How to Get Someone Into Alcohol Rehab

You May Wonder: How do I Get Someone Into Alcohol Rehab

Like many people, you may wonder how to get someone into alcohol rehab. This is extremely important to know since the right choice can improve your loved one’s odds of recovery. To make the best possible choice, it helps to know the basics of alcohol rehab programs. It also helps to know what happens during alcohol treatment. In addition, you should know what types of rehabs may operate in your area.

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Basics of Alcohol Rehab Centers

Alcohol rehab centers help people dealing with significant drinking problems. These problems often include clear symptoms of alcoholism (i.e., alcohol addiction). However, that is not always the case. Even if you don’t suffer from alcoholism, you can abuse alcohol in dangerous ways. In addition, alcoholism symptoms and alcohol abuse symptoms often overlap.

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Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse are no Longer Treated on Their own

For these reasons, alcoholism and alcohol abuse are no longer treated on their own. Instead, experts consider them to be part of the same condition, alcohol use disorder or AUD. You can be diagnosed with AUD if you have:

  • Two or more symptoms only related to alcoholism
  • Two or more symptoms only related to alcohol abuse
  • Two or more combined symptoms of alcoholism and alcohol abuse

Outpatient Alcohol Rehab Centers

The first step in getting someone into rehab is to decide what type of program will work best. A consultation with an addiction specialist will help you determine which rehab option makes the most sense.

There are two basic types of alcohol rehab centers near you: outpatient and inpatient. In outpatient alcohol rehab, clients receive treatment during the day, but still live at home. There are several types of outpatient programs. Depending on your loved one’s needs, you may choose from:

  • Standard outpatient programs or OPs
  • Intensive outpatient programs or IOP
  • Partial hospitalization programs or PHP

 

People with mild symptoms of AUD often enroll in standard outpatient care. In some cases, people with moderate symptoms may do the same. Standard OPs require less than nine hours of weekly treatment.

Intensive outpatient programs are designed for outpatients who need more treatment to recover. All programs of this type provide at least nine hours of care each week. Some provide as many as 19 hours. To qualify for an IOP, your loved one must be in generally stable physical and mental health.

Partial hospitalization programs provide more weekly treatment than other outpatient alcohol rehabs. Your loved one will receive at least 20 hours of care each week while enrolled. People in PHPs suffer from unstable mental health or unstable physical health.

Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Centers

All clients in inpatient alcohol rehabs live onsite around the clock while enrolled. There are several advantages to this level of care, including:

  • More weekly treatment than outpatient programs offer
  • 24/7 monitoring of your loved one’s conditioning
  • access 24/7 to any needed medical care
  • Secure, stable environment during the day and at night
  • Greater opportunity to focus only on the needs of alcohol recovery

What Happens in Outpatient and Inpatient Alcohol Rehab

Once you find the right type of program, your loved one can start the enrollment process. The details of this process may vary from program to program. To make things as easy as possible, ask your chosen facility to walk you through enrollment step by step.

At this stage, all outpatient and inpatient alcohol rehabs will give your loved one a thorough evaluation. This evaluation helps determine the right type of treatment plan. All plans include two main services: alcohol detox and primary alcohol treatment.

Detox in Alcohol Rehab

Before starting primary treatment, people with AUD must go through detox. This step is especially important for people suffering from alcoholism. However, it’s also vital for non-addicted people who abuse alcohol.

The first goal of detox is to help your loved one stop drinking alcohol. For anyone dependent on alcohol, this action will have significant consequences. Why? When dependent people quit drinking, they go through alcohol withdrawal.

Withdrawal is not the same for all recovering drinkers. Some people have relatively mild forms of withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Bad dreams
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Feelings of anxiousness or depression

However, others develop more serious forms of these symptoms. In addition, some people going through alcohol withdrawal experience major complications. These severe problems include:

  • Convulsions (i.e., seizures)
  • Delirium tremens or the DTs, which can include seizures, hallucinations, a high fever and extreme mental confusion

Most people make it through detox without such major issues. However, detox conducted by medical professionals can help your loved one deal with any form of alcohol withdrawal.

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Primary Treatment in Alcohol Rehab

Detox gets your loved one ready to participate in primary treatment. The work done in treatment is what makes a long-term return to sobriety possible. Alcohol rehabs use two main types of primary treatment: behavioral therapy and medication. The best programs only use scientifically-backed therapy and medication options.

Behavioral therapy is an active form of psychotherapy. It uses practical techniques to help participants change their relationship with alcohol. That includes learning how:

  • Alcohol problems develop
  • Improve participation in alcohol treatment
  • Tell when the urge to drink is getting stronger
  • To avoid triggers (e.g., situations and people) associated with drinking
  • Remain sober when it’s not possible to avoid drinking triggers
  • Add a self-help group to official alcohol treatment

The therapy your loved one receives in rehab may come in several forms. Options known to help people with drinking problems include:

  • CBT, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Contingency management
  • Community reinforcement
  • 12-step facilitation therapy
  • Motivational enhancement

 

Medication can help your loved one in several ways. For example, naltrexone can help lower the desire to drink. People in recovery who take disulfiram feel sick when they drink. This negative reaction makes alcohol use far less appealing. The medication acamprosate can help your loved one’s brain recover from the effects of habitual heavy drinking.

Behavioral therapy and medication often go together in alcohol rehab. Most people receive more than one type of therapy. In addition, many people take at least one form of medication.

Finding the Right Alcohol Rehab Near You

Outpatient alcohol rehab near you can take place in different kinds of settings. That is also true for inpatient alcohol rehab near you. Some rehabs only offer outpatient or inpatient services. However, others offer both types of programs. In your area, you may find independent alcohol rehabs. You may also find rehabs attached to larger facilities.

Your loved one can recover in all of these types of rehabs. The setting is important. Still, what matters most is the quality of care a program provides. All top programs use proven alcohol treatments.

Learn More About How to Get Someone Into Alcohol Rehab at Pathfinders

You have plenty of options when it comes to finding an alcohol rehab for your loved one. You can choose from several types of outpatient programs. That includes standard and Intensive Outpatient Programs. It also includes partial hospitalization programs. At Pathfinders we create each treatment plan based on individual goals and needs of our clients. Our addiction specialists can help you decide which option works best.

The amount of care your loved one receives depends on the program type. People in our standard Outpatient Program receive no more than eight hours of weekly treatment. People in our Intensive Outpatient Program get at least nine hours of treatment each week. Depending on the need some may receive up to 19 hours a week. People in our Partial Hospitalization Program get no less than 20 hours of weekly rehab care. Inpatient programs provide even more weekly treatment. They also offer other important advantages.

Outpatient and inpatient rehabs rely on the same basic types of treatment. That includes therapy designed for people with alcohol problems. It also includes medication designed for people with alcohol problems. It is common to receive multiple forms of therapy. It is also common for treatment plans to include at least one medication.

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Pathfinders Alcohol Rehab Center

At Pathfinders, we offer all levels of care. This is important as you progress through recovery and find that you are ready to move to a different level of treatment. You will be able to stay in our program and will not need to find a new program and start all over.

Need more information on how to get your loved one into alcohol rehab? Contact our rehab specialists today at 866-414-0220.

How to Stage an Intervention

Seeking Help for a Loved One

Someone you love struggles with an addiction—and their behavior is spinning out of control. Perhaps you avoided confronting your friend because their drug of choice drives them into irrational fits. Now, though, you know without a doubt that they are placing their life at risk. Now, you want to know how to stage an intervention.

You are making a smart move by seeking help for your loved one. If your gut instinct tells you that the time to step in is here, then listen to it! Drug addiction and alcoholism are deadly diseases.

Before beginning, we want to give you a glimpse at how pervasive addiction is in America today.

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The Toll of Addiction

Here are two eye-opening statistics from drugabuse.gov that highlight the importance of crisis intervention, as related to drug and alcohol abuse.

The cost of substance abuse is staggering. In the United States, it costs over $740 billion in combined health care, lost wages, and losses due to crime.

More importantly than the finances of addiction are the human losses due to overdoses. In 2018 alone, 67,367 Americans perished from a drug overdose.

These figures are frightening, but they should also motivate you to step in and advocate for your loved one. Remember, they are unable to help themselves right now. Even if your loved one just started using substances and has not spiraled out of control—yet—the time for early intervention is right now!

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What is Intervention

You probably know the term, but you now you ask yourself some questions. What is intervention? What does intervention mean, exactly?

Let us Define Intervention

So how do we define intervention? We describe the intervention defined as the intentional interference with someone’s behavior to alter their course and prevent them from harming themselves or others.

Here is an example that illustrates the genuine need for an intervention realistically.

Pretend your friend needs an alcohol intervention. You knew she drank socially, but it escalated recently. Now, you witness her passing out or drinking and driving. You fear that she will cause a crash and kill herself or another motorist. Worse yet, your friend seems to be deceiving herself, convinced that she still has control of herself.

Clearly, this person needs behavioral intervention to change the course of her actions.

As a responsible, sober person, you want to prevent that nightmarish outcome from becoming a reality. You find treatment for her at Pathfinders Recovery Center. But first, you need to convince her to attend a program. In short, you need an intervention.

Furthermore, there are two ways you can time interventions: early intervention and crisis intervention. Take a look at these intervention meanings.

how to stage an intervention Pathfinders -

Early Intervention:

In early intervention, people who know and love your friend see them destroying their life by making poor decisions like abusing alcohol or drugs.

Perhaps they still hold down a job, attend school, and care for their kids. However, you see them unraveling one piece at a time. You predict it will be a matter of time before they unhinge entirely from reality.

The early intervention seeks to get this person the recovery program that they need before they slide any further into the rabbit hole of addiction.

Crisis Intervention:

On the other hand, your friend might already be exhibiting behaviors that are out of hand. They might have been fired from a job and went on a binge, been arrested for driving under the influence, or even lost custody of their children. And in the very worst cases, they might not care if they live or die.

They ease the pain of these events by diving even deeper into their addiction. These circumstances are dire and require crisis intervention asap.

How to Stage an Intervention

We know that you want to know how to stage an intervention out of care and concern for someone you love. However, let us be clear—you are targeting the behaviors of the person, you are not attacking them personally.

Thus, keep in mind this term: Behavioral Intervention Plan as you walk through the stages of planning to intervene. Alcoholics and drug addicts are emotionally-charged, unstable, and lack self-esteem. They often know that they are damaging their relationships.

The problem is, they do not know how to stop.

So if they feel that you are insulting them, you will lose them before you even start! This reason is why behavioral interventions are best handled by professional interventionists, not friends or family members.

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Behavior Intervention Plans

How to do an Intervention for a Drug Addict

Here are the main steps in coordinating a behavioral intervention for a drug addict.

1 – Identify the Need for an Intervention

Customarily, a close friend or family member puts the idea of staging an intervention on the table. They reach out to other people in their friend’s life to ask them to agree to attend the meeting and confront their special someone who is struggling.

2 – Retain a Certified Interventionist

A successful behavioral intervention requires a delicate balance of open, frank discussion about the impact of the person’s addiction on your relationship and an expression of your growing concern.

The interventionist is the mediator who can lead that discussion in a fair, impartial, compassionate, and non-judgmental way. This professional knows how to read body language, spotting the signs when someone is about to walk out of the intervention meeting, and conflict resolution.

In other words, this is the person who knows how to stage an intervention—this step is crucial.

3 – Set a Place, Date and Time for the Intervention

Find a host for the intervention. Try to schedule it for a timeframe when your loved one might be sober—when they first wake up in the morning, for example.

Make sure that all participants will arrive early and know what to do. This extra time allows you to decide who speaks first, where each person will sit, and even who greets your loved one at the door and guides them into the meeting.

Your interventionist will provide clearer insight and be able to help you plan for success.

4 – Have a Plan in Place

Before you confront your loved one, have a plan in place. They might never have considered treatment. In fact, they might be unaware that they even need help until you ask them to get help! If you are intervening on your spouse or child, check with the insurance provider and have treatment centers in mind ahead of time.

5 – Script the Intervention

You should carefully write out what you plan to say to your loved one during the behavioral intervention. This preparation prevents you from making any off-the-cuff remarks during the intervention; this is not the time to blow it!

    • You want to affirm, first, that you love them, and you are intervening out of love. Example: I need you to know that I love you, but I am afraid for your safety.
    • While you are confronting them, remember to focus on their poor behaviors. Give specific, relatable examples of how their behavior creates undesirable impacts on you. Example: The cost of your legal fees caused our family to file for bankruptcy.
    • Also, script one or two ways in which you will support them in their recovery.Example: I will seek treatment for my enabling actions by attending Nar-Anon meetings.
    • You should also set reasonable boundaries to let your loved one know you will neither enable their behaviors. Example: I will no longer bail you out of jail or pay for your attorney’s fees.

how to stage an intervention Pathfinders -

How to do an Intervention for an Alcoholic

Next, we look into how to stage an intervention for an alcoholic. The steps involved are the same as those in how to stage an intervention for a drug addict. Of course, the main difference will be shifting focus to the negative behaviors of abusing alcohol instead of focusing on drugs.

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Final Thoughts on How to Stage an Intervention

Now that you know how to stage an intervention, it is up to you to help your friend or loved one get the help that they need so badly. Whether or not they recognize it right away, you are performing an incredible act of kindness.

90 Meetings in 90 Days

The Reasons for Keeping a 90 Meetings in 90 Days Calendar

You are working hard to start a new path in recovery, and now your counselor just issued you a new challenge—keeping a 90 meetings in 90 days calendar.

Attending the 90 meetings in 90 days recovery program sounds intimidating enough already. Now they want you to track it, too? You can rest assured—the entire team at Pathfinders Recovery Center is rooting for you. We know you can crush this program, and the calendar is the easiest way to keep you on track.

Let’s take an up-close look at the 90 meetings in 90 days recovery program. You will learn why you should track your progress during that time.

Cold Turkey - Hello I Am ... Name Tag Words "Going Cold Turkey" in black marker.

Why Keep a 90 Meetings in 90 Days Calendar

What gets measured, gets managed.”

You might have heard the cliché saying uttered by business guru Peter Drucker decades ago. The saying remains relevant today because it is sound reasoning.

When you write down a goal, you breathe life into it. You take ownership of the challenge and satisfaction in checking it off your list.

In the case of a 90 meetings in 90 days calendar, you can schedule a daily “appointment” with yourself. This habit ensures that your recovery remains at the front and center of your to-do list, and you do not overlook it. And, as you check off the meeting at the end of the day, you will feel proud of your accomplishment—another day of clean, sober, and healthier living.

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How About a 90 Meetings in 90 Days App

If you do not like keeping up with a paper calendar, you have another alternative—an app on your phone. Take a quick run through your phone’s application store. You will see with just a cursory glance that you have many apps to choose from.

Like the paper calendar, a 90 meetings in 90 days app will guide you through your ninety days, one day at a time (as you hear so often).

Additionally, apps offer some other fun functions, such as:

  • A calculator that tells you approximately how much money you saved each day by staying sober.
  • Badges and awards to motivate and encourage you to keep on the right course.
  • App community members where you can meet other people who struggle with addictions to drugs and alcohol.
  • Meeting locator to find NA and AA meetings if you travel outside of your area.

Whether you have a smartphone or not, tracking your progress is vital. Paper calendars work best for some people. Others prefer the app. You have the flexibility to choose whichever tracking method works the best for you.

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Why 90 Meetings in 90 Days

You know you need to strive to meet the ninety meeting goal, but do you know the reasoning behind attending 90 meetings in 90 days?

The 90 meetings in 90 days origin stems from the fact that this program assists you in your recovery in the following three ways:

1 – You Develop New (and Healthier) Habits

In an article published in 2009 by the European Journal of Social Psychology, scientists agreed that it took study participants anywhere from 18 to 254 to develop a habit. They further concurred that, on average, most people adopt new, automatic practices in 66 days.

90 days provides sufficient time for the majority of 90 meetings for NA or AA participants to hone these habits in the early recovery phase:

  • Communicating effectively in a group setting
  • Expressing their feelings
  • Arriving at your meeting on time
  • Staying sober
  • Appropriate interactions with others

These habits are essential because many alcoholics or drug addicts abandoned these behaviors during the peak of addiction.

Cold Turkey - A man is exercising in his home. He has stopped drinking cold turkey and uses exercise to get past the withdrawal.
A man is exercising in his home.

2 – You Build a Reliable, Safe Network of Peers

In addition to the healthy habit formation, you will build a safe, reliable network in your peer group. These relationships are crucial on the most challenging days of recovery. You will meet others who can lift you up on the lowest days. You can also serve as a ray of sunshine to your peers on the days that they feel poorly.

Remember that Alcoholics Anonymous 90 meetings in 90 days, or NA meetings, are places where others who struggle with addiction come together for mutual support. You learn to lean on each other so you can succeed.

3 – You Found a Place of Acceptance

Many people who are in recovery feel isolated. Their family members have the best of intentions, but they offer advice that sometimes feels like a scolding.

Or, you might still be re-establishing bonds with family and old friends after years of neglecting those relationships.

The bottom line is this—you feel lonely or isolated, even when you are around people you love.

Your 90 meetings in 90 days alcohol or drug addiction workshop is a place where you feel accepted. You can reveal your innermost thoughts or share “war stories” without feeling embarrassed or as if they will use the information against you.

In the past, you turned towards drugs or alcohol for comfort. But now, you have a peer group who can soothe you, helping to prevent relapse.

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What To Expect as You Work Through the 90 Meetings in 90 Days Calendar

Whether you are going to NA meetings or AA meetings, you find many similarities. You might be surprised to see how alike they are, really.

AA 90 Meetings in 90 Days

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings emphasize recovery from alcohol use disorder or alcoholism.

You will learn how to curb your cravings and other coping techniques. Also of note, other participants can help you develop strategies for avoiding alcoholic beverages in social situations—it is a legal drug, after all.

As you progress through your meetings, you will continuously build the skills you need to remain alcohol-free.

90 Meetings in 90 Days NA

Joining 90 meetings for Narcotics Anonymous works similarly to the AA version.

However, you will soon discover that people there used a wide variety of drugs of choice, from prescription painkillers they got hooked on after a surgery to street drugs like heroin. Regardless of the drug abused, you will learn how to prevent relapse and live a life free of drugs.

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What Happens After 90 Meetings in 90 Days

You might wonder, ultimately, what happens after the first 90 meetings? First of all, your group will recognize your achievement by presenting you with a 90-day coin—an enormous accomplishment, indeed!

However, do not rest on your laurels. You still have a lot of hard work ahead of you. Recovery lasts much longer than your first ninety days.

Some people continue going to daily meetings because they draw so much comfort from the process. Others will scale back and attend several times weekly. There is not a single correct number, as every person will experience recovery at a different pace.

You will also probably keep meeting with a counselor for one-on-one therapy, attend relapse prevention classes, and work on all areas of your self-growth. The journey is just beginning—and you are in charge of mapping out your destiny.

If you are all ready to embark on a journey to recovery, we are glad to answer any questions you have. Please feel free to call Pathfinders Recovery Center at 855-728-4363 for assistance. We are always happy to help you.

How to Tell if Someone is Drunk: The Signs of Intoxication

Too Much Alcohol – How to Tell if Someone is Drunk

For some people there is nothing wrong with having a few alcoholic beverages from time to time. in fact, when consumed in moderation, alcohol can be a social lubricant.

That said, when it comes to alcohol, for everyone there is such a thing as too much.

Excess alcohol consumption not only changes a person’s behavior, but it also makes it difficult for that person to tend to his or her responsibilities.

As such, it can have a drastic negative effect on one’s life.

Wondering how to tell if someone is drunk? There are a number of signs you can look out for. They include the following.

How to Tell if Someone is Drunk - A man sits in the curb and drinks a large beer. If you know someone who struggles with alcohol learn how to tell if someone is drunk and get help for them at an alcohol rehab.
A man sits in the curb and drinks a large beer.

How to Tell if Someone is Drunk: The Signs

In some cases, drunkenness is obvious. However, many individuals — specifically those who suffer from alcoholism — are adept at keeping their intoxication under wraps.

If you’re having trouble determining whether an individual is drunk, you should look out for the following signs.

A Flushed Face

One of the common signs of inebriation is a flushed face. If a person’s cheeks are burning bright red, there’s a good chance that he or she has had too much to drink.

This face flushing phenomenon occurs as a result of dilated blood capillaries.

These capillaries dilate because the body is no longer able to metabolize acetaldehyde, a compound that forms after alcohol has been broken down by the body.

Now, this isn’t to say that all face flushing comes as a result of drinking. It can be caused by a number of other factors as well(ie. rosacea, vigorous exercise, etc.).

However, if it’s occurring during a drinking session, it’s almost certainly appearing as a result of alcohol over consumption.

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How to Tell if Someone is Drunk , Look for Slurred Speech.

Another common sign of alcohol intoxication is slurred speech. If a person is dragging out the ends of words or is having difficulty pronouncing his or her words clearly, alcohol could very well be the culprit.

Why does alcohol lead to slurred speech? Because alcohol slows down activity within the brain, thus preventing the brain from communicating with the rest of the body in a timely manner.

Thus, the affected individual starts saying words without having fully processed them within his or her brain; slurring becomes an inevitability.

As with a flushed face, slurred speech can be caused by a number of other factors as well. In many cases, neurological issues are to blame. In other cases, simple anxiety can be the cause.

That said, if the slurring is a relatively new occurrence, you should suspect alcohol consumption. This is particularly true if it’s an off/on happening.

Increased Social Interaction

As you likely know, alcohol can have a seismic effect on one’s behavior.

It can turn a normally quiet person into the life of the party and transform a normally standoffish individual into an absolute flirt. In other words, it can increase the level of social interaction in which a person engages.

In notably quiet people, this shouldn’t be difficult to notice. In fact, you’ll probably feel as though as you’re with an entirely different person. It’s those that are already sociable who are difficult to assess.

In individuals such as these, you should assess conversational subject matter as opposed to conversational quantity.

If a normally respectful individual begins to speak provocatively about sex, politics, religion, and other taboo topics, alcohol intoxication could be at the source of the problem.

How to Tell if Someone is Drunk - A man dances by himself with his tie on his head. When people get drunk they do things they would not normally do it is one of the ways how to tell id someone is drunk, their actions.
A man dances by himself with his tie on his head.

How to Tell if Someone is Drunk, They Show a Lack of Emotional Regulation

While it’s not true for everyone, many individuals demonstrate drunkenness by losing control of their emotional regulation. As such, they become exceedingly angry, hostile, or melancholy during drinking sessions.

Is your friend getting extremely angry over something that’s of little consequence?

Is he or she clamming up and barely speaking to others? Maybe he or she is picking fights at the drop of a hat?

All of these are a cause for concern, whether they’re caused by alcohol consumption or not. For this reason, you need to get to the bottom of them sooner rather than later.

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Physical Imbalance

Another sign that you should look out for is a physical imbalance.

If someone is stumbling around, incapable of walking in a straight line, he or she is very likely under the influence of a toxic substance.

This substance could be any alcohol as well as a variety of other drugs.

This occurs due to the way that alcohol slows down the brain.

Because the brain can’t keep up with the movements of the body, it can’t send full signals to the portions of the body that allow for movement. As a result, stumbling, tripping and dragging inevitably occur.

Of course, this can be caused by other factors as well. However, if it’s popped up suddenly, alcohol or another drug is the likely culprit.

Dehydration

The last sign to look out for is dehydration. If your friend is demonstrating weakness or spontaneously downing water like a fish, he or she could very well be dehydrated as a result of alcohol consumption.

Generally speaking, the more alcohol a person drinks, the more dehydration he or she will experience. So, while you might not notice the effects initially, you’ll almost certainly notice them as the night goes on.

How to Tell if Someone is Drunk – When it Becomes a Problem.

Just because someone’s drunk doesn’t mean that he or she has a drinking problem. Just about every drinker has been drunk at some point in their life. So, at what point does drunkenness become a problem?

There are signs to look for so you know how to tell if someone is drunk. There are a number of scenarios that indicate a problem. However, the most common of them include the following.

When Responsibilities Aren’t Being Tended To

Is your friend’s drunkenness preventing him or her from going to work on a regular basis? Is he or she neglecting the care of his or her children in favor of drinking at the bar? If so, he or she most definitely has a problem.

When drinking takes precedence over responsibilities, it has the potential to send a person’s life into a full-on tailspin. If you know how to tell if someone is drunk you will be able to hold them accountable.

When they sober up you can say I know you were drunk last night or you had too many drinks. To prevent this from happening, professional treatment should be sought as soon as possible.

When Health is Being Jeopardized

Alcohol can cause a number of health problems, some of which are mental and some of which are physical.

These include liver disease, heart disease, memory problems, depression, and anxiety, to name just a few.

Inebriation can lead to ailments and injuries as well, including everything from bruises to broken bones to STDs and more.

If a person has experienced or is experiencing any sort of illness or injury as a result of alcohol consumption, his or her consumption has become a problem.

Again, professional treatment is recommended.

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When Reckless Behavior Has Become the Norm

Everyone is a little uninhibited when they’re drinking. However, when uninhibited turns into reckless, a problem has arisen. This is particularly true if it’s occurring on a regular basis.

Has your friend’s drunken behavior gotten him or her arrested? Has he or she put him or herself in dangerous situations? Has his or her drinking led to other, more extreme forms of drug abuse?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, there is most certainly a problem afoot. Seek treatment now before it’s too late.

How to Tell if Someone is Drunk – Finances are Affected

The last sign that a person’s drunkenness has become a problem is that his or her finances are being affected.

If he or she is spending exorbitant amounts of money for alcohol or if he or she is missing work in order to drink, there is undoubtedly a problem at hand.

At this point, the problem runs the risk of ruining the individual’s entire life. Not only is his or her life savings at risk but his or her credit score as well.

Paying the bills should always take priority over buying drinks.

If you notice this situation taking hold in a close friend or loved one’s life, you should act quickly.

Allowing it to continue for an extended period of time could have severe long-term consequences.

But if you nip it in the bud now, you can prevent it from spiraling out of control.

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Looking for a Reputable Rehab Center in Scottsdale, Arizona?

Now that you know how to tell if someone is drunk, you might be noticing signs of drunkenness in a friend or loved one.

If so, and if you’re looking for a reputable rehab center in the Scottsdale area, Pathfinders Recovery Center is the place to call.

We treat not only alcoholism but heroin, methamphetamine, and prescription pill addiction as well.

Whether your loved one suffers from one or more of these conditions, we have the resources needed to combat the problem.

Contact us now to discuss treatment!

This is What You Need to Know About Quitting Cold Turkey

What is Better Quitting Cold Turkey or Slow Over Time?

Do you struggle with an addiction? Do you want to quit, but just can’t find a way? Do you wonder if it’s better to do it “cold turkey” or slower over time?

The most difficult addictions to overcome, in order of difficulty, are nicotine, opioids, benzodiazepines, alcohol, and cocaine.

The 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health looked at how many individuals used tobacco, alcohol, or illicit drugs.

The report showed that about 164.8 million Americans over the age of 11 stated they had used in the past month.

You are not alone in your fight to become sober. Once you quit, you will still have to find the strength to remain sober. Continue reading to learn about “going cold turkey” to overcome an addiction.

Cold Turkey - Hello I Am ... Name Tag Words "Going Cold Turkey" in black marker.
Going Cold Turkey Hello Name Tag Words 3d Illustration

“Quit Cold Turkey” Meaning Defined

When did this phrase “quitting cold turkey” start? The earliest known use of this phrase was in The Daily Colonist newspaper in 1921. This phrase describes the abrupt stopping of an activity that’s considered harmful.

It may have originated from the phrase “talking cold turkey”. This described a time when a person was direct and blunt.

Another explanation is that cold turkey is a quick dish to serve. There’s no need to spend time cooking. Thus, it’s an abrupt meal to serve.

Today, when you quit cold turkey, it means you stop a harmful habit immediately. There’s no weaning down period.

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Benefits of Quitting Cold Turkey

A 2016 study comparing quitting smoking slowly vs. cold turkey. It was published in The Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study participants were divided into 2 groups. Group 1 quit abruptly and Group 2 decreased smoking by 75% over 2 weeks before they quit.

Both groups used nicotine supplements during and after quitting. At 4 weeks, 39.2% of Group 2 remained abstinent compared to 49.0% of Group 1. At 6 months, 15.5% of Group 2 were still abstinent while 22.0% of Group 1 remained smoke-free.

This study concluded that stopping cold turkey lead to longer success with quitting smoking.

The Difficulty with Going Cold Turkey?

The hardest part of stopping the use of an addictive substance is managing withdrawal symptoms.

The effects may last weeks, months, or even years. Each person has a different experience and coping mechanisms.

Withdrawal symptoms depend on the substance and length of addiction. It’s important to understand that this only describes the physical symptoms.

Other emotional and behavioral triggers accompany addictions.

Opioids or Opiates

Withdrawal symptoms often last 72 hours to about 5 days.

They include:

  • Aching muscles
  • Restlessness and anxiety
  • Teary eyes and runny nose
  • Excessive sweating
  • Trouble sleeping and frequent yawning
  • Diarrhea and stomach cramping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Goosebumps on the skin
  • Dilated pupils and blurry vision
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure

After about a week, these physical symptoms decrease.

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Benzodiazepines

When stopping benzodiazepines, many people experience “rebound” symptoms. This often begins between 1 and 4 days of stopping use.

Depending on how often and how much you used, symptoms can last up to 10 days.

Rebound symptoms include:

  • Problems sleeping
  • Increased anxiety and tension
  • Panic attacks
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Excessive sweating
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headache
  • Stiffness or pain in muscles
  • Cravings
  • Tremors in hands

Severe addicts may experience hallucinations, seizures, psychosis or psychotic responses, and/or suicidal ideation.

Cocaine

Withdrawing from cocaine can make you feel so weak that you don’t feel like doing normal activities. Symptoms can include:

  • Restlessness, irritability, and agitation
  • Generalized discomfort
  • Strong cravings to use cocaine
  • Mental and physical exhaustion
  • Depression
  • Anhedonia which means not being able to feel joy or pleasure
  • Upsetting, dramatic, vivid dreams
  • Increase in your appetite
  • Decrease in motivation
  • Feeling sleepy much of the time
  • Decreased libido or sexual desire
  • Difficulty concentrating

Some people also have headaches and other physical symptoms. Some severe cases experience suicidal thoughts, hostility, and paranoia.

Cocaine Withdrawal Occurs in Three Stages

“The Crash” occurs in the first several hours to days. People feel severe depression, exhaustion, restlessness, and irritability. They may even think about suicide.

The second stage of withdrawal lasts one to 10 weeks. The person’s mood and ability to function improves. Yet they feel bored and lack pleasure.

They often experience cocaine cravings, irritability, low energy, inability to concentrate, and sleep disturbance. At this point, there’s a high risk of relapse.

The last stage, extinction, includes extreme cocaine cravings the come and go. People also experience mood swings during this phase which can last up to six months.

The length and amount of cocaine use impact the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. For most people, withdrawal symptoms last between one and two weeks.

Alcohol

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Often, alcohol withdrawal symptoms manifest in the following timeline.

In the first 6 to 12 hours after stopping alcohol, the person may feel agitated, anxious, shaky, and nauseated. They may also have headaches and vomiting.

In the following 12 to 24 hours, they often experience disorientation, hand tremors, and seizures. The symptoms increase after 48 hours without alcohol.

Symptoms include seizures, insomnia, high blood pressure, and hallucinations. They may also have a high fever with excessive sweating and delirium tremens.

Withdrawal usually stops in 5 days but may continue longer for some people.

The severity of withdrawal depends on the frequency, amount, and length of time of a person’s addiction. Other medical problems can also increase symptoms.

Cold Turkey - A man is exercising in his home. He has stopped drinking cold turkey and uses exercise to get past the withdrawal.
A man is exercising in his home.

Strategies for Coping During Withdrawal

There are steps you can take to help overcome withdrawal symptoms. Each person is unique and responds differently to withdrawal and coping mechanisms.

Following is a list of strategies to try when undergoing withdrawal:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Ask your practitioner about medication to help with the withdrawal symptoms
  • Surround yourself with positive, supportive people
  • Avoid being around people who are using your addictive substance
  • Stay away from places or situations that act as triggers for your addiction
  • Talk with your practitioner before you take any other medications
  • Plan a daily schedule that involves engrossing and distracting activities

The most important point is to have a support system when you quit. Don’t try to do it alone.

Support After Quitting Cold Turkey

Johan Hari, a British journalist said, “The opposite of addiction is not sobriety; the opposite of addiction is connection.”

Addiction often drives a wedge in healthy relationships. This leads to increased isolation, anxiety, and depression.

The addicted individual spends more time with people engaged in the same destructive behavior. Soon, it feels like they have no other options.

Thus, one of the keys to addiction recovery is to reconnect with positive people. Engaging in groups of recovering addicts provides a bond with others facing the same struggle to stay sober.

These relationships provide the following.

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Accountability

One of the hardest steps in recovery is not taking that first drink or drug.

Once the individual leaves rehab, it’s important to stay in contact with counselors or peers. This provides support to help you stay sober.

Prevent Loneliness

Many recovering addicts may have lost their former community groups. Family and friends may not want them around anymore.

Sponsors and peers can relieve feelings of loneliness that could lead to a relapse.

Increased Hope

Participating in a rehabilitation program provides education to help you stay sober. They also teach coping mechanisms including how to avoid and cope with triggers.

They also celebrate successes and provide a sense of hope.

Maintain Positivity

Many former addicts have a poor self-image and lack self-confidence. Counselors and sponsors can help change those negative inner monologues.

They help individuals identify and redirect these thought processes.

Learn New Ways to Have Fun

For many addicts, their perception of having fun involved using the addictive substance.

Rehab programs develop new interests and skills that increase joy in people’s lives. When choosing to have fun, the addict must make choices that don’t act as triggers.

Increased Social Confidence

For many people who have experienced addiction, they don’t feel socially competent. In the past, they used the addictive substance as a buffer to manage social anxiety.

It’s important to work on improving social interaction skills without using a “crutch”.

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Are You Ready to Fight Your Addiction?

Are you or someone you know struggling with an addiction?

Are there conflicting opinions about whether going cold turkey or gradual withdrawal is better?

It may be time to talk with professionals at an addiction center.

Pathfinders Recovery Center provides effective, well-researched, cutting-edge addiction treatment.

For the past 25 years, we have focused on helping people recover from drug and alcohol addiction. We work with any other disorders you may have along with the addiction.

An important part of our care involves help transitioning back into society. There’s no instant cure.

We understand that ongoing support is imperative.

Our center believes that each person adapts, changes, and progresses in different ways and at different times.

You will experience a fun, safe, loving, and peaceful environment. All interactions are strictly confidential.

This atmosphere facilitates healing and develops connections.

Contact us today to ask questions about our program.