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Signs Of Alcoholism And The Best Treatment Options

Apr 5, 2008
In order for an alcoholic to begin the journey to sobriety, that person must understand his or her disease. Alcoholics do not always have the capability of comprehending their addiction because their feelings and understanding is often clouded by the need to drink alcohol. An estimated 17.6 million Americans are affected by this disease every year and three million youths are considered "out of control" drinkers.

Signs of Alcoholism:

Though there are many warning signs of alcoholism and they differ from person to person, there are ten questions that can be used to help assess whether someone is abusing or not.

1. Do you drink alone?
2. Have friends or family expressed concern about your drinking?
3. Were you involved in any fights or arguments while you were under the influence?
4. Have you ever blacked out?
5. Do you feel the need to drink in order to celebrate, have a good time or relax?
6. Because of drinking or a hangover, have you ever missed an important event such as class, work, a meeting, etc.?
7. Do you think about drinking often?
8. Have you attempted to cut down or quit drinking but could not?
9. Have you had medical issues or behavioral problems that were alcohol related?
10. Has your tolerance increased?

When Someone is Abusing:

When someone becomes dependent on or is abusing alcohol, long-term alcohol rehabilitation is necessary to help the addict learn how to live a life of sobriety. Several studies have shown that why a person enters into treatment does not influence the outcome. In other words, regardless if a parent checks her child in, the court orders treatment or an alcoholic checks himself in, it does not alter the outcome of sobriety in relation to long-term treatment.

Types of Treatment:

Treatment centers that are short-term do not have the ability or time needed to help with anything but the detoxification process. This means that once the alcoholic leaves a short-term center and re-enters mainstream society, that person will not have the behavior skills needed to maintain sobriety and the chances of a relapse increase dramatically.

Long-term drug and alcohol addiction treatment has the greatest success rate of sobriety after leaving treatment because of the three-tiered methodology that is used. The first tier is the detoxification process which takes the addictive substance away, leaving the body free of it. Abstaining from alcohol can cause serious withdrawal symptoms, which means that detox should only be undergone under the supervision of trained medical personal. While under their supervision, the alcoholic might receive pharmacological treatments that help with the withdrawal symptoms.

The second tier meets the spiritual needs of the alcoholic. Many alcoholics drink because they long to fill a void they have inside. This is often times the lack of a relationship with a higher power. Long-term rehab centers that use a 12-step program, which is based on the Alcoholics Anonymous program, help meet that need and fill the void while preparing the person for life outside of treatment by familiarizing the alcoholic with the type of post-care they will use.

The third tier uses behavioral therapies to teach the skills needed to maintain sobriety for the rest of the alcoholic's life. These therapies teach the alcoholic how to handle peer pressure (even for adults), how to handle stressful situations and the therapies help with the understanding of triggers that might set off a relapse.

The signs that are displayed from person to person vary but long-term treatment is necessary to ensure a sober life for all people that abuse this dangerous substance. Maintaining sobriety without attending a long-term rehab has a low success rate and relapse is likely to happen. Long-term alcohol treatment is the best solution.
About the Author
Gatehouse Academy is a long term drug rehab facility specializing in helping young adults overcome addiction.
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