Most people with alcohol problems do not decide to make a big change out of the blue or transform their drinking habits overnight. Recovery is usually a more gradual process. In the early stages of change, denial is a huge obstacle. Even after admitting you have a drinking problem, you may make excuses and drag your feet. It’s important to acknowledge your ambivalence about stopping drinking. If you’re not sure if you’re ready to change or you’re struggling with the decision, it can help to think about the costs and benefits of each choice.
Many people don't understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to. Fortunately, researchers know more than ever about how drugs affect the brain and have found treatments that can help people recover from drug addiction and lead productive lives.
Once a person is addicted to alcohol, to stop it may take hospitalizations, rehabilitations, and re-rehabilitations all of which hemorrhage expenses — not to mention destroy relationships and property. The estimated cost to the system of this specialized addiction care is $24.6 billion. Since addiction is a disease that rewires the brain, the individual is unlikely to quit through “willpower” alone, and it often takes something dramatic (or “hitting rock bottom”) before they will make changes. There are costs associated with these dramatic scenarios. In the case of car accidents caused by driving drunk, costs include not just hospitalization, but the cost to insurance companies, car owners, municipal employees responding to the accident, and a continued chain reaction of costs that could ultimately include vehicular homicides and funeral expenses.
Founded in 1967 by 6 heroin addicts trying to stay clean, this nonprofit organization now has 11 treatment centers across the nation and over 120 specialized programs with a focus on holistic treatment. Phoenix House has grown into a program supported by a complete staff of addiction specialists. This treatment center follows the understanding that addiction is a chronic illness, requiring ongoing support and management just like any other chronic illness. It is one of the best treatment centers on the more affordable side of the spectrum.
Withdrawal is the body's reaction to abstaining from a substance upon which a person has developed a dependence syndrome. When dependence has developed, cessation of substance-use produces an unpleasant state, which promotes continued drug use through negative reinforcement; i.e., the drug is used to escape or avoid re-entering the associated withdrawal state. The withdrawal state may include physical-somatic symptoms (physical dependence), emotional-motivational symptoms (psychological dependence), or both. Chemical and hormonal imbalances may arise if the substance is not re-introduced. Psychological stress may also result if the substance is not re-introduced.[citation needed] Infants also suffer from substance withdrawal, known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), which can have severe and life-threatening effects. Addiction to drugs and alcohol in expectant mothers not only causes NAS, but also an array of other issues which can continually affect the infant throughout his/her lifetime.[13]

As a person continues to use drugs, the brain adapts by reducing the ability of cells in the reward circuit to respond to it. This reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drug—an effect known as tolerance. They might take more of the drug to try and achieve the same high. These brain adaptations often lead to the person becoming less and less able to derive pleasure from other things they once enjoyed, like food, sex, or social activities.
An inpatient rehab facility is the most structured treatment environment for those overcoming alcoholism. Generally, these rehabs are geared toward treating the most severe forms of alcoholism and require individuals to remain on-site for the duration of the program – 30, 60 or 90 days. Treatment specialists provide around-the-clock care and will prepare you for life after rehab. This may include information on how to overcome triggers, the importance of sobriety maintenance programs and what to do in the event of a relapse.
While a trial period of controlled drinking with careful follow-up might be appropriate for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse, this approach increases a physician's professional liability. Complete abstinence is the only treatment for alcohol dependence. Emphasize that the most common error is underestimating the amount of help that will be needed to stop drinking. The differential diagnosis between alcohol abuse and dependence can be a difficult judgment call. Dr. Gabor Mate Shares Insights on Addiction Treatment
Alcoholism is both a physical and mental illness, which causes people to drink alcohol despite it resulting in negative consequences. It affects hundreds of thousands of people in the UK, and millions more around the world. Although not a curable illness, it can be effectively treated and managed with a programme of detoxification and rehabilitation.

These are all very different drinking patterns, but they have one thing in common. People who drink like this have lost some modicum of control over their consumption. The beverages drive their behaviors. It can seem like a subtle distinction, but it’s an important one to understand, as people who don’t amend troublesome drinking behaviors can become people who have symptoms of alcoholism.


Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences.† It is considered a brain disorder, because it involves functional changes to brain circuits involved in reward, stress, and self-control, and those changes may last a long time after a person has stopped taking drugs.11

All drugs–nicotine, cocaine, marijuana and others–affect the brain’s “reward” circuit, which is part of the limbic system. This area of the brain affects instinct and mood. Drugs target this system, which causes large amounts of dopamine—a brain chemical that helps regulate emotions and feelings of pleasure—to flood the brain. This flood of dopamine is what causes a “high.” It’s one of the main causes of drug addiction. Making the Decision to Get Help - Alcohol Rehab Review
The physician should have AA literature in the office (dates and places of meetings), have the AA phone number available, and know about other treatment services in the community, including referrals for medical consultants or specialists in chemical dependency. No randomized trials of AA have been performed, but a US Veterans Administration study suggested that patients who attended meetings did much better than those who refused to go.
It can be difficult to recognize when casual drinking has crossed the line into abuse or addiction. It can be even harder to decide that it is time to do something about it.   Knowing what addiction looks and feels like can be challenging for loved ones, let alone for the person who is addicted to alcohol. If people are aware of what the signs of alcoholism are, it can be easier to determine when it’s time to enter rehab in order to stop the cycle of addiction and work toward recovery from alcoholism.  
Stimulants, such as tobacco, cocaine or prescription amphetamines, stimulate the brain and nervous system, causing increased alertness. Depressants, such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines, slow activity in the brain and nervous system, causing relaxation. Hallucinogens, such as LSD and PCP, drastically disrupt the way the brain and nervous system communicate, causing hallucinations. Rehab: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
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