Binge Drinking by College Students: The Risks

A young man drinking a large mug of beer, looking sad, to illustrate the dangers of binge drinking by college students

Unfortunately, binge drinking by college students is relatively common, and comes with a host of worrying side effects for mental health.

According to the National Institutes of Health, a 2018 study found that 37% of college students had engaged in binge drinking within the previous month.

The National Institutes of Health also reports that binge drinking among college students is linked to suicide attempts.

A study in the Journal of American College Health found that students who engaged in heavy drinking were more likely to experience poor mental health.

Given the high prevalence of binge drinking among college students, some students may require rehab in order to stop drinking and avoid the poor mental health and suicide risk that can come with heavy alcohol use.

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Consequences of Binge Drinking Among College Students

Beyond the risk of suicide and mental health problems, heavy, frequent drinking among college students can have a variety of negative consequences, including increased chances of missing classes or earning low scores on tests or assignments.

Heavy binge drinking among college students is also associated with assault, sexual violence, and deaths from accidents and injuries.

Unfortunately, the research shows that every year, about 1,500 college students are involved in fatal accidents involving alcohol, including motor vehicle crashes.

Other consequences of binge drinking among college students include health problems, risky sexual behavior, and involvement with police.

Heavy alcohol use may be common and socially promoted on college campuses, but the reality is that it can have devastating effects.

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Binge Drinking Among College Students Can Lead to Addiction

As previously stated, over one-third of college students engage in binge drinking within a given month, placing them at risk of developing an alcohol abuse disorder.

As the National Institutes of Health explains, binge drinking occurs when a college male consumes five or more drinks within a two-hour period, or when a female consumes four or more drinks within the same time period.
Unfortunately, college students may not realize they are drinking in this way, because large portions of beer or mixed drinks consumed during college parties could actually exceed what is considered a single drink. This makes it easy for college students to lose track of the number of drinks consumed, resulting in high rates of binge drinking among college students.

What is even riskier is the fact that some college students drink twice the amount that is considered binge drinking, a pattern that experts call “high intensity drinking.” Over time, this can lead to an alcohol addiction or an alcohol use disorder. According to the latest research, nearly 10% of college students meet the diagnostic criteria for an alcohol use disorder within a given year.

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Signs of an Alcohol Use Disorder

Signs of an alcohol use disorder include being unable to cut back on drinking, giving up other activities in favor of alcohol use, or drinking larger quantities than intended. Other signs of an alcohol use disorder can include drinking in situations in which it is dangerous, continuing to drink despite relationship problems, and drinking to the extent that it is difficult to fulfill duties at work or school.

A college student who is struggling with an alcohol addiction may ruin friendships because of alcohol abuse, involve themselves in dangerous situations, such as drunk driving, and begin to fail classes because drinking interferes with studying and completing schoolwork.

Treatment for Binge Drinking Among College Students

If you are a college student who has become involved in drinking to excess on a regular basis, you may benefit from alcohol rehab. Excessive bouts of focused drinking among college students can lead to an alcohol use disorder, which is a brain disorder that negatively affects numerous areas of life.

Fortunately, treatment can help you to identify your triggers for alcohol abuse and develop strategies for living a life that is free from the grips of alcohol addiction. Experts recommend behavioral interventions and cognitive-behavioral treatments to address binge drinking among college students.
When you seek rehab for alcohol abuse, an addiction professional may provide a specific type of counseling called cognitive behavioral therapy, which can help you to think differently about alcohol and cope with situations that may trigger you to abuse alcohol in the future.

 

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Treatment for Mental Illness and Binge Drinking Among College Students

Excessive drinking among college students is linked to poor mental health, and it can even increase the risk of suicide. One study, published in Issues in Mental Health Nursing, found that college students who were heavy drinkers scored significantly higher on a depression scale when compared to those who did not have drinking problems.
Alcohol abuse can worsen mental health among college students, leading to depression and even suicidal thoughts. Many college students who seek treatment for alcohol abuse may also be in need of mental health care to address mental health conditions like depression.
To ensure the best treatment outcomes, college students with both an alcohol addiction and depression should seek treatment at a dual diagnosis center, which can address both conditions. For example, if you get treatment for alcohol abuse but ignore the underlying depression, you may return to drinking in order to help you cope with mental health symptoms.

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Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Colorado and Arizona

If you are struggling with binge drinking and are in need of rehab, Pathfinders Recovery Center has facilities in both Colorado and Arizona, and we are happy to provide services to those in surrounding states.
We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so we can help with both alcohol addiction and mental health concerns. Our leadership team has over 25 years of experience in the addiction field, and we are proud to offer premier dual diagnosis rehab services.
We also have a range of treatment levels, including inpatient, partial hospitalization, detox, and outpatient services.

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Paying for Dual Diagnosis Treatment

As a college student, you may worry about covering the costs of treatment for alcohol abuse and mental health concerns.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we take some of the stress out of the process for you by offering a free insurance verification program.

Simply visit our website and provide us with your insurance information, and a member of our team will tell you what you can expect to pay for treatment.

If you are without insurance coverage, we will work with you to create a cash payment plan.

Call us today to discuss your options and begin your treatment journey, so you can move forward from the consequences of binge drinking among college students.

Types of Alcoholics

Types of Alcoholics

Am I An Alcoholic?

If you’ve ever felt like alcoholics on TV and in movies all resemble each other, you’re not alone. In reality, alcoholics come in many different forms. Addiction, whether to alcohol or drugs, is a chronic disease. 

Researchers and medical professionals are still working hard to determine why some people become addicted while others do not. But one thing we do know is that every addiction is unique. Your experience and side effects won’t look the same as anyone else’s. 

Nearly 18 million American adults have an alcohol use disorder. These disorders are never one-size-fits-all. Alcohol disorders can range from mild to severe. Many alcoholics continue to go to work, spend time with family and friends, and manage other daily responsibilities. 

In the following sections, we will break down the risk factors and different types of alcoholics to give you a better idea of where you stand. 

Risk Factors for Alcohol Use Disorders

Risk Factors for Alcohol Use Disorders

The exact cause of alcohol use disorder is unknown. Currently, we have a deeper understanding of the risk factors that can increase your risk of developing it. Some of the most common risk factors for alcohol use disorder include: 

  • Having over 15 drinks per week if you’re male and over 12 drinks per week if you’re female. 
  • Having more than five drinks on the same day at least once per week. 
  • Having one or more parents with an alcohol use disorder. 
  • Having pre-existing mental health concerns, including anxiety disorders, depression, or schizophrenia. 
  • Having a high pressure or stressful work or school life. 
  • Having low self-esteem. 
  • Facing consistent peer pressure or spending time with others who treat alcohol abuse as something normal. 

Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder

The same way that your risk factors and side effects can vary, the symptoms of alcohol use disorder can vary, too. You may notice that you or your loved one has been drinking alone or dodging responsibilities to spend more time drinking. 

You may also notice that you need to drink more to get drunk because your tolerance is higher than it used to be. Others battling alcoholism can become angry or violent when questioned about the frequency of their drinking. 

Continuing to drink after problems arise, whether in your relationships, work, or finances, is another symptom of alcohol use disorder. And neglecting your hygiene or developing unhealthy eating habits due to uncontrollable alcohol intake are other signs of trouble. 

Different Types of Alcoholics 

Individuals battling alcoholism fall into several different categories: 

  • Young adult alcoholics
  • Young antisocial alcoholics
  • Functional alcoholics
  • Intermediate familial alcoholics
  • Chronic severe alcoholics

According to the same research that helped identify these different types of alcoholics, young adults account for more than half of alcoholics in the United States

Young Adult Alcoholics

Young adult alcoholics are the largest group. They account for a total of about 32% of alcoholics in the country. This group is characterized by binge drinking rather than frequent drinking and has an average onset alcoholism age of 20. 

Young Antisocial Alcoholics

In the young antisocial alcoholics’ group, the average age is 26. This group also tends to start drinking earlier than alcoholics in other categories, with most starting to drink by 15 and becoming alcoholics by 18. 

More than half of the individuals in this category also have an antisocial personality disorder. Most also smoke marijuana or cigarettes. Because of these notable differences and the age gap, individuals in the young adult and young antisocial categories don’t overlap.  

Functional Alcoholics

Functional alcoholics are often closer to middle-age. Functional is the keyword here. Most individuals in this category have stable marriages or relationships, are educated, they work, and have higher incomes than those in other groups. 

Most functional alcoholics average five or more drinks per day every other day. Despite many media portrayals of alcoholism, it is possible to maintain a relatively normal social life, schedule, and career while battling alcohol use disorder. 

Intermediate Familial Alcoholics

The intermediate familial group is about the same size as the functional alcoholics’ group. Each account for nearly 19% of all alcoholics in the country. In the intermediate group, individuals often start drinking around age 17 and become alcoholics early in their 30s. 

Chronic Severe Alcoholics

At just 9% of the total, this is the smallest group on the list. Chronic severe alcoholics are typically men. Individuals in this category experience the highest divorce rates and are often also illicit drug users. 

Many people are surprised to find that this stereotypical category is so small. When many of us imagine alcoholism, someone who fits into this category may be the first person that comes to mind. This proves that our first judgments are not always the most accurate. 

Alcoholism is more common among youths and young adults than most of us previously realized. No matter what it looks like, alcohol use disorder is a severe disease that can have a significant impact on your physical and mental health. 

Types of Alcoholics – Slang Names 

Most people are more familiar with slang names than the groups listed above. You might recognize the terms binge drinker, weekend warrior, drunk, or wine-o rather than recognize the difference between a functional alcoholic and an intermediate familial alcoholic. And that’s okay. 

We offer the knowledge, guidance, and care you need to leave your addiction behind you. No one expects you to have all the answers or to face your addiction on your own. The expert team at Pathfinders has decades of experience in addiction care. 

The first step in getting help and building a better life is learning more about the problem itself. No matter what type of alcohol use disorder you have or what category you fall into, alcoholism gets worse over time and will not go away if you ignore it. 

Determining What Types of Alcoholics You Are

If you are worried that you or someone you love is an alcoholic, the signs, symptoms, and risk factors listed above could help you make that determination. Not every alcoholic will struggle to get out of bed in the morning or hold down a job. 

But not every alcoholic will find it easy to function, either. Every addiction is as unique as the person who is experiencing it. No matter which type of alcoholism you are battling, it is a battle just the same. And help is available to make it easier to overcome. 

While the risk factors, signs, symptoms, and side effects may vary, each type of alcoholism can be improved with the right addiction treatments. At Pathfinders, we offer personalized and proven addiction treatments. 

From full-time inpatient care to convenient and flexible part-time programs, we will meet you where you are in your recovery journey and help you get where you need to be. With safe, comfortable, and luxurious facilities in Colorado and Arizona, help is closer than you might think. 

Seeking Help for Alcoholism

Seeking Help for Alcoholism

If you have experienced the symptoms above or are worried about someone you care about, don’t wait another day to seek treatment. Alcohol and drug addictions only get worse and harder to combat over time. 

Call our addiction counselors any time, day or night, weekday, or weekend at 866-576-4892. They are on call to help confirm your insurance and start to put together a program that meets your unique addiction, goals, and recovery needs.

What is a Functioning Alcoholic?

What is a Functioning Alcoholic

Functioning Alcoholics

Across the country, nearly 18 million adults have an alcohol use disorder. With such a high number, it would be impossible for each of these disorders to look the same. Before we talk about the different types of alcoholism and signs of functioning alcoholism, let’s go over what it means to be a functioning alcoholic. 

Unlike the defeated scenes we see on TV, many alcoholics in real life aren’t living at rock bottom. They are getting up and going to work each day, often in high-paying careers. They have meaningful relationships and are generally well-educated. 

Functioning alcoholics can appear, on the surface, to have their lives in order. Many maintain a relatively normal life, including a full social circle, home life, and career. You may not ever know that functioning alcoholics were averaging five drinks or more just about every other day

While people in this category may function better than others, that does not mean that this is a sustainable way to live. Alcoholism is a severe, chronic disease. The disease and its side effects only get worse over time. 

Other Types of Alcoholism

Other Types of Alcoholism

We talk a lot about functioning alcoholics, but did you know that this is only one type of five? The other four are young adult, young antisocial, intermediate familial, and chronic severe alcoholics. You may notice that two out of five of these categories mention a specific age group. 

That is because young adults account for over half of the total number of alcoholics in the country. In the past, alcoholics were generally imagined to be middle-aged, divorced, and otherwise down on their luck. 

But this is not always the case. In fact, it is not even the case half of the time. In the same way that every person is unique, every addiction is, too. It is time for us all to learn more about alcoholism so that we can be better prepared to overcome it, no matter how it looks for you. 

Signs of a Functioning Alcoholic

As we mentioned above, functioning alcoholics average five drinks in a day about every other day. They are generally working, older adults with stable social and familial relationships, more education, and higher incomes. 

Additionally, they will carry out daily tasks of living with minimal disruptions. Work, hygiene, childcare, bill paying, and social activities can be completed without exhibiting the impairments that are normally associated with an alcohol use disorder. 

But the compulsive drinking of a functioning alcoholic can make it harder to tell when you’ve crossed a line. If your drinking tolerance has increased, you have started to hide your drinking from others, or you become defensive when your drinking is questioned, these are all signs of a functioning alcoholic. 

Additional Functioning Alcoholic Symptoms

An increased tolerance to alcohol, the compulsion to hide your drinking, and becoming emotional when asked about your drinking habits are three signs of trouble. Other behaviors that you or someone you love has high-functioning alcoholism include: 

  • Regularly experiencing blackouts after drinking. 
  • Going to work in the morning still drunk or hungover. 
  • Sneaking drinks before or after a social event or at an event that doesn’t involve alcohol.
  • Getting drunk alone at home or hiding alcohol from your loved ones in the house.
  • Drinking even after you have developed mental or physical health problems. 
  • Denying that you have a problem because you still go to work and or perform other important tasks. 
  • Drinking at work or in settings that could be dangerous, including while or before you are driving. 
  • Drinking excessively to cope with stress
  • Getting overwhelming alcohol cravings when you are not drinking. 
  • Lying about the extent of your drinking to yourself or those who care about you. 
  • Comparing yourself to others who have experienced more severe alcohol-related problems. 

Are You a High Functioning Alcoholic?

As you can see, there are many signs that you may be a functioning alcoholic. You may experience a few of these events or circumstances or many of them. No two functioning alcoholics will have exactly the same experience. 

But chances are good that if you see yourself in this list, it is time to seek help. Our expert medical staff can help evaluate your concerns and look objectively at your drinking habits. They will help you determine which of your behaviors are problematic and how to fix them from there. 

You do not have to face high functioning alcoholism alone. And the ability to carry out daily responsibilities does not mean that you will be safe from more serious side effects down the line. Over time, alcoholism impairs your mental and physical health. 

Living with alcoholism long-term will not do. The sooner you decide to change your life, the sooner your life can begin to change. 

How to Help a Functioning Alcoholic in Denial

If your spouse, parent, child, or sibling is exhibiting concerning drinking behaviors, you would not be the first person to wonder how to live with a high functioning alcoholic. Many people who battle alcoholism will hide their drinking and become defensive or angry when questioned. 

These are two signs of an alcoholic in denial. It is not always easy to approach someone who is battling addiction. But early interference and treatment can save someone from years of struggles. 

It can help prevent further mental or physical health complications and ensure that your loved one can live a happy, healthy, sober life. For a mild alcohol use disorder, treatment is minimally disruptive. 

They can attend outpatient treatments, including behavioral therapy sessions, stress management training, and support groups. This type of program is ideal for those who have work and family obligations to attend to at home. 

Before considering a professional intervention, consider having an open, honest conversation with them about their drinking habits. Calmly and supportively encourage them to speak to a professional about these habits. 

It can be a counselor at our facility or their regular doctor. Getting them talking is a great first step. Talk to them about what you have learned here. And know that denial is normal at first. 

Seeking Help for Yourself

If you are seeking help for yourself instead of a loved one, the suggestions listed above also apply. Outpatient care is ideal for those with milder addictions, full-time jobs, or family obligations that make it difficult to commit to a full-time program. 

Because you have already demonstrated that you can maintain a relatively normal life and schedule as a high functioning alcoholic, full-time care isn’t typically necessary. But it is available if you need it. 

Functioning Alcoholic Treatments

Functioning Alcoholic Treatments

Behavioral therapy and medication are two of the most common treatment methods for functioning alcoholics. The medication will help ease withdrawal symptoms, including alcohol cravings, to help set you up for success. 

And behavioral therapy will help you understand and overcome the stressors, situations, and feelings that lead you to drink in the first place. 

Choosing Pathfinders Recovery Center

If you or someone you love is battling high functioning alcoholism, help is available. Through various personalized addiction programs and treatments, we provide everything you need to build a better life. 

Call our addiction counselors today at 866-576-4892 to get started. Today is a good day for a fresh start.

Alcoholism and Hair Loss

Alcoholism and Hair Loss

Does Alcohol Cause Hair Loss?

There are many different causes of hair loss. Family history, hormonal changes, medications, and aging are among the most common causes of hair loss. These are the causes that are talked about the most. 

With these other reasons in mind, it comes as no surprise that many people do not realize that alcoholism and hair loss are also linked. Hair loss can affect your scalp alone or your whole body. It can be a temporary loss or a permanent one. 

Alcohol and Hair Loss

Alcohol and Hair Loss

While alcohol abuse or addiction is not a direct or common link to hair loss, there is a connection between the two. It is important to note that alcoholism affects everyone differently. No two people will experience the same side effects or symptoms each day. 

Alcoholism alone will not cause you to lose all your hair. But chronic alcoholism does put you at a higher risk for hair loss than others. Primarily, this comes down to the tendency of alcoholics to suffer from physical or nutritional deficiencies. 

Ways Alcohol and Hair Loss Are Linked

Alcoholism has a way of taking over your life. This makes it harder to focus on things like work, family, friends, and your mental and physical health. As such, chronic alcoholism patients are typically deficient in certain vitamins due to a poor diet. 

Vitamin deficiencies that are often associated with inadequate dietary intake and alcoholism include vitamins A and B6, thiamine, and folate. While alcoholism itself isn’t the only cause, it is a contributing factor. 

Alcohol impairs the way your body absorbs, stores, metabolizes and activates these vitamins. Alcohol also raises your estrogen levels. This elevation of estrogen is, in part, what causes hair loss. People who struggle with alcoholism typically do not follow a healthy or balanced diet. 

The loss of vitamins, the deficiencies that follow, and the increase in estrogen contribute to increased rates of hair loss, along with other troubling symptoms. In addition to vitamin deficiencies and estrogen production, elevated stress levels and chronic dehydration are other links to hair loss. 

Alcoholism and Chronic Dehydration

Because it is a diuretic, alcohol can cause dehydration. When we drink socially, we often forget to drink enough water to avoid a hangover the next day. When someone is battling chronic alcoholism, it gets even harder to remember to drink the appropriate amount of water each day. 

Water is a crucial component in the growth of hair follicles. This means that regular dehydration can damage these follicles, causing your hair to become brittle and break. When your hair grows back, it is thinner than it was before, which makes the hair loss look more noticeable. 

To recap, alcohol and hair loss are linked through: 

  • Vitamin deficiencies from a lack of a healthy diet. 
  • An increase in estrogen levels. 
  • Chronic dehydration. 
  • Elevated stress levels. 

Other Side Effects of Alcoholism

Alcoholism can alter your mind and body in many ways. You may experience mood swings or other concerning personality changes, including depression, anxiety, excessive worrying, paranoia, or full-blown panic. Memory loss and impaired judgment are also common. 

And on the physical side, alcoholism can lead to an increased risk of

  • High blood pressure and stroke. 
  • Heart or liver disease.
  • Cancer of the liver, colon, mouth, throat, esophagus, and breast. 

These conditions are part of a longer list of potential health risks associated with alcoholism. From your relationships and work habits to your diet, mental health, and physical health, alcohol can wreak havoc on your routine. It does not impact just one aspect of your life or another. It impairs all of them.  

Treatment for Hair Loss

As we age, we naturally begin to lose our hair. But this happens faster for some than for others. If you believe that you are losing hair faster than you should be for reasons other than alcohol consumption, there are things you can do to improve it. 

In recent years, there has been a major push for aging gracefully. Accepting your hair loss and allowing it to run its course untreated and unhidden is admirable. You can also improve its appearance with a strategic hairstyle, makeup, hat, or scarf. 

If these tricks are not sufficient, there are options for hair loss treatments. They may help prevent future hair loss, restore growth after hair loss, or do some combination of the two. Your doctor can help you find the best treatment options available to you. 

But if you are losing hair due to alcohol abuse, your options may look a bit different. Thankfully, avoiding hair loss with alcoholism treatments can help you prevent further damage and improve existing damage, too. 

Avoiding Hair Loss with Alcoholism Treatments

When it comes to alcohol-related hair loss, the good news is that there are ways to regrow your hair naturally. But first, you will need to address your alcohol intake. After all, what good is addressing your hair loss if you continue to do the thing that causes it in the first place? 

When you address your alcohol intake first, your body can relearn how to properly absorb the vitamins it needs, regulate the production of estrogen and other important hormones, and find the right overall balance. 

Once you address the root of the problem, there are several things you can do to correct or improve your hair loss. Low-level laser therapy is a method that helps restore the health of your scalp, stimulate hair growth, and regenerate old cells. 

There are also supplements you can take to address and restore any nutrient deficiencies that may be contributing to your hair loss. These supplements contain nutrients that improve your hair, nails, and skin naturally. 

And of course, building a healthy routine in the kitchen will help, too. Vitamin-rich foods like avocado, nuts, and eggs can help improve the health of your hair. While hair loss can be unpleasant and uncomfortable, it does not have to be permanent. 

Treatment Options at Pathfinders Recovery Center

Treatment Options at Pathfinders Recovery Center

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism, reaching out for help is the first step. And at Pathfinders Recovery Center, we have everything you need to meet your short-term and long-term addiction recovery goals. 

With our well-rounded and personalized programs, we help you improve each aspect of your health and routine. From our first phone call through aftercare and support group meetings, we will be with you every step of the way. 

Among other research-based and proven treatment methods, our alcohol addiction treatment programs feature: 

  • Monitored detoxes. 
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy. 
  • Contingency management.
  • 12-step facilitation therapy.
  • Motivational enhancement therapy.
  • Community reinforcement. 

Getting Started

The best recovery outcomes start with a personalized approach. We will help you learn how to take care of your mind and body so that they will take care of you. Whether you need full-time, inpatient care, part-time outpatient treatments, or sporadic support through peer meetings, we have options here for all different types and levels of addiction. 

And we will tailor the program you choose to better suit your unique needs from there. Call us today at 866-263-1808 to get started. Why spend another day wishing that things could change? A new life is just one phone call away.

How Can I Find Alcoholism Help Near Me

Alcoholism Help Near Me

Getting Help for the Symptoms of Alcoholism

“What do I need to do to find alcoholism help near me?” If you are asking yourself this question, you have already taken a huge step toward future sobriety. This is true because only a small fraction of affected people in the U.S. ever seek help. Such a situation is genuinely tragic, since more resources for recovery are available than ever before. Just by looking for assistance, you have made recovery a real possibility. 

When seeking help for alcoholism, it is a good idea to ask yourself some important questions. This is true whether you need assistance for yourself or for someone else. By starting from an informed perspective, you increase the odds that you will make sound decisions on how to proceed. 

One thing to consider is the steps you can take to determine when professional help is necessary. You may also want to learn about the current methods used to treat alcoholism. And of course, you will want to learn where to get help for alcoholism that will truly support your recovery. 

Alcoholism Help Near Me: When Is It Time to Start Looking

Roughly 17 million people in America over the age of 17 have a serious drinking problem. How can you tell if you or a loved one are part of this large group? Only a doctor or addiction specialist will be able to make an official diagnosis. However, as a first step, you can look for certain potential signs of a problem. Examples of these signs include:

  • Hearing from friends or relatives that they are worried about your drinking
  • Reacting to the concerns of others with anger or irritation
  • Having thoughts about cutting back and not being able to follow through on them
  • Feeling like you need to drink alcohol before you can start your day
  • Experiencing feelings of regret or guilt about your drinking

These signs are not definitive. However, if they affect you or a loved one, it is time to start looking for alcoholism help near you. 

Alcoholism Vs. Alcohol Abuse

“Do I need more than alcoholism help near me?” This question may surprise you, but it is an important one to ask. Why? Not all people with serious drinking problems have alcoholism. In fact, many of those affected suffer from non-addicted alcohol abuse. What is the difference between alcoholism and alcohol abuse? 

Alcoholism, formally known as alcohol dependence, produces diagnosable symptoms that include:

  • Having a daily routine that revolves around drinking or related activities
  • Feeling less and less affected by any given amount of alcohol
  • Attempting and failing to quit drinking at least two times
  • Making drinking your preferred form of leisure or recreation
  • Keeping up your drinking despite its negative physical and mental effects
  • Losing your ability to limit your alcohol consumption
  • Developing withdrawal symptoms when you take drinking breaks, drink less or quit

In contrast, symptoms of non-addicted alcohol abuse include:

  • Not modifying your drinking when it harms important relationships
  • Having a level of drinking that makes it hard for you to fulfill your responsibilities
  • Making a habit of doing risky things, e.g., swimming or driving, while using alcohol

The symptoms of alcoholism and non-addicted abuse are part of the same condition: alcohol use disorder, or AUD. If you have just two of those symptoms, you qualify for an AUD diagnosis. This is true if you are only affected by alcoholism. It is also true if you are affected by both alcoholism and non-addicted alcohol abuse.

Crucially, you can also receive an AUD diagnosis if you only have symptoms of non-addicted abuse. This means that even if you do not have alcoholism, you may need professional help for your drinking problems. Awareness of this fact can make all the difference in your health, safety and well-being.

Alcoholism Help Near Me: Getting an Official Diagnosis

Alcoholism Help

To make sure that you have AUD, you must seek an official diagnosis. Where to get help for alcoholism diagnosis? A convenient place to start may be a conversation with your primary care doctor. In recent years, many doctors have received training on how to screen for alcohol problems. 

You can also seek alcoholism help near you from an addiction specialist. These professionals provide alcohol and drug screenings as part of their core services. Their deep experience allows them to make a thorough assessment of your condition. Need help finding an addiction specialist in your area? The National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, or NIAAA, offers a thorough guide to locating qualified providers. 

What happens during an alcohol screening? First, your doctor or specialist will take a look at your drinking habits. This will allow them to determine if you are at-risk for AUD. If signs of a problem are present, you will receive a more detailed screening for alcoholism and alcohol abuse. The information from this screening makes it possible to:

  • Determine if you have AUD
  • Assess the seriousness of your symptoms if you are affected
  • Classify your AUD as mild, moderate or severe

If you have AUD, both primary care doctors and addiction specialists can refer you for further treatment. 

Where to Get Help for Alcoholism: Detox and Active Treatment

Alcohol Detox

Once you receive an AUD diagnosis, it is time to search for alcoholism help near you through alcohol treatment. If you are addicted to alcohol, you can expect to start your recovery in a detox program. Supervised alcohol detox makes it possible for you to safely stop drinking. It does this in several ways.

First, detox provides the support you need to cope with the effects of alcohol withdrawal. This is crucial for a couple of reasons. For starters, even relatively mild withdrawal symptoms can make you doubt your commitment to get sober. In supervised detox, you receive treatments that ease your symptoms. By doing so, these treatments decrease the odds that you will discontinue your efforts.

Professional detox also helps protect and support your general health throughout your enrollment. In addition, it provides another essential service. A small but significant number of people withdrawing from alcohol experience dangerous complications. The staff at a high-quality detox program will include personnel trained to handle any potential emergency. 

Where to get help for alcoholism detox near you? One option is to ask your doctor or local addiction specialist for recommendations. These professionals should be familiar with well-designed programs operating in your area. The NIAAA Treatment Navigator is another excellent source of quality programs. You may also choose to conduct your own Internet search. If you pick this option, be sure to focus on providers who follow modern guidelines for detox treatment. 

Active Alcohol Treatment

active alcohol treatment

Alcohol detox is followed by active treatment. Whether or not you are addicted to alcohol, you will need this kind of treatment for AUD. If you are addicted, alcoholism help near you will likely include some form of medication. There are medications available to:

  • Reduce the pleasurable effects of alcohol in your system
  • Deter you from alcohol by making you sick when you drink
  • Repair some of the brain dysfunction caused by heavy drinking

The net effect is to dial down your alcohol cravings and make it easier for you to avoid a relapse.

Your treatment for AUD should also include some form of psychotherapy. This is true for people with alcoholism, as well as people affected by non-addicted abuse. The therapy used in alcohol treatment is behavioral. Its goal is help you do such things as:

  • Create a workable plan for maintaining your sobriety
  • Learn how to recognize the things that make you more likely to drink
  • Take steps to avoid or successfully deal with these drinking “triggers”
  • Strengthen or create your personal support network
  • Add a self-help group to your larger recovery plans
  • Address issues in your personal life that influence your drinking behaviors

The NIAAA recommends a number of therapy options for people with AUD. Examples of these options include:

  • MET, or Motivational Enhancement Therapy
  • Family Counseling
  • Marriage Counseling
  • CBT, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

These therapies may be used in combination or separately, depending on your circumstances.

Where to get help for alcoholism treatment near you? As with detox, your doctor or addiction specialist is a great place to start. These professionals not only make references for treatment. In addition, they may play an active role in designing your care plan. You can also look for providers through the NIAAA or from trusted Internet resources.

Outpatient Vs. Inpatient Treatment

Alcoholism help near you may take place in an outpatient or inpatient program. In outpatient programs, you continue to live at home while getting treatment. In contrast, inpatient programs require you to take temporary residence at your treatment facility. 

Your doctor or addiction specialist will help determine which of these two options suit your needs. As a rule, people with relatively mild AUD are candidates for outpatient care. People with more severe AUD symptoms are typical candidates for inpatient care.

Learn More About How to Get Alcoholism Help Near You

If you or your loved one suffer from alcohol problems, alcoholism help near you is a pressing concern. Without this help, you face an uncertain future that exposes you to major harm. Such an outcome is avoidable. That is true even if you have been drinking for years and have severe AUD. 

To learn more about where to get help for alcoholism, call the specialists at Pathfinders. Every day, we help people from all walks of life find the resources needed for their recovery. Pathfinders is also a local leader in both alcohol detox and alcohol treatment. Our customized plans will help you turn your sobriety goals into reality.

Recovering Alcoholics in Relationships

What to Know About Recovering Alcoholics in Relationships

Recovering alcoholics in relationships faces unique challenges.

This is true because your relationships and home life have a major impact on your state of well-being.

Solid relationships may help make your recovery easier.

However, dysfunctional ones have the potential to send your recovery spinning far off-track.

In a worst-case scenario, you may find yourself undoing all your hard work and returning to your old drinking ways.

No one wants to go through this kind of painful setback.

The good news is that recovering alcoholics in relationships can get help.

For some people, that help might come in the form of couples therapy.

If you have children or other loved ones, family therapy may also play an essential role in your recovery.

These options can be used separately or together to help improve your home life and support your sobriety.

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The Impact of Alcoholism on Current Relationships

Alcoholism and serious alcohol abuse are both part of an illness called alcohol use disorder, or AUD. Both of these interconnected issues can do major damage to your intimate and family relationships. For example, alcoholism can lead you to:

  • Make drinking your top personal priority, not your relationships
  • Stop taking part in other activities that you or your partner once enjoyed

Serious, non-addicted alcohol abuse can lead you to:

  • Neglect key responsibilities that your family depends on you for
  • Keep drinking even when you know that your relationships are suffering as a result
  • Use alcohol in dangerous situations that put you or your family at-risk

You can experience any combination of these problems. Why? Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are often overlapping conditions. This means that you can suffer from both of them at the very same time.

What types of problems occur in the relationships and families of alcoholics? Specific issues vary from person to person. However, some of the most common problems include:

  • Loss of communication between partners or family members
  • A decline of caring or loving interactions in your relationship or family unit
  • A rise in negative interactions
  • An inconsistent or chaotic day-to-day environment
  • Outbursts of anger, aggression, or even outright violence

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The Impact of a Stressful Relationship on Your Alcoholism Risks

The link between relationship problems and alcoholism runs in both directions. What does this mean? Not only does alcoholism increase your risks for a disrupted personal life. Pre-existing disruptions in your personal life can increase your risks for developing alcoholism. Specific reasons for this include:

  • Turning to alcohol as a stress reliever for relationship conflict
  • Drinking to cope with depression, anxiety, or other negative feelings

 

Therapy Options for Recovering Alcoholics in Relationships

Couples Therapy or Counseling

While in treatment, recovering alcoholics in relationships may receive help in the form of Behavioral Couples Therapy, or BCT. You may also receive similar forms of couples counseling. Couples therapy and counseling are often given to you and your partner at the same time. However, you may also speak with your therapist or counselor on your own.

How does BCT or couples counseling work? Key goals include helping you:

  • Learn how to problem solve within your relationship
  • Improve your ability to communicate with your partner
  • Decrease negative behaviors and increase caring behaviors
  • Enhance the general quality of your relationship

As a rule, BCT and couples counseling are for people in committed relationships. Many participants are married. In contrast, others are not. Couples therapy and counseling work alongside other aspects of your alcohol treatment. Important benefits for your relationship and alcohol recovery include:

  • Reinforcing your dedication to achieving and maintaining sobriety
  • Helping you avoid alcohol-related harm
  • Improving the overall quality of your relationship
  • Decreasing your chances of divorcing or separating if you are married

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Family Therapy or Counseling

While in treatment, recovering alcoholics in relationships may also receive family therapy or counseling. One well-regarded option here is Family Behavior Therapy, or FBT. This therapy focuses on two main areas. The first of these areas is the impact of alcoholism on your and your family unit. The second is the impact of other related issues on you and your family. Examples of these issues include:

  • Various kinds of family conflict not related to your drinking
  • Other mental health issues
  • Unemployment and other economic issues

The aim of FBT is to get your and your family members to change harmful behaviors. Those behaviors may stem from your drinking. They may also be things that make you more likely to abuse alcohol. Each person involved in the therapy helps decide on specific behavior goals. The unit as a whole also has its own goals. Periodically, you and your therapist review the progress of FBT. Goals that are met are rewarded by you or other family members.

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Continuing Care for Recovering Alcoholics in Relationships

Relationship concerns do not disappear automatically when you finish alcohol treatment. The same holds true for your risks for relapse. For these reasons, it is crucial to maintain your access to professional help after rehab. How do you do this? By enrolling in a long-term rehab or aftercare program.

Continuing care often takes place in a treatment facility. As a rule, it takes less of a time commitment than your original treatment. However, it still provides you with the things you need in your quest for sobriety and stable relationships. Continuing care is so important that it is now a standard recommendation. That is not just true for recovering alcoholics in relationships. It is true for everyone recovering from a serious substance problem.

Dating for Recovering Alcoholics

If you are not already in a relationship, should you start one while in alcohol recovery? In early recovery, this is generally considered to be a risky idea. You are in a vulnerable place while in alcohol treatment, and that vulnerability may continue for quite some time.

Even in the best of circumstances, relationships can be trying. Attempting to start one while recovering from alcoholism may just be too much for you. This is especially true before you establish a lasting pattern of alcohol abstinence. Some treatment programs make you commit to staying out of relationships throughout your enrollment.

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Learn More About Recovering Alcoholics in Relationships

Questions about recovering alcoholics and relationships are common. That is because so many relationships in the U.S. are negatively impacted by problem drinking. If you have major relationship problems, addressing them may be essential for your lasting recovery. Why? When left unaddressed, these kinds of problems can destabilize your daily routine. In turn, an unstable routine and home life may leave you at higher risk for a relapse.

If this kind of unwanted scenario sounds familiar to you, you have something in common with others all across the country. But you are not fated to live with relationship problems for the rest of your days. Couples and family therapy will help you turn things around. These therapies are often used as part of alcohol treatment. You can also continue them once you complete your primary rehab program. With their help, you will develop the skills needed to resolve your issues and support your sobriety.

For more information on recovering alcoholics and relationships, contact Pathfinders today. Our specialists will help you understand exactly how relationships and family issues affect you. And if you need treatment for alcoholism, our in-house therapy and counseling will support you every step of the way.

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The Benefits of Stopping Drinking

Why You Might Need Help to Stop Drinking

One of the hardest things for many people to admit is if they need help to stop drinking.

Alcohol plays a big part in most people’s lives, with many people drinking when socializing with friends or family.

Some people drink for other reasons, including as a way to deal with stress or to deal with mental health issues.

Alcohol does not help these issues and can, in fact, make them worse.

The best way to get help to stop drinking is to attend an alcohol abuse treatment program.

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Understanding Alcohol Abuse Treatment

When someone has a problem with drinking too much alcohol, it can affect many different parts of their lives.

These effects can range from negative physical and mental health effects to problems at work and with relationships.

Alcohol abuse treatment helps people with a drinking problem in a few different ways.

These programs typically combine both medical and behavioral treatments.

With these two things, alcohol rehabs help their clients learn what led to their alcohol abuse, as well as ways to avoid drinking in the future.

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How Alcohol Abuse Can Affect Your Health

One of the most important things we discuss at alcohol abuse treatment is how alcohol can negatively affect your health.

This is a major reason why people need to seek help to stop drinking.

Alcohol causes damage to your heart. This can lead to an irregular heartbeat, damage to your heart muscle, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

Many people who attend alcohol abuse treatment also have problems with their liver.

Alcohol abuse can cause problems including a fatty liver, cirrhosis, fibrosis, and something called alcoholic hepatitis.

This serious inflammation of the liver can cause damage to the cells in your liver, and even cell death.

Alcoholic hepatitis can cause death if it is very serious.

Another major health risk of alcohol abuse is cancer.

People who abuse alcohol are more likely to develop certain kinds of cancer, including throat, liver, breast, and colon cancers.

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Mental Illness and Alcohol Abuse Treatment

Another issue we often discuss at our alcohol abuse treatment center is the ways that alcohol abuse can affect your mental health.

Even if you did not have mental health issues before you needed help to stop drinking, you can still experience mental health symptoms.

This is because people who abuse alcohol are much more likely to have problems with anxiety, depression, and handling stress.

Alcoholism is a chronic disease because of the way that alcohol abuse changes how your brain transmits chemicals.

Because alcohol is a depressant, this means that it makes you feel relaxed by slowing down your nervous system.

In the short term, this can make mental health problems go away.

In the long term, your brain forgets how to regulate itself when you are not drinking.

When someone who needs help to stop drinking is sober, they often feel increased levels of depression and anxiety.

This leads to them continuing to abuse alcohol in order to try and feel better.

This is another reason why there are benefits in stopping drinking.

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How Stopping Drinking can Benefit You

Getting back to a place where you feel healthy again is one of the main reasons to go to alcohol abuse treatment.

There are many ways that getting help to stop drinking can benefit your overall health. The benefits of stopping drinking vary from person-to-person, but overall, there are various benefits that will help you live an addiction-free life.

These can include:

  • Healthier Skin – Many people who need help to stop drinking have problems with their skin. This is because alcohol can cause issues such as chronic dehydration, jaundice, broken capillaries, and reduced collagen levels. All of these can make your skin look red, dull, or aged. When you stop drinking, your skin will gradually improve as these issues clear up.
  • Better Sleep – Many people may think that alcohol makes them sleep better, but the opposite is true for people who abuse alcohol. Alcohol interferes with your sleep cycles, making it harder to get a restful night’s sleep. Getting sober will help you to relearn better sleeping habits.
  • A Healthier Weight – Alcohol has no nutritional value, and yet is full of calories. This makes weight gain very common for people who need help to stop drinking. When you stop drinking, you will be consuming fewer calories which can help you lose weight.
  • Better Mental Health – Stopping drinking will not on its own cure a mental health problem. But it can help make the symptoms much more manageable. This is because your brain will relearn how to regulate chemicals like it is supposed to, helping you have more even emotions and fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • A Stronger Immune System – Another side effect of alcoholism is a weakened immune system. This means that you are more likely to get sick with colds, the flu, and even pneumonia when you abuse alcohol. As soon as you stop drinking your immune system will improve, and you will likely experience fewer illnesses.
  • A Lower Risk of Cancer, Heart, and Liver Problems – It is best that you get help to stop drinking before it causes any major health problems. But even if you are having symptoms of some issues, there are still reasons to quit drinking. As soon as you stop drinking alcohol, your body can repair some types of alcohol-related damage. What is more important is that you will not inflict any further damage on your organs, and your risk of getting alcohol-related cancers will drop as well.

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How can you get Help to Stop Drinking?

No matter what led you to need alcohol abuse treatment, getting help is the answer to stop drinking.

There are many treatment options available at our alcohol treatment center that help you stop drinking.

We offer both medical and behavioral treatment programs.

Medical programs involve using medicines that are approved to help alcoholics to stop drinking.

There are three different options: disulfiram, naltrexone, and acamprosate.

Each of these drugs works by either making drinking uncomfortable, making you unable to get drunk, or helping to reduce cravings for alcohol.

Behavioral treatment programs are the most important part of alcohol abuse treatment.

They help you to see the thoughts and behaviors that were leading to your alcohol abuse.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we encourage clients to try both individual and group therapy sessions to fully understand the benefits of stopping drinking.

We also believe that clients with families should consider family therapy as well.

Having a strong family bond helps you to have a better support system when your alcohol abuse treatment program is completed.

Family therapy will help by working to repair any damage that your alcohol abuse caused within the family unit and lower your chances of experiencing a relapse.

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Get the Help You Need at Alcohol Rehab

There are many reasons that led our clients to need alcohol abuse treatment.

That is why we offer a range of treatment options to suit every client and every situation.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we know exactly what it takes to get your life back to normal after addiction.

Our premier addiction treatment centers are located in upscale areas throughout the Scottsdale, Arizona area.

Our luxury locations provide you with a comfortable and home-like atmosphere so that our clients feel safe and secure throughout their treatment program.

We help ensure your success by using only scientifically researched, cutting edge, and effective drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.

We have over 25 years of experience in helping people with addictions and co-occurring disorders to overcome their addictions.

Many of our clients wonder whether or not they will be able to take advantage of their health insurance benefits to help cover their treatment.

That is why we accept most major insurances through our free insurance verification.

Simply give us a call and one of our addiction specialists can check to see how much of your treatment program will be covered by your insurance before you begin treatment.

You can trust us to communicate with your insurance provider to ensure that you receive every benefit that you are entitled to.

Do not let alcohol continue controlling your life and negatively impacting your health.

Let us use our years of experience to help you get on the path to a meaningful and lasting recovery by understanding the benefits of stopping drinking.

Contact us today and see the difference getting our rehab programs can make to ensure that you are around to practice law for years to come.

What Does an Alcoholism Treatment Program Entail?

Alcoholism

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol dependence or alcohol abuse can be referred to as a condition where an individual is addicted to alcohol and cannot do without consuming an excessive amount within an unreasonable period.

This condition then results in other mental or physical illnesses.

Some of the mental illnesses associated with alcoholism include schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, suicidal intentions — amongst others.

Physical disease conditions involved with alcoholism include cancer of the lung, disassociation from reality, or losing touch with reality, amongst others.

Although alcoholism could be said to result in the above listed mental illnesses, the report also shows that those above listed mental illnesses such as panic disorders, anxiety disorders, suicide intentions, depression, amongst others could also form the basis for this condition called alcoholism.

The medical diagnosis for individuals with alcoholism can be referred to as Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).

An unreasonable intake of alcohol has been said to affect vital organs in the body such as the heart, the liver, the brain, and the pancreas.

It could also be responsible for shutting down the immune system of an individual in its entirety.

The environment we live in plays a huge role in those who are addicted to alcohol.

What this means is the increase in the stress level of an individual coupled with the fact that alcohol is a relatively cheap thrill contributes in a large way to the outrageous amount of individuals who are dependent on alcohol.

Genetics also plays a very important role in determining alcoholism in individuals.

This is because research has shown that individuals who have chronic alcoholics as members of their immediate families are three to four times more likely to become alcohol addicts or abuse alcohol as opposed to the average individual.

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Causes of Alcoholism

There is no definite medical cause for alcoholism or alcohol use disorder.

The best that can be explained is when it is grouped into two types namely the environmental factor as well as the genetic factor.

It is said that the use of alcohol leads to alcohol addiction or alcohol disorder when the individual drinks to the extent that chemical changes begin to materialize in that person’s brain.

Alcoholism can also be said to develop as a result of trying to give in to the discomfort that comes with a withdrawal syndrome. This simply means that the individual gets to a stage where they cannot do with alcohol because their body system would not be alright until they have taken such substance.

Consequently, the individual gives in to the whims and caprices of the alcohol or any other substance and becomes very uncomfortable and experiences withdrawal syndrome when not given alcohol.

Withdrawal symptom is also a very terrible thing to experience as it could lead to a life-threatening situation.

This is why during medical detox, the process should not be rushed and should be taken slow and steadily so everybody affected by it gets to slowly ease into the therapy process and find solutions.

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Symptoms of Alcoholism

Identifying an alcohol addict is as easy as learning the alphabet. This because they exhibit certain physical behaviors which are very obvious to see.

Although these symptoms are not water-tight, they provide insight or guidance as to the behaviors put up by alcoholics.

Some of these behaviors include the following:

  • Having little or no regard for personal hygiene
  • Drinking in solitude
  • Having a high tolerance level to excessive alcohol intake
  • Drinking at every single chance one gets
  • Resorting to drinking when faced with any sort of challenge
  • Craving alcohol unprovoked
  • Involuntary tremors and blacking out right after drinking
  • Eating less, drinking more
  • Throwing violent fits immediately after alcohol intake
  • Secluding one’s self from social events to be able to drink alcohol

These are but a few of the plethora of symptoms alcoholics put up.

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Alcoholism Treatment Centers

The United States of America contains a huge amount of alcohol-dependent individuals. This is because alcohol is easily accessible and legal at a certain age. It is also relatively inexpensive to purchase and could be gotten at convenience. Given how these factors contribute to the increase in alcohol use disorders, it is only natural that institutions be put in place to ensure that individuals get treatment for this disorder.

Most addiction treatment centers provide rehab for both alcohol and drug addiction patients alongside detox services. However, exclusive alcohol rehab centers also exist. These centers offer various treatment programs to suit the unique situation of each patient. Some of these alcohol addiction treatment programs include in-patient treatment services, detoxification, out-patient treatment services, partial hospitalization treatment services as well as care services in some cases.

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Inpatient Treatment Programs

Residential rehab programs are the most highly recommended for individuals with chronic or severe alcohol addiction. This treatment program entails the individual being a resident at the alcohol addiction treatment center for as long as the treatment would last. This treatment program is however expensive as opposed to the other treatment programs available.

It is also advised that before proceeding to the next phase of the healing process, the individuals become full residents of the alcohol addiction centers while carrying out detoxification. This would ensure that the individual stays away from temptations to go back to drinking alcohol. The same goes for residents for the second phase of the alcohol addiction treatment. It is important and highly beneficial to be a resident as you get to experience communal living while also staying clean all through the rehabilitation process. As regards cost, people with health insurance policies would be subsidized to a considerable rate and if you can still not afford to be a resident at a private addiction treatment institution, there is still the option of state-owned rehab centers. Although, you would have to be subjected to the waiting lists available in these institutions.

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Outpatient Treatment Programs

Outpatient treatment programs are ideal for individuals who still want to experience communal living while recovering from alcohol addiction but can either not afford it, does not have the time for it, or has just a mild case of alcohol addiction. Regardless, this treatment program is just as effective as the in-treatment program. It also has its upsides as it is less expensive and the patient gets to visit the treatment center at least three times during the weekday and does not have to come on weekends at all.

Detoxification

Some treatment centers do not offer treatment for alcohol detoxification alongside the other programs available, however, some centers do. The process of detoxification essentially entails flushing out the alcohol from the system of the addict to prepare them for the therapy process as well as detachment from alcohol. Several individuals withdrawal symptoms when this occurs and it could range from mild to severe.

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Conclusion

Conclusively, Pathfinders Recovery Center provides the services discussed in this article and as such, you do not need to bother about the best place to get treatment for alcohol addiction.

Our members of staff are highly committed and dedicated to the cause and are ever interested in the recovery procedure of every individual in their care.

Alcohol addiction is not a pleasant situation to be in. However, with help from the right people, it could be overcome.

How Can You Get Sober From Alcohol?

How to Become Sober

If you think that you have been drinking too much alcohol, you may wonder how to become sober.

This is a crucial question to ask since many heavy drinkers are either addicted or in danger of becoming addicted.

Even without being addicted to alcohol, your drinking may cause you serious harm.

In fact, over 14 million Americans have diagnosable alcohol abuse problems.

If you fit into this category, you are far from alone.

If your drinking is out of control, you may feel down about the chances of ever getting sober.

But, with expert advice and help, you can achieve this crucial goal.

Just keep reading to learn more about how to become sober if you have drinking problems.

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Alcohol Use and Alcohol Problems

In the typical month, slightly more than half of all Americans over the age of 12 drink alcohol. You have the highest chances of being a drinker if you are between the ages of 18 and 25. However, alcohol use is widespread across age groups.

Most people do not drink in ways that endanger their health. Still, millions of Americans either:

  • Binge on alcohol and end up drunk in a maximum of two hours’ time
  • Engage in a dangerous pattern of heavy drinking

Young adults are the most likely to binge drink. Adults over the age of 25 are the most likely to drink heavily. Both binging and heavy drinking boost your chances of developing alcohol use disorder, or AUD. This is the official name for an illness that includes both alcoholism and damaging, non-addicted alcohol abuse. Other things that can increase your risks for this disorder include:

  • Starting to drink when you are 14 or younger
  • The presence of mental illness
  • Having a history of any kind of serious trauma
  • Belonging to a family with a history of alcoholism or alcohol abuse

You can avoid developing AUD by reducing your alcohol use or quitting altogether. You can also recover from this illness if you are already affected.

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Determining If You Need Help

Can you tell on your own if the question of how to become sober applies to you? In many cases, yes. For example, it is relatively easy to tell if you are a binge drinker. If you have a pattern of getting drunk in no more than two hours, you fit this definition. It usually takes men five alcohol servings, or drinks, to reach this threshold. For the average woman, it takes just four drinks.

You can also tell if you have a pattern of drinking heavily. Men do this whenever they consume at least four alcohol servings, or drinks, in a single day. Women do this whenever they consume at least three alcohol servings in a single day.

If you are already affected by alcoholism, you may have symptoms that include:

  • An inability to control when and how much you drink
  • The need to drink in increasing amounts before you feel alcohol’s effects
  • Creating a routine that puts a priority on drinking or drinking-related activities
  • Having a history of unsuccessful attempts to quit using alcohol
  • Going through alcohol withdrawal if you stop drinking

If you are already affected by non-addicted abuse, you may be affected by things such as:

  • Work, home, or school problems related to your drinking
  • A level of drinking that damages your ability to maintain relationships
  • A habit of driving while drinking or doing similarly risky things

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How to Become Sober: First Steps

When thinking about how to become sober, one important question is where to begin. Experts recommend starting by speaking with your primary care physician. While not addiction specialists, these doctors are excellent initial resources. Specific things your primary doctor can do include:

  • Assessing your general health
  • Seeing if your current drinking behaviors place you at risk for alcohol problems
  • Giving you a brief intervention that helps you change your risky drinking
  • Checking to see if you already have diagnosable AUD symptoms
  • Helping you understand your options if you do have AUD
  • Directing you toward suitable treatment resources if you need help

How to Become Sober: Alcohol Detox

If you are addicted to alcohol, you will need to go through detox when your recovery begins. During this time, you stop drinking and withdraw from the alcohol still in your system. Alcohol withdrawal is potentially risky and has side effects ranging from minor to severe or life-threatening. For this reason, you should always go through detox under the guidance of medical professionals.

Many people in alcohol detox receive some kind of medication to make the process easier. All people in detox receive supportive care. That’s the name for comfort- and safety-enhancing actions such as:

  • Making sure your vital signs are stable
  • Helping you stay hydrated
  • Feeding you a nutritionally sound diet
  • Using supplements to offset any major nutritional deficiencies
  • Helping to ensure that you rest and sleep

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How to Become Sober: Active Treatment

The quest for stable sobriety goes far beyond detox. Once alcohol is out of your system, you must enter an active treatment program. People in high-quality alcohol rehab receive two main forms of help while in treatment. First, they receive medication designed to:

  • Make it easier to avoid a relapse back into drinking
  • Diminish the appeal of taking a drink
  • Undo some the damage that alcohol has done to your system

Modern alcohol rehab also includes some form of behavioral counseling or therapy. Several different therapy approaches are known to help during alcohol recovery, including:

  • CBT, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Family counseling
  • Marriage counseling
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy

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Mutual Self-Help Groups

During and after treatment, enrollment in a mutual self-help group will also help you stay sober. The most famous drinking-related group is Alcoholics Anonymous. However, other options also exist. All self-help groups use a peer system to provide support and reinforce your commitment to sobriety.

How to Become Sober: Aftercare

When you complete treatment, you may no longer be asking how to get sober from alcohol. Instead, the pressing question becomes: How you can remain sober? For most people, a major factor in avoiding drinking is aftercare or continuing care. Aftercare programs keep you in touch with knowledgeable addiction specialists. In fact, help is often provided in a lower level of formal alcohol treatment. You can also support your efforts remotely with the help of smartphones, or computer sobriety apps.

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Learn More About How To Get Sober From Alcohol

If you suspect you have a drinking problem, you very well may be right. Or maybe someone else notices that you may have a problem. In either case, the best thing you can possibly do is seek help as soon as you can. Unless you take this critical step, you may be setting yourself up for major, damaging changes in your everyday life. No one should go through this kind of turmoil when professional help available.

A visit to your primary doctor will help determine if you are using alcohol in dangerous ways. It will also help determine if you currently have a diagnosable case of alcohol use disorder. If you do not have AUD, your doctor will help you avoid future problems. If you do have AUD, your doctor will help you get your recovery underway. Your path to sobriety will likely include detox, active treatment, and aftercare.

Have questions about how to become sober? The experts at Pathfinders will help you find the answers. Every day, we direct concerned drinkers toward resources that promote healthy change.

Pathfinders is also a top provider of treatment services for people with alcohol use disorder. Regardless of the seriousness of your AUD symptoms, our in-house programs will support your recovery. From detox to aftercare, we feature evidence-backed options for any situation.

Alcohol Rehab Treatment

Alcohol Rehab Pathfinders Recovery Center - drunk young man falls asleep at the bar with multiple drinks in front of him, as his loved ones and surrounding friends decide it may be time for him to attend alcohol rehab.

What is Alcohol Rehab?

When someone who is abusing alcohol finds they are unable to stop drinking, it may be time to consider attending alcohol rehab.

Many people think of those who struggle with alcohol misuse are a certain age or type of person, but this is far from the truth.

There are a few different types of individuals that struggle with alcoholism, and all of them have to deal with ways this chronic disease affects their brain and their body — among many other factors.

Over 14 million American adults struggle with alcoholism, and 95,000 die each year from an alcohol-related illness.

No matter what type you are, seeking the help of an alcohol rehab program is the best way to overcome your addiction.

Alcohol Rehab Pathfinders Recovery Center - drunk young man falls asleep at the bar with multiple drinks in front of him, as his loved ones and surrounding friends decide it may be time for him to attend alcohol rehab.

What is Alcoholism?

What most individuals struggling with alcohol use disorder have in common is they drink alcohol frequently or in very large quantities.

Alcoholism is considered a chronic disease because of how it changes the way the brain works. When you drink, your brain releases dopamine, a chemical that makes you feel happy and relaxed. The longer you abuse alcohol, the more you will have to drink to feel these effects.

Over time, your brain forgets how to release dopamine naturally. This makes your brain crave alcohol to make you feel good. This is what makes alcoholism a chronic disease. It is very challenging for those who struggle with alcoholism to stop drinking, even when they know it is causing problems with their health.

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Understanding the Types of Alcoholics

There are many stereotypes regarding people who have a drinking problem, from not being able to hold down a job to not caring about their physical appearance.

There is no such thing as one type of alcoholic. Alcoholism can affect people of any age with any background, no matter how successful they are in their careers.

When it comes to the different types of alcoholics, there are typically five main groups:

  • Young Antisocial:
    This type of alcoholic begins drinking very young, usually around the age of 15 years old. Some of these young people may have a mental illness as well, such as an antisocial personality disorder, which makes them impulsive and uncaring of the physical dangers of alcohol.

 

  • Young Adult:
    This type of alcoholic begins showing impulsive behaviors when they are around 20 years old. They typically do not drink every day, but instead, binge drink two or more times per week. This is the most common type of alcoholic in the United States today.

 

  • Functional:
    This type of alcoholic usually has a higher level of education and income level. They also tend to have more stable personal relationships than other types of alcoholics. Functional alcoholics are usually binge drinkers who consume alcohol at least every other day.

 

  • Intermediate Familial:
    This type of alcoholic usually has a close family member who either had or has a drinking issue. These people usually begin drinking when they are around 17 years old in order to try and cope with family stress.

 

  • Chronic Severe:
    This type of alcoholic has the most severe symptoms and issues. Most chronic severe alcoholics are men and, as a result, have a high rate of divorce because of their drinking. They also have a high rate of abusing other drugs along with alcohol.

 

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The Effects of Alcohol Abuse

For all types of alcoholics, alcohol poses a serious risk to their health.

This is because alcoholism can create a wide range of negative symptoms and long-term health problems.

Certified alcoholics can experience heart problems, including high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, and heart attacks. They often also experience problems with their livers. These problems can include fatty liver, liver fibrosis, and cirrhosis.

Alcoholism can weaken your immune system, making it more likely that you will deal with things like colds, the flu, and pneumonia. One of the more dangerous risks for the different types of alcoholics is an increased risk of certain cancers. Alcohol increases your chances of getting liver, throat, esophageal, colon, and breast cancers.

Attending an alcohol rehab program as soon as you realize you have a drinking problem will avoid some of these issues.

Alcohol Rehab Pathfinders Recovery Center - A group of individuals attending alcohol rehab at a residential rehab facility engage in discussion regarding healthy coping strategies to avoid relapsing.

Mental Illness and the Certified Alcoholic

Many people who are certified alcoholics also deal with mental health issues.

Anyone struggling with alcoholism has an increased chance of either developing a mental health issue or worsening one they already had. This is because alcohol changes your moods and your behaviors. Alcohol makes it harder for you to think clearly.

When abused, it also changes the way that your brain sends chemicals that make you feel happy and relaxed. Over time, your brain gets used to relying on alcohol to release these chemicals, which makes it difficult for you to feel happy from anything else. This can make you feel anxious and depressed.

And, eventually, these mental health symptoms can affect your personal relationships and your performance at work or school. This can lead to losing your job, dropping out of school, and divorce. Many people who have alcohol abuse issues also suffer from anger issues, which can cause further problems with their loved ones.

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Treatment Options for the Different Types of Alcoholics

Much like other types of addictions, there are many alcohol rehab treatment options available depending on your specifics needs and level of addiction.

For the most serious addictions, the first step is detox. At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we offer medical detox options to our clients. This allows us to help make your detox symptoms less uncomfortable.

Once this is complete, we can move on to a behavioral therapy program.

There are three main therapy options that work best for alcohol rehab: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), and Family Counseling.

CBT helps you to see the thoughts and behaviors that lead to your drinking. It also teaches healthy ways to manage stress and avoid things that trigger you to drink.

MET is a way that helps you build positive motivations to avoid relapsing.

Lastly, family counseling focuses on working to repair any family relationships that have been damaged by addiction or alcoholism. These sessions take place with your family members and can include your spouse, children, parents, other family members, or close friends. Being able to build a stronger family system helps your family heal from any emotional damage, as well as increases your chances of staying sober.

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Getting the Help You Need for Your Alcohol Addiction

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we know exactly what it takes to get your life back from the cycle and negative effects of addiction.

That is why you can trust our alcohol rehab programs to help you overcome your dependence on this substance.

Our luxury locations provide a comfortable and home-like atmosphere so that our clients feel safe and secure throughout the length of their treatment program.

We only use only scientifically-researched, cutting-edge, and effective drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.

We have over 25 years of experience in helping people with addictions and co-occurring disorders overcome their struggles and live a happy, healthy, and sober life.

Many of our clients wonder whether or not they will be able to take advantage of their health insurance benefits to help cover their treatment. That is why we offer free insurance verification.

Simply give us a call and one of our addiction specialists can check to see how much of your treatment program will be covered by your insurance before you begin treatment.

You can trust us to communicate with your insurance provider to ensure that you receive every benefit that you are entitled to.

For all types of alcoholics, experiencing health problems from your drinking is a serious risk.

Let us use our years of experience to get you on the right path to a meaningful and lasting recovery.

See the difference getting sober can make in your life.