Category Archives: Alcohol Addiction

Healing the Liver After Alcohol Addiction

Green leafy smoothie

One of the most severe side effects of alcoholism is liver damage. The link between liver damage and heavy alcohol use has been known for more than 200 years. The liver suffers the most damage because it is responsible for alcohol metabolism.

If you have made the courageous decision to get sober, you may be wondering how long it will take your liver to recover. The good news: the liver is a regenerative organ. It can repair itself over time. The sooner you stop drinking, the quicker you can start this process.

Let’s learn more about how alcohol affects the liver, the damage that can be done and the steps you can take to heal this regenerative organ.

How Does Alcohol Affect the Liver?

The liver has many roles, and one of them is removing toxins from the body. The liver also stores vitamins and iron, breaks down hemoglobin, destroys old blood cells and converts stored sugar into functional sugar. When the liver is healthy, it works hard to carry out its jobs. Unfortunately, when you introduce alcohol into the body, the liver has to work harder.

Alcohol dehydrates the body, forcing the liver to pull water from other sources to function properly. Also, the liver produces a toxin called acetaldehyde, which is created when alcohol is broken down in the liver. This toxin can damage liver cells and cause scarring. Continued stress on the organ can also lead to fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis or cirrhosis of the liver.

Tips for Healing the Liver

As soon as you stop drinking, your liver can begin recovering. How long this process takes is different for everyone. It could take a few months or a few years. Fortunately, your liver is always in a state of regeneration. Here are the best things you can do – aside from not drinking – to continue the healing process.  

  • Quit smoking

  • Eat a healthy diet (plant-based is preferable)

  • Drink a lot of water

  • Exercise regularly

  • Lose weight if you are overweight

  • Avoid processed foods, sugars and saturated fats

  • Pay attention to your medications

  • Limit contact with other toxins (i.e., spray paints, insecticides)

Some liver damage is permanent, but that doesn’t mean you can’t restore yourself back to good health. Work with your doctor, who will measure your liver enzymes and ensure that you are moving in the right direction.

Are you ready to get clean and sober? Call The River Source to start an integrative treatment program that addresses an alcohol addiction as well as any co-occurring conditions.

 

10 Motivating Reasons to Quit Drinking

Glass of Brandy

Quitting drinking offers many benefits that you may not be aware of. If you’re ready to stop drinking, help is available. The River Source provides inpatient and outpatient treatment to help you heal from your addiction and enjoy all 10 of these benefits.

1. You can look younger. Drinking in excess is hard on your skin because alcohol breaks down natural collagen production. This speeds up the aging process, causing premature wrinkles and lines. Too much alcohol can also lead to jaundice.

2. You can save money. Imagine not having to be short on money all the time. Alcohol is expensive, and so is the lifestyle that goes with it (bars, nightclubs, DUIs, legal problems). You can put this money toward something else, such as a new car or family vacation

3. You can lose weight. Alcohol is high in empty calories. These calories come from sugar, which turns into fat. By stopping drinking, you can shed unwanted pounds and lose weight. It’s also easier to make healthy meal choices when you’re not under the influence.

4. You can start something new. Wouldn’t it be fun to pursue a new hobby or venture? There is a whole world out there for you to discover! The happiness you can get from these activities is much more fulfilling than drinking booze.

5. You can heal your liver. To lead a healthy life, you need a liver that functions properly. Fortunately, your liver is a regenerative organ that can heal over time.

6. You can sleep better. Passing out from being drunk does not lead to better sleep. In fact, it often leads to sleep disturbances and nightmares. Sleeping sober gives your brain the chance to restore itself. This leads to improved sleep and increased energy and focus the next day.

7. You can feel better. Are you tired of not feeling well? Do you get every bug that comes your way? Alcohol wears on the body and the immune system. Once you get through withdrawal, you can rebuild your body – and your spirit.

8. You can form real relationships. Ready to build satisfying relationships? Addiction is an isolating disease, but recovery can change this. You can strengthen ties with friends and family, work toward entering a new relationship and truly connect with those around you.

9. You can reduce your risk of heart attack. Drinking alcohol is hard on the heart. Cutting out alcohol allows your heart to repair itself and lowers your risk for high blood pressure, heart attack and heart failure.

10. You can move forward. Alcohol does not have to define you. With treatment, you can stop drinking and regain your life. Working through the 12 Steps helps create a life that isn’t just free from addiction but also fulfilling.

There are so many great reasons to quit drinking, what are you waiting for? To learn more about your options for treating an alcohol addiction, call The River Source. Imagine starting the New Year clean and sober!

 

At What Point Does Drinking Become a Problem?

Unlike illegal substances such as cocaine or heroin, alcohol becomes legal at the age of 21. Alcohol is also prevalent in our society. It shows up as an invited guest to weddings, formal dinners, birthday parties, concerts and sports games. In a society where alcohol and social gatherings often come in pairs, how do you know when your drinking has become a problem?

Alcohol’s Effects on the Body

Drinking too much alcohol, even on a single occasion, can take a serious toll on your body. It affects the brain by interfering with the communication pathways. This is what leads to changes in mood, behavior and coordination.

Alcohol can cause heart problems such as high blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat. Drinking also takes a toll on the liver, leading to inflammation, fibrosis or cirrhosis. Research also shows a link between alcohol and an increase in certain cancers.

Each drink you take affects the body negatively. Still, people choose to drink because they feel that it helps them relax, unwind and have more fun. However, drinking on occasion can sneak up on you. No one intends to be an alcoholic, after all. So how can you tell when you’ve crossed the line?

Understanding Your Risk

First, it’s important to understand your personal risk factors. Of course, just because you are at risk does not mean you will develop alcoholism. Likewise if you are not at risk. You can still become addicted.

Below are the factors that may increase a person’s risk for alcoholism.

  • Genetics. People with a sibling, parent or child who abuses alcohol have 3-4 times the average risk of developing a drinking problem.

  • Mental Health. By some estimates, 37% of people with a drinking problem also have a mental health condition such as anxiety, depression or a personality disorder.

  • Age. In young people, alcohol use can lead to car crashes, suicides and homicide. People who start drinking at an early age are 4 times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who start drinking at 21 or over.

  • Gender. Drinking can affect both genders, but problem drinking is more common in men than women, especially in the 18-25 year age group.

Signs to Look For

Alcoholism does not show up overnight. It is a progressive disease that happens over time. If you feel that you are at risk for becoming addicted, get help. With so many options available these days, including convenient outpatient programs, you can easily and discreetly get the support you need to avoid a lifelong addiction.

Here are some signs that you may have a drinking problem.

  • Lying about or hiding your drinking

  • Drinking to relax or feel better

  • Not being able to stop once you start

  • Blacking out while drinking

  • Drinking in dangerous situations

  • Neglecting your responsibilities

  • Experiencing trouble in relationships

  • Building tolerance

  • Experiencing withdrawal

  • Trying to quit but cannot

If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, call The River Source today. We have a number of programs to treat alcoholism and higher-than-average success rates. Plus, our rates are affordable and our programs are on the cutting-edge of integrative care.

Understanding the Most Common Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

For centuries, alcohol has been a part of celebrations and social situations. Since it’s legal for individuals over the age of 21 to drink alcohol, many people think this feel-good substance is relatively harmless. However, it can be just as addictive as any other drug, which is why understanding alcohol withdrawal symptoms is so important.

Alcohol contains a water-soluble substance known as ethanol. When you consume alcohol, the ethanol enters your digestive system. From there, it travels to your bloodstream where it passes through your cells and makes its way to your organs. Once it reaches your brain, it acts as a central nervous system depressant. At this point, your brain releases dopamine, while the ethanol deactivates glutamate (which slows the brain’s response to stimuli) and binds to gamma aminobutyric acid or GABA (which makes people feel calm and sleepy).

Most people can enjoy alcohol without becoming addicted to the substance. However, not everyone is so fortunate. When your alcohol consumption is excessive, you may receive a diagnosis of alcohol use disorder (AUD).

The current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) states that you can be diagnosed with an AUD if you meet two out of 11 criteria within a 12-month period. The diagnostic criteria include the following questions:

  •       Have you ended up drinking more or longer than you intended?
  •       More than once, have you unsuccessfully tried to reduce or stop drinking?
  •       Have you spent a lot of time drinking or recovering from its aftereffects?
  •       Have you experienced a strong urge to drink?
  •       Does drinking or its aftereffects often interfere with your responsibilities?
  •       Have you continued to drink even though it causes problems?
  •       Have you given up on activities you enjoy in order to drink?
  •       More than once, have you gotten into a dangerous situation as a result of drinking?
  •       Have you continued to drink after experiencing health problems or a blackout?
  •       Do you need to drink more than you used to in order to get the same effect?
  •       Have you experienced withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking?

In 2012, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) released informative statistics about the number of Americans with an AUD.

  •       In the United States, 7.2% or 17 million adults (ages 18 and older) had an AUD. Of this number, 11.2 million were men and 5.7 million were women.
  •       855,000 teens between the ages of 12 and 17 had an AUD.

One of the most startling statistics is how few people seek treatment. In 2012, only 1.4 million out of the 17 million adults with an AUD received treatment at a specialized facility.

With the right treatment and support in place sobriety is not out of reach for most people.

Having medical support is especially important during the detox process when withdrawal symptoms can derail your entire recovery process.

Alcohol Addiction – Tolerance and Dependence

Alcohol can be addictive with excessive and extended use. When you consume large quantities of alcohol for a prolonged period of time you can develop serious and long-lasting changes in the brain and body. One of the changes that people with an AUD notice is an increased tolerance. This means that you need to consume more alcohol over time to achieve the same effect.

Another change that alcohol addiction triggers is physical dependence, which means that you need to keep using alcohol to prevent the onset of withdrawal symptoms. These unpleasant symptoms can occur within two hours of the last drink and they can persist for weeks.

The Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal – Mild to Severe

When a person with an alcohol use disorder cuts back or stops drinking, they will experience withdrawal symptoms. The severity of the symptoms varies from mild to potentially life-threatening.

The severity, length, and type of symptoms vary from person to person based on several factors:

  •       How long a person has been drinking
  •       How much a person has been drinking
  •       Age and overall health of the person
  •       Whether the person has experienced withdrawal symptoms before

Since withdrawal symptoms can be very unpleasant, some people give up on trying to get sober in an effort to avoid feeling the effects of withdrawal. By understanding alcohol withdrawal symptoms and seeking appropriate medical treatment, you are more likely to make it through the first hours, days, and weeks of alcohol detox and recovery.

More minor alcoholism withdrawal symptoms usually start five to 10 hours after a person’s last drink, and they usually peak at 24 to 48 hours. These symptoms can include:

  •       Anxiety
  •       Headache
  •       Insomnia
  •       Irritability
  •       Nausea and vomiting
  •       Nightmares or vivid dreams
  •       Rapid breathing and pulse
  •       Sweating
  •       Tremors

Approximately 12 to 24 hours after your last drink, you may begin to experience moderate symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, including auditory, tactile, or visual hallucinations. Some of the most common visual hallucinations include seeing multiple, small moving objects, such as insects or coins. While most patients realize that their hallucinations are not real, the experience is vivid and it can be very distressing. Within 48 hours, these hallucinations often cease.

A more serious symptom is withdrawal seizures. Patients who experience this symptom often do so six to 48 hours after they stop drinking, with the risk peaking at 24 hours. However, withdrawal seizures can occur as soon as two hours after the last drink. You have an increased risk of experiencing withdrawal seizures if you have undergone multiple rounds of detox.

The most severe symptom of alcohol withdrawal is delirium tremens (DTs), which has a 1% to 5% death rate. This symptom strikes 48 to 72 hours after the last drink, and it typically peaks at Day 4 or Day 5. Some patients may have delayed onset of symptoms and experience DTs more than a week after their last drink. The symptoms of DTs include:

  •       Confusion, disorientation, and severe anxiety caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain
  •       Dehydration
  •       Fever
  •       Hallucinations that cannot be distinguished from reality
  •       High blood pressure
  •       Profuse sweating
  •       Racing and irregular heartbeat
  •       Seizures
  •       Severe tremors

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can worsen quickly, so it’s important to seek medical attention even for mild symptoms. Receiving appropriate treatment early in the detox process can reduce the risk of developing more severe symptoms like withdrawal seizures and DTs.

It’s also important to consult with a doctor if you’ve previously experienced alcohol withdrawal symptoms or if you have certain health conditions such as heart disease, infections, lung disease, or a medical history of seizures.

Treatment Time Frame for Alcohol Use Disorder – It Takes Time

Each person is different, but both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) state that patients who enroll in a detox and treatment program that’s at least 90 days in length have greater success rates than patients who participate in programs of shorter durations.

While three months might seem like a long time, this time is necessary to manage withdrawal symptoms and address the changes that an AUD causes in your brain and body. Patients did not acquire an AUD overnight, so alcohol addiction cannot be properly treated in just a few days. Each person needs time to recover from the mental and physical effects of alcohol addiction.

Recovering from any type of addiction, whether it is to drugs or alcohol, is a long process, and it is one that requires counseling, medication, and support. For the best results, you should take time to discuss your treatment goals with your doctor. This simple step can help the doctor create the right treatment and care plan for your situation. Finding the right treatment is the first step on the road to recovery and long-term sobriety.

Treatment Settings for Alcohol Withdrawal – Several Options

There are multiple locations where you can detox from alcohol. The best location will depend on the severity of your withdrawal symptoms. If you have more minor symptoms, it may be possible to manage withdrawal symptoms and complete the detox process at home. However, if you have more severe symptoms you should only attempt detox under direct medical supervision in a hospital or alcohol and drug treatment center.

You should talk to your doctor about your health history, home situation, and symptoms to find the best treatment setting.

  •       Home – If you are dealing with milder symptoms of alcohol withdrawals, the detox process can occur at home. However, patients who select in-home detox need to find the right medications and support in order to find success with in-home detox. We do not recommend this method as it can be dangerous to your health and increase the risk of relapse.
  •       Alcohol and Drug Treatment Centers – A great place for you to undergo detox is a treatment facility like The River Source. Our team of medical professionals follows an approach that utilizes behavioral and pharmacological therapies to help patients get through the symptoms of withdrawal and find long-term sobriety.
  •       Hospitals – With more intense alcohol withdrawal symptoms like DTs, severe vomiting, and withdrawal seizures, you should go to a hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU). In this location, doctors can monitor your blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate. They can also provide emergency life-support if your condition deteriorates.

Counseling, Medication, and Support – A Mix of Treatments

The best way to ensure treatment success is to utilize a holistic treatment approach that incorporates a mix of counseling, medication, and support. This combination has been proven to help patients manage the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and recover from alcohol addiction.

Most alcohol treatment programs will include several steps including detox, medication, counseling, and support.

You stop drinking alcohol during the detox process. During this time, you may experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms as all traces of the substance leave the body. To help deal with the symptoms of withdrawal doctors may prescribe medication or supplements.

  •       Librium and Ativan are sometimes prescribed to patients to help reduce the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, as both medications can be helpful for anxiety.
  •       Supplements, especially those that contain folate, magnesium, phosphate, thiamine, and zinc, can replenish the minerals and vitamins that alcohol withdrawal symptoms deplete.

After undergoing the detox process, it is the ideal time to start focusing on the long-term treatment of alcohol addiction. This time should be filled with a combination of counseling, treatment of other mental disorders, and support.

  •       Counseling is a necessary component of treatment for an alcohol addiction. It can be performed on an inpatient or outpatient basis, and it can be completed alone, with your family members, or in a group setting. Counseling is designed to identify and modify the behaviors, relationships, and thought patterns that contributed to your alcohol addiction.
  •       Treatment of other mental disorders may also be performed during the recovery process. It’s common for patients with a substance abuse disorder to have another untreated mental disorder like anxiety or depression. Diagnosing and treating these disorders reduces the risk of a relapse and improves your quality of life.
  •       Support from loved ones, medical professionals, and support groups can do wonders for your recovery. A strong support system can help you stay on track, while support groups can show you that you aren’t alone in the recovery process.

The symptoms of withdrawal can make the process of recovering from alcohol addiction feel like an insurmountable task. However, sobriety is possible and worth the time and effort. It’s important to remember that alcoholism is a disease and should be treated as such.

The River Source offers a holistic approach to addiction recovery. By providing behavioral and pharmacological therapies in a supportive and professional environment, we help patients detox from alcohol and explore the reasons for their addiction. After inpatient treatment, patients leave with a long-term care plan to help them stay sober.

If you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction to alcohol, the River Source can help. Please contact us to learn more about our approach to treating alcohol addiction and how our team of trained professionals helps patients overcome the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

Alcohol Awareness Month 2017

Every April, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) sponsors Alcohol Awareness Month. Founded and sponsored by NCADD, the month of April is dedicated to increase public awareness and understanding of alcoholism. Specifically, the stigma that prevents some people from getting the help they need.

Providing Education on Alcoholism

During Alcohol Awareness Month, NCADD, NCADD National Network of Affiliates and many other organizations educate people in local communities on the dangers of heavy drinking and alcoholism. Some of the information that the organizations want to get across include:

  • Alcoholism is a progressive, chronic disease that can be fatal if not treated.

  • Alcoholism can be successfully treated with the right balance of detox, counseling and continuing care.

  • Addiction is not a character flaw or moral weakness.

  • Alcoholism does run in families, and some people are more genetically predisposed than others.

  • What signs and symptoms may indicate a drinking problem.

  • Recognizing when it’s time to seek help, and knowing where to get help.

How to Participate in Alcohol Awareness Month

Whether you’re a recovering alcoholic or a friend/family member to a recovering alcoholic, you can do your part in participating in NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month 2017. On the website, the following materials are available for downloading:

  • 2017 Organizer’s Guide

  • Poster

  • Logo (to be used on your website or electronic materials)

There are also other ways you can contribute to this important mission:

If you are a recovering alcoholic, share your story with others. Take the next step in your support groups by becoming a mentor. Volunteer your time with others and give back to those in need, just as people donated their time to help you in early recovery. Encourage alcohol-free outings with your friends. Be a Big Brother or Big Sister and make a difference in a young person’s life.

If you are family to a recovering alcoholic, it’s just as important that you share your story. You are a testament to other families just starting their journeys. You can offer hope, inspiration and practical advice to those in need. Volunteer your time to help others, attend a support group with your loved one and continue to be a positive role model.

Alcoholism is a frightening disease, and many addicts and their families don’t know how to respond. By dispelling the myths and bringing to light the true nature of addiction and the treatment options available, we can work together to erase the stigma of alcoholism and encourage all people to get the help they need to be sober.

Stages of Alcoholism

No one becomes an alcoholic overnight. Alcoholism is a progressive, chronic disease that generally follows three stages. Since alcohol is legal and socially acceptable, many people do not realize that they are crossing the line to the middle stage.

Once you are past the first stage, it’s difficult to stop drinking on your own. Alcohol becomes needed socially, emotionally and physically. Tolerance builds up, which means you may find yourself drinking more to achieve the same effects.

Let’s start by breaking down the stages of alcoholism, the signs and symptoms you can expect and when it’s time to seek intervention from a professional treatment center.Moving from Habit to Addiction

Alcoholism is a disease that only gets worse – not better. Though each person is unique, alcoholism generally presents itself in three stages: early, middle and late. In the beginning, most people start drinking socially or recreationally.

Not everyone who drinks ends up with a problem, but some will. Your genetics and the environment you were raised in influence your likelihood for developing alcoholism. If you have a mental disorder such as bipolar disorder, this also puts you more at risk for alcoholism.

The most common signs that recreational drinking is moving toward addiction are:

  • A strong craving for alcohol

  • Inability to stop drinking once you’ve started

  • Withdrawal symptoms if you haven’t had a drink in a while

  • Need to drink more to get the same effects as before (tolerance)

It’s not necessary to wait until alcoholism is presenting itself physically and psychologically. Alcoholism can be treated in its early stages, and you can get your life back on track before it spirals out of control. However, in order to recognize when drinking has become a problem, you most be familiar with the stages of alcoholism and how they manifest.

Breaking Down the Key Stages of Alcoholism

Stage 1: Early Alcoholism

The early stages of alcoholism can be difficult to detect because there is usually no dysfunction. During this stage, tolerance to alcohol builds up. The first true sign of a problem is being able to drink more without losing control.

Another thing to pay attention to is your attitude toward alcohol. Do you seem to need it more than others? Can you have fun without alcohol being around? Do you find yourself obsessing over that next drink? If something seems different about the way you handle drinking compared to your peers, it’s possible that you may be at a greater risk for alcoholism.

Generally speaking, people in the early stages of alcoholism are high school students or young adults experimenting with alcohol for the first time. Drinking is a socially acceptable activity and even considered a “normal” part of the high school and college experience. This is what blurs the lines between social drinking and habitual drinking.

Binge drinking is also a big issue for these age groups. Binge drinking is serious and can lead to greater tolerance and the progression to daily drinking. High school and college students are also introduced to a wide variety of alcohols – beer, wine, liquor – which can lead to preferences and dependency.

Stage 2: Middle Alcoholism

In the second stage of alcoholism, the disease progresses to the point that physical and social effects appear. Heavy drinking may lead to blackouts, and you may develop a strong craving for alcohol. Everyone experiences these cravings in different ways. One person may obsess over having a drink after work, while another experiences irritability. You may notice symptoms of alcohol withdrawal if you go too long without having a drink.

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Severe headaches

  • Shakiness and tremors

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • Enlarged pupils

  • Clammy, pale skin

  • Excessive sweating

Alcoholism can also affect you psychologically. You may notice that without a drink, you feel anxious or depressed. You may not be able to fall asleep on your own or attend social events without having a drink. Because of your growing tolerance to alcohol, other people start to notice the unhealthy relationship developing. They may say something to you, which will probably be upsetting.

When alcoholics feel judged, their first reaction is to pull away. Your brain and body tell you that you need alcohol, and you don’t want want to experience the uncomfortable feelings of withdrawal. It’s easier to isolate yourself and drink alone, or have a few drinks before going out with friends. Alcoholics get creative in the beginning of this stage, but usually by the end, they are less worried about their appearance to others.

Stage 3: Late Alcoholism

The end stages of alcoholism are what we envision when we think of a classic alcoholic: someone who has lost control of their lives and suffers physically, socially, mentally and financially from the disease.

Another major part of the end stage of alcoholism is obsessiveness. By now, you’ve probably become so obsessed with drinking, it has taken over all aspects of your life. You need it to have fun, to sleep, to deal with stress, etc. It doesn’t matter that alcohol is coming in between your relationships, your family or your career. Your focus is on having that next drink.

Even when you are able to get through one of your responsibilities, you’re not really present. You are just counting down the hours until you can indulge. This is not a lack of character or choice. This is the addiction taking over.

With the obsessiveness that comes with the disease of alcoholism, it’s obvious that many things are lost in the final stages. You can also suffer from physical problems such as hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, pancreatitis and respiratory infections. In severe instances, alcoholism can lead to heart failure or permanent brain damage.

At this stage, it’s important to realize that you’ve lost control of your ability to stop drinking. The only way to recover from this disease is to seek professional help. Otherwise, you will likely spend your remaining years drinking to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

Getting Help: When is the Right Time?

A common misconception that people have is that addicts need to reach rock bottom before they can get help. This is not true at all. In fact, it’s far more effective and beneficial for everyone involved to seek professional treatment early on. A few key benefits of early addiction treatment are:

  • Easier Recovery. Since the disease of alcoholism hasn’t had the time to progress to its full stages, recovery is typically easier on the mind and body. Withdrawal symptoms are usually less severe as well.

  • Fewer Challenges. Again, because the disease wasn’t given the chance to wreak havoc on your life, there should be fewer obstacles to deal with. It’s hopeful that someone in this stage still has a relatively stable job, home and family life, and less legal problems, too.

  • Less Treatment May Be Needed. Severe addictions to alcohol benefit from intensive treatment for at least 30 days, but the recommended number is 90 days. With less serious addictions, a person generally doesn’t need a full 90 days, though they can still benefit if they choose to stay.

  • Greater Treatment Options. Today, there are many treatment options available, including outpatient and inpatient programs. With a less severe addiction, you can choose between intensive day programs, residential programs and AA groups.

Don’t Wait – Treatment Comes in All Forms

It’s important to realize that there is no “right” time to seek or accept help – the time is NOW. If you think you have a problem with alcohol, whether you are in the first stage or middle stage, help is available.

If you are in the early stages of alcoholism but are concerned about your drinking, you may benefit from an outpatient program. This way, you can continue going to school or working while getting the guidance and support you need to stop drinking.

By stopping the behaviors today, you open up a future that is free from alcohol, and prevent more serious problems later on. You can also address some of the reasons why you may be at risk for addiction, such as an untreated mental disorder or unresolved family problems.

The mid to late stages of alcoholism benefit most from an inpatient program. Since the addiction has progressed and made an impact on your life, you will probably need to relearn essential life skills and healthy ways to cope with stressful situations. You will also benefit from living in a sober environment with no distractions or temptations.

No matter where you are in your recovery, you can almost always benefit from a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Support groups introduce you to a diverse group of people, opening up your understanding of alcoholism and how it manifests itself. You can take what you want from the members in the group and learn from the rest.

At the very least, you should enjoy the opportunity to connect with others who understand your struggles with alcoholism. You may learn about social outings that you can participate in or other activities to fill your time as you recover.

Final Thoughts

Alcoholism is a progressive disease. By continuing to abuse alcohol, you put yourself at risk for alcoholism. If you feel that you have a drinking problem, don’t make excuses or wait to get help. Treatment is available in many forms and is readily available from a private treatment center such as The River Source.

The River Source offers outpatient and inpatient treatment programs for people in all stages of alcoholism. Before starting one of our programs, we will assess your individual needs and determine how we can help you. Each treatment plan is highly individualized, maximizing your chances of long term sobriety. Please call us today to have your needs assessed and to learn more about the stages of alcoholism.