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If a loved one is experiencing alcohol addiction, it’s easy to assume this person is choosing to inflict harm upon him or herself. The reality, however, is that those experiencing alcohol addiction are really suffering from a disease of the brain.

Since alcohol addiction is a disease, treatment is needed to reverse it. Alcohol addiction treatment is best carried out at a residential rehab clinic. Treatment begins with a medical detox. Once this detox is complete, a robust rehabilitation programme will address the deeper mental causes of addiction.

It’s thought that alcoholism affects many millions of people around the globe. It’s estimated that around 2-3 million people lose their lives to alcohol addiction each year.

These facts help to discredit the notion that alcohol addiction is caused by a lack of willpower or moral failings. Alcoholism is an illness that does not arise because a person is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Often, alcoholism affects some of the nicest and honest people in society, and the disease theory of addiction goes some length to explain this phenomenon.

Fortunately, the UK is well served by a growing network of addiction treatment providers. Rehab 4 Addiction is the largest rehab referral network in the UK. This allows us to recommend rehab treatment that’s absolutely right for your needs. We assist you in selecting treatment that will help you permanently overcoming your addiction.

Alcohol addiction is destructive and it negatively affects all those around you. The most effective form of addiction treatment is designed to treat the body, the mind and the spirit. This is often termed a ‘person-centred approach’ to addiction treatment. Often, the root causes of addiction are psychological so it’s important to tackle these causes using evidence-based treatments that address the mind as well as the body.

Undertaking alcoholism treatment

Alcoholism is a chronic illness that progressively worsens as time goes by. Often, the only way to arrest alcoholism is to undergo effective evidence-based treatments.

Before your alcoholism treatment begins at a rehab clinic, you will need to overcome any notion that you merely ‘drink too much’.  Admitting that you could be experiencing an alcohol addiction is never easy. However, for your treatment to succeed, it’s essential that you overcome denial. Facing up to your addiction is easier with our help.

When you contact us, we carry out an assessment to help us determine the extent of your alcoholism. It’s important to realise that alcoholism is a spectrum disorder, meaning the severity of this illness will vary dramatically between sufferers.

When you are able to overcome denial, you then need to accept the fact that your needs will be best met at an alcohol rehab clinic. Once your treatment begins, the physical impact of alcoholism will be addressed once you begin an alcohol detox.

It’s absolutely essential that your alcohol addiction is treated via a medically assisted detox because you will begin to suffer alcohol withdrawal symptoms as your Alcohol Blood Concentration (ABC) begins to drop. A full detox will be conducted over a 5-7-day period. During this detox, all traces of alcohol will be removed from your blood in a safe and stable manner.

Some of you may elect to return home once you are fully detoxed. This decision is never recommended. Why? Because a detox merely treats the body and not the mind. If you recall, alcoholism is a disease of the brain, meaning it’s important that you also receive therapy so that you are able to fully rehabilitate from your addiction.

Often, those who elect to bypass the therapy process will only benefit from a short-term recovery. Untreated mental causes of addiction often mean these people will relapse shortly after leaving the rehab clinic’s care.

Understand alcoholism

Alcoholism is characterised by alcohol dependency. Alcoholism is considered to be a chronic illness and it is often life-threatening if treatment is not received promptly.

Unlike an addiction to other drugs such as cocaine and cannabis, alcohol addiction is a form of physical addiction. This means alcohol is not merely psychologically addictive.

For many people, social drinking will not present any form of danger. However, some will develop and alcohol addiction, meaning the only viable long-term solution is to embrace total abstinence. Those who experiencing alcoholism will not be able to function in their daily lives without drinking alcohol.

One early sign of alcoholism is that you are not able to relax without having a drink. This could be a sign that you are experiencing a psychological addiction to alcohol. As your tolerance for alcohol increases, you may find that you begin to experience painful physical withdrawal symptoms when alcohol is removed from your reach. These symptoms may include the shakes, sweating and nausea.

When alcoholism arises, your drinking will begin to dictate your every move. If you feel alcohol is in control of your life, then its likely alcoholism has arisen.

Detoxing from alcohol

Withdrawing from alcohol without medical supervision is considered life-threatening due to a variety of withdrawal symptoms. When you begin to withdraw from alcohol, your blood alcohol levels will drop. This will force the onset of psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms.

Many of these withdrawal symptoms are highly unpleasant. Often, you will simply resume your drinking merely to stop yourself from experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

When you undergo an alcohol detox at a residential clinic, you will receive expert care. You will also be given medication that helps you to bypass many alcohol withdrawal symptoms entirely.

What are the key signs of alcoholism?

Below, we outline many of the most common alcoholism signs. If you recognise these signs, then it’s likely you are experiencing alcoholism.

The warning signs of alcoholism include:

  • You feel hung-over even when you are not intoxicated
  • You drink alcohol in secret away from your family
  • You lie about your drinking
  • You neglect key responsibilities that conflict with your drinking
  • You befriend undesirable people who also abuse alcohol
  • You lose interest in your personal appearance
  • You become ever more isolated from family and close friends
  • You experience extreme mood swings and irritability
  • You experience blackouts and memory loss after drinking
  • You drink even though you know it is negatively impacting your life
  • You lose interest in hobbies
  • When you stop drinking alcohol, you experience withdrawal symptoms
  • Your drinking has caused you to get into trouble with the law
  • Friends and family have disassociated themselves with you because of your drinking

It’s important to stress that you do not have to experience all of the above signs in order to suffer from alcoholism. If you recognise 2-3 of the above symptoms, this may be enough to indicate that you are suffering from alcoholism. Generally, the most signs you experience, the greater the likelihood that you are suffering from alcohol addiction.

What are the effects of alcoholism?

The short-term effects of alcoholism include:

  • Insomnia
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Aggravate other medical conditions
  • Weight gain
  • Worsened personal appearance
  • Negatively impact your professional and social life
  • Negatively impact your academic performance
  • Strain your relationship with family and friends

The long-term effects of alcoholism include:

  • Your alcoholism controls how you plan your daily life
  • You avoid activities that would prevent you from drinking alcohol
  • Chronic hypertension
  • Job loss and major breakdown of family life
  • Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression
  • Liver damage, including scarring of the liver (cirrhosis)
  • Increase chances of developing cancer and heart disease

Many of the long-term effects of alcohol are highly undesirable. It’s likely you will begin to ‘hit rock bottom’ when the long-term effects of alcoholism begin to arise.

It’s advisable to seek out alcohol rehab treatment before the long-term effects of alcoholism arise. If you receive treatment promptly, you will be able to avoid many of the long-term effects of alcoholism that are often irreversible.

Why going to rehab helps overcome alcoholism?

Alcoholism requires a solution that addresses both the body and the mind. Relying on mere willpower is rarely enough to arrest alcoholism.

Alcohol rehab clinics utilise modern evidence-based treatments. These treatments make use of proven best practices and methodologies. These treatments address the body, mind and spirit.

For many years, addiction treatment was synonymous with detoxification. Detox merely treats the body and neglects to treat the mind. For this reason, modern rehab clinics will offer an initial detox, but detox treatment is invariably combined with evidence-based therapies.

At Rehab 4 Addiction, we ensure you attend a treatment clinic that will effectively address the mental and physical aspects of alcoholism. Our aim is to help you build a sustainable recovery. In order to achieve this aim, it’s vitally important that you begin a treatment programme that is tailored to your needs.

When you undergo treatment at a residential rehab clinic, your treatment will be intensive and focused. You will benefit from the type of structure that’s needed to overcome alcoholism.

The best form of treatment is one that helps you commit to abstinence. Lasting sobriety is possible with the right level of care and attention and we are confident that you will receive this level of treatment when you attend a UK rehab clinic.

Residential rehab is also known as inpatient treatment. During your treatment, you will be free from temptations that exist in your usual outside environment.

All rehab clinics we recommend are fully accredited by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Staff members consist of experienced addiction professionals who are fully trained in their respective fields.

Rehabs we recommend cater for around 15-20 clients at any one time. This means you will benefit from group therapy sessions where peer learning is encouraged. You will work as a group in learning skills that allow you to cope with the demands of your new sober reality.

Most rehab programmes offer a full rehab programme lasting between three and sixteen weeks. Some rehabs may offer short-term detox programmes, but these programmes are rarely recommendable because they fail to trail dual diagnosis mental health problems that are typically the root cause of your addiction.

How does therapy and counselling help?

Drug and alcohol rehab clinics offer a safe and comfortable environment so that you may focus on your recovery. Popular counselling techniques offered at rehabs include group therapy, one-to-one therapy, motivational interviewing, 12-step work and cognitive behavioural therapy.

You will receive a substantial amount of therapy when you attend rehab. Therapy helps you understand the causes of your addiction. You will identify each of your ‘addiction triggers’. You will also be taught how to cope with or avoid these triggers.

Towards the beginning of your rehab treatment, you will be assigned to a key worker. This person will help you to establish your treatment goals. You will discuss with this person what exactly you expect to achieve by undergoing alcohol addiction treatment.

What is group therapy?

Group therapy is an immensely popular form of treatment amongst rehab clinics. Why? Because group therapy is highly effective at helping people map out coping strategies that will assist them in attaining their recovery goals.

Group therapy is typically used in conduction with one-to-one therapy, workshops and practical exercises.

During group therapy sessions, you are able to both learn from and teach others about addiction. For some, helping others is a powerful way of helping themselves. This fact is incorporated into the 12-steps where it says “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

Group therapy helps you to realise that you are not alone in your fight against alcoholism. Knowing this fact is highly reassuring. It also serves to illustrate the fact that alcoholism is a disease that does not discriminate in whom it may affect.

Group therapy also prepares you for mutual support groups. These groups are an important part of staying sober once you have completed your rehab programme.

How may meditation be utilised during addiction treatment?

Meditation helps you gain control of negative thoughts and emotions that otherwise fuel your addiction. Modern life is highly stressful, and meditation helps you significantly reduce this stress to manageable levels.

Rehab clinics began to realise that medication could be a powerful tool in the fight against addiction. For this reason, most rehabs now offer mindfulness meditation classes. This accompanies and compliments traditional talking therapies outlined above.

The typical types of alcoholism treatments

Addiction treatment is broadly categorised as either being residential or outpatient treatment. Residential treatment means you will live within the clinic and receive treatment alongside other clients.

Outpatient treatment means you will continue to live at home whilst you undergo treatment during the day. The major disadvantage of outpatient treatment is that you will not be shielded by outside influences during the duration of your treatment programme.

Choosing between residential and outpatient alcoholism treatment

The most suitable form of treatment will be determined by your needs. Whilst there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ form of treatment, we generally recommend residential treatment because you will be removed from temptations whilst you undergo your treatment.

Residential rehab is free from distractions. You are able to solely focus on your recovery without any distractions. Further, residential treatment is ideally suited if you require a detox. The level of care you will receive during your detox at a residential rehab is truly unrivalled. This is particularly important if you suffer from a physical addiction that could mean you begin to experience life-threatening withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to detox.

Outpatient treatment may be best suited to those who are experiencing a milder form of addiction. Outpatient treatment may also be viable if you have undergone a full residential rehab in the past but you feel you require additional support in helping you sustain your recovery.

Will a detox without a rehab be enough for my needs?

For the vast majority of people seeking out alcoholism treatment, we highly advise you to invest in detox plus therapy. If you neglect to undergo a full rehabilitation programme that does not include therapy, then it’s highly likely that your newly found recovery will be short-lived.

A detox conducted in the absence of therapy and rehabilitation will require around 7-10 days to complete. For many people new to addiction treatment, a detox conducted in isolation of therapy will not suffice. Instead, your recovery needs will be best met when you undertake a programme that incorporates robust and comprehensive therapeutic treatments.

Selecting a suitable alcohol rehab clinic

When you undertake a detox, you will require round-the-clock care and attention. The good news is that all rehabs in the UK will offer a safe place to detox. This is due to strict regulations enforced by the Care Quality Commission that require rehabs to employ healthcare professionals who are able to treat clients requiring medicated detox treatment.

It’s important to undertake treatment at a rehab that makes use of evidence-based therapies. These therapies will help you understand the root causes of your addiction.

The need for specialist treatment

Alcoholism is generally accompanied with an underlying mental health issue. This means it is vitally important for all addiction treatment programmes to be fully tailored to each client’s needs.

Accompanying mental health issues are often known as dual diagnosis. It’s important for addiction treatment to address both the addiction and the dual diagnosis issue at the same time.

Rehab clinics we recommend aim to treat both conditions. This approach helps to significantly increase the odds of you attaining your long-term recovery goals.

The need for aftercare following the completion of rehab

Another integral part of the modern rehab programme is aftercare. Aftercare takes place on an outpatient basis. You will return to the rehab clinic for weekly aftercare sessions to help you maintain your recovery.

Aftercare sessions are held in groups, but you may also elect to benefit from one-to-one sessions. Aftercare sessions may also incorporate the 12-steps that are utilised by Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings.

You may attend aftercare sessions for as long as you need them. This helps you maintain your sobriety for many years to come.

What are my treatment options?

It’s best to seek out treatment as soon as you recognise the symptoms of alcoholism. Delaying your treatment could be fatal. Many people die from alcoholism unexpectedly. You underestimate the dangers of drinking excessive amounts of alcohol at your peril. Many people inflicted with alcoholism delay treatment until they have hit rock-bottom. This practice is positively dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.

Instead, seek out addiction treatment before it is too late. If you feel you cannot control your drinking, then now is the time to seek out treatment. You can discover your drinking options by contacting our free helpline today on 0800 140 4690.

Your treatment needs are best served at an inpatient alcohol rehab clinic. You will be able to continue your treatment over a longer period of time via an outpatient programme. The amount of time you require in a residential clinic is dictated by the severity of your addiction and any possible dual-diagnosis issues you are experiencing.