It can be difficult to determine alcoholism, abuse or dependency. The consumption of alcohol is a common practice shared by many. It is a thin line between social consumption and dependency on drinking. Simple indicators such as the time of day that drinking begins, the amount of consumption, and frequency of drinking, can be warning signs of an issue. In this critical time alcohol treatment is a good measure to get ones’ life back in order.
To provide the most effective alcohol treatment program, we have personalized our alcoholism program. Each one of our clients comes to us with very different needs. It is our focus to meet these needs in our recovery treatment facility. Those residents looking for alcoholism treatment are prepared specific treatment for their dependency issue. We supply each resident with a private and personal substance abuse counselor throughout the substance abuse treatment program. This is a way to address and provide the most specific treatment for alcoholism.
Understanding Alcohol Dependency
For most people alcohol dependency is not developed overnight. In fact it can take years of subtle increased use in some cases before a dependency starts showing itself in the individual. Alcohol functions as a depressant on the central nervous system and is absorbed into the blood stream and enters the brain. Alcohol attaches itself to a number of receptors in the brain slowing down the activity of the central nervous system. Extended alcohol abuse can damage many of these receptors making it difficult for the body and mind to function properly. This also can lead to a greater dependency to alcohol.
The problem with an alcohol dependency is the tolerance the body can develop to drinking. To achieve the same desired effect of alcohol an individual must increase drinking or move on to harder alcoholic beverages. This not only leads to dependency on alcohol but also a greater level of destruction of the central nervous system. Further tolerance to alcohol can also lead to coupling drinking with the use of drugs to increase the influence on the brain. This is a dangerous practice that can result in overdose and death.
Dependency can be a very devastating aspect to one’s life. When you are dealing with dependency to alcohol a chief concern is of course withdrawal. Denying someone alcohol when they are dependent on it can result in seizures and even death. Proper detoxification is recommended for dealing with dependency and withdrawal. There are a number of medications that can be utilized during withdrawal to curb the effect and limit the symptoms one might have to endure. Following detox should be an alcohol dependency treatment program.
Alcohol Dependency and Withdrawal
Dependency to any type of dependent substance can lead to a number of health risks. Alcoholism carries with it many damaging if not life threatening problems. Denying an individual alcohol in this stage of dependence can bring with it serious withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal is physical effects that control the body caused by the central nervous system dependent on alcohol.
When denying oneself alcohol, withdrawal takes over in the individual. The initial hours of denying the dependency will result in levels of anxiety or depression and the shakes. With advanced case of alcohol abuse, hallucinations and delirium tremens are common. When delirium tremens set in the body can go into shock. Alcoholism is the most complicated to treat for withdrawal symptoms. Compared to most illicit drugs, alcoholism withdrawal is the most life threatening. In withdrawal from alcohol, an individual can experience convulsions, seizures, heart attacks and even strokes through suffering delirium tremens. An alcohol help center is designed to provide monitoring and treatment during the withdrawal period to ensure that it is not life threatening as it can be.
Alcohol Dependency Treatment
There is many different aspects to alcohol dependency treatment, usually when an individual thinks of alcohol treatment they think of Alcoholics Anonymous. A chief component commonly used in alcohol recovery is the 12-step program introduced by Alcoholics Anonymous.
Dependency treatment must consist of both individualized and group therapy. Struggles with alcohol can be a very personal problem with specific underlying issues. An individualized program is designed to treat this personal problem and provide therapy for these underlying dependent issues. Group therapy is a foundation to almost all dependency treatment programs. Support groups are invaluable to helping those suffering from alcoholism or dependency know that they are not alone in their struggle and that there are countless numbers of people to help them through the process.
It takes more than just initial dependency treatment to completely rid oneself from dependency or alcoholism. It can take months and a serious commitment before the influence of the alcohol dependency is truly gone. At, we provide continuing care and a relapse prevention plan to aid in continued practices of sober living.
False Benefits of Alcohol Dependency
Most of us already know that alcoholism, as it is clinically defined, is simply a powerful craving for alcohol. This craving then leads to compulsive consumption of alcohol, which should be classified and treated just like any other substance abuse. However, the causes of the craving – and therefore the nature of treatment – can be heavily debated.
Popular beliefs about the source of alcoholism range from genetic predisposition to neurological defects to chemical and/or nutritional imbalances. Many believe it can be classified as a biological disease. Regardless, it is certainly not just a simple issue of willpower or moral character. At the Wells House we treat both the symptoms of psychological and physical dependency through the process of ones’ self-discovery – not group shaming.
One of the primary components of alcoholism and alcohol dependency is the person’s belief that alcohol provides value to them. This value can from a large array of sources, such as:
- Improved ability to socialize or feel comfortable in social situations
- Handling stress and pressure more easily
- Relaxation (as a result of the effects of a depressant)
- Peer pressure or social alienation from those that do consume alcohol
- Pride in the ability to consume great quantities of alcohol
For the sufferer of alcoholism, these benefits are real – not imagined. The effects of alcohol as a depressant can certainly manifest themselves in a very positive fashion for some users. However, alcoholism quickly becomes problematic when negative effects begin to exceed positive effects, and the person in question continues to use despite warnings, trouble-signs and consequences.
Effects of Alcoholism
The social problems arising from alcohol abuse can include loss of employment, financial problems, strife within personal relationships and legal issues (such as drunk driving and public intoxication) Alcohol dependence affects not only the addicted but can profoundly impact the family members and loved ones around them.
Long-term physical effects from alcoholism are quite severe – cirrhosis of the liver, increased chance of heart disease and death. Additionally, alcohol is known to compound any existing depressive tendencies, leading to a great potential for suicide attempts and other self-destructive behavior. Alcoholism can even lead to sexual dysfunction in some people.
We believe a person must be convinced of the net negative value of the alcohol problem in their lives before any treatment can have meaningful lasting effects. An inability to stop drinking despite a clear understanding of alcohol’s negative effects is a clear sign that the patient needs help – and that the dependence is not simply psychological.
Withdrawal and Detoxification from Alcohol
There are several distinct withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol dependence:
- High blood pressure
- Delirium Tremens – DT’s, “the shakes”
Unlike withdrawal from opiates such as heroin, which can be unpleasant but never fatal, withdrawal from alcoholism can actually result in death if it is not properly managed. At the Wells House, we are unable to provide the patient with detoxification. The client must be medically stabilized before beginning the treatment process.
After detoxification and admission into the program various forms of group therapy can be used to deal with the underlying issues leading to alcohol dependence, and also to provide the recovering addict with relapse prevention skills. Poor diet can affect behavior and emotions, including some side-effects often seen among alcohol dependents in the alcoholism facility. We make certain these aspects of dependence are not overlooked.
If you or a loved one can answer any of the following questions as a “Yes”, please call the Wells House at 301-739-7748 for assistance and further evaluation.
- Have you ever felt you needed to cut down on your drinking?
- Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
- Have you ever felt guilty about drinking?
- Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?