It is a sobering fact that alcoholism and alcohol-related incidents are the third-highest cause of death associated with lifestyle choices among Americans of all ages. While drinking is generally accepted and promoted in many social circles, this shouldn’t discount the fact that alcohol is addictive and can cause a myriad of health and personal problems. As a progressive disease, the longer or heavier you drink, the worse your results are likely to be, and the more challenging it will be to kick the habit.
Speak With Your Doctor Before Going Cold Turkey
Never try to detox at home without speaking to your primary care physician first. Alcohol is a tricky substance for the body to process. If you have regularly been drinking for an extended time, and you stop cold turkey, this could send your body into a state of shock and result in death. Heavy, long-term drinkers get exposed to the depressant effects of alcohol. As soon as the body establishes a dependency on alcohol, people need to drink more to produce a feeling of drunkenness. If someone quits drinking abruptly, the brain struggles to adjust to the newly created chemical imbalance.
This imbalance is what causes severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. If your doctor doesn’t have a full history of your drinking, be sure to be open and honest about your alcohol usage patterns and dependancy. Using this information, your doctor can recommend the best course of action you should take to drop alcohol from your daily life. Depending on the severity of your addiction, he or she might recommend a medically-supervised detox, a “step down” program, or medications to help curb your desire to drink.
Free Or Low-Cost Alcohol Treatment Programs
Alcoholics Anonymous offers free alcohol recovery services for people struggling with alcoholism or alcohol use disorders. Anyone seeking to stop drinking is welcome to attend AA meetings to support their sobriety. Following a 12 Step Program, AA offers people a safe, non-judgemental, and affordable way to treat their illness. With convenient chapters and meeting times, people can attend without disrupting their work or other personal obligations. Alcoholics Anonymous is open and ideal for anyone who could benefit from additional support in their sobriety efforts. In many cases, people who have received inpatient or outpatient care for their alcohol addiction attend AA meetings as a part of their ongoing treatment and care routine.
For additional support, loved ones of alcoholics may choose to attend AlAnon. AlAnon is a free recovery and support group for families and loved ones of alcoholics, regardless of whether the person recognizes they have a disease or not. This group helps bring people together to share their experiences, hope, and strength. While there are no set costs to attend either AA or AlAnon, contributions from members based on what they can afford, helps to pay for expenses associated with the meetings, such as literature, rent, and supporting other chapters.
Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment
Both inpatient and outpatient alcohol treatment offers supervised and monitored care for people struggling with alcohol addiction. While these treatments sound similar, they are very different. When getting outpatient treatment, hospitalization is not required. Instead, the person gets treated at a clinic, hospital, or other approved facility and leaves after their scheduled appointments. As a part of their treatment, they may participate in therapy sessions, mental health counseling, or get prescribed medication that helps to curb the desire to drink. Inpatient treatment requires hospitalization, and in some cases, extended stays. Generally, after admittance, people with severe dependency on alcohol are put under supervised detoxification.
During this detoxification period, medically trained staff monitors patients, keeping a watchful eye for signs of withdrawal, including shaking, seizures, increased heart rates, anxiety, insomnia, and other potentially life-threatening alcohol withdrawal symptoms. In the event any of these symptoms appear, the supervising medical professional can prescribe medication to stop or lessen the withdrawal effects. Depending on your situation, there could be low-cost or government-sponsored rehab programs available to you. Additionally, most inpatient and outpatient alcohol rehabilitation centers accept private insurance as payment for services. For more information on coverage, check your health insurance policy for inclusion. The first step has to start with you when you’re ready to change your life.
For more information on alcohol programs to help you kick the habit for good, contact us today 833-762-3739. Our compassionate, caring, and experienced staff is here to help you live the life you deserve – free from the chains of alcohol addiction.