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Is Alcoholism an illness?

There is much debate as to whether alcoholism is an actual illness, or a condition that is self- inflicted by the individual. Those who are in the profession of helping individuals with alcohol addiction will tell you that they are suffering from an illness that is beyond their mental control. Whilst families and friends may feel that the individual is being selfish, indulgent and inconsiderate of other needs. Some Doctors on the other hand, may try to encourage safer and more controlled drinking or give medication to help alleviate side effects of heavy drinking such as insomnia, vomiting and anxiety.

Whatever you view on what alcoholism is, isn't the most important thing that they receive the proper professional treatment?

Alcoholism can and does kill, fact!

Alcoholism is a progressive condition, fact!

Alcoholism destroys families and breaks up relationships, fact!

The list goes on½..

At Uk-Rehab we recognise Alcoholism as an illness and treat it accordingly. It has been proven that there are 2 factors of alcoholism that are beyond the mental control of the sufferer. The first is the physical factor. Alcoholics react differently and process alcohol differently from others. Once an alcoholic takes any alcohol into their system, their body produces chemicals and sends signals of intense pleasure to the brain that create an overpowering desire for more and more. This reaction cannot, to date, be eradicated or cured, which means that no matter how hard the individual tries they cannot regain control of their drinking once they have started. The only relief we have to suggest is to abstain completely. The other factor of alcoholism is the mental obsession. Alcoholics have an obsession, like any obsessive compulsive disorder, their thinking will be deluded when it comes to alcohol. They will spend hours obsessing endlessly over it, thinking about when they can get it, how they can get it etc. They will be convinced (even when the evidence strongly suggests otherwise) that they will be in control this time and that their reason for having a drink is perfectly rational and justified. Many will fall time and time again for the false belief that they can just have one or two and then stop, but if they are alcoholic, this is never going to be possible due to the bodily reaction that alcohol sets off.

So what is the answer? How can it be controlled or treated? The first step is for the alcoholic to admit that they cannot control their drinking and that they need professional help to stop them taking the first drink again once they have managed to stop. We achieve this by treating the mental obsession, as so far there is no known cure for the physical element of alcoholism. By getting to the root causes and conditions of the individuals drinking, their thinking patterns can be addressed and changed. This can be achieved in a number of ways, all involving some kind of intensive therapy such as 12 step, cognitive behavioural, the Minnesota model and Neuro-linguistic programming. All of these proven therapy methods are used within the alcohol clinics that we provide.

With an altered state of thinking the impossible becomes possible, and the once hopeless alcoholic finds themselves easily being able to see the truth of taking the first drink and the inevitable consequences that follow. More than that though, they are able to address their thinking and behaviours in relation to many other things, transforming them as an individual. In my opinion there is only one way to address and treat alcoholism, and that is to treat the persons mind and thought processes, as it is there that the crux of the problem lies.

Health Insurance

Our Rehabs accept most of the major private health insurers.

  • AVIVA Health Insurance
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If you are experiencing problems as a result of your alcohol or drug use, or if you are drinking or using drugs to cope with existing problems, our National Addiction Treatment & Rehabilitation Directory contains over 700 addiction treatment services that may be able to help you when you decide to do something about them.

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