Can You Force Someone into Rehab?

Force Someone into Rehab

Rehab is often thought of as a voluntary activity, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be voluntary. Sometimes the court or other legal representatives may consider forcing someone to go to rehab because it’s what’s best for them. The person sentenced to rehab this way might not have believed it otherwise.

In other states, it’s illegal for someone to send someone to recovery without their consent. Depending on the locale, you might not be able to legally put someone into rehab who doesn’t want to go. The real question shouldn’t be if you could force someone into rehab, but rather if you should.

In some cases, a person might become self-destructive because of their addiction. They may not even see that as a problem and won’t accept that they are addicted. Putting someone in rehab forcibly should be a last resort, but even so, you should be aware of whether it’s legal to do so.

What Are Requirements for Arizona Drug Court?

In Arizona, a person can enter Drug Court if the state deems that they’ve met the requisite requirements. With Drug Court, a person is mandated to attend status hearings so the state can be updated on their progress. The attendee will have to sign a contract that outlines what goals they agree to meet during their recovery at each court date. The program runs for one year, and a person must complete all the goals set forth by the court to “graduate” the program. To be eligible for Arizona Drug Court, a person must have the following:

  • Drug-related felonies that are eligible for probation within the previous two years
  • Has a score of medium-high or high risk on the OST/FROST and spiked more than 67% on the drug domain
  • Has a history of substance abuse that’s severe to moderate
  • Must reside within the supervision area for the Drug Court

This state-mandated treatment is involuntary, and a person committed needs to complete it before being discharged.

How Effective Is Court Mandated Treatment?

One of the most common questions is whether court-mandated or involuntary treatment is effective. The research on this topic is limited, and there’s not much to go on. Statistics show us that almost one-third of all patients admitted to rehab programs in 2013-2014 was through involuntary methods such as court-mandated rehab.

Based on the number of people who recovered because of the court-mandated rehab, it seems that the process does work. Individuals who are coerced into rehab programs tend to do better and stay longer, completing their course of treatment. While the data is still uncertain, the results are promising based on what we know.

What Are Involuntary Commitment Laws in Arizona?

Force Someone into Rehab

Forcing someone into rehab through involuntary commitment usually means relying on the law to do so. If the person you intend to commit to rehab is a minor, the court might not be willing to do so. They will commit a minor if there is enough evidence that the person has a substance use disorder and may have attempted to harm themselves in the past. The same goes for a non-minor, although the court is more willing to look at involuntary commitment in those cases.

One of the most compelling arguments for involuntary commitment is the inability to function. If a person is so addicted to a substance that they can’t take care of themselves, the court is likely to force them into rehab. The person will be appointed a lawyer to argue their case at a hearing. However, in many cases, they may also think that the person may need to go to rehab.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Mental Health Disorders

Dual diagnosis occurs when a person has both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder. In the past, these disorders weren’t treated together, but it was found that a dual diagnosis treatment must be used for proper recovery from addiction to occur. When a person is admitted to a rehab center, they will have to go through an evaluation that helps the facility determine whether they are a candidate for dual diagnosis or not.

Dual diagnosis combines treatments to give the most effective outcome for individuals who have both a mental health disorder like anxiety or depression and substance use disorder. Sometimes, the mental health condition leads to addiction.

Who Pays For Court Ordered Rehab>

In most cases of court-ordered rehab, the weight of payment rests on the shoulders of the plaintiff. It’s a common misunderstanding that the state will pay for involuntary commitment to a rehab center. The state is never responsible for paying for a plaintiff’s rehab.

If it’s not the state that brought the request for commitment, the circumstances of payment change. In these cases, the person who put the person forward to be committed involuntarily is responsible for paying for their treatment. This rule only applies in states that have passed “Casey’s Law” (Ohio and Kentucky). Indiana has “Jennifer’s Act,” which performs the same function.

What Are Some Ways To Convince Someone To Go To Rehab?

Force Someone into Rehab

Convincing someone to go to rehab might be quite hard. However, doing so ensures that they are also on board with overcoming their condition. Compelling someone to go to rehab requires them to admit they have a problem and wanting to get help for it. In some cases, families might try intervention to get their loved ones aware of the hurt that their addiction may be causing others within the family. Professional interventions may not work, however.

When someone is dealing with addiction, their brain may not be in the proper frame to make the right decision. As a result, they might not agree to enter rehab, leaving you with few options aside from an involuntary commitment to a rehab facility.

Establishing Motivation for Sobriety in Court Ordered Rehab

The most crucial part of overcoming addiction is setting up a motivation for sobriety. Why should a person want to get sober when they enjoy using the drug? Usually, the reason for sobriety for voluntary patients is the need to recover their lives. Addiction can cause severe economic and social damage to a person who has to work through it.

Many of these people remember life before their addiction and want to get back to that point. Their urges challenge this motivation, but a rehab facility can give them the tools to deal with it.

For involuntary addiction, the approach is somewhat different. A person who is checked into a rehab center against their will might not want anything to do with the process. However, these cases can be resolved by helping the person understand the point of view of others.

When a person starts to accept that they have a problem and decide to change their circumstances, rehab can help them overcome their addiction. While a person might enter rehab being against recovery, they’re more likely to want to finish the treatment once they realize the benefits it offers them in the real world.

Make Treatment Attractive: Presenting Pathfinders Recovery

To convince a reluctant person, it helps to make treatment attractive. At Pathfinders Recovery, that’s what our staff always aim to do. We provide amenities and therapy for all of our clients that cater to their specific needs.

Our team is personable and approachable, making it easier to discuss addiction and come to terms with it. If you have a loved one that needs that special attention and care, give us a call today. We’re more than glad to facilitate you and help your loved ones get the care they need.

I Drink Every Night. Am I An Alcoholic?

I Drink Every Night am I An Alcohol Abuser?

Is a Nightly Drink Alcoholism?

Alcohol use disorder comes in many shapes and sizes. When most people picture alcohol use disorders, the stereotypical profile probably manifests in their mind’s eye: An unkempt, 40 or 50-something that slurs their words, in a state of constant over-emotion. If it’s a male, he probably has a perpetual five o’clock shadow and wreaks of cheap liquor.

While this person certainly exists, and some of us may have met them, the assumption that every alcoholic comes packaged this way is far from the truth. Alcohol use disorder looks like your neighbors, friends, family, and doctor – the possibilities are endless.

The problem with stereotypes like the one mentioned above is that alcohol has no target demographic, and these types of assumptions can make it hard to identify individuals who really need help. In many cases, individuals dealing with alcohol use disorder have no idea that they fit the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) criteria for potentially being an alcoholic.

In fact, individuals suffering from alcohol use disorder don’t even have to frequently reach the point of intoxication or being drunk to earn this diagnosis. What does it take to meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder?

Does Daily Drinking Equal Alcoholism?

I drink every night am I an alcoholic

“I drink every night. Am I an alcoholic?” If you or someone you know has asked this question in regard to drinking habits, it might be time to assess where you stand.

How exactly does one reach the answer to this question? Is there a technical answer or a more specific classification for these types of drinkers?

One of the easiest ways to gauge where you stand when it comes to alcohol use disorder is by using the stages of alcoholism. Comparing your situation to the stages of alcoholism can give you a clear picture of where you stand and what your next course of action should be.

I Drink a Lot Every Weekend. Am I an Alcoholic?

Plenty of working-class Americans arrives home after the workweek to a waiting alcoholic beverage of their choice. It’s not uncommon for many of them to have a single drink and abstain from a second or third. However, the repeated usage of large amounts of alcohol each weekend may be a sign of an alcohol use disorder.

During the workweek though, does a daily pattern of just one drink per day equate to alcohol use disorder? Let’s take a look at the numbers according to the NIAAA.

Drinking In Moderation

Drinking in moderation is considered the consumption of two drinks or less in one single day for men or one drink or less for women. However, there is no clear specification regarding consecutive days under this classification. Let’s see what else the NIAAA has to say.

Binge Drinking

I drink every night am I can alcoholic: binge drinking

Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking that regularly brings the BAC to 0.08 – the legal limit in most state’s for DUI. In the average male, this is about five drinks in a period of two hours. Notice that this states a pattern of regularity but still doesn’t specify a certain number of days.

Heavy Alcohol Use

Heavy alcohol use in men is the consumption of four drinks in one day or the regular consumption of 14 drinks in one week. For women, the consumption of seven drinks in one week is considered heavy alcohol use. SAMHSA considers heavy alcohol use as binge drinking on five or more days during the month.

The NIAAA literature goes on to say that patterns associated with alcohol use disorder include regular patterns of binge drinking and heavy alcohol use. After reading the characteristics outlined by the NIAAA, it’s much easier to answer individuals who ask, “I drink every night. Am I an alcoholic?”

Based on the characteristics outlined above, if an adult male limits his intake to one single drink per day, he isn’t considered an alcoholic. However, two drinks per day, which would equal 14 per week, would land him in alcohol use disorder territory.

However, because alcohol use disorder is often progressive, it would be unwise to assume that someone regularly consuming one drink per day wasn’t dangerously bordering alcoholism.

One of the most commonly repeated themes among individuals who consume alcohol is the affirmation that their drinking is under control or moderated. Because individuals can technically drink every day and not be considered alcoholics, are there any specific steps to further assist in an act already considered “moderate drinking?”

Can You Moderate Regular Drinking?

It’s strongly recommended that anyone engaging in moderate drinking doesn’t participate in binge drinking or heavy drinking. When this happens, the line between moderate drinking and alcohol abuse disorder starts to blur.

If you know someone that is considered a moderate drinker, it may be critical to remain vigilant of the signs of alcohol use disorder. The following section outlines things to look out for.

What Are the Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder?

Many pouring a shot, asks himself about his alcoholism

Although everyone handles alcohol use disorder individually and displays different symptoms, certain behaviors may be more noticeable. The following list contains some of the more common characteristics displayed by individuals with alcohol use disorder.

  • Increasingly negative consequences resulting from drinking. Some of these may be family-related, while some may be more severe and include legal issues.
  • Drinking to the point of not remembering the events of the night or days before
  • Attempting to cover up or lie about the amount of alcohol they consume
  • Feeling the constant need for a drink before going out or engaging in a social activity
  • Hiding their drinking altogether
  • Drinking more than intended or more than other people present for an event or special occasion
  • Using drinking as a stress-reliever or response to negative events
  • Putting drinking before important family events
  • Verbalizing a want to stop drinking but never going through with these commitments

 

While these can all be significant red flags alerting you to the presence of alcohol use disorder, a formal examination can provide a more accurate diagnosis. There are currently five measures that officially determine alcohol dependency.

Methods to Determine Alcohol Dependency

The following five measures are all accepted methods for determining the presence of alcohol dependency.

Alcohol Timeline Followback

This method requires a detailed picture of an individual’s daily drinking habits over a specific time period. Individuals may be required to provide details regarding the prior year.

Form 90

Form 90 is a more specific type of measurement to determine specific changes before and after a 90-day abstinence period. This is typically used as a post-treatment form of measurement.

Drinking Self-Monitoring Log

This measurement requires more detailed information regarding the frequency of an individual’s drinking habits.

Lifetime Drinking Measures

This requires an individual to provide a rough estimate of their habits over the course of their life or any period longer than a year.

Quantity-Frequency Measures

This requires information regarding the individual’s amount of alcohol used and the frequency or regularity of this consumption.

The importance of determining the presence of alcohol dependency is critical to mitigate the risks associated with drinking daily. Keep in mind that these risks are both physical and mental in nature.

Effects and Risks of Daily Drinking

Daily drinking is a habit that can take place on a moderate or severe level. Obviously, someone who drinks daily in high amounts has greater odds of negative consequences than someone who drinks in moderation.

In the past, health professionals believed that moderate levels of drinking posed little to no health risks. In fact, many sources stated that smaller amounts of daily drinking could actually have a positive impact on your health.

However, more recent studies show that, in reality, there is no safe level of drinking. Even moderate amounts can have a negative impact on the way the brain functions.

There are short-term and long-term risks for individuals who actively engage in daily drinking. Even in small amounts, the short-term risks can produce potentially life-changing consequences.

I Drink Every Night. Am I An Alcoholic?

Short-term Risks

Short-term risks of daily drinking are less associated with acute health issues and more closely related to the negative consequences of challenging behavior. Immediate physical health risks normally don’t become a factor until users frequently engage in binge drinking.

Moderate daily drinking may put users at risk for the following:

  • Accidents related to intoxication, especially since users consume small amounts and don’t believe they are impaired in any way
  • Injuries that take place as a result of slower reaction times
  • Engaging in dangerous or impulsive behavior because of impaired judgment
  • The potential for legal issues associated with poor decision-making

When someone consumes alcohol in small amounts, they may feel like they’re not impaired, which promotes a false sense of security. This momentarily lapse of critical thinking is what leads to the increased risk of the situations mentioned above.

After significant amounts of time spent consistently engaging in daily alcohol consumption, more serious effects may begin to surface.

Long-term Risks

The long-term risks and effects of alcohol can take a toll on the mind and body of individuals with alcohol use disorder.

Mental effects include:

  • Changes in mood
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Negative impact on relationships

 

The physical effects can be even more challenging and can even be deadly in the worst cases. Potential risks include:

  • Conditions associated with inflammation of the pancreas
  • Long-term liver damage
  • Decreased pancreatic functions lead to higher sugar levels that may cause diabetes
  • Numbness in hands and feet
  • Damage to the digestive system
  • High blood pressure and irregular heartbeat

 

The risk of developing any of the symptoms side effects mentioned above should be enough to trigger the motivation to stop drinking every day. However, individuals with substance abuse disorder may find it difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

How Can I Stop Drinking Every Day?

How to Stop Drinking | Pathfinders Recovery CentersIt’s possible to create a plan for recovery and successfully refrain from drinking every day. However, once the situation reaches the level of developing mental and physical symptoms that are directly caused by alcohol use disorder, the goal should be to stop drinking completely.

Consider the following steps as a pathway to recovery:

  • Look into the benefits of residential rehab. If you feel like you need professional help to overcome alcohol use disorder, you’re probably a good candidate for inpatient treatment.
  • Don’t stop when treatment is over. Continue to remain proactive in battling substance use disorder by attending 12-step recovery groups and maintaining a strong support system.
  • Alternatively, if you’ve been ordered to attend any type of court-ordered treatment, use this as a stepping stone to recovery. Sometimes your greatest challenges are actually blessings in disguise.

 

Alcohol use disorder doesn’t just disappear after treatment or a certain period of recovery. However, if you actively seek out ways to strengthen your support systems and maintain high levels of willpower, the daily struggle against alcohol use disorder gets easier with time.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we’ve helped clients navigate their recovery from alcohol use disorders of all kinds and severities. From detox services to inpatient treatment with multiple approaches to therapy, you’ll have access to different treatment levels that we believe can be very successful in promoting long-term recovery.

Contact an Admissions team member to find out more about how we can help provide you with the tools you need to take your life back.

Chest Pain Drinking Alcohol?

chest-pain-and-alcohol

Why Does Alcohol Affect the Heart?

Most of us know that overdoing it with alcohol can cause health problems. However, there are plenty of longtime alcoholics who don’t even think about that. It’s not something I ever thought about until I began experiencing serious health complications.

I remember my grandfather complaining a lot about chest pains near the end of his life. He was a lifelong drinker himself and didn’t put a lot of thought into his health. He ended up dying from alcoholic cardiomyopathy. He had a number of other issues going on including diabetes and alcohol-induced gastritis.

A Family History of Alcoholic Heart Conditions

You’d think watching him drink himself to death would’ve stopped me, but it didn’t. I became a heavy drinker myself and was in and out of trouble all through my younger years. Drunk driving charges, disorderly conduct, I was a mess for a long time.

I began dabbling with other drugs during this time, and excessive drinking also led me to pick up smoking. I’ve known a lot of people who started smoking because of alcohol. Smoking when drunk is pretty common due to alcohol increasing the craving to smoke. It’s just like mixing any other drugs. One enhances the other.

Should Alcohol Consumption Cause Chest Pains?

The short answer is: it depends on your consumption. The fact of the matter is if you drink heavily, you are going to experience some type of health difficulty. A lot of factors are in play. When it comes to chest pain, there are many causes of chest pain after drinking. Alcohol has a great effect on the heart. There is a direct link between alcohol and heart attack risk.

Alcohol temporarily increases heart rate and blood pressure. When you drink, the alcohol enters the bloodstream and is released into various parts of the body. Long-term alcohol consumption can lead to high blood pressure and weakened heart muscles.

Side Effects of Alcohol Consumption

Chest Pain Drinking Alcohol
There are a lot of additional alcohol side effects that may not be as severe. Heartburn from alcohol consumption. Alcohol typically contains a lot of sugar which can take longer for your body to break down. We’ve all had uncomfortable heartburn before. Imagine having it on a consistent basis.

Other uncomfortable side effects of alcohol include organ stress and damage, pancreatitis, and dehydration. There is also a link between acid reflux and alcohol. Alcohol is known to contribute to acid reflux due to its interaction with your esophagus.

Alcohol and Atrial Fibrillation

Another scary side effect of alcohol abuse is atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a rapid, irregular heartbeat, commonly referred to as ‘afib’. This is commonly referred to as holiday heart. It’s important to understand the holiday heart and its risks. Everyone seems to overdo it around the holidays. We overdo it with food and alcohol.

Doctors tend to see more cases of ‘afib’ around the holiday season. The bottom line is that a lot of bad things can happen from excessive alcohol intake. Alcohol toxicity (commonly referred to as alcohol poisoning) is a very common occurrence and is most often deadly.

Seeking Treatment For Alcohol

Even if you know you have a drinking problem, getting help is not as easy as it may seem. A lot of people try to get help to save their job or marriage. The truth is, unless you truly want to do it for yourself, it probably won’t work. Recovery is an ongoing process and is something that has to be maintained.

You don’t just get sober and then never have to put any effort into it. You get out of it what you put in. If you put in the work, sobriety can be a very rewarding thing.

Find Your Reason for Getting Sober

We all have different reasons that help us get clean. Finding recovery for your heart is one of the most common reasons. As you get older, you start paying more attention to your mortality. Especially when the things you once enjoyed begin giving you health issues. I would wake up almost every day with ‘hangxiety’ and chest pains. Hangxiety refers to the anxiety that can occur over getting a hangover. Worrying about whether or not you will be hungover can be very distressing and can easily make your situation worse.

How Can I Cure my Hangxiety?

First, we have to know, can you cure hangxiety in general? From my research, it seems that the best you can do is figure out why you are having it in the first place. I know that alcohol makes me anxious, but it is much more than that. My anxiety and my drinking are rooted in something deeper within me. I used to ask myself why alcohol gave me anxiety, instead of asking myself why I needed to drink so much.

It turned out I was trying to hide the pain and suffering that I was going through my entire life. I had a rough upbringing and didn’t have both of my parents. My father was in and out of prison, and my mother was often homeless and unable to take care of me or my siblings. Both of my parents had problems with alcohol. Was it any surprise that I would end up this way myself?

Anxiety and Hangover Guilt

Hangover guilt is another common feeling that drinkers who suffer from anxiety will experience. A lot of us who binge drink wake up not remembering the events from the previous day or night. We instantly began worrying about what transpired. Did I say or do something I shouldn’t have? Did I call anybody and leave an embarrassing voice message? A bunch of these questions comes to mind, and they feed your feelings of anxiety.Drinking-alcohol-and-Chest-pain

I know that if I overdo it, which I used to do frequently, I would usually feel pretty guilty about it. We tell ourselves that we won’t overdo it, and when we do, we beat ourselves up about it. We find it hard to forgive ourselves. It just points to the fact that you probably don’t have any control over your drinking.

It took me a long time to realize that I needed help. I knew I needed to change my habits. I couldn’t go another night with alcohol making me anxious. I couldn’t go another day feeling like death. I had more to deal with than just my drinking. I was not in a good place mentally after suffering from hangxiety day in and day out.

I needed to do something. I checked myself into treatment through the Pathfinders Recovery Center and began to put my life back together. It wasn’t easy, but it was the only thing that was going to fix my issues.

Regain Control with Alcohol Treatment

It’s common to experience anxiety and depression days after binge drinking. Alcohol alters our mental state, and it can take a while for our brain to recover. Feelings of anxiety and depression after drinking are very common. After all, alcohol is a depressant.

It slows down our brains and impairs our cognitive functions. When you aren’t drinking, you have to face the effects that come with it. It’s very similar to what a drug addict feels when they can’t get the drug. Remember, alcohol is not only a drug but probably the most abused drug of all of them.

Because of the level of my anxiety, I was pretty nervous about detox. I felt the same feelings of anxiety that I felt when I was hungover. I just tried to tell myself that this would give me the positive result that drinking didn’t. It was going to be uncomfortable, but I was going to have something to show for it when all was said and done.

That helped curb my anxiety and put me in the place where I needed to get better. The people at Pathfinders did everything they could to make me feel comfortable during such an uncomfortable process. They did an amazing job of getting me through that initial struggle.

The children of alcoholics usually suffer at some point in their lives. They often develop anxiety, depression, and addictions of their own. It is a cycle that isn’t easily broken. Once we get too far into an addiction, we often think we are beyond being saved. We are the way we are and that’s that. There’s no fixing it. Meeting other folks in recovery helps a lot. I met so many people in group therapy who drank for decades. They assumed there was nothing that could be done. Once your body and mind have gone through years of damage, you think there’s no reversing it.

Listening to other people’s stories made me understand that this cycle can be broken no matter where you are in your struggle. You can be an addict for years and still quit. It all comes down to you wanting it bad enough. I used to think I wanted to get clean, but it took me a long time before I wanted it bad enough to go through with it.

We like the idea of being sober and leaving all that suffering behind, but you have to put in the work. It’s a practice that takes time and effort. Once you get sober, it doesn’t mean the process is over. It’s a daily struggle sometimes, but one you will be well equipped to deal with the following treatment. Reach out to the folks at Pathfinders Recovery Centers today to get started, and let your own hangxiety become a thing of the past!

AA Meeting Topics

AA meeting topics

A Quick Summary of Alcoholics Anonymous

AA or Alcoholics Anonymous is more than what you see in the movies. Alcoholics Anonymous is an inclusive and welcoming support group. Since its humble start in 1935, AA has grown to the largest support group model in the world.

With free and open-to-all meetings across the globe, there are over two million Alcoholics Anonymous members. The only requirement for entry into an Alcoholics Anonymous group is the desire to stop drinking.

The Typical AA Meeting Format

The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, outlined in The Big Book, starting with admitting the control alcohol has over us and ending with the spiritual practice of AA principles, are guidelines for overcoming addiction to alcohol.

If you’ve never attended an AA or 12-step meeting, you may be wondering what to expect. The typical AA meeting format has a few different components. First, expect to take a seat in a semi-circle surrounding the meeting chairperson who sits in the middle.

To start, the chairperson will read the AA Preamble, which outlines the AA mission and values and lead the group in the nondenominational Serenity Prayer. After, members will read aloud sections of The Big Book before newcomers are given the chance to introduce themselves.

Don’t worry if you’re not ready for this step, introductions are optional. While the preamble, prayer, and introductions are generally part of every meeting, what happens next may change depending on the type of AA meeting you are attending.

Different Types of AA Meetings

There are four major types of AA meetings, including:

  • Discussion meetings.
  • Speaker meetings.
  • Beginner meetings.
  • Study meetings.

In a discussion meeting, a member of the group acts as the leader, opening the meeting and selecting a discussion topic. In a speaker meeting, one individual or multiple will share their story, focusing on their journey with alcohol abuse and recovery goals.

Beginner meetings are led by AA members who are further along in their recovery journey. These meetings typically follow a question-and-answer format to help newcomers get a feel for what happens in AA.

Rather than diving too deep and risking overwhelming newcomers, leaders of beginner meetings often focus on the first three or the twelve steps. This brings us to the last type of AA meeting, a study meeting.

These are sometimes also called step meetings, tradition meetings, or Big Book meetings. By any name, study meetings focus on an in-depth look at one of the AA steps or traditions. And no matter the type, most AA meetings end with the Serenity Prayer or a moment of silence.

Open vs. Closed Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings

AA Meeting Topics

Sometimes, bringing a friend or family member to a meeting makes it easier to open up and share with the group. In an open AA meeting, any community member is welcome, and you can bring someone with you if they agree to respect the members’ anonymity.

Most open meetings are speaker meetings. Closed meetings, on the other hand, are usually more informal. Attending a closed meeting is limited to existing AA members and new participants who want to stop drinking.

This is an ideal setting for discussing vulnerable topics with other group members who understand them. But both open and closed AA meetings can provide members with support and valuable learning opportunities.

Choosing AA Meeting Topics

If you are leading a discussion meeting, you will get the chance to open the meeting and choose the topic for discussion. Choosing AA meeting topics can be a daunting task for some. But remember that participating can help you gain more from your time here.

The member acting as the meeting’s chairperson may choose a topic and lead the discussion. And there are endless potential AA meeting topics to choose from.

Potential AA Meeting Topics: A Short Listing

Potential AA meeting topics can range from those listed in The Big Book to the current emotional state of the chairperson. The 12 steps and the 12 traditions are two of the most common topics of discussion, but they are far from the only ones.

Some groups discuss one Big Book chapter each week, while others read from the book each week and discuss the chapters as they move through them. But while these are common courses of discussion, AA literature provides dozens of other suggestions.

A shortlist of potential AA meeting topics:

  • Acceptance
  • Forgiveness
  • Freedom through sobriety
  • Hope
  • Inventory
  • Making amends
  • Patience and tolerance
  • Participation and action
  • Sponsorship
  • Willingness
  • Working with others

Click here to read the full list of suggested topics for AA discussion meetings.

What to Bring to an AA Meeting

If you’re not gathering AA meeting topics to lead the discussion in your meeting, you may be wondering what else you need to bring. As we mentioned before, Alcoholics Anonymous is free, and membership is less formal than many other groups.

All you need to bring to an AA meeting is an open mind and a desire to stop drinking. There are no forms, applications, fees, or other formal requirements. Members are free to come and go and participate or observe as they wish.

Getting the Most Out of a 12-Step Meeting

AA Meeting Topics

Sharing your story with others who are on the same journey is a great way to make connections for lasting sobriety. Having a sober social circle or support group you can turn to at any moment provides the social support necessary for true recovery.

Social support helps you better relate to your environment, understand those around you, strengthen your place in the community, and develop healthy communication skills. Social support groups like AA allow you to connect with others with shared goals.

They promote feelings of belonging and shared purpose, while on an individual level boosting our self-esteem and confidence. There are many benefits to attending 12-step and other social support meetings during and after recovery.

And getting the most out of your meetings depends on what you are willing to put into them. If you’re wondering where to start, we recommend that you start by paying attention to the length and frequency of your meeting attendance, combining AA meetings with other treatments, and finding a sponsor.

Alcoholics Anonymous vs. Treatment for Alcoholism

While AA and other support meetings are crucial tools in recovery, they are rarely sufficient as the sole treatment methods for alcoholism. Depending on the severity of your addiction, we can recommend several different treatment types and settings, including:

  • Inpatient care (starting with medical detox)
  • Partial hospitalization program
  • Intensive outpatient program

This list starts with the most high-level program and works down to the most flexible. In an inpatient program, you temporarily relocate and work toward sobriety from the comfort and safety of one of our facilities.

With 24-hour access to medical support and recovery guidance, inpatient programs offer the highest level of care. This makes them ideal for those with moderate to severe addictions and withdrawal symptoms, a history of relapse, or a stressful home life.

In a partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient program, you live at home while attending weekly counseling sessions, support group meetings, and other recovery treatments at our facility. Partial hospitalization is common for those battling both addiction and mental illness.

These programs feature an average of 20 hours per week spent with us. Stepping down another level of care, intensive outpatient programs typically require nine to 19 hours of attendance per week. These are best for people with intermediate-level substance abuse problems.

It bears mentioning that while this is a step down in time requirements, it is not a step down in treatment or effectiveness. And it is also worth mentioning that we do not expect you to know which program will best suit your needs.

If you are unsure of where to start, call our 24-hour line for guidance.

Forging Your Path at Pathfinders Recovery Center

If you’re looking to start your journey with Alcoholics Anonymous, we can help you find a local meeting to aid the other treatments in your recovery plan. Addiction treatments work best when they are well-rounded and holistic.

We can help you build a treatment plan that addresses your emotional, physical, and spiritual recovery needs. The road to recovery starts right here at Pathfinders Recovery Center. Call us today at 866-263-1820.

Never Drinking Again

Never Drinking Again

Making The Decision Not To Drink

Making the decision to abstain from alcohol is extremely difficult. If you’ve gotten to that point, good for you. Keep in mind that a lot of alcoholics and problem drinkers never get to that point.

If you actually make the decision to stop drinking, that alone is a huge feat. If you slip up and go back to it, at least you know you can stop again because you’ve done it before. The reasons why people swear off alcohol may vary. Some people do it for their health and their overall well-being.

Some do it because it’s ruining their personal life. Regardless of how you’ve come to this conclusion, you’ve recognized that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. That is the first step.

Sometimes drinking is the symptom and not the problem. There’s a reason why a lot of addicts get as bad as they do. There is typically some sort of past trauma or tragic event that triggered you to use drugs or alcohol.

This isn’t the case with every single addict, but it’s a common thing they all have in common. A bad childhood. Mental health issues. Stress and anxiety. The list goes on and on. Whatever it is that led you to substance abuse, it needs to be taken care of as you begin your journey into sobriety.

There is something powerful to be said about dual diagnosis and drinking cessation. There are all sorts of therapy methods for alcohol abstinence, but dual diagnosis is an increasingly popular one.

Dual diagnosis refers to the process of tackling your addiction and your mental and/or emotional health issues at the same time. It may seem like a lot, but it worked wonders for me.

I had a lot of very serious emotional problems that I would cover up through drinking. When I got to Pathfinders for treatment, they offered a great dual diagnosis program that helped me work on all of my issues simultaneously.

It’s going to take a while to fix everything that you’ve been avoiding because of your addiction. When they say one day at a time, they mean it. You don’t have to worry about the next day or the next week.

The only thing that matters is how you are doing today, and what you are actively doing to work on yourself. There is a lot of rebuilding that needs to be done before you achieve long-term sobriety. If you’re up to the challenge, you can make it work.

Why is it so hard to stop drinking alcohol on your own? Because it is an all-powerful addiction. Recognizing that you are powerless to alcohol will help you through your initial period of recovery.

Some addicts try to convince themselves that they can have a couple of drinks and be ok. Some think they can figure out a way to keep their drinking under control. This usually doesn’t work out so well.

Even if you can control your drinking for a little while, it’s an addiction that’s designed to get worse and worse. Moderation and making drinking changes might work for non-addicts, but if you’re a true addict, you will know it sooner or later.

Self Knowledge And Drinking

Self Knowledge And Drinking

There is a lot of soul-searching to be done when you enter recovery. You learn a lot about yourself and what triggers you. You learn a lot about why you react the way you do in certain situations.

Even if you learn to cope with the triggers that may affect you, they can still overwhelm you at times. No one is perfect. When you attend meetings and therapy groups, you will meet a wide range of people from all different backgrounds, yet you all got there the same way. You couldn’t control it.

I’ve heard a lot of people say that they are never drinking again. It’s one thing to be confident in yourself, but it’s very hard for any addict to say this definitively and make it actually happen.

Plenty of people in recovery never do end up drinking again. But coping with never drinking again is a lifelong battle. You have to be strong every day. You have to recognize the triggers and how to avoid them. It’s a huge responsibility to put on yourself, but it will reward you greatly if you keep at it.

When you make the decision to quit drinking, picking the right place for recovery is key. Treatment centers are incredibly helpful for you to build a sober foundation. I was extremely pleased with my time at Pathfinders. I couldn’t have picked a more compassionate place.

Luckily, there are so many different forms of therapy and so many different recovery centers. What works for one person may not work for another. If you find the right treatment center, you will know it. Does alcohol detox work for casual drinkers? It may, but there may be alternative methods as well.

There is a lot that can be said about quitting cold turkey vs. home detox. Alcohol can be a very dangerous substance to detox from. It’s one of the few drugs where detox can be fatal if not done correctly. If you choose to do an at-home detox, you should make sure that you are doing it the right way.

Going through detox under medical supervision is the best way to do it, but if you’re going to home detox you need to recognize and be aware of the dangers and look into natural detox remedies. I strongly do not recommend quitting cold turkey if you are a late-term alcoholic.

It’s shocking that alcohol is legal, yet it can do more damage to us mentally and physically than most illegal drugs. I’m not here to argue that drugs should be legal, but it’s a strange reality.

You are allowed to legally drink yourself to death, but not to snort yourself to death. Alcohol is probably the most abused substance in the country because of its acceptance and availability. People make jokes about alcoholism and drinking to excess.

We think it’s funny until it hits us too close to home. When someone you know dies of alcoholism, it makes you think a lot more about how you view it. We often view drinking as a way to have fun and relax. That isn’t the case for a lot of addicts.

Milestones And Commitments To Stop Drinking

Milestones And Commitments To Stop Drinking

You have every reason to celebrate when you hit a milestone. When I was sober for one year, it was a surreal feeling. I was a bit worried though. I didn’t want to make a huge deal out of it, because I didn’t want to feel the external pressure to keep it up.

I still have off days and I still have times where I feel triggered to drink. Again, it’s a personal decision. If you feel like celebrating your milestones is a positive thing for you then by all means celebrate as much as possible!

You’ve done something worth celebrating. I like to spend some time on my sober anniversaries to reflect on how far I’ve come, and what I need to do to continue being sober.

There are several different schools of thought when it comes to recovery. There are some programs that claim they can cure you of your addiction and you will never go back. In my experience, that is not always the case for a lot of addicts.

When we talk about AA vs. other methods of sobriety, there are some differences but a lot of similarities. The AA approach is that you are powerless to your addiction, and seeking a higher power will help you achieve sobriety. Some people aren’t into the whole higher power thing, and that’s totally fine.

I try to keep in mind that I didn’t get here all by myself. I know there were a lot of people that helped me along the way. I try to celebrate those people as much as I celebrate my own progress. When I know someone has reached a milestone, I tell them how proud I am of them.

I don’t put any pressure on them, I just let them know they’ve done something commendable. The peer support I’ve received has helped keep me sober, so I try to lend a helping hand and give encouragement whenever possible.

Denial is a big part of the addiction process. We have to let people make the decision on their own to get help. You can only help someone so much. If you can’t help yourself, no one else is going to get through to you.

You can offer someone all the encouragement in the world, but if they don’t really want sobriety they won’t be able to attain it. I remind myself of this as well.

I can only do so much for other people, but I can do a lot for myself. Almost all of the days I’ve strung together are because of the decision that I made. That gives me a lot of faith in myself that I can keep it going.

Am I An Alcoholic?

Am I An Alcoholic

What Is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is an addiction to alcohol. While this explanation sounds simple enough, it can still cause a lot of confusion.

There are different types, levels, and experiences that alcoholics experience. 

It’s easy to convince yourself that you’re not an alcoholic if you haven’t experienced financial or relationship troubles, lost your license, or been in an accident while intoxicated.

Alcoholism isn’t always this straightforward. 

So, how do you know if you have a problem if it doesn’t look like our overgeneralized idea of what alcoholism is?

We’ll break down the answer to this question throughout the rest of this article. 

Am I An Alcoholic?

At some point, many binge drinkers ask themselves: do I have a drinking problem?

Generally, when your drinking reaches the point that you have to ask yourself this, the answer is likely yes.

But we will help you further evaluate and understand this complex concern. 

Use, Abuse, Dependence, and Alcoholism

Use, Abuse, Dependence, and Alcoholism

Addictions to alcohol are exceedingly unique for a few different reasons.

First, alcohol is an entirely legal substance, and therefore, generally goes unregulated for those over 21. Second, it is normalized enough to be a staple in most gatherings and celebrations. 

When was the last time you attended an office party, holiday gathering, or birthday party where no one had even one drink?

Third, it can be confusing and upsetting to try to understand why some people become addicted and others do not. 

So, how do we distinguish normal, healthy alcohol use from abuse, dependence, and alcoholism?

Nearly 18 million American adults have an alcohol use disorder. Every one of these disorders is unique.

They range from mild to severe and are never one-size-fits-all. 

But what separates normal use from abuse is the frequency.

What separates abuse from dependence is compulsive use.

Dependence is a key factor in alcoholism, as well. As your body builds a tolerance and dependence, you crave alcohol more. 

And you experience additional withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop drinking, too. Withdrawal symptoms are some of the most common red flags. 

Alcoholic Stereotypes: What If I Don’t Fit the Mold?

For many years, the media has perpetuated alcoholic stereotypes that aren’t always entirely accurate.

On TV shows and in movies, they all tend to resemble each other.

They’re down on their luck, broke or alone, got fired from their job, or changed course after an accident. 

While these situations surely exist, alcoholics come in many other forms that we don’t always acknowledge the way we should.

Addiction is a chronic disease that affects our brain chemistry.

Depending on our medical histories, mental health, and other individual factors, it can affect us in different ways. 

High-functioning alcoholics tend to break all the rules associated with alcoholic stereotypes.

Rather than appearing to be at rock bottom, high functioning alcoholics often live relatively normal lives.

They work, often in high-paying jobs, they’re educated, they have families and spouses, and balance daily responsibilities alongside their drinking. 

Signs of Alcohol Dependence

So, since alcohol use disorders come in different forms and levels, how do you know if you’re an alcoholic?

There are mild, moderate, and severe alcohol use disorders, alcoholism, and binge drinkers.

At the different stages, many of the signs and symptoms may overlap. 

This can cause some confusion. But there are red flags to look for in those with alcohol dependence.

What makes someone an alcoholic is the inability to stop drinking without experiencing cravings and other withdrawal symptoms.

In the next section, we will go over common risk factors for alcohol use disorders. 

Causes and Risk Factors for Alcoholism and other Alcohol Use Disorders

Causes and Risk Factors for Alcoholism and other Alcohol Use Disorders

Addiction develops from several different pathways. Mental health disorders, genetics, and environment are three of the most significant pathways.

Understanding the risk factors for developing alcoholism can help us avoid or overcome it. 

Some of the most common risk factors for alcohol use disorders include: 

  • Having more than 15 drinks per week if you’re male
  • Having more than 12 drinks per week if you’re female 
  • Having one or more parents with an alcohol use disorder 
  • Having pre-existing mental health disorder(s), most commonly depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia 
  • Having a stressful school, work, or home life 
  • Having low self-esteem 
  • Having a social circle that prioritizes drinking over all else or pressures others into participation even if they prefer not to drink 

Getting Answers and Understanding Your Addiction

It is not always easy to determine if we have a problem or not. The list above offers guidance into how alcohol use disorders develop.

But what do the symptoms look like once it has already developed? One of the first signs is personality changes. 

This might mean drinking alone or avoiding daily activities or responsibilities to drink more.

It might mean avoiding gatherings or activities where alcohol is not served, sneaking drinks there or in other inappropriate situations, or hiding your drinking from your loved ones.  

Needing more alcohol to get drunk because your body has built a higher tolerance is another sign of trouble.

Another sign is someone lying or becoming defensive, angry, or violent when their drinking is questioned. 

Lastly, drinking even after problems arise in your work-life, finances, relationships, or health is another sign of trouble.

If you are looking for additional signs or have unanswered questions, you can take a self-assessment quiz.  

Self-Assessment Quizzes

There are three free and confidential online screening tests you can take to better understand your drinking habits: 

The CAGE quiz is a good first step in determining whether your habits have become a cause for concern.

Developed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, this four-question quiz is an easy starting point. 

The MAST test is 22 questions with a simple scoring system at the end.

A score of six or higher indicates hazardous drinking habits or alcohol dependence.

The experts who created the test at the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence recommend calling a healthcare professional if you score above a six. 

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is a simple, effective alcohol consumption screening.

This is the most widely used, as it is based on data from a multinational World Health Organization (WHO) study. 

Choosing the Right Treatment for Alcoholism

Choosing the Right Treatment for Alcoholism

In the same way that there are different types and levels of alcoholism, there are also different types and levels of treatment for it.

What works for one person may not work for another.

That’s why we personalize our treatment programs based on the needs of the individual rather than the needs of the majority. 

Pathfinders: A Full Continuum of Care Options

Someone with severe dependence or withdrawal symptoms, little support at home, and a history of relapse might be better suited for an inpatient or residential program.

This gives you 24-hour access to the care, guidance, and support of our expert teams. 

In the comfort and safety of our luxury-level facilities, you will work toward your goals through a variety of proven treatment methods.

A few of the most common treatment methods include behavioral therapies, support groups, and holistic remedies. 

Someone with a milder addiction, support at home, or full-time work and family obligations that prevent a full-time stay might be better suited for an intensive outpatient program or another option.

But we do not expect our clients to have all the answers before they come to us. 

We will work with you to determine which course of action will best fit your addiction and needs.

Because one-size-fits-all solutions are ineffective. We treat each of our clients on an individual basis.

That is the Pathfinders difference. Call us today at (866) 263-1820 to learn more.

Can You Die from Alcohol Withdrawal?

Can You Die from Alcohol Withdrawal

When your body becomes dependent on alcohol, cravings and other withdrawal symptoms appear after you stop drinking or significantly reduce your intake. In many cases, alcohol withdrawal can be mild. 

But in others, it can be more severe, even life-threatening. Because alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, its side effects are achieved by slowing down the brain.

As your body and brain get used to this effect, changes in your drinking patterns throw you off balance. 

Your central nervous system becomes overexcited as it tries to restore balance.

This imbalance shows through in the form of withdrawal symptoms ranging from mild to severe.

Alcohol withdrawal deaths are usually attributable to a condition called delirium tremens. 

Death may occur in up to 5% of delirium tremens patients.

But the risk of death is reduced for those who receive adequate medical support and medication. 

What is Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome?

 

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is what we call the wide range of symptoms that appear when alcohol-dependent individuals stop drinking.

Those with alcohol withdrawal syndrome will experience a combination of emotional and physical symptoms. 

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome symptoms range from minor, like insomnia and tremors, to severe, like withdrawal seizures and the condition we mentioned before, delirium tremens.

No two people experience addiction or withdrawals the same way. 

But we can give you an idea of what to expect by evaluating the most common side effects of alcohol withdrawal, outlining the detox stages, and detailing your treatment options. 

Common Side Effects of Alcohol Withdrawal

Common Side Effects of Alcohol Withdrawal

If you have tried to stop drinking and found that overwhelming cravings or other uncomfortable physical or emotional symptoms brought you right back to the bottle, you may already be more familiar with withdrawals than you realize.  

Some of the most common side effects of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Restlessness 
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors or shakes, particularly in the hands
  • Headaches

Troubling Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal: Seizures

The most common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are not the most concerning ones.

Seizures, high blood pressure, high fevers, and confusion are some of the more troubling symptoms of alcohol withdrawals. 

While these may not be the most common symptoms, they can be the most detrimental when they occur.

Dangerous withdrawal symptoms are not a risk you have to take. Choose a better way with a supervised detox. 

Other Dangerous Physical Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

Seizures and delirium tremens are two of the most dangerous complications of alcohol withdrawals.

These physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening. Delirium tremens can cause vivid delusions and hallucinations. 

It can also cause confusion, shaking, fever, and high blood pressure.

The sudden and severe mental or nervous system changes associated with delirium tremens can be fatal.

But it doesn’t have to be. Delirium tremens is treatable by a medical professional. 

The average onset is approximately three days into withdrawals. If you or someone you love needs to detox from alcohol, we recommend doing so in the comfort and safety of a certified addiction treatment facility. 

During a supervised detox, you will benefit from the 24-hour care, support, and guidance of a dedicated medical team.

They will ensure that you stay properly hydrated, monitor your progress, and guide you through the appropriate next steps. 

Alcohol Detox Stages

 

Alcohol detox symptoms vary depending on the stage you are in, how long you have been drinking, how often and how much you drink, and other individual factors.

The average alcohol detox lasts between three and seven days. 

The length and severity of your detox can vary based on the details of your addiction and mental health.

But one thing that is true for everyone is that remaining patient and accepting the help available to you is crucial. 

Recovery is possible for anyone. And recovery from alcohol dependence occurs in three distinct stages.

When you attend a detox program like the ones we offer at our Pathfinders Recovery Centers, these stages become significantly safer and easier to manage.  

Stages One, Two, and Three

Treatment for Alcohol Withdrawal After Detoxification

Stage one is often characterized by mild withdrawal symptoms that appear within eight hours after you stop drinking.

These stage one symptoms can be mild enough to feel like a hangover.

Nausea, sweats, insomnia, and anxiety are some of the most common symptoms in this stage.

Stage two starts around 12 to 24 hours after your last drink and typically involves moderate symptoms, like high blood pressure, fever, confusion, and irritability.

Finally, stage three usually involves the most severe symptoms you will experience. 

This stage starts between 48 and 72 hours after your last drink.

High fevers, seizures, confusion and agitation, and hallucinations can occur during stage three of withdrawals.

Delirium tremens can also occur during this stage. 

This condition is the one we are the most concerned with. Roughly 3-5% of alcohol-dependent patients experience this condition during detox.

This is one reason why many experts deem supervised, professional detoxes crucial rather than recommended.  

Medical Detox for Severe Alcohol Withdrawal

Severe addictions and withdrawals may warrant medical detox rather than a traditional one.

Medical detoxes offer a higher level of support. During medical detox, an experienced professional will safely prescribe or administer medication to ease your withdrawal symptoms. 

There are several different medications they may choose.

These medications may help you get through the crucial stage of early sobriety in several different ways.

For example, one of the most common of these medications reduces alcohol and drug cravings. 

In a traditional or social detox, there are many of the same benefits, including a safe and comfortable space where you can focus on your sobriety and access to a dedicated medical team.

The biggest difference is the medication. Not every case will need it. 

But we will work with you to determine which path will be better for you.

And both social and medical detoxes are significantly safer than quitting cold turkey and withdrawing alone at home.

After your detox, we have a range of continued care programs available. 

Treatment After Detoxification

Treatment for Alcohol Withdrawal After Detoxification

 

Alcohol is one of the hardest addictions to recover from. But people do it every day.

Experts recommend attending treatments for a minimum of three months.

While these treatments can take place in different forms and settings, the timeline is what is more important in this regard. 

Longer treatment programs and plans are associated with better results.

That’s why we make it easy to get the help you need – where, when, and how you need it.

From full-time residential programs to part-time intensive outpatient programs, we offer every opportunity you need to change your life. 

Whether full-time or part-time, our personalized treatment programs feature many of the same proven, research-based, and holistic treatments.

Behavioral therapies, support groups, and exercise classes are some of the most common.  

Getting Help for Alcohol Addiction at Pathfinders

Building a better, happier, healthier life starts here. With luxury-level facilities in Colorado and Arizona, help is always right around the corner.

Our addiction specialists are on call to answer your questions, guide you through the next steps, and verify your insurance. 

You do not have to face your recovery alone.

Call them today, day or night, at (866) 263-1820 to get started. From detox through aftercare, help is waiting for you here at Pathfinders.

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.

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 Luxury Detox Center

What Is a Luxury Detox Center

Evidence-Based Care in Luxury Settings

If you are starting your journey to sobriety, you may want to consider enrolling in a luxury detox center. This is the name for a drug or alcohol detoxification program that provides added amenities. Extra comfort during the recovery process may seem unnecessary. However, when facing the challenging task of halting substance use, even small benefits can go a long way. 

No matter how many amenities are available in detox, you must also have expert medical care. Today, there are evidence-based methods for detoxing from all major substances. Use of these methods keeps you safe during your treatment. It also increases the odds that you will successfully complete detox and continue your recovery. For this reason, the best luxury treatment centers near you will feature evidence-based care.  

Why Is Detox Necessary

If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, your brain has undergone some significant changes. First, you have become physically dependent on the substance that is causing you problems. This means that your brain has come to rely on its presence. You have also become psychologically dependent. This means that you have lost control over some of your behaviors. As a result, you compulsively seek out sources for more drugs or alcohol.  

At this stage, you cannot halt your substance use without facing certain physical and emotional effects. Together, these effects are known as substance withdrawal. Each major substance category produces its own typical withdrawal symptoms. For example, someone withdrawing from alcohol may experience things such as:

  • An anxious, depressed or agitated mental state
  • Nausea
  • Muscle tremors

In a worst-case scenario, you may also experience:

  • Major or grand mal seizures
  • The dangerous state known as delirium tremens, or the DTs

In contrast, someone withdrawing from opioid drugs or medications may experience symptoms that include:

  • Cramping or achy muscles
  • Stomach cramps
  • Repetitive yawning
  • High output of mucus, sweat and tears

In all forms of withdrawal, you may also feel the psychological effects of intense substance cravings.

The symptoms of drug or alcohol withdrawal may be mild, moderate or severe. Even at their mildest, the feelings you experience may tax your ability to cope. And if you go through moderate or severe withdrawal, the challenge of coping will only grow. Many people find it impossible to deal with their symptoms on their own. In the absence of professional help, they abandon their quest for sobriety and return to substance use. 

In some cases, the effects of withdrawal may do much more than make you fell uncomfortable or emotionally distressed. In fact, certain forms of severe withdrawal can endanger your life. That is especially true for people heavily addicted to alcohol or tranquilizers. 

For all of these reasons, there is a pressing need for supervised substance detox. In a supervised program, you do not have to go through withdrawal on your own. Instead, you benefit from:

  • The oversight and care of trained medical professionals
  • A safe and supportive treatment environment
  • Expert help in dealing with the effects of withdrawal
  • Immediate assistance for treatment complications and emergencies

These benefits make it much easier for you to quit using drugs or alcohol. They also help ensure your health and well-being throughout the withdrawal process. And in an emergency, supervised detox could very well save your life. 

Standard Supervised Detox Vs. a Luxury Detox Center

Standard Supervised Detox vs Luxury

Standard Programs

Today, there are well-established guidelines for effective drug and alcohol detox. These guidelines state that detox has three main goals:

  • Evaluating your situation and choosing an appropriate detox option
  • Stabilizing you while you go through drug or alcohol withdrawal
  • Getting you ready to enter a rehab program after you complete detox

All high-quality programs follow these basic principles. This is true for both standard detox facilities and a luxury detox suite. In addition, all effective rehabs customize their treatments to meet your unique needs. This customization takes two main things into account:

  • The specific substance you are addicted to
  • Any personal details that may have an effect on your treatment

Such details include the severity of your withdrawal symptoms. They also include your medical history.

All customized detox programs include something called supportive care. This is the name for the basic steps taken to protect and nurture your health during withdrawal. Common supportive actions include:

  • Taking steps to keep your vital functions stay in a healthy range
  • Providing you with healthy food and any necessary supplements
  • Maximizing your general comfort throughout withdrawal

There are also additional treatments available for withdrawal from certain substances. For example, people detoxing from alcohol may receive a tranquilizing medication. People detoxing from opioids commonly receive a temporary dose of a safer opioid substitute. This approach is used to protect you from experiencing severe opioid withdrawal while proceeding toward sobriety. 

Luxury Detox Centers

The steps taken to support and help you in standard detox are extensive. Still, some people choose to enroll in a luxury rehab instead. Why? Luxury treatment centers near you go beyond the basics of standard care. They do so by adding perks or amenities to their range of services. The specific perks and amenities available to you may vary from center to center. However, the list of options often includes such things as:

  • A spa-like environment
  • Spacious, private rooms or suites
  • Made-to-order food
  • Private dining
  • Expansive, landscaped grounds
  • Scenic locations
  • A secluded treatment setting
  • Extensive recreational programs

Complementary treatments are also common at a luxury detox center. Examples of such treatments include:

  • Acupuncture or acupressure
  • Yoga therapy
  • Massage
  • Meditation
  • Art therapy
  • Herbs
  • Music therapy

Why Go to a Luxury Detox Center

There are multiple reasons why you might choose a luxury detox center over a standard program. Sheer comfort sits high on the list of motivations for many people. That may seem unnecessary or even indulgent, but in fact, it can be quite practical. 

Comfort and stability are known to be beneficial for people withdrawing from drugs or alcohol. That is true because the more comfortable you are, the easier you may find it to stick with substance detox. In turn, by making it easier to stick with detox, you make it more likely that you will complete the process. 

Completion of detox is vital. Why? That is the only way to fully prepare yourself for enrollment in primary substance treatment. By maximizing your level of comfort, a luxury detox center may ultimately increase your odds of achieving lasting sobriety. 

But comfort is not the number one motivation for everyone in luxury treatment centers near you. Some people choose luxury detox because of the privacy it provides. In some cases, increased privacy is just a personal preference. However, in other cases, it may be essential to protecting your job, relationships or personal reputation. 

You may also be motivated by dietary considerations. Some people do not focus too much on food and will not mind eating a standard diet. In contrast, others are food-centric. If that is true for you, eating tasty meals that suit your preferences may be a major perk.

Complementary treatments are important to many people entering detox. These treatments are not designed to replace your main detox plan. Instead, they work alongside that plan. The general goal of complementary care is to add an extra boost to your health and well-being. By doing so, this care may put you in a better position to cope with the rigors of substance detox. And even small increases in your coping ability can benefit your overall detox results. 

Where Can You Find a Luxury Detox Center

There is a pretty good chance that you will find luxury treatment centers near you. This is especially true if you live in a mid- to large-sized metropolitan area. A quick Internet search will give you a good idea of your basic options. But before you begin your search, you should keep a couple of things in mind.

First and foremost, luxury alone is not enough to help you make it through substance withdrawal. You also need effective, evidence-based treatment provided by skilled experts. It is the combination of these two things that makes a luxury detox center truly valuable. For this reason, focus on find a luxury detox center that follows current, recommended detox guidelines.

It is also important to know that not all luxury treatment centers near you will provide detox services. Instead, some centers only offer primary substance treatment. This means that you will have to go through detox at another facility. You may find it more convenient to find a luxury center that provides both detox and treatment services. 

Learn More About Luxury Detox Centers

Luxury detox treatment may play a vital role in helping you halt your substance use. This is crucial to know, since most people with drug or alcohol problems never seek expert care. The availability of a luxury option may be just want you need to begin breaking the painful cycle of addiction. 

Want to learn more about what to expect from luxury treatment centers near you? Contact Pathfinders today. We are more than happy to help guide you toward options that suit your particular needs. Pathfinders also offers well-appointed detox services for all kinds of substance problems. At all times, we combine evidence-based medical care with close attention to your comfort and well-being. In this way, we help you overcome the many challenges of quitting drugs or alcohol. Pathfinders is also your source for customized, evidence-based primary treatment.