Alcohol is a legal substance that has been criticized by many for being dangerous and having a high potential for abuse and misuse. It lowers inhibitions and can reduce anxiety (short-term) but long term use can lead to tolerance, physical dependence, and an array of other consequences associated with health. If you or a loved one is addicted to alcohol, finding and choosing an inpatient alcohol rehab center for yourself or a loved one may be the only hope in getting well. Call our helpline toll-free at 1-800-552-0697.
Understanding Alcohol Abuse in the U.S.
Alcohol, one of the most popular drinks around the world, is largely consumed for special occasions, to celebrate, to ease sorrow and to just hang out and “chill” with friends or family. The widespread use of alcohol makes it seem almost “ok” and safe to use, but repeat use, or drinking alcohol excessively can lead to a dangerous addiction known as alcoholism. It impacts the way that we feel physically and psychologically creating problems with work, home school and overall lifestyle activities.
But what is alcoholism really? And how can you recognize the signs of an alcohol addiction so that you know when it’s time to seek help for yourself or a loved one who may seem to be drinking too much?
These are common questions that arise, especially early on in the treatment process. It’s hard to just come out and say “my name is so and so, and I have a drinking problem.” But an estimated 16 million Americans struggling from an alcohol addiction should be saying exactly those words right now. While many countries have made drinking an illegal activity, the U.S. has not seen a drug period in the country since the 1920s and 1930s.
Some say that the United States is obsessed with alcohol. It’s seen on television, songs on the radio are heard making alcohol out to be fun and exciting, and the substance is widely glamorized for its ability to reduce inhibitions and create a sense of relaxation in a socially stressful world. While alcohol can be fun, and it may be glamorous when it’s used in VERY small quantities and in VERY short periods of time, the reality is that nearly 20 million people who abuse alcohol are NOT using small quantities and they are NOT drinking occasionally.
For those who are abusing alcohol, addiction becomes a VERY real situation that is both scary and difficult to treat. The obsession that Americans seem to have with alcohol consumption is part of what makes it difficult for those struggling with alcoholism to quit. Drinking is a part of life—
- we have a glass of wine during a dinner date
- we drink a shot of tequila in celebration of a holiday or gathering
- we toast champagne on special occasions such as when a baby is born or on New Year’s
- we share a beer after a tough day at work
- we have drinks when friends, family or others have passed away to commemorate their passing and ease the tension at gatherings that are “less than fun
Those who are in recovery from alcoholism face constant temptation from the world around them in all of the above situations. Triggers are seen on advertisements, television commercials, the radio, and in everyday situations such as those listed above. No other substance is so widely consumed throughout the world or so widely sold in open pubic as alcohol—so if you’re addicted, what do you do? How can you possibly quit drinking in a world that is surrounded by alcohol?
This is where things like rehab, support groups, and recovery programs come into play. You can recover from alcohol addiction, but it will take great strength and determination in order for you to get well, and succeed in your recovery. We can help you start the recovery process. Call 1-800-552-0697 to find an inpatient alcohol rehab center near you that will help you overcome alcoholism and begin the journey to recovery and healing from this otherwise deadly disease.
Alcoholism, alcohol abuse, alcohol addiction, alcohol use disorder—all of these terms are used interchangeably UNLESS they are used in a medical setting in which there are actually some small differences between alcohol abuse and an alcohol use disorder or alcoholism. Basically, alcohol use disorder is the “official” term for the recurrent drinking that leads to significant clinical impairment and an inability for the user to meet his or her obligations as a result of the substance use.
The term alcoholism is generally used to describe the state in which the user has abused alcohol excessively, and for so-long, that he or she is now an alcoholic. The term alcoholic is a widely used term that describes someone who has an alcohol use disorder, cannot stop drinking on his or her own, and is addicted to this substance physically, psychologically, or both. Most often, the term alcoholic is used when an individual begins to get in trouble or experience other negative side effects of drinking such as failing grades, job loss, relationship struggles or financial burdens as a result of his or her alcohol consumption.
What is Inpatient Alcohol Rehab?
Addiction to alcohol generally requires professional treatment in order for the user to get sober. Inpatient alcohol rehab, although not the immediate first choice for most users simply because it requires a “live-in” status in which the alcoholic moves into the rehab center for a period of 30 days or more, is generally the best choice in care.
This type of rehab for alcoholism ensures safety, comfort and control in monitoring to keep the user away from alcohol and other drugs during the most sensitive period of recovery when risk of early relapse is at its highest. So what happens? The alcoholic enters an inpatient rehab center, around-the-clock care is provided to the individual including counseling, therapy and support, and over a period of 30 days or more lessons and core values that help with coping are taught so that the user can leave the treatment program no longer struggling with such a strong desire to use alcohol as a coping mechanism for everyday troubles such as stress, emotional imbalance, upset, or celebratory successes.
For help finding an inpatient alcohol rehab center near you, call 1-800-552-0697 today. We’ll do everything in our power to provide you with the tools and support necessary for recovery from this potentially deadly disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), “use of alcohol can lead to serious issues that should not be ignored or minimized.” When alcohol addiction is left untreated, potentially serious, life-threatening consequences including premature death may occur.
You may be struggling with a drinking problem, or full-fledged alcohol addiction if you suffer from any of the following signs and symptoms:
- You have quit going to work or school as a result of your drinking.
- You no longer spend time with friends or family members as a result of drinking.
- You are forgetting the promises made to your children, other family members, yourself or your friends.
- You’re taking more and more risks such as using alcohol while driving or operating heavy machinery.
- You’re fighting with your spouse, family, or friends over your substance use disorder.
- You’ve made promises to your family or friends that you would cut back or quit drinking and you have not done so—or you tried and failed.
- You are drinking more and more in order to achieve the same level of “happiness” or “calm” or whatever emotional level you’re aiming for when drinking.
- You feel sick or otherwise struggle with symptoms of alcohol withdrawal when you quit or cut back on your drinking.
- You have a family history of alcoholism, you grew up around an alcoholic mother or father (or both) and you drink heavily now.
- You continue to drink despite a wide range of negative consequences such as job loss, relationship struggles, or health problems as a result of your alcohol consumption.
These are just some of the most common signs of addiction to alcohol. Many other symptoms could arise as the alcoholism digs deeper into your life. Don’t let this happen—don’t let yourself live another day struggling like this. Call 1-800-552-0697 to speak with an inpatient rehab center specialist about your recovery options today. Our helpline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support you and YOUR needs.
The First Step to Recovery From Alcoholism
Recognizing that you DO have a problem and you DO need help is the first step that you, or anyone else can take towards recovery from alcoholism. It’s hard to take that first step though—in fact, some say that the very first step is the most difficult—why?
Because you have to admit that you can’t do it alone—that what you may have tried already, thinking that you COULD get sober without help, has failed you—that you must swallow your pride and seek support even if you’re strong willed and generally an overachiever or otherwise able to do things for yourself.
But you’re not alone! Millions of people struggle with addiction to alcohol—and while not nearly enough people get the inpatient rehab or specialized treatment that they need to overcome this disease, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that, “14.6 percent of people with alcohol abuse or dependence receive treatment.” When you compare that 14.6 percent to the total of some 17 Million people that are struggling, this means that you can get help alongside an estimated 2.5 million other people who are also seeking help for alcoholism and alcohol addiction.
Do I Really NEED Inpatient Treatment?
Alcohol addiction impacts the lives of more than 17 million adults over the age of 18. Many people struggle with a drinking problem at some point in their lives whether this is during college, following the death of a friend or family member, during struggles with a relationship or following a divorce, or simply as a result of what started out as casual fun and turned into a serious problem. No matter how the drinking begins, like they say in AA, “It’s not the last beer that gets you drunk, it’s the first.” This means, it’s not the final drink that causes all of the problems with alcoholism, it’s the first drink.
But how can you tell if you really need treatment for alcohol addiction? You begin by assessing your current situation:
- Do you drink while alone or do you hide your drinking from others?
- Have you been arrested for DUI or other alcohol related problems?
- Have you promised yourself or others that you would quit or cut back on your drinking?
- Do you drink more often than you intend, or have you had times when you ended up drinking more than you intended to?
- Do you spend a lot of time drinking or overcoming the negative impact of drinking such as a hangover?
- Do you experience cravings or a desire to drink when you’re not consuming alcohol?
- Have you given up on activities that you otherwise found pleasure in, just so that you can drink?
- Has drinking interfered with your ability to take care of your home, your family, your responsibilities at work or at school?
- Do you take part in risky behaviors while you are under the influence of alcohol—this includes driving, operating heavy machinery, or having unsafe sex?
- Do you drink more than you originally did in order to “get drunk” or to feel the way you originally did when you would drink?
- When you stop drinking are you sick or do you feel symptoms of withdrawal?
According to a publication by NIAAA, if you’ve experienced any of the above symptoms, you are in urgent need of a change and should consider the help of a professional. A formal assessment of your drinking is the first step to determining the appropriate course of action for your recovery. Call our helpline at 1-800-552-0697 to speak with a professional about your situation and the alcohol rehab options that are available to support your recovery.
What Treatment Options are Provided During Inpatient Rehab?
When you think of inpatient rehab for alcohol addiction, what comes to mind? Do you know the different types of treatment that are provided? Are you aware that medical care, behavioral therapy, and other methods of support are provided as needed to help you get sober and well?
Often times, people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol won’t call for help simply because they don’t know what to expect. They fear inpatient rehab because they don’t KNOW what will happen—what will it be like? Will it hurt? How long will it take? What if it doesn’t work for ME? These are all common fears, and the human body reacts to fear with anxiety, and panic—we back away, we stray, we avoid the call. You’re not the only one feeling this way—millions of people have been in the same exact position—some will never make the call, some will and will make a full, lasting recovery from this otherwise deadly disease.
During inpatient rehab for alcohol addiction the following treatments are provided:
- Around-the-clock support and group support options such as AA or other 12-step programs.
- CBT and other behavioral therapy options that aim to change negative behaviors into positive outcomes.
- Medications to help ease withdrawal symptoms.
- Medications that can help to prevent relapse by making the user feel sick IF he or she drinks while taking the medication.
- Medical intervention for underlying health problems such as liver disease or kidney disease.
- Psychological intervention for dual-diagnosis in which the user suffers from alcoholism and addiction to other drugs or underlying problems with mental health such as anxiety, depression or similar issues.
The bottom line is, when you enter inpatient rehab for alcoholism, you are taken care of 100%. You may not be feeling perfect the entire time you are there, but you are well cared for, and everything you need for a healthy, whole recovery is provided to you as part of the healing process.
For help finding an inpatient rehab, call 1-800-552-0697 today and we’ll get you into a rehab program that will assist you with the first, and many more, steps in the healing process that will lead to your sobriety.
Do I Need Medication for Withdrawal?
From a clinical aspect, when you enter rehab for alcohol addiction the treatment provider will likely perform a series of tests to help them define your risks for alcohol withdrawal. A PAWSS test is administered by way of asking you a series of questions during intake and assessment to determine your risk of withdrawal from alcohol. If you’ve had a history of alcoholism that dates back many years or if you have exhibited or are currently exhibiting serious signs of withdrawal now, you will likely be given medications to help reduce the side effects of withdrawal and make them easier to cope with as well as safer.
A persistent high score in assessment using a PAWSS test or any patient that shows continued signs of withdrawal from alcohol despite proper use of medical intervention in an inpatient rehab setting may require medication. The most common medications used in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal include:
- A tapered dose of diazepam that is given over a period of 3-5 days slowly reduced to cause minimal impact on the user while reducing withdrawal symptoms significantly in the early days of recovery.
- A tapered dose of chlordiazepoxide which is also provided over a period of 3-5 days and tapered slowly for the least impact on the user.
- A tapered dose of phenobarbital that is based on body weight and is given only for a period of 24-48 hours followed by diazepam or chlordiazepoxide.
These dosing recommendations are outlined by the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center but may change based on individual circumstances or need.
How Does Inpatient Rehab Work?
Your first step in inpatient rehab is to be assessed so that the center staff can determine how severe your addiction is and what the best course of treatment is for your recovery. It’s important that you are open and honest during this time to ensure that you receive adequate help. During assessment, you will be asked a series of questions likely from the PAWSS (Prediction of Alcohol Withdrawal Severity Score) test. This test is used by medical professionals to screen your risk for alcohol withdrawal and can help your treatment provider to determine what the best course of treatment for your unique needs—but it’s only useful if you are most honest with the provider.
A typical stay in inpatient rehab for alcohol addiction generally includes:
- Around-the-clock monitoring and support.
- AA or other group support programs that will aid in the development of a support system outside of recovery.
- Medication administration for your comfort and safety.
- Medical intervention as needed for your health.
- Meals and activities that are conducive to your recovery and healing.
- Individual and group counseling sessions.
- Time for reflection or deep recognition of the learning experiences that you have had while in rehab.
If you have questions about inpatient rehab, or for help finding an inpatient alcohol rehab center near you, call 1-800-552-0697 to speak with a treatment provider about your recovery options. Our helpline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide you with supportive care for your needs.
Choosing the Best Rehab for Your Alcohol Addiction Treatment
With so many rehab centers to choose from throughout the country, how can you be sure that you’re choosing the best rehab for your alcoholism? What options should you look for in an inpatient rehab center? Are there special things that you should consider? All of these questions commonly come to mind when you first start thinking about seeking help for yourself or a loved one in need.
Initially, you may be inclined to seek a rehab center that is close to home because of the convenience or the mere comfort of remaining in your neighborhood and close to friends and family—but choosing alcohol rehab close to home doesn’t always make the most sense. Often times, people find that stepping outside their comfort zone into a rehab program that is located in another city or state is the best choice because it allows them to step away from their current situation, get away from the triggers that cause them to abuse drugs or alcohol, and focus more on their recovery and healing.
For help choosing the best rehab center for your alcohol addiction recovery, call 1-800-552-0697 today. We’ll guide you through the process of finding a center that:
- Has low patient to staff ratio.
- Provides around-the-clock care in a safe, clean environment.
- Offers amenities that are appealing to you and can aid in your recovery.
- Accepts your insurance or provides treatment at a price you and your family can afford.
- Includes the treatment modalities that are best for your healing needs.
- Is ready to admit you when you call.
Don’t be afraid—recovery from alcohol addiction begins today!