Signs you Need Alcohol Rehab

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis completed medical school at The University of Mississippi Medical Center and residency in general psychiatry in 2003. He completed a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 2005. Following this, he served as Chief Medical Officer for 10 years of Brentwood Behavioral Healthcare a private health system including a 105-bed hospital, residential treatment, and intensive outpatient services.

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How to Decide if You Need Alcohol Rehab

In today’s fast-paced world, alcohol is seen as a fun social substance that can make activities more enjoyable. This often makes it hard for some people to recognize the difference between drinking for pleasure and having a serious problem. Additionally, stereotypes can make it difficult for someone who doesn’t fit the typical image of an alcoholic to admit they have a problem.

Addiction doesn’t care about race, gender, wealth, or education. It can affect anyone, so it can be tough to recognize that someone has a problem with substance use.

Admitting you have an issue with alcohol isn’t easy, and for many, it’s even harder to ask for help until they reach rock bottom. However, avoiding this acknowledgment can have negative or even life-threatening consequences in the future. We will explore signs that may indicate the need for alcohol rehab. By understanding these signs, you can take measures to seek help and get your life back on track.

What Is Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol addiction is a persistent and recurring condition characterized by an irresistible urge to consume alcohol, the inability to regulate intake, and experiencing negative emotions when alcohol is inaccessible.

Who Is at Risk of Developing Addiction?

Addiction can affect anyone, and various factors contribute to its development. They include factors like ethnicity, gender, and mental health conditions. Our genes also have a say, affecting how our bodies process addictive substances and experience pleasure.

Scientists believe that genes account for 40% to 60% of a person’s vulnerability to drug addiction. However, there’s not just one gene that’s responsible for addiction — it’s a complex interplay of multiple genes.

The environment we live in also influences addiction. Things like socioeconomic status, family dynamics, early drug use, experiences of sexual abuse, and high stress levels can contribute to a substance use disorder (SUD). Additionally, having friends or family members who use drugs or alcohol increases the likelihood of developing an addiction.

However, it’s important to note that not everyone who tries alcohol becomes addicted. Individual differences and many other factors make some people more vulnerable to alcohol use disorder (AUD) than others.

How Can You Know When It’s Time to Go to Rehab?

1. Loved Ones Are Expressing Concern

It is common to dismiss the worries expressed by family and friends, especially when we perceive them as judgmental or preachy. However, it is crucial not to hastily dismiss their sentiments or believe they are exaggerating. Often, loved ones refrain from discussing addiction until it reaches a critical stage. If your family or friends have recently voiced concerns about your addiction, it could serve as a significant indicator that rehabilitation is necessary.

2. Your Health Indicates the Need for Treatment

The effects of alcohol addiction can take a toll on your physical well-being. Chronic heavy drinking can lead to various health issues, such as liver damage, heart complications, anemia, different types of cancers, and problems with the brain and nervous system. Alcohol use can also exacerbate or trigger symptoms of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. Additionally, conditions like dementia can be linked to alcohol use. If you are facing health problems that relate directly to alcohol use, you need to seek treatment.

3. You’re Neglecting Responsibilities or Missing Important Events

For individuals struggling with addiction, fulfilling responsibilities and attending significant events with loved ones can be challenging. Suppose alcohol has become your primary focus, causing you to miss important occasions like weddings, your child’s sports games, birthdays, holidays, or gatherings with family and friends. This clearly indicates that treatment for your addiction is necessary.

4. You Have Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms When You Don’t Drink

When you encounter withdrawal symptoms upon abstaining from alcohol, it suggests a strong physical dependence. These symptoms can manifest as nausea, tremors, vomiting, headaches, sleeplessness, and excessive perspiration. In severe cases of alcohol addiction, withdrawal may lead to a dangerous condition called Delirium tremens (DTs). Its symptoms include fever, confusion, high blood pressure, and profuse sweating. If you suspect you’re experiencing DTs, seek immediate medical assistance, as this condition can be life-threatening.

5. You Have Caused Harm to Yourself or Others While Drunk

Suppose you’ve hurt yourself or others while under the influence — alcohol can be to blame. It can make you more likely to do dangerous things like driving drunk, especially if you drink heavily or struggle to control your alcohol intake. The more you drink, the higher the chances of getting hurt or causing harm. If you have a history of multiple DUIs or have been injured or found yourself in risky situations due to using alcohol, it’s likely that you could benefit from professional help.

6. You Frequently Hide or Lie About Your Alcohol Consumption

If you find yourself regularly hiding or lying about how much you drink, it be a sign of addiction. This could mean drinking in secret, consuming alcohol before meeting others, or lying about the amount you consume. You might also avoid social situations where your drinking would be noticeable. If these behaviors resonate with you, you’re struggling with alcohol addiction.

7. You Never Have Any Money

If you constantly find yourself without money and struggle to make your paycheck last, it could be a sign that your addiction is controlling you. Addiction leads to compulsive behavior, where your brain prioritizes intoxication over financial stability. If you cannot set aside money for hobbies, emergencies, or the future, it may indicate the need for rehab. Even if you can manage your finances for now, addiction is a progressive disease that worsens over time. Don’t underestimate its potential impact on your financial situation in the long run.

8. You Are Unable to Quit Drinking

Addiction can create a relentless cycle of ups and downs. Recovery is often a challenging journey with periods of sobriety and relapse. If you’ve tried to quit but struggle to stay abstinent, it might be time to seek help from a treatment center. These programs can provide the structure and support needed to overcome drug or alcohol abuse.

9. You Are Developing a Tolerance

When you first start using alcohol, even small amounts can have a substantial impact because your body is not used to them. But as you continue using, the effects become weaker, and you need larger doses to feel the same high. This growing tolerance puts you at a higher risk of overdosing.

10. Your Work or School Performance Has Suffered

Individuals who can manage their drinking do not encounter difficulties with their work, school, or other obligations due to alcohol consumption. However, those who struggle to control their drinking or engage in regular alcohol use often face consequences such as calling in sick to work, missing school, or performing poorly when they do show up. Excessive drinking can sometimes lead to job loss or expulsion from school.

11. You Frequently Black Out From Excessive Drinking

Blackouts occur when the body is overwhelmed by consuming too much alcohol. During blackouts, individuals lose the ability to create short-term memories and cannot recollect specific periods. Blacking out poses significant dangers and increases the risk of harm. Experiencing frequent alcohol-induced blackouts is a clear indicator of alcohol, an AUD or addiction.

12. Alcohol Is Your Top Priority

When battling addiction, it becomes difficult to truly understand your motivations and intentions. Many addicts believe they are in control and fail to recognize the gravity of their situation. However, the path to recovery begins by taking a step back to examine your thoughts and behaviors.

Ask yourself: Is obtaining, using, and recovering from drugs or alcohol consuming most of your time? If the answer is yes, your health is suffering. When harmful substance use gets in the way of social, work, or educational responsibilities, it shows that your well-being is no longer a priority.

Drugs and alcohol hijack the brain’s reward centers, making their use feel as urgent and vital as fulfilling basic needs like eating and sleeping.

How Can You Benefit From Alcohol Rehab?

Rehabilitation offers some important advantages that can help you on your journey to recovery. First, it provides a supportive environment to meet people facing similar challenges. This creates a sense of unity and reminds you that you’re not alone. Being surrounded by others who are also working toward recovery can motivate and inspire you.

Additionally, rehab gives you access to professionals who are trained to help with addiction. They can offer valuable guidance and teach you practical tools and coping mechanisms that you can use in your everyday life.

Another significant benefit of rehab is the opportunity to start fresh. It allows you to avoid the triggers and temptations that led to your addiction and create a new foundation for your future. Rehab provides a chance to reset your life and make positive changes.

What Treatment Programs Are Available for Alcoholism in Rehab?

When finding the right path toward recovery from alcoholism, several personal factors come into play. Your current alcohol consumption, physical dependence, substance use history, previous attempts to quit, and any existing physical or mental health conditions influence the most suitable alcoholism rehab for you. However, regardless of the severity of your alcohol abuse, seeking guidance from medical and mental health professionals can provide valuable insights into this chronic disease and assist you in making an informed decision about your treatment journey. Here are the different types of alcohol rehab.

1. Medical Detox

Embarking on the road to recovery after chronic alcohol use often involves a vital step called medical detoxification. This challenging yet necessary process helps individuals safely withdraw from alcohol, eliminating its toxic influence on the body. Medical detox entails a range of specialized plans and protocols, including medications, emotional support, nutrition, stress management techniques, and complementary therapies. By prioritizing your safety and comfort, medical detox sets the groundwork for early alcohol recovery.

2. Residential Inpatient Alcohol Treatment

For those seeking round-the-clock rehabilitation and care, residential inpatient alcohol treatment centers offer comprehensive programs. With access to medical and psychiatric services throughout their stay, patients can fully immerse themselves in recovery. These residential facilities provide recovery-focused activities, including individual and group counseling, education, and relapse prevention classes. Optimal outcomes are often achieved with stays ranging from 30 to 90 days, as this dedicated time allows individuals to concentrate on their recovery without the distractions of everyday life.

3. Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Offering a relatively intensive level of care within a more flexible environment than residential treatment, a partial hospitalization program allows patients to receive treatment during the day and return home afterward. In this program, individuals check in five days a week, with four hours of daily group therapy sessions. A PHP is most suitable for those with stable living arrangements and strong support networks, and eligibility for this program depends on a physician’s assessment of the required level of care. However, individuals with severe addiction or co-occurring disorders may find alternate treatment options more suitable.

4. Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Designed explicitly for disorders or dependencies that don’t necessitate 24-hour supervision or detoxification, an intensive outpatient program allows individuals to continue their everyday lives off-site. These programs require less time commitment for therapy than PHPs and focus on developing coping strategies, establishing support systems, and managing relapse. After completing a medical detoxification phase elsewhere, individuals can transition to IOPs as they progress through their recovery programming. To participate in an IOP, a person’s home environment must be free from alcohol and drugs and possess a safe support system. IOPs can also serve as a step-down treatment after inpatient programs, easing the transition back to normal life.

5. Outpatient Alcohol Treatment

Operating in hospital clinics, counselor’s offices, community mental health clinics, or residential rehab facilities, outpatient rehab provides flexibility for individuals with alcohol addiction. Treatment sessions are typically limited to a few hours per week, often in the evenings and on weekends. Attendance requirements vary depending on the program, ranging from daily sessions to meetings a few times a week. Outpatient treatment allows individuals to reside at home, catering to their family and work obligations. However, it is crucial to have a stable, alcohol, and drug-free home environment to participate effectively in outpatient programs.

How to Get Help for Addiction to Drugs and Alcohol

Although you may be able to hide your addiction temporarily behind personal or professional success, the charade can’t last forever. For some, it takes years before their double life starts to crumble. Others face a life-altering event like an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) or an overdose that forces them to confront their addiction. Overcoming denial is tough, but seeking treatment is better than waiting for a crisis.

Recovery begins with recognizing the problem and being willing to seek help. Reach out to a trusted doctor, counselor, friend, or family member to start your journey to recovery. They can assist you in exploring treatment options that suit your needs.

Deciding to seek help for addiction is courageous and admirable. If you believe you need drug and alcohol rehab, contact our team at Defining Wellness Center. Our recovery center can help you develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs. Call us today to take the first step toward a healthier future.

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If you are ready to take the step towards a new life, call Defining Wellness today and learn more about how we can help you.