Do you have a family member who is suffering from alcohol addiction? For sure, you want to help them and see them well again. We all want the best for our loved ones. It’s difficult for us to see them in bad situations where the quality of their lives begins to deteriorate. It is important that you know what you’re dealing with and how you can help your family member. This is a comprehensive guide on how to help your loved one with alcohol addiction. Hopefully, this will be able to equip you with the necessary information and knowledge on dealing with alcoholism in the family.
Understanding Alcohol Addiction
Alcoholism is a severe use of alcohol which makes it hard for a person to control his/her drinking habits. Another name for alcoholism is alcohol use disorder. Alcohol use disorder exists in three categories or stages: mild, moderate and severe.
Each of these categories has symptoms which distinguish them from each other. All, however, are characterized by adverse side effects. Like in many cases, if disregarded, the consequences can be irreversible.
Time and again, people affected by alcoholism feel that they cannot do anything without taking a few “sips.” When a person gets to those levels, everything around them become endangered.
For instance, an individual’s professional goals, private matters, relationships, and overall body health will be affected. With time, the consistency in alcohol abuse worsens and result in complications both in health and social relations.
How Alcohol Addiction Works
A weak mentality or poor willpower does not in any way explain one’s addiction to something. Addiction is in your brain circuitry, not a personal imperfection. Substances that cause addiction, alcohol, in this case, arouses the pleasure receptors in the brain.
As a person continues switching on his or her pleasure circuits, they begin to feel less pleasure from alcohol. The brain then starts yearning for stronger stimuli to acquire those “happy” chemicals.
What You Need to Know About Alcoholism
Alcoholism is one complicated problem. There are millions of people struggling with alcohol addiction all over the world.
Once addicted, almost every aspect of a person’s life becomes affected by the adverse impacts. An alcoholic undergoes all kinds of suffering; from mental, emotional and eventually physical.
There is no single standard profile of an alcoholic. Everyone, including men and women of different professions, racial, and financial background, all walks of life, can suffer from alcohol addiction.
A report by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse declares alcoholism is a “National Priority” because it causes the most harm. It’s only second to tobacco. The yearly economic cost of damages related to alcohol across Canada is $14.6 billion.
The Effects of Alcoholism
We’ve all had “hangovers” after one too many bottles of beer. It’s characterized by severe headaches the following morning. A few hangover remedies can get us sorted out. However, continuous drinking, without a doubt, can quickly ruin one’s life. It causes more than financial strains. It can push people away from their family and friends. It creates emotional imbalance, and in the long run, affects personal health.
A person cannot be a heavy drinker and a happy person at the same time. The inability to stay happy leads to excessive drinking. Learning to stop drinking at this point means you have to summon all your demons and face them.
Alcoholism comes with some less pleasant emotions: they include depression over the loss of relationships because of drinking, low levels of self-esteem, shame, guilt, and the list can go on.
There are no immediate solutions to feelings like depression except finding the answer within oneself which is to quit drinking. Stopping to drink involves coming to terms with the person’s own self, learning ways of solving problems without having to resort to drinking, and tackling one’s feelings in a healthy, productive manner.
Heavy use of alcohol has loads of negative side-effects in the body. Alcohol claim about 8 percent of all Canadian deaths on individuals under age 70 according to a report by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Liver cirrhosis, a condition which damages the liver is by far one of the most life-threatening and common side-effects of alcohol use disorder. The work of the liver is to filter toxins from the blood. It further breaks down fat and aid in proper digestion of food. Excessive alcohol can result in liver cirrhosis and potentially expose the alcoholic to cancer of the liver.
Alcohol addiction also increases blood pressure and can cause hypoglycemia. Other complications such as digestive disorders, memory loss, and even full “blackouts” are all consequences of alcohol use disorder.
How Alcohol Addiction is Being Treated
Few types of treatment have as many options or components as that of alcohol addiction treatment. In the past, a 12-step program was the standard approach to recovery. As many recovering alcoholics have continued to go through these programs only to relapse, research has looked at the reasons that recovery has not always been effective.
Today, alcohol addiction treatment has become more individualized, addressing the specific needs of the individual. A number of treatment methods have emerged as a means to give addicts what they need to have a more successful recovery.
A 12-step program remains a valuable component of a successful alcohol addiction treatment program. In addition to the basic methods of treatment, counsellors also evaluate the person’s situation to determine what other methods of treatment are right for their situation.
While all people who are addicted to alcohol share a number of problems and concerns, each one has ended up where they are today through a different series of choices. As a result, they require a different approach to treatment before they can really overcome the factors that are leading to their current addictive behaviours.
A Physiological Approach to Alcohol Addiction Treatment
With the classification of alcohol addiction as a disease, the approach is more physiological now in understanding the causes of addiction. Research has already shown the differences in brain function between people with alcohol problems to those without, with more discoveries expected to come as research continues.
Physicians are also expected to play a more significant role in alcohol treatment in the future, assisting in the prevention, recognition, and treatment of addiction in patients. Physicians also provide guidance in nutrition and wellness, fitness and health that is a part of a holistic treatment program.
A Holistic, Individualized Approach to Addressing Alcohol Addiction
Addiction Rehab Toronto uses a holistic and individualized approach to alcohol addiction, recognizing that no two individuals are exactly the same. We rely on a combination of treatment types to create custom treatment plans that address every component of the individual. Biological, social, psychological, spiritual, and cultural parts are all important to the effectiveness of any recovery.
While there is still research to be performed and new discoveries to be made regarding addiction, the approach to alcohol addiction treatment today has grown in leaps and bounds from the time when alcoholism was considered a social condition. The key to achieving a successful recovery is to get the holistic, individualized treatment plan that is right for you.
What Loved Ones can do for an Alcoholic
Watching someone you care about who is experiencing a drinking problem or alcoholism is never easy. Many people feel the urge to help someone who is struggling, but it can be a very daunting task. Not everyone who had an alcohol dependency realizes their problem, or perhaps they don’t want to get better.
When an individual isn’t looking for help, you certainly cannot force them to get better. The decision to change has to come from the addict themselves, and this is when your support can make all the difference.
Although many people stage interventions for their friends or family members to persuade them to enter alcohol addiction rehab, the choice is inevitably left to the individual. While the entire rehab process is primarily to benefit the addict, their loved ones also play an important part in how successful treatment is and whether relapse is likely.
Some rehab facilities include family therapy in their treatment options while others advise against it. Regardless of your beliefs or your place in the person’s life, there is no denying that your understanding of what to do and situations to avoid will help their transition after rehab to be a more successful one.
Educate Yourself on Alcoholism
Learn to recognize the signs and effects of the addiction. Addiction Rehab Toronto offers many online resources to help you educate yourself. Learn as much as you can about the causes of alcohol addiction and how it can affect a person’s life and their family. This will help you gain insight into what might have led your loved one to resort to alcohol and what could happen to your family if it won’t be addressed.
Be Willing to Listen & Spend Time
If the person feels like talking, make it easy for them. Always be willing to lend an ear and let them get their feelings out. Otherwise, they might look for comfort in alcohol again. Keep in mind that they are not looking for advice; just a friendly shoulder to lean on. So set aside your anger toward them and be as compassionate and patient as you can be.
Telling someone you want to help them break their drinking habit is easier said than done; if you truly want to help, it will take some action. If you can, offer some of your time to attend support meetings with them, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, offer some personal time with them, which will keep them busy and away from temptation. Maintain positivity as best you can, and remember all of the reasons why you wanted to help this specific person in the first place.
Don’t Judge an Alcoholic
Don’t be judgmental; don’t condemn them for their alcoholism. Keep in mind that it is a disease, not a choice. Once they have made the decision to go through alcohol rehab, their challenge is just getting started. The hardest part is still ahead and they don’t need to be burdened with the feeling of guilt and shame.
Some addicts begin to have feelings of guilt once they start to improve and are able to think rationally. Showing them your support throughout the process will help them regain self-confidence. Doing so will help them work toward a more successful and purposeful future without addiction.
Try Talking to Your Loved One
Once you have confirmed that there is a possible addiction, try speaking with your loved one about your concerns. Find a time where you can be alone with them in a private and calm environment. Somewhere that they can feel comfortable and relaxed.
Talk to the person about your concerns and offer your help and support. This includes reiterating your willingness to go with them and get help. You should offer your support in a non-shaming and non-blaming way. Do not lose your temper and ensure you stay calm. You should also try referencing specific incidents where the addiction has directly affected you.
Depending on which way the conversation goes, it will determine what your next steps will be. If your loved one is receptive to the conversation, then present some treatment solutions. Confirm with them that they are willing to receive help. If they are not receptive to the conversation, you can start planning an intervention.
Use Compassionate Words
Trying to help an alcoholic is not easy; some individuals are very sensitive about their situation, and your approach should take this into account. It is ideal if you avoid using language that sounds hurtful or judgmental, and try to listen as often as you can.
It helps when an individual can tell that your worries are genuine and that you truly want to help them get better. Showing them an authentic side of yourself will help them to take you seriously, and they may appreciate your help much more.
Be aware that many people with addiction feel guilt and shame for their habit, and they may not respond well at first. Avoid using threatening tones or preaching too much, and be ready to take your time with them.
Plan & Stage an Intervention for Addiction
If a family member with alcohol addiction neither seeks nor accepts help, an intervention for addiction might be necessary. It is imperative that this is done correctly. Otherwise, they may feel like they are being attacked which will lead them to become defensive.
Addiction Rehab Toronto offers expert intervention assistance if required. Advice and guidance from a trained professional from our team will be useful in determining the proper strategy, timing and execution for your particular intervention.
The goal of an alcohol and drug intervention is for the person to hear objective feedback on their behaviour, accept the reality of their addiction, and to agree to seek help. The intervention must be facilitated through a non-judgmental, non-critical and systematic intervention process, where the individual will gain insight into the impact of their lifestyle choices.
When they truly understand the strain that their addiction has on others, they will begin to see that they are hurting those around them and themselves. Some pointers to a successful intervention include:
- Hold the intervention in a quiet place where the person feels safe. You can do this at a family member’s house or the loved one’s home.
- DO NOT try and block the person in by locking doors or blocking their exit.
- Let your loved one with alcohol addiction leave at their will. If they want to leave, they are not ready to accept the reality of their addiction.
- The intervention will only work if the person is willing and ready to accept help. You cannot force them to listen or to get them to agree to enter a recovery program against their will.
Be Supportive and Encouraging
If your loved one agrees to accept help and is admitted to an inpatient treatment facility, stay involved in the process. Do not send your loved one off and make them feel like they have been abandoned. Let them know you are willing to be part of the recovery process in any way you can and maintain that affirmation.
At Addiction Rehab Toronto, we involve loved ones in the recovery process by allowing scheduled phone calls, scheduling visitations, facilitating family counselling and organizing family program sessions. Research has shown that if the person has the support of those closest to them during recovery, they are more likely to maintain recovery in the long-term.
Know Your Role & Let Go
What is important is to remind yourself that the person with alcohol addiction is responsible for their own recovery. The family can only do so much to help, and must know their role and when to detach themselves from the situation.
If the person has refused help or continues to use alcohol, ensure that they know your boundaries and the consequences that their behaviour will have on your relationship. You also own the responsibility of breaking the cycle of enabling. Stop protecting them from the consequences of their substance abuse.
You might need to cut off all contact and support. You must also end the possible codependence, where the family or loved one’s well-being is in jeopardy because the focus is always on the person with alcohol addiction. You cannot help someone if your own well-being is not in a healthy state.
Be Firm and Don’t Enable Bad Behaviour
Alcoholism can create unapproachable attitudes in the people we know best, and often they cannot be reasoned with. Even if you can’t cure an alcoholic, you can stop yourself from supporting their habit.
Try not to make excuses for your friend or family member, and don’t feel bad if you have to cut them off from your assistance if they’re taking advantage of you. You can try to disable their behaviour by refusing to drink with them, declining to pay for their bills and denying them rides when they’ve had too much.
Related article: How to Save Yourself from Alcohol Addiction
Why Some Alcoholics Don’t Seek Treatment
Alcohol addiction is a serious condition that doesn’t go away on its own. Seeing your loved one lose the relationships and everything else that matters in their life is painful and confusing. It is difficult to understand why the person just doesn’t get the help they need to turn their life around.
With the options for alcohol addiction treatment in Toronto, availability is not one of the primary reasons. However, there are five reasons for which most people addicted to alcohol never take the step to get treatment.
Cost of Treatment
The choices in treatment are those facilities that are government-funded and covered by insurance (OHIP) and those private treatment facilities which must be paid for by the patient or their family. Many people find it difficult to get into OHIP funded treatment programs due to the steps required, including being sober before being admitted or being placed on a waiting list.
Addiction Rehab Toronto offers proven alcohol addiction treatment in Toronto with payment options that allow patients to get the treatment they need when they are ready to take the next step towards recovery.
They’re Not Ready
In spite of being on a downward spiral, some alcoholics are not ready to stop using alcohol. Addiction to alcohol occurs because the person likes the way it makes them feel and they don’t want to give up that feeling. To them, alcohol addiction treatment is not an option they are prepared for yet.
Potential Negative Impact on Job
As long as the addicted person is still employed, going to work, and earning a paycheck, and paying their bills, they may worry that taking time off from their job will either hurt their reputation or their standing in that position. What they do not realize at this point is that things are almost guaranteed to get worse, and their addiction will put their job at a much greater risk than getting the treatment needed to prevent it.
Fear of Losing Relationships and Friendships
Getting treatment means admitting to addiction, something that some addicts are afraid of because it will harm their relationships with their loved ones and friends. Although alcoholism is known to be a disease that requires treatment like any other medical condition, the stigma associated with addiction is still a concern that prevents some people from getting treatment. Like the fear of having a negative impact on their job, relationships are more likely to be lost when treatment is not sought.
Not Knowing Where to Go
Many people simply have no idea what to look for in a treatment center. There are many types of treatment available today in a number of different settings. Some specialize in care for either men or women while others focus on a holistic approach that gets to the root cause of addiction. Addiction Rehab Toronto uses a holistic and individualized approach to treatment that encourages a long-lasting recovery.
Available Treatment Options for Alcohol Addiction
Many alcoholics say: “I can stop anytime I want.” From the perspective of someone on the outside looking in, this statement sounds like a by-product of denial. Indeed, people with addictions tend – for a period of time at least – to not recognize that they have addictions. They believe that their use of the substance is purely a choice that they have full control over. They believe that they could just stop drinking at will.
Many people with addictions do, in fact, try to stop multiple times. They act on their belief that quitting is as simple as making the choice to not use the substance. In a few rare cases, this even works. Most of the time, though, a combination of cravings and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms drives them to use the substance again.
People who get proper treatment for their addictions are far more likely to quit successfully and permanently. But many people balk at the idea of going into rehab. They worry about the disruption to their personal or professional lives, or they fear the stigma that is often associated with addiction and rehab. Some people resist because a part of them doesn’t really want to quit. They cannot imagine their lives without alcohol and the feelings they get when they drink.
3 Categories for Addiction Treatment
Addiction treatment is divided into three broad categories: outpatient treatment, inpatient treatment and the criminal justice system.
Obviously, nobody wants to go to prison, but the reality is that substance abuse frequently goes hand-in-hand with criminal behaviour, and addicts may find themselves behind bars.
As society gains a better understanding of addiction and the way in which certain substances make people behave, more correctional facilities are providing addiction treatment for inmates with substance abuse problems. The reasoning behind this is that if they get help for their addictions, they will no longer commit crimes, and they can be reintroduced to society.
For addicts who do not end up in the criminal justice system, outpatient addiction treatment programs are an option. These vary in terms of their intensity, with lighter programs that are mainly focused on education, and more intensive programs that involve therapy and treatment during the day and strict family supervision at night. These programs can be effective for some individuals, depending on their personalities and family situations, and the circumstances surrounding the addiction.
Benefits of Inpatient Addiction Treatment
The most effective remedy for addictions, though, is inpatient addiction treatment where the individual is removed from his or her regular life for a period of time, and placed in a safe, supportive environment. Inpatient addiction treatment is beneficial for several reasons:
- Individuals are medically supervised through their detox process
- Patients are able to focus on their recovery without worrying about the stresses and distractions of the outside world
- The possibility of the patients relapsing during treatment is removed
Everyone is different, and all addiction journeys are unique. While some addiction treatment methods have higher success rates than others, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Different things work for different people, and it is up to each individual – along with his or her family and doctor or therapist – to find an addiction treatment program that will have the highest chance of success.
Various Counselling Programs for Alcohol Addiction
When a loved one decides that it is time to get alcohol or drug addiction help, the methods of going about it can seem confusing or overly difficult. It may seem like there are hundreds of possible addiction recovery methods, and maybe a few have even been attempted without any success. It is important to know how some of the most successful recovery methods work, and if their principles will be something that will help the recovering alcoholic overcome their dependencies.
Individual counselling is one of the most trusted techniques when getting help for alcohol addiction. This happens when a single patient works with a trained therapist one on one to discuss their problems. Individual counselling can only be successful when there is an achieved level of trust and confidentiality between the client and therapist, and they work in tandem to defeat the issue.
Family or Group Counselling
Family or group counselling is a method which allows members of the patient’s inner circle to attend counselling services with them. This is to offer their own support and be supported in return.
In family scenarios, members of the patient’s family will attend regular counselling sessions along with the patient and therapist to help support their journey. This will also help strengthen the family during this difficult time, to make sure no one is suffering in silence.
In group sessions, a group of participants will meet with a therapist to discuss the problems they are facing as a family or group. Both types of group counselling sessions reinforce a sense of community and ensure the client does not feel alone in their struggles.
Recreational programs are a form of addiction recovery that essentially replaces the time and effort the patient would usually allocate for their addiction to participating in safer and more fulfilling activities instead.
This broad definition allows for recreational methods to be designed on a case by case basis. For example, the therapist may note that the patient enjoys certain sports, and encourage them to participate more in those sports as a way to develop good habits outside of their addiction.
Meetings with Social Workers
Meetings with social workers is another broad phrase that allows addiction recovery to be designed on a case by case basis. Depending on the case, some patients may prefer to have a social worker intervene on a regular basis to ensure that they’re following the treatment plan provided.
Some patients may use meetings with social workers as a way to monitor recovery after they’ve been part of a full-time recovery program, and want to ensure there is no risk of relapse. Meeting with a social worker for various reasons is a strong way to ensure recovery is successful, and patients can integrate themselves into society without falling into another addictive trap.
Addiction recovery will ultimately always be a difficult task, but it is well worth the work. Before anything else, an alcoholic must want to recover, or there will be no progress. These methods are some of the best ways to ensure that recovery is possible, and are recommended for many recovery processes. With all things related to addiction recovery, it is important to contact a professional when battling addictions and attempting to overcome them.
Alcohol Counselling: What Does it Offer?
Alcohol counselling is an extremely important and valuable step in treating any type of alcohol use disorder. Counsellors can provide those struggling with these disorders support and guidance during their journey to lead an alcohol-free life. Regardless of how long someone has struggled with their alcoholism, or how much they regularly drink, alcohol counselling can make a significant difference in the overall recovery process.
Modern alcohol rehab facilities use a comprehensive recovery plan for treating those struggling with alcohol disorders. This type of plan helps to treat the entire person, not just the addiction they are struggling with. These facilities offer both in- and outpatient treatment options, providing customized treatment programs for each person.
Services Offered by Alcohol Counselling
Each person who goes into alcohol counselling is going to have a unique experience because each person will have a different recovery journey. However, generally, individuals will meet with their professional counsellor to participate in alcohol counselling very often during the initial months of the recovery process.
Then, depending on a person’s individual successes, the meetings may begin to taper off. The good part about alcohol counselling is that the individual can schedule meetings with their counsellor in between regularly scheduled ones if they are having a hard time or having to fight away the urges to have a drink.
During alcohol counselling, the counsellor will help with the following:
- Providing those recovering with information and talk about the recovery process
- Help create a realistic and structured plan based on the person’s unique needs
- Find any underlying triggers or issues related to a person’s drinking habits
- Provide emotional support and encouragement through every step of the recovery process
- Provide regular assessments to figure out a person’s progress
- Provide techniques and tips to help ensure long-term sobriety and a successful recovery experience
Selecting an Alcohol Counselling Provider
Prior to starting alcohol counselling, it is imperative to find the right counsellor. Each person who is in recovery needs to find someone they are comfortable with. When they do this, they will find that opening up and talking about their problems and issues is much easier.
Take time when researching various alcohol counselling options. Once three are found that may be a fit, then talk with each one and ask questions to determine who is right for the individual.
The Success of Alcohol Counselling
The fact is that anyone struggling with alcohol disorders can benefit from alcohol counselling. Having someone to speak with is one of the best ways to ensure that recovery treatment is successful.
As mentioned before, it is important to find the right counsellor to ensure that the person receiving treatment is able to open up and talk about issues that may be difficult to face head-on. Alcohol counselling is a vital part of any alcoholic’s recovery process and something that can’t be overlooked.
Although people who become addicted to alcohol may have a lot in common, they are also likely to have taken very different paths that have led them to that point. There are also different factors that contribute to alcohol addiction, making it impossible to find a single method of treatment that will work for each one.
One of the best approaches in alcohol addiction treatment is to take a holistic and individualized approach that includes a variety of treatment types. Addiction Rehab Toronto has found great success with this approach to alcohol and drug addiction treatment.
Some of the types of treatments used to treat alcohol addiction include:
- Individual Counselling
- Group and Family Counselling
- Meetings with Social Workers
- Recreational Activities
- Relapse Prevention
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Life Skills
- Art and Music Therapy
- …and the list goes on!
The 12-Step Program
The 12-step program was first developed and used by Alcoholics Anonymous. Early on, this program was the core of alcohol addiction treatment. Over time, the program has been changed to meet the ongoing needs of people who are addicted to alcohol and other substances.
Although most rehab facilities use a variety of treatment types and some offer individualized treatment plans, the 12-step program continues to be an important part of most successful addiction treatment plans.
The twelve steps start with admitting powerlessness over addiction and admitting that the addict’s life has become unmanageable and continue with turning over their lives to God. The steps continue to include God in the individual’s plan by placing their recovery into his hands. The 12-step program is a very spiritual component of alcohol addiction treatment which some professionals say is a very important part of the spiritual aspect of a holistic approach.
Treating People, Not Addictions
The most important aspect of addiction treatment is understanding that it is the person that needs to be treated and not the addiction. The mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual components of the individual all make up the whole that is unique from every other. Providing the right combination of treatments based on a number of factors will result in the individualized treatment plan that will meet every need.
During the initial phases, the person is educated about the causes of alcohol addiction and the potential treatments used to treat it. During the recovery process, counselling is provided to help the individual understand what caused them to become addicted.
Throughout the program, they will learn the skills they need to take back control of their lives and build their self-confidence. In residential treatment programs, they may be given chores to perform to help them become more confident.
One of the most important things the alcohol addiction treatment facility can provide them with is relapse prevention toward, and sometimes after, the end of their rehab period.
During this vulnerable time when the person is no longer staying in a safe environment and is attempting to make the transition back to a normal life, they are at the greatest risk of relapsing into their previous behaviour. If they have learned the life skills needed and have the support they need, they are more likely to have a successful recovery for the long-term.
Recovering from Alcohol Addiction Successfully
For an alcoholic, perhaps the most difficult thing to do is to kick the habit. Even during recovery, the challenge of staying sober remains. Despite all these, people can and have recovered from alcohol addiction more often than you may have imagined.
The important thing for a successful alcohol addiction recovery is that the person is fully committed to quitting. It may not be easy but with the help, guidance, and support of loved ones and health care professionals, it will be possible eventually.
Government-Funded Programs for Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Wanting to help a family member with alcohol addiction is a good step toward a successful recovery of an alcoholic. If you’re looking for government-funded programs for your loved one with alcohol addiction, here are some of them.
National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program
It is a government funded rehab program for substance addicts. Over the years it has organized treatment programs for alcoholics in First Nations’ communities. It has a blend of mainstream and culturally considered treatment options which make it unique.
30-Days Alcohol Treatment Programs in Alberta
Saying that alcohol is a problem in the world is an understatement. It is, in fact, a global disaster. Alberta is one region that is massively affected by alcohol abuse disorder. This program is not necessarily an alcoholism treatment. However, the help issued here is what the alcoholics need. There are 30-day alcohol treatments programs all over Alberta.
Just like the names suggest, the 30-day alcohol treatment programs in Alberta ends after precisely 30 days. The treatments durations are extendable as long as the patient requests to stay a little longer in the program. A good number of these 30-day alcohol treatments in Alberta use a treatment program based on a 12-step treatment program. The success rates of these programs are low.
Drugs and Alcohol Assessment Programs In Canada
This evaluation process has existed for some time. It’s a process that has and still helps an alcoholic, together with their families find the best rehab and services that will help treat their addictions.
Here’s what happens: The person visits the counsellor who can access numerous alcohol treatment resources. These counsellors are familiar with addiction and the types or treatment procedures that are available.
While visiting the counsellor, the person with alcohol addiction problems answers a series of question which helps the counsellor gather enough information that will help he/she determine the best course of drug treatment. This process is not limited to the addict only as the family is free to join so that they know precisely the progress of their loved ones.
What is Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS)?
Alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) is the name given to the signs that occur as soon as a heavy drinker stops drinking or significantly reduces the consumption of alcohol. During AWS, the person experiences a mixture of physical and emotional symptoms. These range from anxiety, fatigue to feeling of vomiting (nausea). Sometimes these symptoms are severe to the extent that the victims can have seizure attacks and even hallucinations.
Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome
As early as six hours from the last time of drinking, the following symptoms can start showing. The person can experience any of the following symptoms.
- Increase in heart rate
- Profuse sweating
- high blood pressure
These symptoms may become worse within two to three days. Some milder symptoms can be persistent for weeks in certain individuals. These signs are noticeable in the morning when they wake up with reduced alcohol levels in their blood system.
Delirium tremens (DT) is the most adverse sign of withdrawal syndrome. The symptoms of delirium tremens include but not limited to:
- High levels of confusion
- Increased fever
- Seizure attacks
There are also cases of tactile hallucinations, like itchiness, burning, and or numbness that is not “real.” Sometimes, the recovering alcoholic can hear non-existent sounds. There are also cases of visual hallucinations or imaginary images. It is advisable that you call for help or rush your loved one to the emergency room when they begin to experience symptoms like increased fever, hallucinations, and irregular heartbeats.
What Causes Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome?
Too much of uncontrolled drinking excites the nervous system. The body becomes dependent on alcohol if a person drinks daily. When this happens, the central nervous system can no longer function efficiently without alcohol. A sudden stop or reduction in alcohol consumption leads to alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Treating Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
These alcohol withdrawal symptoms tend to shift fast and violently. The signs can rise from minor to adverse in a matter of hours. Rehabilitation centres have services to help the recovering alcoholics deal with these symptoms. They all depend on the history with alcohol usage, for instance, the frequency, and the amount of alcohol they consume.
Alcohol use disorder has adversely affected lives all over the world. What you should remember is that there’s always a chance of recovery for your loved one. If you are reading this guide you are in the right path toward helping your family member to get your life back.
The steps discussed above will prove helpful to you and your loved ones in the quest to defeat alcohol addiction. These approaches to treatment have been proven to work. If you are worried about your loved one’s drinking problems, seek assistance from an addiction specialist today.
Related article: How to Overcome Alcohol Addiction