Alcohol Addiction

 Find a treatment center for alcohol addiction.

alcoholics whiskey in a glass

But it’s Only Alcohol!

When speaking about addiction, one might be surprised to learn how different addicts view their own addictions. Opiate and cocaine addicts tend to see themselves as above alcoholics and other addicts in general. Alcoholics may tend to look down on drug addicts because drugs are illegal. If one hasn’t been exposed to drug culture, he may view drug addicts as shady characters who hang out in alleys and corrupt teenagers. In contrast, alcohol is legal, plus there is the socialization component of drinking. Using booze as a social lubricant in our society is encouraged! It’s so glamorous on TV and billboards, who wouldn’t want to use it?And when does one cross the line into problem drinking and alcoholism? If you don’t make an ass out of yourself in public, still have your job, and haven’t had a single D.U.I., why should you go to treatment? Maybe you get a little “tight” more than you should, but you don’t think you’re hurting anyone but yourself, so what’s the big deal? You can lick this whenever you want to, right? And there’s always AA – you can find that anywhere, if you have to!But there is more to attaining abstinence than one might think. The first misconception is that one can just stop drinking and it will all be over. That particular err of thought has proven lethal for many alcoholics over the years, as late stage alcoholics need to be medically detoxed to prevent seizures or convulsions. Though detoxing from other drugs can make one feel so sick he may wish he could die, he won’t.On the other hand, an alcoholic may feel a little shaky but okay at first, until about the second or third day when the shakes, hallucinations, delirium tremons (D.T.s) and other physical symptoms slam his body. It’s important to know about the danger of seizures so later stage alcoholics don’t quit “cold turkey.” Even the founders of AA would bring along a bottle of liquor to slowly wean their charge off the alcohol! Because of this life threatening danger, an alcoholic should never try to detox oneself.But beyond the medical dangers of detoxing, there are many, many other issues to be addressed that may not factor in with other addictions. Alcoholism is truly a fatal, incurable disease, much the same as cancer is. The only remission comes with abstinence. And the tolerance factor is unique in that if one abstains for a week or for several years, it doesn’t seem to matter. Once the addiction is up and running again, the alcoholic will be drinking at the same rate as before. If the norm was a fifth of vodka a day, then the relapser will return to that fifth a day usually within days or weeks.

The Tolerance of Alcohol also increases the Need to drink.

One explanation of the tolerance concept may be that because all the cells in ones’ body need to adapt to accommodate the daily ingestion of alcohol, it has now become a necessity for those cells. When alcohol breaks down, the chemical produced, aldehyde, is a toxic byproduct actually related to formaldehyde. Once those cells have adapted, they don’t un-adapt. the body craves alcohol the same as it craves food or water. It is the unnatural thing for an alcoholic not to drink, and some say that never goes away. If one can only relieve hunger by giving the body the food it needs, so is it now with alcohol.It may be difficult to grasp the concept that alcohol is a depressant, for an alcoholic, it seems taking that first drink seems to cause alertness, -the opposite of depression! Actually, in small doses, alcohol acts it like a stimulant. But it truly is a depressant and what may be perceived as pre-drink depression is actually the body craving what it had grown to need. The withdrawal at first is so subtle one may not know what it is!

Alcohol is a Depressant…and it causes Depression

Sometimes sober alcoholics have issues with depression, because that same by-product (aldehyde) bonds with another brain chemical to artificially fill one’s serotonin receptors. If those receptors have been filled artificially instead of with one’s own serotonin for years, then there hasn’t been much serotonin production, literally, for years. Do those systems ever work the same once the artificial component is removed? Though they are learning more and more about how one’s endorphin system is effected, there is still so much they don’t know. An alcoholic’s brain chemicals, then, are going through major adjustments for at least the first  year of sobriety, causing mood swings, anxiety and depression..   These are facts that one won’t discover from Uncle Otis the ex-drinker or from a twelve-step program.This is perhaps one explanation why denial is so strong in alcoholism.  It’s also one of the reasons alcoholism is difficult to treat and relapse rates can be so high. The longer the drinking history, the worse that is. The absurdity is that treating one’s depression with a depressant is no quotient for a happy life. But the alcoholic most likely will tell you they need it for their depression!It can be said, then, that the extra emotional effects warrant professional treatment. Ideally, a  thorough assessment should be the first step in addressing the addiction, which would determine the stage of the alcoholism and any mental health, medical or family issues that need to be addressed.  A by-product of living life under the effects of a depressant is that the alcoholic is no longer exercising the best judgment in dealing with life’s affairs. When one reaches for their sedative on a daily basis to cope with  life, everything becomes effected, from the smallest to the largest of tasks. Since the sedation removes the normal motivation to grow through experience, a recovering alcoholic starts out with a deficit in coping skills.Why do the work involved in problem solving when you can take a daily dose of something that allows you to believe there is no problem after all – or that it can wait, always wait, until tomorrow? That erred thought process obscures the basics of healthy living concepts like honesty, accountability, transparency and handling responsibilities. Years of lying to oneself and others have left the newly sober person incapable of those things, so new insight must be first brought to light.Again, that’s something Mom or the wife can’t teach you. And since AA is comprised of other alcoholics rather than by medical, psychiatric and addiction specialists, its best to arm oneself with all the needed resources to began healing and keeping the addiction at bay. When possible, inpatient treatment gives the alcoholic advantages that may literally be lifesaving.

Society even tells us to drink

Of no less importance is how drinking is part of normal socialization. A heroin addict doesn’t have the added obstacle of seeing people all around him doing what he can no longer do. Liquor stores and bars are everywhere. Worse, it’s glorified in  the media and by our peers. The billboard on the way to work shows the glamorous model lifting a glass of cognac to her lips as if it were liquid gold. What’s the subliminal message?  Not everyone who drinks becomes an alcoholic, so he has to abstain while watching those in his life still imbibing. And people who are not alcoholics really can’t understand why they can moderate and you can’t.Worse, they may try and coax the recovering person to try to do drink like they do, “Just have a couple, then stop like I do. You need to loosen up and relax!” It does happen that a recovering person with a drinking family is rejected by his  family as no longer “one of them” and the family will actually try to entice him to relapse. They may feel disempowered once their role as caretaker has been usurped and covertly may resent their loved one’s sobriety. They may now feel unneeded. Once the alcoholic gives  in to the drink, he is welcomed “back to the fold.”These and other codependency issues of partners and family are addressed in a treatment setting because ignorance of this crucial part of recovery can doom sobriety before it’s even begun! Plus the hampered living skills need to be addressed if one really wants a sporting chance. Taking one’s only coping mechanism away without addressing the living skills component of the addiction greatly diminishes chances for success. This is one instance that the longer the treatment is, the better. The emotional quirks didn’t happen overnight (-some originated in the family dynamics long before the addict even thought of using!), so building a better outlook won’t happen in a day, either.In other addictions that are illegal and socially taboo, these problems don’t come into play as much. Alcoholics are so adept at hiding their drinking that they can often fool people for awhile. Statistics prove that receiving individualized treatment improves the chances of success greatly. Addicts may mistakenly believe that alcohol is the easy one to treat, when in fact, it is just the opposite. Knowledge is power here and the alcoholic has decades of misconceptions to overcome. Treatment wise, the more one learns, the better the chances of success.Our trained staff of professionals are qualified to help you assess what type of treatment will be the best fit to ensure you or your loved one gets the help you need.

But how does one go about finding the right program?

If this all looks very overwhelming… it is! But that’s what we are here for. Call us at 877-696-0843 and we can help make this process much easier. We will narrow down all of these aspects and find the best program for you or your loved one with all your concerns considered. It’s as simple as making that first call. And the best part is that we are a free service. The road to recovery starts here!

877-696-0843 We are a free service

Whatever path to recovery you choose, our staff has access to hundreds of treatment centers to assure the best personalized treatment for you, then with continued follow up to help you make the transition to sober living as seamless as possible.

Our trained staff of professionals are qualified to help you assess what type of treatment will be the best fit to ensure you or your loved one gets the help you need.

But how does one go about finding the right program?

If this all looks very overwhelming....it is! But that's what we are here for. Call us at 888-205-8608 and we can help make this process much easier. We will narrow down all of these aspects and find the best program for you or your loved one with all your concerns considered. It's as simple as making that first call. And the best part is that we are a free service. The road to recovery starts here!

888-205-8608
We are a free service

contact us today