Admitting that alcohol has become a problem is one of the hardest parts of alcohol recovery. Most alcoholics cannot see themselves in the role of ‘alcoholic’, and they find it very hard to accept this as the truth. In most instances, it is family members or friends who first broach the subject of addiction with the alcoholic. However, there may be times when family members are in denial too, and they do not put pressure on their addicted loved one to look for alcohol treatment. They too cannot see their loved one as an alcoholic as they have a picture in their mind of what a stereotypical alcoholic is.
The way in which most people see alcoholics has been formed by images they saw in the media. Films and television programmes often sensationalise illnesses such as addiction for entertainment purposes. Negative stereotyping of alcoholics often leads those with the illness to be in denial. They cannot see themselves as alcoholics because they do not fit the profile that they have in their head. This can be extremely dangerous as it causes them to delay getting the alcohol treatment that they need to get better.
Many people believe an alcoholic to be:
It is easy to see why some cannot class themselves as alcoholics, but the reality is that more often than not, alcoholics do not fit the profile above. You do not have to live on the streets or drink alcohol every day to be an alcoholic. The reality is that alcoholism can affect anyone regardless of their age, background, gender, race, or how wealthy they are. What all of these individuals have in common is the fact that they need alcohol treatment in order to overcome their illness.
Alcoholism is a progressive illness; those affected do not wake up suddenly one morning as alcoholics. It occurs gradually over time, and many do not even realise they have crossed the line from a moderate drinker to a problem drinker.
Alcoholism usually happens when a person begins to build up a tolerance to the effects of alcohol. The more alcohol a person drinks, the more he or she will need to feel the effects the next time. This is because the body adapts to the presence of alcohol and adjusts when it is consumed. Since alcohol is a depressant, it works to slow down the body’s responses. The brain reacts to this by speeding up. Each time a person drinks, he or she may find that they need more alcohol than they used to. Some people will say that they can handle their drink better than others, but this just means that their bodies are used to more alcohol and have adjusted to prevent them from getting drunk as quickly as before.
If a person continues to abuse alcohol, he or she will become physically dependent on it. His or her body will expect alcohol to arrive, and if it does not, it will react. This may cause unpleasant side effects such as nausea, sweating, shaking, vomiting and headaches. A drink of alcohol should be enough to make these symptoms subside, and the person quickly learns that alcohol makes them feel better. After a while, he/she will begin to crave alcohol and will lose their ability to control how much he/she drinks.
Alcoholism will not go away by itself. It will continue to get worse if left untreated. For those who want to get sober, alcohol treatment is essential. While some individuals can overcome alcohol addiction on their own, most will need support to ensure their long-term sobriety is stable.
One of the most important things to point out in terms of alcohol recovery is that it can be very dangerous to suddenly stop drinking. The brain and body go into overdrive when the alcohol supply is cut off. They try to overcompensate for the lack of alcohol, and as the body tries to get back to normal, various withdrawal symptoms can occur.
Mild symptoms can include mood swings, shaking, sweating, hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and headaches. However, there are a number of serious withdrawal symptoms such as paranoid delusions, convulsions and delirium tremens that can be extremely dangerous if they occur without supervision.
In terms of alcohol treatment, the first step is usually detox. This is the process of stopping drinking and allowing the alcohol to leave the body. Those who have severe alcohol addictions are generally advised to undergo alcohol detox in a medically supervised facility where the most severe symptoms can be prevented and where staff work hard to ensure the patient’s safety and comfort at all times.
It is important that those who want to recover receive good alcohol treatment. Detox is just the first step on the road to recovery and is not the same as treatment. Getting sober is vital for recovery, but learning how to stay sober is even more important. With good alcohol treatment, recovering alcoholics will receive various therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy, motivational interviewing, 12-step work, contingency management, group therapy, individual counselling, and family therapy.
Alcohol treatment is vital in terms of helping those with alcoholism to conquer their addictions and to move forwards into independent sober living. Here at Recovery.org.uk, we can help you to access suitable alcohol treatment providers where you will get the help you need to overcome your illness.