What Does an Alcoholism Treatment Program Entail?

Alcoholism

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

This condition then results in other mental or physical illnesses.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Causes of Alcoholism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Symptoms of Alcoholism

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

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

Some of these behaviors include the following:

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

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

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Alcoholism Treatment Centers

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

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

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Inpatient Treatment Programs

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

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

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Outpatient Treatment Programs

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

Detoxification

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

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Conclusion

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

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

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

How Can You Get Sober From Alcohol?

How to Become Sober

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Alcohol Use and Alcohol Problems

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Determining If You Need Help

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How to Become Sober: First Steps

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

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

How to Become Sober: Alcohol Detox

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

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

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

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How to Become Sober: Active Treatment

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

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

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

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

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Mutual Self-Help Groups

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

How to Become Sober: Aftercare

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

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Learn More About How To Get Sober From Alcohol

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

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

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

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

Alcohol Rehab Treatment

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What is Alcohol Rehab?

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

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

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

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

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

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What is Alcoholism?

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

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

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

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Understanding the Types of Alcoholics

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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The Effects of Alcohol Abuse

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

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

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

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

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

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Mental Illness and the Certified Alcoholic

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

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

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

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

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Treatment Options for the Different Types of Alcoholics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Getting the Help You Need for Your Alcohol Addiction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See the difference getting sober can make in your life.

Alcohol Rehab Centers Near Me

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What are Alcohol Rehab Centers?

For most people, five standard drinks are metabolized in about five hours.

Alcohol does not affect everyone the same way. It can vary depending on how much you weigh, how often you drink, how fast you drink, your gender, and many other factors.

For people who have a drinking problem, five standard drinks are metabolized faster.

This means they need to drink more to feel the alcohol’s effects.

An increase in the amount you drink can lead to serious health issues, including alcoholism, which is a serious, chronic disease.

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Understanding “Alcohol Rehab Centers Near Me”

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to treat an alcohol use disorder. That is why when you search “alcohol rehab centers near me,” you are provided a range of treatment options.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, this means we are able to custom-tailor treatments to suit every client that comes to us for help. Our programs include detox, residential rehab, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient rehab, and dual diagnosis care.

If you are looking for inpatient alcohol rehab centers near you, we have exactly the program you need. Our inpatient alcohol rehab treatment allows you to complete your treatment at our facility without the distractions and temptations of the outside world.

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The Physical Effects of Alcohol Abuse

While five standard drinks are metabolized in about five hours, their effects on your health can last a lifetime.

Alcohol abuse can cause serious damage to various parts of the body. It can cause damage to your heart muscles. This can lead to an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

Alcohol abuse also causes many different issues with your liver. This can include cirrhosis, fibrosis, a fatty liver, and alcoholic hepatitis.

Alcoholic hepatitis has many side effects, including bloating and yellow skin or eyes. The long-term damage these issues cause can lead to serious liver damage, and even require a liver transplant.

One of the biggest risks of alcohol abuse is the risk of developing certain kinds of cancer. People who abuse alcohol are at a higher risk of having esophageal, liver, breast, and colon cancer.

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Mental Illness and Alcohol Abuse

Another issue frequently seen at local alcohol rehab centers is mental health illnesses that often simultaneously occur with addiction issues. This is known as a dual diagnosis.

For example, some people had mental health issues before they began drinking and tried to use alcohol to treat their symptoms. Others developed them after their alcohol abuse worsened.

Alcohol is a depressant, which means that it slows down your nervous system. When someone drinks occasionally, alcohol can make them feel relaxed and more confident. When someone abuses alcohol, their brain begins to rely on alcohol to transmit these so-called “feel good” chemicals. This makes your brain crave alcohol in order to make you feel good. The longer you abuse alcohol, the worse this issue becomes. You may begin to experience serious depression, anxiety, or anger issues when you are not drinking.

This is what leads to an addiction to alcohol. With the help of simply searching for “alcohol rehab centers near me,” you are on your way to learning how to manage and treat your mental health issues in a healthy way. This means you will no longer attempt to self-medicate with alcohol and can overcome your addiction

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How to Tell if you Need an Alcohol Rehab Center Near You

If you are looking for an outpatient or inpatient alcohol center near you, chances are that you are already aware you have a drinking problem. You may not be sure, or you may be looking up this information for someone else.

Alcoholism has many different symptoms you can look for in yourself and in others.

These symptoms can include:

  • Do you end up drinking more than you meant to or for longer periods of time?
  • Have you tried to cut down or stop your drinking but found that you could not?
  • Do you spend a lot of time buying alcohol or recovering from hangovers?
  • Do you feel a strong, irresistible urge to drink when you are sober?
  • Does your drinking interfere with your ability to do your job or go to school?
  • Is your drinking causing issues in your family life or with your friends?
  • Have you given up activities or hobbies you used to enjoy so that you can drink instead?
  • Have you ever participated in risky activities while drinking, such as driving while under the influence or having unsafe sex?
  • Do you keep drinking even though it makes you feel depressed or anxious?
  • Do you know that drinking is causing problems with your health but still cannot stop?
  • Are you finding that you have to drink more and more in order to feel drunk or relaxed?
  • Do you experience withdrawal symptoms, like insomnia, shakiness, depression, nausea, or sweating, when you are not drinking?

If you respond “yes” to two or more of these questions, there is a good chance that you are abusing alcohol. Now is the time to consider contacting one of the local alcohol rehab centers in your area.

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Treatment Options at Alcohol Rehab Centers near you

When it comes to getting treatment for your alcohol addiction, the first step is finding alcohol rehab centers near you.

If your local alcohol rehab center is Pathfinders Recovery Center, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible. We have many different scientifically-backed treatment options available to help each of our clients find lasting recovery from their alcohol addiction.

We offer both medical and behavioral treatments to treat alcoholism.

Our medical treatment program uses approved medicines that help treat alcoholism. Disulfiram makes you feel nauseous if you drink, which can make it easier for you to avoid alcohol. Naltrexone blocks the effects of alcohol so you can no longer get drunk, and helps to reduce cravings. Acamprostate also helps reduce cravings and is a good option for clients when they first stop drinking.

The other part of your recovery plan will be behavioral treatment. This includes both individual and group therapy sessions. Through therapy, we will be able to help you to identify the thoughts and behaviors that lead to your alcohol abuse.

Then we will give you the tools to help you avoid the things that trigger your drinking.

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Get the Help You Need by Searching for “Alcohol Rehab Centers Near Me”

An addiction to alcohol can cause serious problems in your life.

But, you do not have to keep living with this debilitating disease.

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

We do our very best to ensure your recovery success by using only scientifically-researched, cutting-edge, and personalized effective drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.

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

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

That is why we offer free insurance verification when you call our Admissions Department.

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

If you are looking for an alcohol rehab center near you, let us use our years of experience to help you get on the path to a meaningful and lasting recovery.

Contact us today, and see the difference our rehab programs can make in getting your life back on track.

The Alarming Rates of Alcoholism Among Lawyers

What is Alcoholism?

In the simplest terms, alcoholism is an addiction to alcohol. It can also be called an alcohol use disorder.

People who suffer from the severest form of alcoholism are often called “alcoholics.”

While many people associate alcoholism with people who work “blue-collar” working-class jobs, it can happen to anyone.

One profession with alarmingly high rates of alcoholism is within the legal system.

Let us dive deeper into why so many lawyers have a problem with alcohol abuse, as well as ways that can help treat this serious substance abuse issue.

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Understanding Alcoholism in Lawyers

Lawyers have high-stress jobs and typically work long hours. They also participate in a lot of social drinking with their coworkers as a way to blow off steam after a long day.

Many people who work in law know that alcoholism is a chronic problem in their field. It was not until recently that a study was done to see just how serious this issue is.

The American Bar Association published this study in 2019. It showed that just over 20 percent of the lawyers they studied were drinking alcohol at harmful levels. Lawyers younger than 30 years old were found to be the most at risk of having signs of alcoholism.

 

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The Physical Effects of Alcoholism

One of the biggest risks of alcoholism is how it can negatively impact your health.

Moderate alcohol abuse can even have risks. Alcoholism changes the way your brain sends chemicals that are responsible for your mood and behavior, which can make it difficult to think clearly. It can cause damage to your heart, including an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and cardiomyopathy. This condition causes your heart muscle to stretch and droop, making your heart less efficient at pumping blood.

Serious alcoholics can also experience issues with their liver. These issues can include a fatty liver, cirrhosis, fibrosis, and alcoholic hepatitis — which is an inflammation of the liver that can lead to fatal liver damage.

Alcoholism also increases your chances of developing certain types of cancer, including esophageal, liver, breast, and colorectal cancers.

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Mental Illness and Alcoholism

Alcohol does not just increase your risk of certain physical health problems. It also poses a risk to your mental health. People who abuse alcohol are far more likely to experience problems with anxiety, depression, and stress. These issues stem from the way that alcohol changes the chemicals in your brain.

Alcohol is a depressant, which means that it makes your brain release chemicals to make you feel relaxed. Excessive drinking releases too much of these chemicals, which can lead to feelings of depression.

Alcohol abuse also makes it difficult for your body to release these chemicals when you are not drinking. This means that, when the effects of alcohol are wearing off, some lawyers struggling with alcoholism feel even more depressed or anxious. This makes them crave alcohol to try and make these symptoms go away. Hence, this is why alcoholism is considered a chronic disease.

It becomes impossible for people who abuse alcohol to regulate their emotions without alcohol, and your brain craves alcohol to release these chemicals.

The Alarming Rates of Alcoholism Among Lawyers Pathfinders Recovery Center - A lawyer is speaking with an addiction therapist about his increase in alcohol intake that could be considered alcoholism, and he is trying to find out the next steps in getting clean from this harmful substance.

How do I Know if I am Struggling with Alcoholism?

For many people, it can be challenging to see or admit they have a drinking problem. This is especially true for lawyers because they often think their high level of education makes them immune to such a problem.

However, alcoholism has many clear signs that people can notice — whether you are a lawyer or not.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you often end up drinking more than you meant to or for longer periods of time?
  • Have you tried to cut down or stop your drinking but found you could not?
  • Do you spend a lot of time recovering from hangovers?
  • Do you feel a strong urge to drink when you are sober?
  • Does your drinking interfere with your ability to do your job?
  • Is your drinking causing issues in your family life, with friends, or with other social relationships?
  • Have you given up activities or hobbies you used to enjoy to drink instead?
  • Have you ever participated in risky activities while drinking, such as driving while under the influence or having unsafe sex?
  • Do you keep drinking even though it makes you feel depressed or anxious?
  • Do you know that drinking is causing problems with your health but still cannot stop?
  • Are you finding that you have to drink more and more in order to feel the effects?
  • Have you ever experienced withdrawal symptoms (such as insomnia, shakiness, depression, nausea, or sweating) when you are not drinking?

If you answered “yes” to two or more of these questions, there is a good chance you are abusing alcohol. No one is immune to the risk of alcoholism, no matter what their career or lifestyle consists of. Your drinking problem is likely to only get worse if you do not seek help.

24-Hour Alcoholism Rehab Hotline – Get Help Now

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Treatment Options for Alcoholics

No matter what your background or career is, it is important to seek treatment at alcohol rehab to start your path to long-term sobriety.

There are many types of treatment options available to help you to get sober. There are both medicines and behavioral therapy treatments available to help overcome addiction.

Currently, there are three approved medicines for alcoholism treatment, including:

  • Disulfiram – This medicine makes you nauseous and your skin flush if you drink alcohol. These unpleasant side effects can make it easier for you to manage cravings and avoid drinking alcohol.
  • Naltrexone – This medicine works in your brain to block the effects of alcohol, so you can no longer get drunk. It also reduces cravings, which helps you to stop drinking with fewer negative side effects.
  • Acamprosate – This is another medicine that helps to reduce cravings for alcohol. It is especially effective in helping people right after they stop drinking.

In addition to medical treatment, your alcohol rehab program should also include behavioral therapy. By working with counselors, you learn to see the behaviors and thought processes that may have led to your alcoholism. These sessions take place in both individual and group settings.

Many alcoholics benefit greatly from group therapy sessions because they allow you to talk about your experience with people who understand exactly what you are going through.

For alcoholics with families, family therapy is another option that you should consider. By including your family in your treatment plan, you can help to repair any damage that your alcoholism has caused in your relationships. This helps to strengthen the family bond and your support system, lowering your chances of experiencing a relapse.

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Get the Help You Need at Alcohol Rehab Today

It is no secret that lawyers have high-stress jobs. It is typically this stress that leads lawyers to abuse alcohol.

However, there are better ways to manage your stress that do not pose a risk to your health.

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

Our premier addiction treatment centers are located in upscale areas throughout Arizona and Colorado.

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

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

We have over 25 years of experience in helping people with addictions and co-occurring disorders to fight for a healthier and sober life.

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

That is why we offer free insurance verification to see what your insurance policy covers and how we can help financially get you to treatment.

Simply give us a call, and one of our addiction specialists will check what your treatment program is covered by your insurance before you begin treatment.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, our clients trust us to communicate with your insurance provider to ensure you receive every benefit you are entitled to.

There is no shame in admitting you have a problem with alcohol, no matter what profession you are in.

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

Contact us today, and see the difference in the recovery process for the treatment of alcoholism — especially with lawyers and other professionals in high-stress careers.

Common Symptoms of Alcoholism & Symptoms of an Alcoholic

About Alcoholism

Alcoholism is an unfortunate epidemic in the United States that affects millions of Americans each year, especially when people start noticing symptoms of an alcoholic.

It can adversely affect the lives of you or your loved ones when one is showing symptoms of an alcoholic.

Alcoholism is dangerous to your health, the safety of you, and those around you.

You must understand the symptoms of an alcoholic and how destructive they can be over time.

Alcoholism is a unique addiction disorder because drinking is legal for people over the age of 21.

Using many other addictive substances is not legal or socially accepted.

However, when a person comes of age, people expect and even encourage them to drink alcohol.

Social drinking, such as at parties or events, is commonplace and routine.

Often times, it is this misfortune that drives most adults on an early course of becoming an alcoholic.

If children or teens begin drinking at a young age, alcoholism is more likely to develop tenfold.

Though it is illegal, drinking is commonplace among teens.

Some consider binge drinking on the weekend a cool activity in college or high school.

Though light alcohol in your teens can seem harmless, it puts you at risk for developing an addiction later in life.

If teens consume too much alcohol for too long, the body forms a dependency quickly and suddenly.

Alcoholism occurs when your ability to stop or limit drinking becomes impaired.

Though alcoholics face adverse consequences and life changes due to their addictions, they cannot control their drinking because it has become compulsive.

Alcoholism develops slowly over long periods and is sometimes seemingly hidden.

Significant symptoms of an alcoholic that you should watch out for if you believe you or someone you love may be suffering from an alcohol use disorder.

Common Symptoms of Alcoholism Pathfinders Recovery Center - A young woman who has been showing symptoms of an alcoholic is meeting with an addiction advisor to see if she needs inpatient treatment to break free from her alcohol abuse disorder.

Understanding the Symptoms of an Alcoholic

It is not always simple to tell when someone struggles with alcoholism. Increased consumption of alcohol over long periods leads to a higher tolerance in the user.

It can seem as though the person has no impairment or alcohol influence when they may have a high tolerance. Though it may not be as easy to spot an alcohol use disorder’s physical effects, there are behavioral and emotional signs and symptoms of an alcoholic to look out for.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) lists the following activities as symptoms of alcoholism:

  • Experienced times where you end up drinking more or longer than originally intended
  • More than once wanted to limit or stop drinking but couldn’t
  • Spent a lot of time drinking or being sick from its effects afterward
  • Wanted a drink so badly it was hard to think of anything else
  • Found that drinking or its aftereffects were impeding you from your responsibilities with your family, home, career, or education
  • Continued to drink even though it was causing you trouble in personal relationships</career,>
  • Stopped activities that were important to you to keep drinking
  • Continued to drink even though it was making a mental health issue worse

These are not the only adverse effects of alcohol use disorder. Alcoholism transforms a person’s life and changes the way they interact with others. The need for alcohol takes over almost everything else and blinds you. It is easy to forget about the people and things you love when alcohol is the only thing on your mind.

Drinking becomes compulsive–something you no longer want to do but have to. When you stop drinking alcohol after prolonged addiction, you will experience challenging and sometimes painful alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol addiction is common and distressing, but it does not have to last forever.

If you are struggling with alcoholism, know that it is possible to recover. Rehabilitation programs like ours exist to help you overcome your addiction and regain control of your life.

Immediate Placement in Alcohol Rehab – Get Help Now

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Effects and Abuse of Alcoholism

In addition to causing changes in behavior and lifestyle, alcoholism causes physical and mental health problems. If left unaddressed, these issues can progress to a life-threatening level. The NIAAA states that over-consumption of alcohol can affect the brain, heart, pancreas, and liver. The following are health risks caused by alcohol addiction (NIAAA):

  • Stretching and drooping of the heart muscle
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Interference with the brain’s communication pathways
  • Changes in mood, behavior, or coordination
  • Fatty liver
  • Alcoholic Hepatitis
  • Fibrosis
  • Cirrhosis

Increased alcohol consumption also causes a risk of toxic substance production by the pancreas and a higher risk of cancer. Types of cancer that alcoholism sometimes leads to include head and neck cancer, liver cancer, and breast cancer (NIAAA). The long-term symptoms of an alcoholic cause significant issues with physical and mental health.

Learn More About Alcohol Rehab at Pathfinders: Call Today

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Mental Illness and the Symptoms of an Alcoholic

You must remember the symptoms of an alcoholic if you or someone you know struggles with mental illness and drinks alcohol often.

Mental illness puts people at an increased risk of developing alcoholism later in life. Issues with mental health sometimes exacerbate alcohol detox symptoms as well.

Diseases that have the potential to lead to alcoholism include depression, anxiety, and PTSD. If you have experienced trauma as a child, you are also at an increased risk for developing an alcohol use disorder.

If you have a mental illness and think you may have a drinking problem, the surest thing is to seek treatment right away. Mental health issues and alcoholism should receive medical attention to ensure the best chance of recovery and a low relapse rate.

24-Hour Alcohol Rehab Hotline – Get Help Now

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Treatment for the Symptoms of an Alcoholic

Treatment for alcoholism begins at a rehabilitation center or hospital by expert physicians and staff. Medication, counseling, and support groups are all common forms of treatment for alcoholism. No matter how long you have been suffering from alcoholism or how severe your drinking problem is, treatment is beneficial. Though complete recovery after treatment can’t always guarantee, rehabilitation center professionals do their absolute best to supply you with the necessary resources.

The NIAAA lists three treatment types to address alcohol use disorders: behavioral treatment, medications, and support groups.

Behavioral treatment helps patients develop positive coping mechanisms to deal with the body’s compulsive want for alcohol. Medications treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms during detoxification and have the ability to lower the risk of relapse.

Support groups attended by other people who struggle with alcoholism are common because they create helpfulness and understanding.

Common Symptoms of Alcoholism Pathfinders Recovery Center - A group of individuals who were showing symptoms of an alcoholic is attending a group therapy session to discuss these signs and symptoms and how to get on the path to recovery today.

 

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Payment for Treatment

We offer free insurance verification for treatment.

Our company understands how challenging it is to finance rehabilitation for alcohol use disorder.

The price is not small, but recovery is worth it.

Let us help you through your alcohol addiction and alcohol detox symptoms by contacting us about recovery today.

We are passionate about the work we do treating alcoholism and helping people secure a better life.

Recovery is a long process, but we promise to support you every step of the way.

We cannot guarantee complete recovery or no relapse, but we can assure you that treatment is worth the time and money.

Care from compassionate and skilled professionals who put your health and well-being first and support others who understand your situation is beneficial.

Get in touch with us to find out more about our rehabilitation programs, support groups, and passion for what we do.

Am I an Alcoholic? Signs You’re Drinking Too Much

A woman looks back after a night of drinking at a man with a bottle in his hand on a bed, both should be asking themselves, Am I an Alcoholic?

Did you know that around 6.2 percent of the population has an alcohol disorder? Many ask themselves in the course of drinking, ‘Am I an Alcoholic?’

We’ve written this article as a helpful resource, and we feel its especially needed, since of those people who have a drinking problem, only 6.7 percent have sought treatment or help for their disorder in the past year!

While there are a variety of reasons why so few people seek treatment, one of the most common reasons is that some people don’t fully realize that they have a problem.

The statement “I’m an alcoholic” can be difficult to muster. But once you do, you’ll have taken your first important step on your road to recovery.

But, how exactly do you know if you’re an alcoholic or if you’ve just been partying a little too hard lately?

Check out this guide to learn the top signs that you’re drinking more than you should be.

What is Alcoholism?

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about alcoholism, so let’s start by discussing what exactly the disorder is.

If you suffer from alcoholism, then you suffer from the most serious form of a drinking problem. Those who are alcoholics put drinking above all other obligations, including family, work, and relationships.

In some cases, alcoholics build up a strong physical tolerance, which makes it very hard for them to withdraw from the substance without some adverse effects.

It’s also important to note that alcoholism is different from harmful drinking. While harmful drinking can be detrimental to your health, it’s usually an occasional pattern that doesn’t overtake your entire life.

However, harmful drinking can develop into alcoholism, so it’s still important to be aware.

Warning Signs of Alcoholism

Now that you have an idea of what alcoholism is, let’s take a look at some of the top warning signs that you’re drinking too much.

1. You Drink More Than Planned

Have you noticed lately that when you go out for a drink with friends, it always turns into 5 or more? Or, maybe when you pour yourself a glass of wine at home, you always end up drinking the whole bottle and then some?

While overdrinking happens to all of us from time to time, you need to watch yourself if it’s become a regular pattern for you. Typically, this is an early sign of alcoholism.

2. You Spend A Lot of Time Drinking

When we say a lot of time, we’re not talking about how long you spend nursing a glass of wine.

Instead, we’re talking about how much time drinking takes up your schedule. If you add up the amount of time you spend getting the alcohol, drinking, and recovering from your hangover, you may find that alcohol is eating up a good chunk of your schedule.

For the next few weeks, keep track of how much time drinking eats up in your daily schedule.

3. Your Tolerance Has Increased

If you notice that it takes more and more alcohol to get a buzz going, then there may be a problem.

Unless you see significant changes to your health or weight, your tolerance should remain at about the same level.

If you notice your tolerance has gone up, that’s a sign that your brain has adapted to the alcohol over time and become less sensitive to its effects.

4. You Crave Alcohol

We’ve all dealt with cravings before, but craving alcohol is a whole nother issue.

You may find that there are times you want a drink so badly that you can’t think about anything else.

This urge may be triggered by your environment, certain people, or your emotional state.

If you have a drinking problem, your brain will react differently to these triggers than someone who drinks socially. Basically, your brain will make you believe that you can’t practically go on without a drink in your hand.

5. You’ve Given Up Other Activities

Have you slowly been giving up all of your other hobbies so that you have more time for drinking?

Take some time to think about how you use your free time now as opposed to who you used to use it. Has your drinking edged these activities out of your schedule? Or has your hangover prevented you from doing them?

If so, you may have a problem.

6. You Keep Dropping the Ball

We’ve all had times where we’ve missed a deadline, forgotten about a social commitment, or didn’t give our all at work.

However, if screwing up like this has become a pattern and your drinking has caused you to flake on other responsibilities, then there may be a problem.

7. Relationship Issues

Do you find yourself at a constant tug of war between your loved ones and alcohol?

Has your drinking led to trouble with family and friends? Do you keep drinking despite these troubles?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these, then that’s a definite sign that you’ve been drinking too much.

While having relationship issues doesn’t make you a bad person, it does make getting help all the more urgent. The last thing you want is to do irreparable damage to your relationships because of alcohol.

8. You’ve Experienced Withdrawal

Alcohol alters your brain chemistry. This means that when you drink heavily for a long period of time, your brain starts to adapt to this state of being.

When you suddenly stop drinking, your brain has to readjust, which in turn causes symptoms of withdrawal.

Here are some of the top withdrawal symptoms to watch out for:

  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Restlessness
  • Shakiness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • High blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Disorientation
  • Visual hallucinations
  • High fevers
  • Vomiting

While the symptoms of withdrawal typically improve within 5 days, some people experience prolonged symptoms.

It’s also important to note that if you’ve been drinking heavily for a while, withdrawing from alcohol on your own can be quite dangerous. This is why it’s a good idea to withdraw under the supervision of medical professionals.

9. You’ve Endangered Your Life

When you’re impaired, your brain doesn’t grasp short-term or long-term consequences as well as it does when you’re sober.

This can often lead to poor decisions and putting yourself in risky situations. If you’ve ever driven, fought, swam, or had unsafe sex while under the influence of alcohol, then you may be heading towards dangerous territory.

10. You’re Experiencing Health Problems

When we say health problems, we’re not just talking about a nasty hangover following the day of drinking.

Alcohol can cause major damage to your body. In fact, it can harm your liver, pancreas, heart, brain, and immune systems. It can also cause you to gain weight and increase your risk of getting certain types of cancers.

11. You’ve Found Yourself in Legal Trouble

Have you had run-ins with the law or been arrested while you were intoxicated?

If so, then your alcohol problem may be getting quite serious.

Legal trouble is usually a sign that drinking has become your number one priority, and that you’re fine sacrificing your career and other important responsibilities for alcohol.

12. You Want to Stop But Feel Like You Can’t

If you want to stop drinking but you feel like you can’t, then that’s a red flag.

Oftentimes, people with alcohol disorders actually try to cut down, but find themselves falling right back into their old habits as soon as they have a bad day or are triggered in some sort of way.

If you find that you keep coming back to alcohol no matter how hard you try to avoid it, it’s time to seek help.

What to Do Next

If any of these situations seem familiar to you, then it’s time to seek help.

While seeking help and admitting you have a problem can be very difficult, doing so can save your life.

Talk to a trusted family member or friend, counselor, or medical professional. There are tons of resources out there for those with drinking problems, and getting your life back on track is just one conversation away.

Plus, there are all sorts of ways to make quitting alcohol work with your lifestyle. You could go to counseling, attend meetings, or attend an outpatient or inpatient program.

If you believe that your drinking problem has become quite serious, then attending a treatment program is usually your best bet at getting sober.

With a treatment program, you’ll be surrounded by medical professionals whose goal it is to help you get sober. Medical professionals can also help ensure a safe detox and that you have a supportive environment once you finish up with your treatment.

I’m an Alcoholic: Are You Ready to Take the Next Step?

If you find yourself saying “I’m an alcoholic” after reading this article, then today is the day to seek help. 

If you think entering a treatment program is the right choice for you, then get in contact with us today. We can help get you start your journey on the road to sobriety. 

What NOT to Do During an Addiction Intervention

Are you planning on holding an intervention for a loved one who is addicted to drugs or alcohol? Before you do, you should always consider hiring a professional to help and at the very least familiarize yourself with our guide to ‘What NOT to Do During an Addiction Intervention.’

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 300,000 substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors working throughout the country right now.

Many of them can lead an addiction intervention for you.

Outside of bringing a professional on board for your intervention, you should also make sure you go through all the proper preparations for it. More specifically, it’s important for you and those who will be taking part in an intervention to learn about what not to do during one.

If you don’t do this, those participating in an intervention might say or do the wrong things and cause it to fail. Here are nine things you shouldn’t do during the addiction intervention that you hold.

1. DON’T Stage an Intervention Without Planning It First

Most people decide to stage an addiction intervention for a loved one when they’ve finally had enough of their behavior. And they’re sometimes in such a rush to do it that they don’t take any time to plan out how they want the intervention to go.

Do not do this! While you might be tempted to rush into staging an intervention, you’re not going to be able to make the most of it if you take this approach.

Rather than rushing into an intervention, sit down and ask yourself these questions:

  • Who should attend the intervention?
  • Who should I hire to host it?
  • Where should I hold it?
  • Should everyone get a chance to speak during it?
  • What order should people speak in during the intervention?

You pretty much want to plan out your entire intervention before it begins. You and those who are going to attend it might even want to run through the intervention from start to finish to see how effective it is prior to holding your actual intervention.

2. DON’T Bring an Addict to an Intervention When They’re Under the Influence

When you welcome your loved one into their intervention, you want them to have an open mind and be able to process everything that people say to them. You do not want them to be under the influence of drugs and alcohol while their intervention is taking place.

If they use drugs or alcohol right before the intervention, they might not understand exactly what’s going on. They might also not take it seriously. They might even forget some of the things that are said and done during it later.

So if you sense that a person might be even slightly under the influence, cancel their intervention and schedule it for another time. It’ll be worth waiting until they’re in a better state of mind.

3. DON’T Lose Your Temper the Second an Intervention Starts

As we alluded to earlier, there’s a good chance that you’re going to be at your wit’s end when you make the decision to stage an intervention for your loved one. You’re going to be so upset and, in some cases, even angry with regards to their drug or alcohol use.

It’s okay to be angry. But it’s not okay to lose your cool as soon as an addiction intervention starts.

The last thing you want to do is blow up on your loved one by expressing your rage at the beginning of an intervention.

Many people will naturally go on the defensive the second you snap at them. They might start to yell back at you, and they might even get up and walk out as soon as you start screaming.

You’re much better off keeping your cool and reading something that you’ve prepared in writing ahead of time. It’ll have more of an impact on a person than you might think.

4. DON’T Pass Judgment on an Addict While Talking at an Intervention

In addition to trying to keep your composure while you’re talking to your loved one, you should also do your best to avoid passing judgment on them.

The point of an intervention isn’t to make a person feel awful about themselves. It’s to show them what effects their actions are having on other people. And you can talk about how their behavior is affecting you without judging them every step of the way.

Steer clear of saying things like: “The way that you’re choosing to live your life right now is so wrong. You are hurting your friends and setting a terrible example for the younger members of your family.”

Instead, speak on some of the specific ways in which your loved one’s behavior is taking a toll on you. If you need a hand wording things the right way, talk to the professional who is helping put the intervention together.

5. DON’T Speak Over Others Who Are Trying to Talk During an Intervention

More often than not, everyone who attends an intervention will get at least some time to talk to their loved one. Some people might get more time than others, but everyone will get the opportunity to say their piece.

When it’s not your turn to talk, you should keep quiet and let others say whatever it is that they want to say. You shouldn’t try to talk over them or talk to other people at the intervention about what’s being said.

This is very important since your loved one might not be able to focus if a bunch of people start talking at once. It’s going to lessen the impact of the things that are being said during an intervention.

6. DON’T Make Excuses for an Addict in the Middle of an Intervention

When an addict is sitting in front of their family members and friends at an addiction intervention, it’s not uncommon for them to try and come up with excuses for their behavior.

Unfortunately, it’s also not uncommon for some of an addict’s family members and friends to make excuses for them. In some instances, these family members and friends have spent years enabling an addict.

If you feel as though you might fall into this category, make every effort to avoid making excuses for your loved one. You might think that you’re helping them by rationalizing their behavior to others. But you’re really just enabling them to continue doing what they’re doing now.

7. DON’T Gripe With Others While Attending an Intervention

In a perfect world, all the people at an intervention would be on the same page and feel the same about a person’s addiction. But there are times when family members and friends will gripe among themselves during an intervention and ruin it.

“Maybe if you were around a little more often when Johnny was younger, he wouldn’t be in this position right now,” Mom will yell at Dad.

“I knew your parents should have been stricter with you when you were little,” Grandma will yell at her daughter and son-in-law.

And before you know it, the people who are supposed to be showing their love and support for an addict are allowing gripes to get in the way.

This is another reason why hiring a professional is so important. They’ll stop those at an intervention from bickering and help them maintain a united front.

8. DON’T Fail to Present Solutions to an Addict at the End of an Intervention

What is it that you want an addict to do at the end of an intervention? Do you want them to:

  • Check themselves into an inpatient rehab facility?
  • Consider going to an outpatient rehab facility?
  • Attend some kind of support group for those with their specific addiction?

Whatever the case may be, you should have solutions to present to a person once their addiction intervention is over. You don’t want them to agree to go to rehab immediately only to realize that you don’t know where to take them.

Write down a list of solutions to their problem and be prepared to help them in any way possible.

teenage-drug-abuse

9. DON’T Give Up If an Intervention Doesn’t Work

There is no guarantee that an addiction intervention is going to work. No matter how hard you plan for it, any number of things can stop it from being successful.

If you’ve ever watched the reality TV show, Intervention, you know that a lot of interventions are successful to some degree. But there are also plenty of people who have died of overdoses after appearing on the show and getting help.

You shouldn’t let this stop you from continuing to try and help your loved one. Even if an intervention isn’t successful—either in the moment or months down the line—you should keep doing whatever you can to get your loved one the help they need.

Begin Planning an Addiction Intervention for Your Loved One

As long as you take the time to plan it out and avoid doing everything we mentioned here, you can stage a successful addiction intervention.

You can give your loved one the nudge they need to seek professional help for their battle with addiction. The key is to use an intervention to shine a light on how your loved one’s behavior is affecting both them and those who are all around them.
Contact us today to find out how we can help your loved one. We specialize in treating those battling alcoholism, heroin addiction, prescription pill addiction, and more.

Dual Diagnosis: What Is a Co-Occurring Disorder?

Approximately 50% of people who experience a mental health condition will also experience a problem with drugs or alcohol. With this realization, we thought it wise to look more into ‘Dual Diagnosis: What Is a Co-Occurring Disorder?’  

When addiction and a mental health disorder occur together, it’s called co-occurring disorder. People suffering from co-occurring disorders need a different approach than traditional programs.

Co-occurring disorders need a treatment program that addresses both conditions together. Without an integrated approach to treatment, the condition that persists will hinder recovery.

Keep reading to learn more about this mental health diagnosis. Choosing the right treatment means knowing where to look for help.

What Is A Co-Occurring Disorder?

A co-occurring disorder is when a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder exist at the same time. It’s also known as dual disorders or a dual diagnosis.

The term applies to any combination of addiction and mental health disorder. For example, depression and alcoholism or anxiety and prescription pill addiction. It could also mean posttraumatic stress disorder and gambling.

Co-occurring disorders put an individual at a higher risk for some problems. These include relapses, financial problems, and family problems, and social isolation. Other problems include incarceration, serious medical illness, and sexual and physical victimization.

Understanding Substance Abuse Disorder

Substance abuse disorder can range from mild to severe. It can involve any number of drugs as well as alcohol.

Addiction is a disease that involves alcohol or drug abuse. Sometimes, but not always, it also involves dependence.

Drug and alcohol abuse is the use of a substance to the point that it interferes with life. This includes relationships, work, and school.

Dependence is more severe than abuse. Dependence is when a person is unable to abstain from or control their use of substances.

Drugs and alcohol change your brain chemistry over a prolonged period of use. Over time, this can lead to physiological dependence.

This is why someone with an alcohol or drug dependence experiences withdrawal symptoms. And withdrawal symptoms can be a deterrent to getting and staying clean.

Understanding Mental Health Conditions

Every year, 54 million people in the US suffer from a mental health condition. With over 200 types of mental illness, the specifics of each are wide and varied.

Every mental health condition has its own range of symptoms. And symptoms affect individuals in different ways.

For example, many people experience periods of depression and anxiety. The problem occurs when these symptoms impact daily life and relationships. At the point, it may indicate a mental health condition.

Some mental health conditions are more common in co-occurring diagnoses than others. Mental illnesses commonly found in co-occurring disorder are depression and anxiety. But they can also include bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

What Comes First?

It’s not always possible to tell what disorder was first. The fact is that both disorders have a compounding effect on one another.

The disorders exacerbate the symptoms of each other. This makes it very difficult to tell what symptoms are caused by what disorder.

Causes of Co-Occurring Disorders

Mental health conditions and substance abuse disorders share common causes. The development of these conditions is usually a combination of the following factors.

Biology

Brain chemistry varies between individuals. Some people’s brain chemistry is more prone to developing addictions. Changes in the chemical makeup and function of the brain can be caused by many things. This includes injury, early childhood exposure, prenatal development, and many other things.

Environment

Not having a supportive community can affect your tendency towards drugs. Having easy access to drugs and alcohol also makes you a higher risk for drug use. And a home permissive of drug and alcohol use is also a factor in addiction and mental health.

Trauma

Trauma can be caused by physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. It can also be caused by personal experiences during a natural disaster or in a war. Even exposure to trauma can have a devastating effect on one’s mental health.

These experiences may lead to a condition like PTSD or anxiety disorder. But they can also cause a person to cope with negative thoughts by turning to drugs and alcohol.

Genetics

If you have a relative that struggles with mental health or addiction, you have a higher likelihood of developing one yourself.

Risk Factors of Co-Occurring Disorders

There are some factors that put you at a higher risk of developing a co-occurring disorder. These include:

  • Having one or more mental illnesses
  • Being newly diagnosed with a mental illness
  • Not receiving adequate treatment for a mental illness
  • Recent traumatic experience(s)
  • Prolonged or untreated substance abuse

Addiction and mental health don’t discriminate on social status, race, occupation, or gender. They can affect anybody at any time in life.

Symptoms of Co-Occurring Disorders

There are significant variations in the symptoms of a co-occurring disorder. The symptoms depend on the mental health condition involved. It also involves the type of substance and degree of abuse.

Some symptoms of a co-occurring disorder are as follows:

  • Financial trouble
  • Legal trouble
  • Instability in employment
  • Instability in housing
  • Social isolation
  • Sexual deviance (including prostitution)
  • Aggression and violent behavior
  • Unexplained shifts in mood
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Health problems
  • Noncompliance

Suicidal thoughts are a common symptom for people suffering from co-occurring disorders. For that reason alone, seeking immediate help after receiving this diagnosis is crucial.

Diagnosing a Co-Occurring Disorder

The symptoms of mental health overlap with the symptoms of substance use disorders. This makes it difficult to identify which condition caused the other. This can also make co-occurring disorder difficult to diagnose.

But two key factors help a medical professional diagnose the co-occurring disorder. These symptoms make themselves present during treatment.

One symptom is a mental health condition that worsens while receiving treatment. If treatment isn’t working, the problem might be that there’s a co-occurring disorder.

People who have mental health disorders sometimes use substances to self-medicate. Self-medicating brings relief for their symptoms.

While receiving treatment for the mental health condition, they’re unable to take substances. When you take away the substance, their mental health symptoms become more pronounced

Another sign of a co-occurring disorder is substance abuse treatment that doesn’t help. When someone with a co-occurring disorder gets clean, their mental health condition persists.

Without addressing the underlying mental health condition, they’ll find it difficult to stay sober as those symptoms persist.

Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment

Mental health disorder and addiction problems used to be treated as separate issues. But we’ve learned more about co-occurring disorders.

Today we know that treating the conditions separately doesn’t have much success. Treating the mental health condition will not automatically improve the substance use disorder. The same can be said for the other way around.

Instead, treatment for co-occurring disorders requires one, integrated treatment plan. An integrated treatment plan means coordinating both the substance use program and mental health intervention.

This integrated approach to treatment should begin while an individual is detoxing. Following detox, an inpatient or residential rehabilitation program should be attended.

This gives the individual a chance to address both conditions without the influence of drugs and alcohol. It also provides a safe and structured environment. There, they can begin therapy and building life skills.

Treatment programs specializing in co-occurring disorders will typically offer similar schedules. This includes group sessions, family therapy, and individual therapy.

In individual therapy, patients will use behavioral treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy. These therapies help the patient to understand and change their behaviors.

Because of the mental health condition, many programs also offer pharmacotherapy. This involves using medication to treat the underlying mental health condition.

Co-occurring disorders need different treatment than single-diagnosis. Typically, that means longer and more intense treatment.

The combination of disorders means that there is more to understand. There are more behaviors to manage and the patient needs to learn coping tools for both conditions.

It also means that co-occurring disorders require a comprehensive aftercare program to support the patient in their real world circumstances.

The Right Diagnosis and Treatment

A co-occurring disorder involves substance abuse disorder and a mental health disorder. These two conditions exist at the same time, and they exacerbate one another. Meaning they make the symptoms of each worse than they would be on their own.

Because they’re intertwined, there’s no way to tell which caused the other. Regardless of which came first, they must be treated at the same time. Treating one and not the other doesn’t work.

These disorders need an integrated approach to treatment. But only specialized facilities have the resources for this type of treatment.If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder, we have the tools and resources you need to get help. Contact us for more information.

How Does Alcohol Affect the Liver: What to Know

You don’t have to be an alcoholic to experience the harsh effects alcohol has on your body. While short-term effects include intoxication and dehydration, the longer term effects are much more harmful, especially to your liver. To avoid the worst effects, we provide answers to, ‘How Does Alcohol Affect the Liver?’ 

Of all the alcohol you consume, 90-98 percent is broken down directly by your liver. This creates a lot of extra work for your liver, taking it away from other jobs it could be performing. You might be thinking, “how does alcohol affect the liver if I only have a drink here or there?”.

What Is the Role of Your Liver?

Alcohol is the causes of 4 out of 5 deaths from liver disease. And once you begin consuming alcohol, the damage begins. The effects won’t be seen immediately as the liver is amazingly resilient and can repair itself.

Your liver is one of the most vital organs in your body. It is the largest organ of the body with over 500 functions, including helping rid the body of toxins and other harmful substances while also storing vitamins, iron, and glucose. Not only this, but it helps filter waste and regulates blood clotting.

When you consume alcohol, it’s as if a foreign toxin has been introduced to your body. Alcohol produces acetaldehyde, which damages the cells in your liver and causes liver scarring.

If you’ve ever had a hangover, you’ll know how dehydrated you feel the day after a long night of drinking. This is because alcohol dehydrates your body. This is particularly detrimental because water is essential to the function of your liver.

Alcoholic Hepatitis – Inflammation of the Liver

Alcoholic hepatitis is also known as the inflammation of the liver. Once diagnosed, you should stop drinking alcohol immediately. If you continue to drink, it can lead to permanent liver damage or even death.

You might be thinking that this type of illness only occurs in those who drink heavily over long periods of time. While that does play a role in acute alcoholic hepatitis, there isn’t a direct correlation between alcohol consumption and this disease. Even if you’re only a social drinker you can still develop alcoholic hepatitis.

When your body starts to tell you something’s wrong, it’s important to listen to your symptoms and respond accordingly. You might notice a yellowing of your skin and eyes, caused by jaundice. This is the most common sign of alcoholic hepatitis.

Other things you might notice is a loss of appetite. Anytime you consume a large amount of alcohol, you won’t feel hungry. So instead of eating your calories, you’ll be consuming them in the form of alcohol. You might also notice you’re more tired than usual, have a low-grade fever, or experience an upset stomach.

Fatty Liver – Steatosis

Fatty liver disease, or steatosis, means exactly what it sounds like, you have extra fat in your liver. This is one of the earliest stages of alcoholic liver disease.

This disease will rear its head in 90 percent of people who consume anywhere between one and a half to two ounces of alcohol each day. While this disease is brought on by drinking heavily, it can also occur with long-term drinking and can range in severity from patient to patient.

The difficulty with fatty liver disease is that the symptoms are usually understated. Sometimes you’ll simply feel more tired than normal, have some abdominal pain, or experience sudden weight loss. In order to determine if you have this condition, you’ll need to be diagnosed using a blood test at your doctor’s office.

Although fatty liver disease is brought on by constant drinking and consuming more than your liver can process, the effects can be reversed in 4-6 weeks by stopping alcohol consumption as soon as you’re diagnosed.

Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is the final stage of long term liver disease. This can be brought on by a number of things, one of those including alcohol abuse. This means there is a loss of liver cells resulting in liver scarring which leads to poor liver function.

Depending on the state of your liver, you may experience a range of symptoms, including nausea, fatigue, yellowing of the eyes and skin, as well as fluid buildup in the legs. On the other hand, you may experience no symptoms at all.

Once diagnosed by your doctor, know that there are no known cures for cirrhosis at this time. Eventually, this disease could lead to liver failure even if you decide to give up alcohol altogether.

Reducing Your Risk of Liver Disease

In the United States, long term heavy alcohol consumption is the most common cause of illness and death when considering a liver disease. Since your liver is the sole organ that processes liquor, it is more inclined to experience the greatest effects of alcohol.

Cut out Alcohol

One of the best ways to make sure your body is in the best shape possible is to stop drinking alcohol altogether, especially if you find yourself drinking multiple glasses daily. Although this won’t reverse all the effects alcohol has had on your liver, it will help make the liver healthy again.

Live a Healthy Lifestyle

Whether it means signing up for that gym membership you’ve been putting off or throwing out that carton of cigarettes, now is the time to make a healthy change. Only second to alcohol consumption, obesity is the leading cause of liver disease. It’s also been found that a workout helps to reduce the urge to drink!

Along these same lines, start to be more mindful with what you put into your body. Eating out and drinking a soda every now and then isn’t detrimental to your body, but it’s important to know your limits. Also be sure to incorporate fruits, vegetables, and water into your daily diet.

It might not totally reverse the negative effects drinking has had on your liver, but living a healthy lifestyle is a step in the right direction.

Protect Your Body

Pay close attention to other things your body is coming in contact with. If you find that you’re around aerosol sprays or other types of chemicals on a frequent basis, come prepared with the right protection. Wearing a mask when working with these can help be a barrier between your body and a harmful substance.

Protecting your body comes in many forms, not just the things you physically come in contact with, but the things you ingest as well. For instance, many medications have harmful effects when not taken at the proper dosage. If you take too much, your liver will have to work overtime to process it, which makes it harmful and toxic to your body.

How Does Alcohol Affect the Liver Break down Process?

Your liver is key in processing any alcohol that enters your body. Through a process called oxidation, your liver takes the alcohol and removes it from the bloodstream. Keep in mind, when you drink, you’re giving your body more work to do which takes it away from its main job, filtering your blood.

Throughout this process, the alcohol will move from a toxin into water and carbon dioxide. In the grand scheme of things, it takes about 1 hour for your liver to break down 1 ounce of alcohol.

When you consume too much alcohol, your liver will have a difficult time breaking it all down. This means the toxins from the alcohol will remain in your system, having potentially deadly effects.

Your Health Is at Stake

If this isn’t evidence of how alcohol affects the liver, consider how it affects your wallet. The average American spends 1 percent of their annual income on alcohol, equating to about $565 each year. So not only are you doing damage to your body, you’re damaging your savings as well.Next time you order a cold beer, consider the vital role your liver plays in your overall health. Not convinced? Read more about the link between alcohol and anxiety.