An alcohol addiction is one that can destroy lives. It affects countless individuals around the world and millions here in the UK. In fact, although the Government recommends that adults drink no more than fourteen units of alcohol per week spread over the whole week and with a number of days kept alcohol-free, it is estimated that more than nine million people are regularly exceeding this amount. The danger of excessive alcohol consumption is that it can lead to poor health and an increased tolerance, which could then develop into an addiction. When you consider that this is an illness capable of causing destruction to the lives of so many people, it becomes easier to understand why alcohol addiction needs to be treated.
Is Alcohol Addiction Ruining Your Life?
Are you regularly drinking excessive amounts of alcohol? Is your alcohol consumption having a negative impact on your life? If so, then you will probably need to take a step back and think about your next move. You could continue with your alcohol consumption as it is, cut back, or quit completely. However, if you have a physical dependence on alcohol, you may not find it so easy to stop drinking.
Most people with an alcohol addiction will not even realise the predicament they are in until actually trying to quit and then find that they cannot. This can be quite scary for them when they find themselves keep going back to alcohol repeatedly, despite promising themselves and their loved ones that they would not.
If alcohol has become a negative force in your life, you may need professional help to get things back on track. It is common for addicts to suffer greatly because of their alcohol consumption. They may find that their health begins to suffer; mental and physical health problems are common among those who abuse alcohol.
This is a chemical substance despite being legal, and those who drink it to excess could be severely damaging their health. In fact, there are hundreds of health problems that can be directly linked to alcohol abuse. These include high blood pressure, obesity, liver damage, kidney disease, and some forms of cancer. It is also not uncommon for alcohol abusers to suffer with poor mental health. Conditions such as chronic depression and anxiety disorder often affect those who have an alcohol addiction.
Other areas of the alcoholics life will also be impacted by his or her alcohol consumption. Their relationships with others will be severely affected by their actions while under the influence of alcohol. Those who have a dependence on alcohol will undoubtedly get to the stage where all that matters to them is alcohol. They will not care about anything else but their next drink, which can be tough for family members and friends to take.
Being relegated to second place in favour of alcohol is a bitter pill to swallow, and in the case of children, it can be extremely hard to understand. Young children often blame themselves when their parents are acting unpredictably due to being intoxicated. They do not understand that it is the alcohol that is making the parent(s) act this way.
Alcoholics are also generally poor providers for their families. As they are spending a lot of their available funds and, in some cases, funds that have been earmarked for other essentials, they often leave their families in dire financial straits. Furthermore, because of their poor performance or absenteeism at work, they may be unable to earn a stable income. These are just some of the issues facing the alcoholic that makes it easier to understand why alcohol addiction requires urgent attention.
What Is Rock Bottom?
The hardest part of the recovery process for most people is actually coming to terms with the fact that they need help. Many individuals find it easier to pretend that nothing is amiss rather than facing up to the truth and knowing that they are going to have to do something about it. Some are just not ready to give up on the crutch that has been propping them up for so long. They are still of the opinion that alcohol is the only good thing in their life.
It may take a while to get to the point of realising how serious their situation is and why alcohol addiction needs to be treated, but once they do, they will be ready to get started on a journey that could change their life dramatically. Everyone reaches this point at different times, but when affected individuals get to the stage where they feel they need to act to change their life, they are said to have reached their rock-bottom.
There is a common misconception that reaching rock-bottom means you have to be living on the streets and have nothing left to lose. This is not the case. You do not have to get to this point before being ready to tackle your alcohol addiction. Everyones rock-bottom is different. It is the point at which you are prepared to go no lower and where you decide that now is the right time to get yourself back on your feet.
How Is Alcohol Addiction Treated?
When you are ready to get going on the path to recovery, there is plenty of help available. Most people will require a medical detox to help break the bond between themselves and alcohol. It sounds simple enough, but it if were easy to just stop drinking, there would be no alcoholics in the world.
It is true that the detox starts when the person stops drinking, but the hard part is resisting the temptation to drink again when the withdrawal symptoms start which they inevitably will. Withdrawal symptoms are a major part of the detox process, and they can range from mild to severe in terms of how intense they are.
Most people will experience mild to severe symptoms, which will make them feel quite unwell. Some say going through an alcohol detox is akin to having a bad bout of the flu. You may feel nauseous and shaky and you could experience headaches, sweating, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Some will experience more severe symptoms and unless these are treated immediately, these could result in serious complications and even death. The severity of the withdrawal symptoms and the type of symptoms experienced typically depends on several factors including how long the person has been addicted, how heavily he or she has been drinking, and if he or she has any underlying physical or mental health problems.
In a supervised detox facility however, staff can usually prevent the worst symptoms from occurring. They can do this with medication and nutritional supplements on the advice of medical professionals. A detox in a dedicated facility is safer and much more comfortable.
Detox programme usually last for around seven to ten days and when completed, the individual will be ready to start a programme of rehabilitation. A rehab programme is one where the psychological and emotional issues associated with the illness are addressed.
Whether you opt for an inpatient or outpatient programme, you can expect to be treated with similar methods and techniques. The aim of rehab is to get to the root cause of the addictive behaviour and to help the patient to learn ways to avoid a return to alcohol use going forward.
The difference between the two programmes is that one is much more intensive than the other and therefore offers quicker results. In an inpatient programme, patients stay in the clinic for around six to eight weeks and spend every day in treatment. This intensive and structured approach to recovery gives patients a huge head-start on their journey to sobriety. They will spend their days in counselling and therapy sessions and may also attend workshops and seminars designed to help with relapse prevention and a return to independent sober living.
Outpatient programmes are run over a longer period; some last for months while others continue for a year or more. The exact length of the programme will depend on the provider and the amount of treatment hours the patient has each week.
Let Us Help You Beat Addiction
If you would like more advice about rehab programmes, please contact us here at UK Rehab. We are a free referral service working with providers of detox and rehab programmes across the UK. We can connect you to providers in both the public and private sectors depending on your needs and preferences.
If you are ready to get your life back on track, or need more information as to why alcohol addiction requires professional help, please call our dedicated helpline today.