Alcohol abuse, a form of substance abuse, can occur in many different forms. Not everyone who abuses alcohol is an alcoholic, but all forms of alcohol abuse are serious and dangerous. Anyone who is struggling with the improper use of alcohol should seek out professional help for their addiction. Alcohol treatment programs often provide one of the best solutions to alcohol abuse because they give a well-rounded approach to recovery balancing the physical aspects of recovery with those which are emotional or psychological in nature.
Types of Alcohol Abuse
- Drinking Beyond the Norm – The Centers for Disease Control and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have produced literature regarding what defines moderate drinking. According to these guidelines, men can safely have up to two drinks per day and women can have a single drink per day as moderate drinking. Any drinking that regularly exceeds these numbers could be considered alcohol abuse because it involves using alcohol in an un-moderated manner.
- Binge Drinking – The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says that binge drinking is characterized by a pattern of regularly raising the blood alcohol concentration or BAC to 0.08% or higher through alcohol consumption.
- Alcohol Dependence – Alcohol dependence is the beginning step of serious alcohol addiction. A dependence to alcohol means that the body is depending upon the alcohol and the specific feelings that it creates. When the body is dependent on alcohol, the cravings that the body experiences in its absence are known as withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal can be mildly irritating or seriously life threatening depending on the level of alcohol abuse and dependence.
- Alcoholism – Alcoholism more or less involves compulsive behaviors regarding drinking. People who are suffering from alcoholism are most likely to drink as a coping mechanism, and to go through serious physical withdrawal when they do not consistently consume alcohol. Alcoholism goes hand in hand with alcohol tolerance and dependence, because as the body becomes increasingly accustomed to the drinking, the response is a constant craving for more. By the time someone reaches the point of alcoholism or alcohol addiction, this is when help is especially needed.
Seeking Help from Alcohol Treatment Programs
There are different forms of alcohol treatment programs to meet your needs, depending wholly on what your individual needs are. For example: residential or inpatient programs are designed to suit people with serious substance abuse problems. While you live in the treatment facility, you are completely removed from your vices and the environmental factors that cause you to rely on them. Residential treatment programs often include both detoxification and the recovery part of overcoming an alcoholism problem.
The detoxification process removes the physical hold of the addiction on the body, and being in a residential program allows a medical staff to treat any withdrawal symptoms or other issues that occur along the way.
Recovery and Outpatient Treatment
The recovery part of such a program focuses on cognitive behavioral therapy, behavior modification, positive and negative reinforcement, one on one counseling, group counseling, family therapy and a variety of other social and psychological tools to overcome the emotional hold that alcohol can have on a person. Generally there are a wide variety of different needs that can be met in the rehabilitation and recovery portion of an alcohol treatment program depending on what methods will best address your alcohol abuse problems.
There are also outpatient options for alcohol treatment programs. These are the better choice for people who have issues with drinking but who have not graduated to full-fledged alcoholism yet. Outpatient programs, as the name would suggest, do not involve residence in the treatment facility during the process. Instead, the patient is free to come and go as he or she pleases, provided that everyone returns for the mandated therapies, counseling and other processes. As an entirely outpatient program, this type of recovery program does not typically handle the detoxification or the physical aspects of addiction treatment.
Another consideration to make when it comes to alcohol treatment programs is that there are both short term programs and long term programs. Choosing the right length of program before enrolling is an important part of making sure that you can get the proper recovery help that you need. People who are dealing with problem drinking that have not graduated to full blown alcoholism may benefit from a shorter term program since they only need to focus on the counseling and therapy portion of recovery. Someone who has been struggling with alcoholism for some time, however, may take months to feel fully recovered especially when you consider the detox process, which must come first.
The Bottom Line – There are a wide variety of different treatment options that are going to be available to you when you are struggling with problem drinking. Whether you are dealing with a binge drinking problem, are simply drinking more than a moderate amount or you are struggling with a full blown compulsive drinking problem, there are a myriad of different options for help out there that you can take advantage of.
One of the best things that you can do is to contact an alcohol treatment center local to you to begin asking questions about what treatment options are available to you. It is important to take your time and get to know your options so that you can find the right style of recovery for your individual needs. A little bit of time and research effort can really go a long way in guaranteeing that you benefit from your recovery in the best possible way.
You may not find the perfect alcohol rehab program today, but that does not mean you should not start looking as soon as possible. Pick up the phone today and reach out for help. The friendly voice on the other line will guide you through your options and help you to choose the best possible recovery solution for your drinking problem.