Alcoholism is an addiction that can affect anyone at any age. According to the Monitoring the Future Survey, conducted annually by the University of Michigan and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 26.8 percent of high school seniors reported they have been intoxicated through the abuse of alcohol. Over half of our children over the age of 11 years old have used alcohol in the month that preceded the survey, and about half of those had binged, or consumed more than five drinks in a two-hour period.
For adults, the numbers are just as alarming. The Centers for Disease Control reports that more than 24,000 deaths occur annually, not including alcohol-related driving, other accidents and homicides, as a direct result of alcohol.
How Do You Know if Someone You Love Is Suffering From Alcoholism?
Does your friend or loved one often miss work or school for no apparent reason? Is the reason they miss school or work often because of a strange or consistent emergency situation that seems like unusually bad luck? Does this person often smell of alcohol, experience mood changes, or changes in behavior or attitude for unexplained reasons? Are they frequently using breath mints or chewing gum?
Diagnosing alcoholism is a job for trained medical or psychological professionals, but there are some signals you can look for to help you decide whether a visit to a professional is warranted. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the following behaviors are indicators that could mean an individual has a problem with alcohol. They are only some of the behaviors for which supervisors are trained to look when dealing with alcoholism in the workplace.
What Happens in a Treatment Center for Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is an addiction disease and like any addiction disease, there are specific steps in the treatment process. In the case of alcoholism, the first step of the treatment program will be the detoxification process.
One of the main indicators of addiction, according to an article on alcohol withdrawal published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, is that the individual will experience withdrawal symptoms once the drug of choice, in this case alcohol, is no longer administered to the body. Initially, the symptoms can begin in as few as five hours after taking the last drink, but they can remain at bay for days. Once they’ve started, they can last for days or even weeks. The symptoms themselves can range from irritability and mood swings to clammy skin and trembling. Sometimes, this detox period can include a loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting.
If you choose to go through your detox period in a rehab program, you will have the added benefit of professional assistance during this time, to help you refrain from drinking simply to relieve the symptoms.
After you’ve finished the detox period, you will begin the treatment program in earnest. The elements of effective treatment for alcohol addiction vary for each person and might include such elements as:
- Individual and group therapy
- Participation in self-help meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous
- Art, music or natural complementary therapies, such as yoga
- Cognitive behavioral therapy to help adjust thought patterns and reactive behaviors
- Nutritional counseling to rebuild physical health
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there is no one, foolproof and guaranteed treatment program for everyone. Rather, the most effective treatment programs will tailor their approach to the individual needs of each person seeking help. Some programs may be longer than others, and still others may find they need more than one attempt at recovery before they ultimately find a place in the world of recovering alcoholics.
If you or someone you love is struggling with the abuse of alcohol, or you think you might suffer from alcohol addiction, it is never too late to call for help. Futures of Palm Beach offers evidence-based therapies and treatment programs that can lead you back to a healthy, productive lifestyle, so call today to find out how we can help you.