Using alcohol is widely accepted in American society. Most of us are bombarded by billboards, commercials, and online advertisements that relate alcohol consumption to having a good time and socializing. There is nothing inherently wrong with drinking small amounts of alcohol. However, alcohol is an addictive substance. Even without an addiction being present, binge drinking and other forms of dangerous alcohol use pose risks.
Today, alcohol addiction is one of the most common substance abuse disorders around the country. Many people need dedicated alcohol addiction treatment in order to fully recover and regain sobriety. Learn more about substance abuse treatment near you by calling Serenity Grove at 844.904.3485.
What Defines Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol addiction, also referred to as alcohol use disorder, is a type of substance abuse that involves an unhealthy amount of drinking behavior. Once alcohol consumption reaches the point of addiction, drinking is considered compulsive and something that is no longer a simple personal choice. A few markers of alcohol addiction to look out for include the following:
- Cravings for alcohol
- Drinking too much alcohol every time you engage in drinking behavior
- Spending considerable time thinking about alcohol, planning how to get alcohol, or trying to recover from excessive alcohol consumption
- Negative consequences at home or work due to alcohol usage
- Risky behavior resulting from excessive alcohol use, such as driving while drunk
Recent studies indicate that people between 18-29 are the age group that is most affected by alcohol addiction. No one thing is responsible for causing alcohol addiction. Medical professionals often point to three interactive factors that influence whether or not someone develops an alcohol use disorder. These are co-occurring mental health conditions like depression or anxiety, environmental factors, and genetics.
How Alcohol Addiction Treatment Works
Oftentimes, the first step in alcohol addiction treatment is detox. This is the process of stopping alcohol usage and helping the body physically adjust to life without alcohol. In some cases, the detox process can be severely uncomfortable. Sometimes it is even life-threatening in cases of extreme addiction.
Alcohol addiction treatment centers are careful to put the necessary support in place to ensure people can navigate withdrawal effectively. A few of the most common alcohol withdrawal symptoms are tremors, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. In severe situations, seizures and delirium tremens are also possible symptoms during withdrawal.
Alcohol addiction treatment is generally accomplished using a combination of therapy and medications like acamprosate or disulfiram. Taking these medications can help reduce cravings and support abstinence. In the case of disulfiram, this medication causes users to experience negative side effects when they drink alcohol. These negative side effects act as a deterrent and help the brain associate alcohol consumption with feeling ill.
Therapies Used in Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Two therapies that are often used in alcohol addiction treatment are motivational interviewing and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Motivational interviewing focuses on unlocking a person’s motivation for pursuing recovery and helps people apply that motivation in ways that move recovery forward.
On the other hand, cognitive-behavioral therapy emphasizes behavior change. It does this by helping people notice the patterns of thinking and behaving that govern their lives and contribute to their alcohol use disorder. Once people can identify what is holding them back, they can work on changing these patterns. This approach is also very action-oriented in how it teaches clients skills for coping with stressors and triggers that might otherwise cause someone to return to use.
While not a formal type of therapy, mindfulness is another practice that is often included in alcohol addiction treatment. Mindfulness shares many elements with the traditional 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous since both are all about staying in the moment, finding compassion for the self, and avoiding judgment.
Learn More About Serenity Grove’s Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center
Help for alcohol addiction is just a phone call away. Reach out to 844.904.3485 to access professional help through Serenity Grove’s alcohol addiction treatment center. You can also reach us by filling out our online contact form. With the proper support, you can achieve recovery.