One of the most common reasons people hesitate to seek alcohol addiction help involves the question of whether their addiction is “bad enough.” However, individuals shouldn’t approach treatment with the intention of comparing themselves to others.
Instead, consider it on an individual basis. Alcohol addiction help is for anyone whose life is affected negatively by their drinking habits. If their daily life could improve with professional help, they should not hesitate to reach out.
Alcohol Use Disorder Defined
Many people drink alcohol on occasion, but to recognize when to get alcohol addiction help, it’s important to know how to draw the line between moderation and abuse. Generally, people with alcohol use disorder (AUD) are the ones who should seek addiction treatment. But what does having AUD really mean?
In simplest terms, someone may receive a diagnosis for AUD if their alcohol consumption causes them consistent harm or distress. Typically, people encounter these symptoms by frequently partaking in excessive drinking or binge drinking.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines the parameters of excessive and binge drinking based on the sex of the consumer:
- For women, binge drinking involves consuming more than four drinks on one occasion.
- For men, this number rises to more than five drinks on one occasion.
- Similarly, excessive drinking in women is defined as having more than eight drinks in a week.
- Men, on the other hand, can have up to 15 drinks in a week before it is considered excessive.
Please note, however, that factors besides sex can affect someone’s threshold for excessive drinking as well. For example, weight, age, and the alcohol concentration of their drinks can all influence someone’s experience with alcohol.
Because of these inconsistencies, AUD can not always be reliably measured based on drink intake alone. To determine if someone needs alcohol addiction help, they need to assess their symptoms on a broader scale.
Do I Need Alcohol Addiction Help?
Even knowing what constitutes heavy drinking, it can be difficult for some people to identify when their drinking has truly become a problem. In these cases, it can help for them to take a less generalized approach and focus on their individual situation.
For instance, they may want to consider their feelings about alcohol and its impact on their life. Afterward, they can form a clearer image and decide whether they need alcohol addiction help.
To aid in this process, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism outlines several red flags that indicate an AUD. They are as follows:
- Drinking more (or longer) than intended
- Wanting or trying to limit or stop drinking, but being unable to
- Spending most of your time drinking or recovering from drinking
- Only thinking about how much you want a drink
- Experiencing problems at home, school, work, or in relationships because of drinking
- Continuing to drink knowing it causes problems
- Losing interest in or giving up once-enjoyable activities
- Partaking in risky behaviors during or after drinking (i.e. drunk driving)
- Continuing to drink despite it causing feelings of depression or anxiety
- Having to drink more alcohol to achieve the same effect as before
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking
If someone exhibits just two of the above symptoms, their doctor can diagnose AUD. At four symptoms, the AUD grows from mild to moderate in nature. Finally, at six, it becomes severe.
In addition, remember that there is no shame or weakness in reaching out for alcohol addiction help. Millions of people battle addiction every day, some of whom avoid seeking treatment because of the stigma surrounding their condition. Do not let the uninformed beliefs of others prevent you from improving your life. Know that it takes bravery and strength to confront addiction.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment Programs
Once someone accepts that they need alcohol addiction help, they can begin to explore the available treatment programs. Several routes to recovery exist, and the best one for you may depend on factors such as:
- The severity of your alcohol addiction
- The state of your home life
- The strength of your support groups
- Life responsibilities to which you have already committed
Furthermore, at The Willough at Naples, our alcohol treatment programs specialize in dual diagnosis. This program allows us to treat individuals with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health issues, meaning they are afflicted by both conditions at once.
With that being said, we will now discuss some of the treatment programs available to provide alcohol addiction help at The Willough at Naples.
Medical Alcohol Detox
Many individuals looking for professional alcohol addiction help will find themselves undergoing a medical detox first. This is a common initial step during alcohol rehab because it is important for someone to flush all alcohol from their system when they begin treatment.
Unfortunately, detox is seldom as easy as merely walking away from the bottle. In many cases, people with alcohol use disorder have fundamentally changed the chemistry of their bodies. When this happens, the balance within the body comes to depend on the presence of alcohol. As a result, when someone stops drinking, the body struggles to function properly, having forgotten how to do so without alcohol. This development is aptly known as alcohol dependence.
Just as the body learned to rely on alcohol, it can once again learn to live without it. However, before that happens, someone will likely experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. These can include irritability, sweating, tremors, nausea, and anxiety.
Most withdrawal symptoms are minor, but in rare cases, someone may exhibit more severe symptoms, such as seizures or hallucinations. Some complications, if left untreated, can be dangerous and potentially even fatal.
Medical detox programs eliminate these concerns and highlight the reason professional alcohol addiction help is so crucial. At The Willough at Naples, patients remain under constant medical supervision by a team of licensed physicians. These staff members are trained to provide immediate, effective care throughout detox.
Whether someone only experiences mild symptoms or shows signs of something more threatening, the medical professionals overseeing their detox can leap into action to make the process as easy, comfortable, and safe as possible.
Individuals who require the highest degree of alcohol addiction help may enroll in a residential rehabilitation program. Throughout the duration of care, residential patients live on-site at the treatment facility. In addition, each day adheres to a schedule of evidence-based therapeutic activities, which provides patients with a sense of structure and stability.
These activities can take on numerous forms. The Willough at Naples prefers to utilize a variety of treatment options in our inpatient dual diagnosis program, such as:
- Individual therapy (i.e. cognitive behavioral therapy)
- Group therapy
- Recreational therapy
- Medication evaluation and management
- Family therapy
- Links to community-based resources and support groups
- Relapse prevention
By participating in psychoeducational focus groups and recreational activities, patients learn a broad range of vital coping skills. Some of these abilities serve to replace the role of alcohol in their lives, while others expand on important, general life skills.
For example, some of the qualities our treatment programs improve include healthy communication, emotional awareness, and self-esteem. These may seem only distantly related to alcohol addiction help, but at The Willough at Naples, we look beyond the surface level.
Here, treatment does not end as soon as someone quits drinking. We want to equip each of our patients with the tools they need to secure the future they want, and one that will last them well beyond their time in our care.
Not everyone who seeks alcohol addiction help needs the same level of intensity in care. For those who are mentally stable but still experiencing fairly intense symptoms, a partial hospitalization program (PHP) may be an option.
PHPs, also known as a type of intensive outpatient program, actually share several qualities with residential rehab. Patients participate in many of the same treatment options and learn many of the same skills. The most notable difference involves how much time they spend on site.
Where residential rehab patients live at the facility throughout treatment, PHP patients return home every night. Instead of staying at the rehab center 24/7, they typically visit five times a week for several hours each day.
Because PHP patients go home regularly, it is vital that they have a supportive and sober atmosphere to which to return. PHP is not recommended for individuals who lack that type of stable environment.
If someone does have an encouraging, warm home life, PHP can serve as a great boon to their recovery efforts. They can continue to spend time with their loved ones and celebrate each small victory as it happens.
Get Alcohol Addiction Help at The Willough at Naples
The Willough at Naples is a mental health facility that treats people with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health problems. Here, you can participate in crucial therapeutic exercises and receive alcohol addiction help in a tranquil, home-like environment.
We teach our patients how to get and stay sober so they can lead a long, fulfilling life. No matter where you currently are in your recovery journey, remember that it is never too late to heal. Anyone can achieve long-term sobriety with the proper resources and aid. All you have to do to get started is reach out.
So, when you decide it’s time to begin recovery, we’re here to guide your steps. Call our admissions team at 800-722-0100 or submit a confidential contact form to learn more about getting alcohol addiction help. With our support, you can successfully stop drinking and overcome substance abuse.