It can be heartbreaking to realize that your loved one has a problem with alcohol. You want to do anything you can to help — but you’re afraid that if you speak up, you could destroy your relationship, or even drive your loved one deeper into addiction. At first, it’s much easier to deny the problem. But as time goes on and personal, financial, or legal problems increase, you’ll have to face the possibility that your loved one could have a substance use disorder. Learning to recognize the red flags of alcoholism could not only save your relationship, it could help you avoid a tragedy.
Take an inventory of how you experience the craving. Do this by sitting in a comfortable chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands in a comfortable position. Take a few deep breaths and focus your attention inward. Allow your attention to wander through your body. Notice where in your body you experience the craving and what the sensations are like. Notice each area where you experience the urge, and tell yourself what you are experiencing. For example, “My craving is in my mouth and nose and in my stomach.”
Drug addiction is a problem whose effects are felt in every corner of the country; however, this means that there are also treatment facilities right across the UK, and wherever you are you will not be too far away from the treatment you need. Your first port of call should always be your GP who will assess your situation and who can tell you what options exist for you locally.
You’ll want to be thorough while searching for the substance abuse treatment program that is right for you. Not all rehabs are equal, so it’s important that you know what you’re looking for. Not everyone will benefit from the same type of rehab so some priorities may depend on the individual’s preferences, but some standard things to look for include:
Our drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs are based on science, evidence and our experience of what works best in helping people get sober and stay sober. Hazelden Betty Ford pioneered the field’s leading approach to addiction treatment and we continue to evolve and advance the use of evidence-based treatments in order to provide our patients with the best opportunity for lifelong recovery from substance use disorder. Some of the evidence-based treatments our clinicians use include: What happens in rehab?
Alcohol dependency is different for different people. Although many sufferers share things in common, their relationships with alcohol might at first seem to be nothing alike. This can make it difficult for people to identify themselves as alcohol dependent, even as drinking has an increasingly more damaging effect on their relationships, health, and enjoyment of life.
An intervention can be held in the immediate aftermath of a terrible alcoholism consequence. Those openings are easy to find. For example, research published in Addiction suggests that people who drink before heading out on the town are 2.5 times more likely to get in a fight while out, compared to people who don’t drink. When people come home from a night of drinking with bruises and cuts, an intervention may be in order, and it may be well received.
According to NIDA, genetic factors are responsible for 40 to 60 percent of a person’s vulnerability to drug addiction. Studies show that a person’s predisposition to drug addiction positively correlates to their degree of genetic similarity to a relative who has a history of drug dependence or addiction. Mental disorders and medical conditions are also risk factors.
Treatment is sometimes intensive at first, where patients attend multiple outpatient sessions each week. After completing intensive treatment, patients transition to regular outpatient treatment, which meets less often and for fewer hours per week to help sustain their recovery. In September 2017, the FDA permitted marketing of the first mobile application, reSET®, to help treat substance use disorders. This application is intended to be used with outpatient treatment to treat alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, and stimulant substance use disorders. In December 2018, the FDA cleared a mobile medical application, reSET®, to help treat opioid use disorders. This application is a prescription cognitive behavioral therapy and should be used in conjunction with treatment that includes buprenorphine and contingency management. Read more about reSET® in this FDA News Release.
For many people struggling with addiction, the toughest step toward recovery is the very first one: recognizing that you have a problem and deciding to make a change. It’s normal to feel uncertain about whether you’re ready to make a change, or if you have what it takes to quit. If you’re addicted to a prescription drug, you may be concerned about how you’re going to find an alternate way to treat a medical condition. It’s okay to feel torn. Committing to sobriety involves changing many things, including:
The disease model of addiction has long contended the maladaptive patterns of alcohol and substance use displays addicted individuals are the result of a lifelong disease that is biological in origin and exacerbated by environmental contingencies. This conceptualization renders the individual essentially powerless over his or her problematic behaviors and unable to remain sober by himself or herself, much as individuals with a terminal illness being unable to fight the disease by themselves without medication. Behavioral treatment, therefore, necessarily requires individuals to admit their addiction, renounce their former lifestyle, and seek a supportive social network who can help them remain sober. Such approaches are the quintessential features of Twelve-step programs, originally published in the book Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939. These approaches have met considerable amounts of criticism, coming from opponents who disapprove of the spiritual-religious orientation on both psychological and legal grounds. Opponents also contend that it lacks valid scientific evidence for claims of efficacy. However, there is survey-based research that suggests there is a correlation between attendance and alcohol sobriety. Different results have been reached for other drugs, with the twelve steps being less beneficial for addicts to illicit substances, and least beneficial to those addicted to the physiologically and psychologically addicting opioids, for which maintenance therapies are the gold standard of care.
Genetics make up about 50% of the risk for alcohol dependence, but they by no means tell the whole story. Genetic history is often hard to distinguish, but if parents are regular heavy drinkers, or they drink to reduce stress and depression, it is likely that their children will grow up believing that these behaviours are normal and possibly harmless. But environmental influence doesn’t come only from the home; peer pressure from friends, colleagues and partners can also encourage new and difficult patterns of drinking which can lead to dependency or co-dependency.