen to anyone. Detoxing allows us to make the patient feel as safe as possible while relieving their withdrawal symptoms.
During rehab, therapy is the primary focus. Most of our patients spend about 21 days in rehabilitation. During that time, they will work with a therapist who will help to determine the cause of their addiction. They will also have group therapy, family therapy, and other forms of treatment.
Once the program has been completed, the next step is aftercare. Our staff carefully and diligently makes arrangements for proper follow-up appointments. We always encourage our patients to keep these appointments because recovery is not accomplished when rehab is over. There is no cure for alcoholism, which means ongoing treatment is necessary.
Treatment For Co-Occurring Disorders and Cross Addictions
Many of the patients we see suffer from co-occurring disorders, cross addictions, or both. They need to get the help they need during rehab. They will typically go back to drinking once their 28-day program is over if they do not.
As a refresher, a co-occurring disorder is a mental health condition that often coincides with substance abuse. Cross addiction occurs when a person is addicted to more than one drug. Attempting to treat just alcoholism is an exercise in futility. Every issue surrounding the addiction must be addressed to be successful.
Reach Out to Northpoint Washington’s Alcohol Addiction Treatment Program
At Northpoint Washington, we know how difficult it can be for an alcoholic to admit that they need help. It is extremely difficult to stop drinking because of how addiction works in the brain.
Most people need to begin recovering from alcoholism in an inpatient treatment center. That is mostly due to the dangerous nature of alcohol withdrawal and the risk of delirium tremens and other serious symptoms. We offer a modernized inpatient facility that helps people feel right at home while getting treatment.