If drinking has become a serious problem in your life, it may be time to think about quitting.
Enjoying a few cocktails or a couple of beers every so often is typical. But drinking alcohol regularly can increase your tolerance and urge you to drink more just to get the same effect.
Are you drinking more often and realizing that alcohol is becoming a necessity for social gatherings? Do you rely on alcohol to take the edge off during high-stress situations? Perhaps you find yourself drinking at work or you need a drink when you wake up in the morning.
Signs of Problem Drinking
If you are experiencing any of the following, then it may be time to think about quitting alcohol. Besides the previous indicators of Alcohol Use Disorder listed above, these are some other signs that drinking has become a serious matter:
Alcohol impairs our ability to make good decisions. As we grow more inebriated, our inhibitions are lowered, we become more prone to reckless and inappropriate behavior, and we say and do things that we otherwise might avoid when we are thinking clearly. Have you heard comments or complaints about your actions or behavior during your drinking? Do you have trouble remembering things you said or did when you consume alcohol?
Perhaps you’ve found yourself in some legal trouble as a result of your actions while you’ve been drinking. Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence can be a serious violation of the law and being pulled over when intoxicated behind the wheel brings with it severe legal ramifications. If you hit another person or inanimate object while you drive inebriated, you could be putting yourself and others at significant risk of harm, injury, or death.
If your behavior is spiraling out of control as a result of your drinking, it may be time to admit you have a problem and seek out help.
Alcohol Use Disorder can lead to a myriad of health concerns. There are immediate, short-term health issues such as injuries caused by extreme intoxication and alcohol poisoning from excessive consumption. But the long-term health problems can have a more detrimental and lasting impact on your well-being and they may only be reversed if you stop drinking.
High blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and liver disease are some of the more common health issues that can develop from Alcohol Use Disorder. Certain cancers have also been shown to arise from the chronic over-consumption of alcohol such as throat, esophagus, mouth, liver, and colon cancers.
A general decrease in the efficacy of the immune system is also a serious potential health risk that comes with chronic overuse of alcohol as it increases your chances of contracting illness.
Your physical health isn’t all that becomes affected by problem drinking, your mental well-being can also be impacted with an increase in the risks of anxiety and depression. When you are experiencing the symptoms associated with these and other mental health disorders, you are more likely to increase your alcohol consumption to deal with them. This only serves to further an unhealthy and destructive cycle of bad habits.
Knowing When it’s Time to Quit
Most of us feel as if we can quit whenever we wish. But, in reality, that task is often more difficult than expected and it becomes all too easy to fall into the same old damaging patterns. It’s okay to admit you need help and we’re here to make sure you get the help you need.
It starts with finally admitting that you do have a problem with alcohol and your acknowledgment that you cannot do it on your own. What awaits you is a healthy, productive life without drinking. You’re not alone in this endeavor, there are over 14 million adults who struggle with Alcohol Use Disorder.
The important thing is that you seek treatment. Because it works.
Studies have shown that 1 in 3 individuals who seek out alcohol recovery treatment have experienced a marked reduction in Alcohol Use Disorder symptoms in just one year.
Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment Options
You have many different treatment options to assist in your recovery from Alcohol Use Disorder. The type of treatment you seek out should directly address your specific issues with alcohol consumption. The best way to determine what is right for you is to understand the options that exist.
12 Step Program
Perhaps the most well-known form of treatment, the 12 Steps were originated through Alcoholics Anonymous as a series of ground rules for overcoming Alcohol Use Disorder. The steps are designed around fundamental spiritual precepts, but they do not necessarily emphasize that you need to be a religious individual in order for them to work.
These are programs in which the individual resides in a rehab facility. This living situation is often advantageous because it helps to eliminate the temptations and triggers that make it harder to kick the habit of alcohol consumption. Recovery is easier to accomplish because it removes those negative influences while offering 24-hour support and care. There are many different short-term ad long-terms programs available.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the best-known but there are other beneficial peer support groups that help individuals quit or minimize their drinking. These support groups are often anonymous to promote comfortable peer participation and run by health professionals trained in helping individuals kick their dependence on alcohol.
Counseling is a big part of ending your addiction to alcohol. This form of treatment targets the behavioral patterns that enforce destructive drinking habits and individuals can better understand how to avoid the influences and responses that incorporate a reliance upon drinking.
Sometimes used in conjunction with other treatments, medications have been proven effective in helping individuals curb their dependence on alcohol and reduce the likelihood of a relapse. There are currently three medication approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration to treat Alcohol Use Disorder – acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone.
Finding the Treatment Option Right for You
With so many treatment programs, facilities, and resources available, it can be somewhat daunting to decide which option is right for you and your difficulties with alcohol consumption.
It starts with collecting as much information about a certain treatment program or recovery assistance provider before making any commitment. What does that include? Consider the following:
Every individual has different requirements and expectations from a recovery program because each has specific reasons behind his or her Alcohol Use Disorder. The one-size-fits-all approach never works for everyone. The right treatment should be tailored directly to the needs of the individual in recovery.
Discuss the methods that are employed as part of the program to ascertain if only one methodology is utilized or the treatment program relies on many different methods. There are plenty of addiction treatment disciplines out there, find out what your candidate programs use to help kick alcohol dependence.
Measures of Success
While it is certainly helpful to inquire about the success rates of any program, it’s more important to have a strong gauge for measuring success. What benchmarks or achievements are considered progress in the eyes of the provider or program managers? The ways in which a program gauges the success of patients can be a useful factor in determining which treatment option is best for you.
Expectations of the Individual
Seeking professional help means knowing what is expected of the individual during their participation in any treatment program. Some treatment facilities and programs may be more restrictive and demanding than others, only you know what level of expectation fits your needs for recovery.
Experiencing a relapse is not uncommon, but the way your chosen program or provider handles this matter should be of paramount concern when selecting a treatment option. Addressing the relapse, the reasons behind it, and devising a path for moving forward should all be vital components of any good alcohol addiction treatment program.
Many individuals who are dealing with Alcohol Use Disorder will refrain from seeking out treatment because they are unsure how or if they can pay for recovery programs. As part of the Affordable Care Act, alcohol addiction treatments are covered by health insurance. These services have been deemed essential health benefits under the healthcare plans that are available on the exchanges. In addition, Medicaid has started to cover the costs associated with alcohol addiction treatment since 2014.
For those who are still uninsured, you also have options. Seek out facilities and programs with public funding or payment methods that make it easier to receive the treatment. Payment plans and sliding scale costs are two of the more common alternatives. You might also consider your current Medicaid eligibility to cover the costs of your alcohol addiction recovery treatment.
The following are useful resources with chapters and branches across the country for helping you or someone you know seek out help and treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder. The time is now, don’t wait. Reach out today to begin your journey back towards living a clean life free of alcohol dependence.
Online Sobriety Resources
Since we do everything online these days, it only makes sense that you can find a myriad of online resources for getting sober and maintaining sobriety through support groups that offer a variety of services and programs that can be accessed in that venue as well. If you have decided to quit drinking, these online destinations can prove highly effective in offering the tools necessary to empower you to take action. You can’t do it alone, a strong and reliable support structure is invaluable for getting you off alcohol and minimizing the chances for relapse.
These online components are particularly beneficial to those who have already completed some form of inpatient or outpatient Alcohol Use Disorder program.