How to Know When to Seek Treatment for Alcoholism

Discover the signs, symptoms and causes of addiction to alcohol. Learn how treatment options can help alcoholics and drug abusers recover.

The primary goal of alcohol addiction treatment is a lifelong commitment to abstinence from alcohol. With good health, a strong support system and motivation, complete recovery is possible. Alcoholism can often go undiagnosed despite being the most frequently used drug worldwide. While there is no known cause of alcohol abuse or alcoholism, how much you drink can influence your chances of becoming dependent. There are many brief and easy to use screening methods, designed to diagnose problem drinking and alcoholism, and can be self-administered by a patient. Treatment for alcoholism typically can only begin when the alcoholic accepts the problem exists, and is motivated to stop drinking. Treatment happens in three levels: detoxification, rehabilitation and maintenance of sobriety, each providing an integral step in the process of successfully giving up alcohol.

The Medical Significance of Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Drinking too much, whether binge drinking or chronic, can take a serious toll on your health. Alcohol is essentially a poison so taking it repeatedly affects every major organ in the body. It increases the risk of developing disabling long-term conditions like diabetes, obesity, liver disease, heart disease, dementia and some forms of cancer. Alcohol abuse is not only damaging to the body and brain, it can traumatize psychological stability causing depression, and is one of the leading risk factors for suicide. Alcohol abuse is the principal lifestyle-related cause of disease and death, motor vehicle fatalities and injury. Despite the profound effect alcohol abuse has on the individual and society, the most dangerous consequence is chemical dependence. Seeking medical treatment for alcoholism is absolutely necessary because once physically addicted to alcohol; there is risk of life-threatening side effects such as seizures, delirium, high blood pressure, sudden fever and debilitating dehydration.

Treatment for Alcoholism is Available Globally

The abuse of alcohol worldwide is a problem which compromises both individual and social development, resulting in 2.5 million deaths each year and causing more than 200 different diseases and injuries. Statistics show North Americans in general, and Canadians in particular drink more than 50 per cent above the global average, and people in Europe and parts of Sub-Saharan Africa are the world’s heaviest consumers of alcohol on average. Studies documenting the amount and patterns of alcohol consumption by country indicate alcohol use is the third leading global cause of disease and death after high blood pressure and tobacco smoking, among 67 risk factors overall. These statistics illuminate how the risk of alcoholism is not limited to a particular ethnic community, socio-economic status or region of living. While regulations and laws about alcohol consumption vary geographically with trends and culture, at least 34 countries have adopted formal policies to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. Alcoholism treatment is available in medical centers globally where you can find an individualized care and treatment program that best suits you.

A Daily Reprieve from Alcohol Addiction

Treatment for alcoholism does not prescribe an easy cure for chemical dependency, but gives the individual all the tools with which to build a life based on promoting sobriety day to day. Since addiction and alcoholism effect almost every area of an individual’s life, the changes which will be made, while sometimes slow at first will be all encompassing. After completing detox and rehab, the maintenance of sobriety will be intrinsically connected to the willingness, openness and honesty put into living one’s life by a new set of principles and values.  There is no single defining treatment appropriate for everyone, and generating treatment settings, interventions, and services to an individual’s particular problems and needs is critical to his or her ultimate success in returning to productive functioning in the family, workplace, and society. What is most important to remember is that treatment and long-term sobriety are about discovering how to accept help, and manage life’s challenges without needing to escape or find a quick fix. This new way of living will provide new meaning and direction and those with rich participation in recovery will achieve freedom and serenity.

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