Alcoholic Journey from Addiction to Recovery

Medically Reviewed By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited : JUNE  04, 
2021 
| 3 Sources


Alcohol addiction is a completely preventable disease. Yet,this alcoholic journey, it's one of the most common addictions in North America and throughout the world. Approximately 17 million adults, 18 and older, meet the diagnostic criteria for an alcohol addiction.

It can affect anyone, at any age, who drinks alcohol excessively or uses other substances such as drugs.  Alcoholic Journey/Alcohol addiction is often characterized by multiple warning signs that gradually worsen over time if not treated.

If you're worried about yourself or someone close to you with an alcohol addiction, there are effective treatment options available for helping to stop this destructive cycle of behavior and get your life back on track again!

Alcoholic Journey
How Do You Recognize the Signs of Alcohol Addiction?

The first step is to recognize the warning signs of an alcohol addiction and take action. The following are common symptoms of alcoholism:

  • An inability to reduce or control your drinking (despite attempts)
  • A strong desire, urge or craving for alcohol
  • Recurrent use despite knowing that it causes problems such as arguments with loved ones, trouble at work etc., repeated incidents where they've been too drunk to know what happened; a cycle between periods of abstinence followed by relapse into heavy drinking
  • Missing obligations because they had spent time getting drunk instead

Some individuals struggle with binge drinking, while others drink heavily. Binge drinking is recognized as 4 or more drinking in 2 hours for women, and more than 5 drinks in 2 hours for men.

Heavy alcohol use is recognized as consuming 3 or more drinks per day or more than 7 drinks per week for women. For men, heavy alcohol is recognized as 4 or more drinks in one day and more than 14 per week.

These are just some warning signs but if you're worried about someone close to you who has any combination of these behaviors, be sure to reach out for professional help!

Alcoholic Journey
What are the Stages of Alcoholism?

The stages of alcohol addiction are difficult to recognize at first. The person with the addiction may not even be aware that they have a problem in the first place.

The early stage of addiction can often be viewed as problematic drinking. Individuals in this stage black out often and don’t have a need to lie about their drinking yet. They usually drink large amounts often, and think about drinking frequently.

This stage can last for a few months or even years and the person will not admit they have a problem with alcohol. They may go days without drinking, but then there are times when they cannot stop themselves and binge drink to get drunk.

If you know someone who drinks excessively, do not just tell them to quit because that will make them defensive and cause denial to turn into anger. Approach this subject in a way that says it's okay if you don't want to change, but it would be better if you did (e.g., "I'm really glad we talked about this.").

The second stage of alcoholism is the middle stage. This is where a person’s drinking problems are obvious to those around them. They'll also start to drink before social events so that they do not seem out of place with everyone else who drinks heavily at these occasions.

There's no need for you to judge anyone in this situation because it can happen very easily. Be prepared for denial again when approaching someone about their excessive drinking habits but instead try changing your approach by saying "I'm sorry you're feeling anxious."

The third stage of alcoholism is the most dangerous, as it can lead to permanent damage to various organs. Late stage alcoholism arrives when drinking is the focus of your life. Relationships have been broken and lost, trust is gone, and an alcoholic is more likely to have legal consequences.

At this point in the disease, there is irreversible damage. With that being said, it is possible to find recovery and improve your quality of life.

Alcoholic Journey
How Do You Get Help for Yourself or a Loved One? 

Alcohol addiction is a serious problem. When left untreated, it can lead to many negative outcomes including death. Thus, alcoholism treatment is of utmost importance to save the alcoholic’s life.

A great resource when looking for help is your General Physician.Talk to them about your concerns, and what they think would be appropriate for you.

Alcoholic Journey
What is Alcoholism Treatment?

Alcoholism treatment is a process that helps people who are addicted to alcohol. It can be delivered in different settings, including:

  • hospital 
  • outpatient clinics and 
  • addiction rehabilitation centers. 

Alcoholism treatment includes individual counseling, group therapy, family therapy, and often 12-step programs. One of the first steps an alcoholic should take if they want to treat their addiction is admitting they have a problem with drinking.

Once this has been done, it will be easier for them to seek help and make changes in their life which will lead them away from alcoholism altogether!

According to research, approximately 1/3 of individuals who participate in an addiction program have maintained their sobriety for one year. The key to any program is the willingness of the individual, and once they have admitted their addiction and are ready for treatment, a counselor will help them set up an appropriate course of action.

This might be group therapy or it could involve more intensive interventions including residential programs where people live at a facility while getting treatment. There are many different types of alcohol rehab programs available on both coasts as well as throughout the country that can provide assistance through this difficult time in someone's life!

Alcoholic Journey
Where Do You Find Alcoholism Treatment Programs?

Alcohol addiction can be a tough thing to face on your own, so it's important that you find the right alcohol treatment program for you. Fortunately, there are many different options available to help you get back on track with living a healthy and fulfilling life.

The first place to look is at a local community center. While many centers don't have as extensive treatment options, they do offer support groups and educational classes for people who are dealing with alcoholism or other substance abuse issues.

These types of programs may help prepare someone for more intense rehab down the road when their drinking becomes too much to handle on their own. Another good option is an outpatient clinic that offers behavioral therapy and medication management services alongside groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

Outpatient clinics allow patients to continue living at home while receiving life-saving care from providers trained specifically in treating addiction disorders and coexisting conditions, such as depression or anxiety disorders.

In addition to speaking to your physician as mentioned above, another resource would be your insurance provider.

Alcoholic Journey
How Do You Choose the Right Treatment for You?

Choosing the right alcohol treatment program can be difficult. There are many different options available, and it is important to consider what will work best for you when deciding which one to attend.

There are a number of online resources that provide information about programs in your area that can help you finding an alcohol rehab program. This blog post will give you some helpful suggestions on how to choose the right alcohol treatment center for your needs!

Here are some things to consider when narrowing down your list of alcohol rehabs:

  • How comfortable do you feel with the idea of attending inpatient or outpatient treatment?
  • What is your financial situation like right now and can you afford an out-of-pocket program, one that requires insurance coverage, or a sliding scale fee? (Many programs will offer different payment options including monthly payments)
  • Do you have any other health conditions such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, etc.? Some programs require certain medical clearance. If possible, it’s best if these providers approve your application before starting treatment so they know what medications to prescribe for appropriate detoxification.
  • Are the programs you’re looking at recognized by accredited sources? Is their staff licensed professionals who use researched approaches? Do they have of a variety of professionals who can address the many areas of your life?
Photo by Elijah M. Henderson

Alcoholic Journey
When Should You Start Looking for a Program?

It can be difficult to know when the time is right for you or someone in your family to start looking for an alcohol treatment program. There are a number of signs that can indicate it is time, and we will explore them here.

Alcohol addiction can take over a person's life if they don't get help soon enough, so knowing when it's time to look for help is important!

There are a number of signs that can indicate it is time, including:

  • continuing to drink despite ongoing negative consequences, 
  • not being able to stop drinking once you start or
  •  needing more alcohol to feel the same effects.

People who have tried and failed at quitting before may also need help from an addiction specialist if they want their next attempt to be successful.

Alcoholic Journey
How Do You Stay Sober After Rehab?

So you've gone through rehab and want to know how to stay sober after alcoholism? There are many things that can help make this possible.

One important concept in addiction recovery is understanding what being “sober” means. Sobriety involves not only abstaining from substances like drugs or alcohol, but also giving up other destructive behaviours such as gambling or shopping.

Another important thing is to find someone who will be your sponsor. This person should have been through their own rehabilitation process, and should be able to offer advice on staying sober. They also need to show a willingness and ability to guide you in sobriety so they can keep you accountable for your actions.

Many recovering alcoholics find that engaging in therapy can be helpful when emotions and/or challenging situations come up that they are unsure how to cope with. For many, alcohol is used as a coping skill which means that in recovery, it is important to learn other ways to cope with distress.

Alcoholic Journey
What are the Best Ways to Maintain Sobriety and Prevent Relapse?

Do you have a past history of addiction? If so, then it's likely that you've been through relapse prevention techniques before. There are many different strategies for maintaining sobriety and avoiding relapse.

The most effective way to avoid relapse is by avoiding your old, addictive ways. This means that you should stay away from any people or places associated with your addiction. You may even want to consider changing up who you spend time with and where you go so they don't remind you of the past.

If it's too difficult to completely cut out these things in life, then try limiting them as much as possible while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle for yourself. Once sobriety becomes second nature, this will be easier than ever before!

Alcoholic Journey
Summary

Addiction is a chronic disease that affects many people in the United States. The warning signs are different for each addiction, but there are commonalities as well including mood swings and withdrawal from friends or family members.

If you need help with an addicted loved one or yourself, know that it's not hopeless. There are treatment options available to help get sober and stay sober. It won't be easy, but your road to recovery will be worth it!



Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl

Licensed Medical Health Professional 


Hello!

I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More


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