Many people are getting into alcohol use without knowing the damage it can cause to their lives. Alcohol use impacts on your production at work, relationships and health. Nevertheless, if you drink moderately, alcohol isn’t harmful. Some people are struggling with alcoholism in Orange County and around the globe. However, you don’t have to face the problem alone. There are various therapists and specialists who can give you professional help.
The specialists are well trained to offer confidential aid for alcohol use disorders to individuals or couples, where alcohol is straining the relationship. In Orange County, we have alcohol abuse therapists, psychologists, and counselors. They help alcoholics, both adults and teenagers in recovering from alcoholism. Specialists are able to determine the signs and the causes of alcohol use disorder.
Reasons Why People Drink
Drinking alcohol is becoming a normal thing, not only to adults but also in teenagers. Many people take it regularly in parties, while others are dependent on it. Although alcohol is known for its detrimental health effects if abused, many people will still prefer it over non-alcoholic drinks such as juices and sodas. Sadly, some people go for binge drinking and do things they couldn’t imagine doing.
Just hold on! Have you ever stopped seeping that sweet wine and asked yourself why you drink? Is it to socialize or you love the taste? Whatever the cause of your drinking, if you want to quit alcohol, you must know the exact reason for drinking. People have different motivations why they drink. Alcohol is a drink that is accepted in society and individuals have different experiences about it.
There are various reasons why people drink alcohol. The following are the most common ones;
Peer pressure is one of the most common reasons why people drink alcohol. Most alcoholics will tell you that they started drinking because people around them were drinking. If your friends are drinking, you might feel “the odd one out” if you are not drinking. You might feel obligated to drink if all your workmates seem to be enjoying the drinks.
Peer pressure is one of the prominent reasons why teenagers drink alcohol. They are afraid that they might be isolated by their peers. Ideally, wherever you go, it is normal to try to fit in and get along with people around you. Children are more vulnerable to peer pressure, which makes them abuse it as they are compelled to take more than they want. Eventually, they get addicted.
Direct pressure is strong and hard to reject. It is when people actively and continuously encourage one to drink alcohol or any other substances. It can be very difficult to say no to a glass of beer when it is being pushed on your nose.
Everybody loves fun. Anyway, life can be damn boring if you don’t enjoy. However, sources of fun differ among people. Some people love picnics, nature adventures, music, movies, and many other things. Others drink alcohol for fun. By being high they get excited and “spirited”. Also, drinking with your friends can be fun and relaxing. People drink alcohol in parties, barbecues, nightclubs, and in celebrations.
Many people think that a party without alcohol is sad and boring.
How does one feel when they drink alcohol? What happens to one’s body, mind, and spirit? To get answers to all those questions, you must experiment and experience drinking alcohol. Yes! That is how it simply starts, and you end up becoming a drunkard for a lifetime.
This is the feeling of extra happiness, high, and elation. One experiences this after 10-15 minutes of drinking alcohol. It is more of a psychological impact, but it is a common word for an exaggerated feeling that is short lived after alcohol consumption. Many people drink alcohol to experience this feeling.
To some people, drinking alcohol assists them to relieve stress. Drinking alcohol helps in alleviating the negative feelings in their minds. Alcohol numbs various stress factors in life like relationships, job, money, and many others. Ironically, drinking too much alcohol to cope with stress usually makes the problem worse and can even cause more complicated conditions such as alcoholism. Truth be told, alcohol doesn’t solve your problems but will help you in avoiding reality temporary.
Act of rebellion
Some people drink alcohol to rebel with someone or something. A person may want to defy regulations that are set to be adhered to by everyone. This is a common thing among adolescents as they try to discover themselves. They do this to attract attention and create a space in the society. However, this isn’t the norm nowadays, as many people are getting drunk all over.
This is another reason why people drink alcohol. It is legal, though its consumption is regulated. People drink simply because it is available. Just because they will not seek it out, it is already there. Teenagers are also able to acquire alcohol from their old siblings; they can purchase it on the internet, and local retailers who supply it to them using fake IDs.
Alcohol is accessible almost everywhere. People even drink to quench thirst. They comfortably substitute it with water. However, I find this to be awkward. Alcohol dehydrates the body and you can’t drink to hydrate yourself. Also, water is cheaper than alcohol and helps in detoxing the body.
To feel like an adult
This is common among teens. Well, most have grown in families where parents drink alcohol. They have grown thinking that alcohol is only for adults; hence they will drink to feel like an adult. Young adults might drink alcohol to be treated like adults or to be seen as people who are past the legal age. However, it doesn’t make any sense. For one to be treated as an adult, it depends on your behavior. Drinking alcohol, milk or whatever cannot make people around you to treat you as an adult. Sadly, this is one of the reasons why we have drunkards.
Whatever the reason for your drinking, you should know that there is a difference between abusing alcohol and casual drinking. Additionally, understand that the first attempt will lead to the second, third, and eventually you will be dependent on alcohol.
Signs of Alcoholism
If you think you or your friend has a problem with alcohol, it is better to seek medical assistance. It all starts with an intervention. Talk to the person and let them know the damage they are causing to themselves and people around them. Alcoholism is not the end of the road; one can recover completely and get back to their normal life.
Abusing alcohol can be a sign of a hidden medical condition known as alcohol use disorder. It impacts your brain, and thus you are not able to make right decisions. Researchers have estimated that 16 million people, both young and adults are having a problem with alcohol. Sometimes, it is not due to choice, but the genes passed from parents can influence alcohol consumption. Also, the environment and peers can play a role.
There are many alerts of alcoholism, they are inclusive of;
- Being unable to control your drinking behavior.
- Drinking alcohol in risky circumstances like driving while drunk.
- Prioritizing alcohol consumption over everything in your life such as job and family.
- Drinking although it is causing harm to your health and people around you.
- Behaving differently when drunk like becoming violent or moody.
- The urge to drink more and more. Also, thinking about alcohol even during working hours is a sign that you have alcohol use disorder.
- If you experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop drinking such as insomnia, headache, dizziness, anxiety, shakiness, etc.
Treatment of Alcoholism
If you have noticed that you or a loved has a problem with alcohol use, you should get medical help. Self-help groups, counselors, specialists, and rehabs are available to give you help in your recovery journey. Having a problem with alcohol doesn’t mean that you are weak or it can’t be reversed. Changing is more of willpower and positive thoughts.
Many people have recovered successfully, and you are not an exception. The choice to ask for help is the best choice you could have made in your life. There are various treatments for alcohol addiction, mainly depending on the severity of the alcoholism. Recovering from alcohol addiction is not a one night process, but it is a long time process that will continue even after a rehab.
For one to recover, they must be committed and disciplined. One should apply all the techniques you learn from at the medical facility, through counseling, support groups, and therapies. Although treatment is personalized, the common structure includes detoxification, rehabilitation, and maintenance.
Mostly, the initial step is detoxification before you start the treatment plan. But, what is alcohol detox?
Alcohol Detox Orange County
Just like other addictions, alcoholism requires medical attention. The thought of the painful withdrawal symptoms can be overwhelming, especially for people who have ever attempted quitting. For a successful and comfortable recovery, it is recommendable to get medical aid.
Detox is the first step to recovery from alcoholism. It is simply allowing the body to get rid of the alcohol from the system. It is a difficult and painful period that requires medical assistance. Specialists offer you counseling and medicines to relieve the pain. Individuals who have been drinking heavily for a long period may experience worse negative side effects when they stop drinking.
The Process of Alcohol Detox
Alcohol detox is the preparatory step before a patient starts the treatment program. It allows the body to cleanse all the alcohol in the bloodstream. Detox from alcohol can be conducted in a residential facility or in an outpatient facility, but inpatient is mostly recommended for heavy drinkers.
Continued use of alcohol and other drugs, damages the body. Detox allows the body to heal and recover from the damage. Abruptly stopping to drink alcohol can cause withdrawal syndrome that can be life-threatening. During the process, specialists help in easing the withdrawal symptoms pain. Also, they manage other medical conditions that might arise.
Detoxification process usually entails the following three essential stages;
The first stage also referred to an evaluation. The medical team at the treatment facility conducts a comprehensive drug review, psychiatric, and medical histories of the patient. This is done to ensure they fully understand the condition and all underlying causes.
Blood tests are done to determine the amount of alcohol in your system. The tests assist the team to know the medications and therapies that are appropriate and the long term addiction recovery plan that suits the patient. The doctor evaluates any co-occurring mental and physical conditions of the person.
Stabilization is done to assist the patient through the painful withdrawal symptoms. Medications are given to relieve the pain and make the patient relax. Most of the medications mimic the effects of alcohol thus helping in mitigating the withdrawal symptoms. Also, they help in treating co-occurring disorders. During this stage, the medical team recommends a well-balanced diet which has enough vitamins that help in boosting the immunity.
The staff familiarizes you with everything that you expect during the treatment and recovery process. Stabilization helps the patient realize a balance of body and mind.
Transitioning to treatment
Ideally, during this stage, one is prepared to begin the treatment plan. The medic team motivates you to start the plan and offer various guidelines on aftercare.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms can be physical, psychological or both. The intensity of the symptoms is influenced by the quantity of alcohol, how often one used to drink, and how long one has been addicted. Medically supervised detox minimizes the withdrawal symptoms, but there are some which are unavoidable. They include the following;
- The patient feels depression. It can’t be easy to quit a substance that you have relied on for years in dealing with life’s problems.
- Tiredness and weakness.
- Sleeping problems. Most people struggle with insomnia or they keep on waking up at night.
- Strong cravings to drink alcohol.
- Sweating and irritability.
- Nausea and hallucinations.
- Heavy drinkers might experience delirium tremens, a severe form of alcohol withdrawal symptom. It causes hallucinations, confusion, and tremors to the patient. If not medically addressed it can lead to death.
Medications used in Alcohol Detox
Many people are not aware that medicines can be used to treat alcoholism. Scientists have discovered various drugs that can be of help in the journey of recovery. All the medicines work differently and treat different withdrawal symptoms. However, they are not sufficient in the prevention of relapse but they can help one during the first stage of recovery from alcoholism. The following are some medications that are approved by FDA to assist in alcohol detox;
Disulfiram or Antabuse alters the way the body reacts to alcohol. If you drink alcohol while on it, you become violently ill. Therefore, there are high chances that you are going to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink. It literally discourages people from drinking alcohol. Scientists have claimed that it applies the aversion therapy principle.
This is where punishment is used to decrease the probability of an individual repeating a certain behavior. Many people find it hard to stick to Disulfiram since it requires the user’s compliance for it to be effective. Also, it can be tricky to take something that is associated with nausea, headaches and a terrible hangover.
Besides, some people take Antabuse whenever they feel like they are tempted to drink alcohol. For instance, if you normally experience a relapse during holidays or at parties where alcohol is served, you might consult with your doctor and take some around that time.
Alcohol addicts are encouraged to quit drinking and consume the drug for better results. Although it doesn’t treat the withdrawal symptoms directly, it is effectual for people who are struggling with them. It is primarily recommendable for people who have had various attempts to quit alcohol with no vain.
- ReVia/ Naltrexone
Naltrexone was initially used to minimize the cravings for opiates, but scientists have indicated that it can also be used to reduce alcohol cravings. It doesn’t treat withdrawal symptoms, but when you drink alcohol while on naltrexone, you don’t feel the pleasure or get high. Although you get drunk, drinking gives you no rewards such as being high.
Researchers claim that this drug is most effective for addicts who have quit drinking for at least four days before they start the treatment process. The doctor can administer it as a capsule to be swallowed daily or as an injection for one month. You should not that complete abstinence from alcohol isn’t the goal, but to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink gradually until you achieve an alcohol-free life.
Acamprosate or Campral helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia. Some of these symptoms can persist for months after you stop drinking alcohol. The drug functions by interacting with the two neurotransmitters; GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric acid) and glutamate.
GABA stifles the certain nerve cells in the central nervous system and can aid in reducing fear or anxiety. On the other hand, glutamate enhances the nerve cells. After drinking alcohol for a long period, this balance fades away. Acamprosate is formulated to assist in restoring the imbalance and providing stability. It is best for individuals who are able to quit drinking before starting the treatment plan.
Most researches have shown that medications are effectual, but they should be accompanied by a change in behavior. Specific drugs are given to treat specific symptoms that occur during recovery. Obviously, you can’t take medicine and still drink and expect change. There are various ways of changing your behavior such as therapies and counseling.
Rehab is the second stage for recovery after detoxification. There are two main types of rehabs; inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient rehabs are residential centers that require the patient to stay there for a certain period (30, 60, 90, or more days) depending on various factors. The environment is safe and one receives 24/7 medical support from the specialists. Also, you meet people who are struggling with addiction just like you, and you encourage each other by sharing experiences.
Outpatient rehab allows people to go through the recovery program while staying at home. One can continue with their daily normal life such as work and family obligations. Since there are many triggers, it is less recommended by doctors. Outpatient treatment programs usually work for people are strongly committed to recovering from alcoholism, have mild alcoholism, and have sufficient support from family and friends.
Although it can be difficult to recover while staying at home, it is the most affordable option since there are no accommodation charges and you continue to work hence still earn your income. Talk with your doctor and determine the option that suits your recovery needs.
How to Help a Person with Alcoholism
If you have a loved one who is going through recovery, you need to familiarize yourself with all the things that he/she might be going through during the process. They need your support than ever. A genuine care with no judgment is the most important thing they require.
Provide a sober environment that is free from triggers. It is important to know that it is a long term process; hence you should give them enough time. Also, encourage them to attend meetings and counseling sessions. Discover other ways that can bring fun and happiness to him/her. Some people drink to relax and enjoy the feeling. Find other alternative ways of achieving this like nature walks, movies, and many others that can be interesting to them.
If you notice you or a loved one has a problem with alcohol, seek assistance immediately. Early treatment is more effective than treating alcoholism that has been there for years. Signs of alcoholism include neglect of responsibilities and drinking despite the negative effects it has on your health and people around you.
Treatment is a long term process that requires patience. Seeking medical assistance will help you in recovering successfully and reduces the painful withdrawal symptoms. As a caretaker of the patient, remember the 3Cs; you are not the cause for the addiction, you cannot control the addiction, and you can’t stop drinking alcohol for them.