Have you ever found yourself with an uncontrollable craving for alcohol? Are these cravings beginning to impact your day to day life, leading you to push off your responsibilities? Alcohol use disorder will begin to have an impact on your relationships, health, career, reputation, and overall quality of life. When one consumes alcohol, they tend to lose control over their actions and words. In the long run, alcohol consumption will have a negative impact on your health, causing health issues like high blood pressure, heart problems, liver disease, a stroke, and many other physical health issues. Alcohol consumption can lead to mental health issues, as well such as anger management problems and depression.
An alcohol use disorder is characterised by one not being able to control their alcohol consumption. There are three levels of an alcohol use disorder, ranging from mild, to moderate, to severe. Alcohol use disorder, whether mild or severe, can have damaging side effects that, if left unaddressed, can cause a person to fall into a downward spiral.
When someone is suffering from an alcohol use disorder, they will typically feel as though they cannot function in their every day life without alcohol. The daily drinking habits will lead to problems in the job, goals, relationships, reputation, health, and overall quality of life.
If you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from an alcohol use disorder, understanding the signs and symptoms to watch out for can be a first step to getting the help that you need.
If you are worried about a loved one, the signs and symptoms of alcohol use disorder may be hard to see. Other time, it may be extremely noticeable. Understanding the signs and symptoms will give you the awareness that you may be seeking to know when a loved one may need support and encouragement to seek help.
A few common signs and symptoms of an alcohol use disorder include:
The inability to control alcohol consumption.
Becoming consumed with cravings and wanting for alcohol.
Pushing off responsibilities in favour of consuming alcohol.
Feeling as though one needs alcohol.
Excessive spending on alcohol.
Acting like a different person once one drinks.
If you are struggling with controlling you cravings for alcohol and feel as though it is beginning to take a toll on your quality of life, our therapists are here to help you. Therapy can help you learn tools for coping with the cravings that come with an alcohol use disorder, helping you get back to living your life to the fullest.
The first, and one of the most important, steps to healing from an alcohol use disorder is seeking help. Depending on the severity of your disorder, there are many different types of treatment to help get you back on the right track. Healing from an alcohol use disorder requires a commitment that will carry on well passed your treatment. In treatment, you will learn techniques and practices to help you live a more fulfilled life without the need for alcohol. As mentioned, alcohol use disorder has many different options for treatment. Different treatment techniques are necessary for treatment of the disorder depending on the severity. The different treatment options for alcohol use disorder include:
This is the first phase to recovery from an alcohol use disorder. In this phase, your body will be completely flushed of alcohol. It is imperative that this is done under the supervision of a medical professional as certain withdrawal symptoms can become very dangerous if left untreated. After your body has come to rely on the alcohol, it will need time to recover from its dependency and to heal on its own. When the symptoms of withdrawal have begun to subside and your body has been flushed of the alcohol, you will be better able to heal through the use of rehab, therapy, counselling, and support.
Depending on the severity of your alcohol use disorder, your doctor may recommend that you participate in a rehabilitation program. There are two different types of rehabilitation programs available. The first type of rehabilitation program is inpatient rehab. This form of rehab is an intensive treatment option which you will be checked into for a certain period of time. During this time, you will be offered support, education, and medical help as necessary. The second form of rehab is an outpatient program. This program can be beneficial to those who seek help in the early stages of their alcohol use disorder and are experiencing a more mild case. In the outpatient program, you will simply be asked to attend meetings as you go on with your every day life.
When you are done with rehab and detoxification, you will still need support, education, and techniques to help you continue down the path to recovery. In therapy, you will learn your triggers, ways to cope with stress, negative thought patterns that may lead to cravings, and techniques for curbing your cravings as they present themselves. Your therapist may recommend you join support groups, offer you counselling, and point you toward further resources to help you with your path to recovery.
If you believe that you are suffering from an alcohol use disorder and it is beginning to take a toll on the quality of your life, know that you are not alone. Our therapists are compassionate, qualified and experienced in helping individuals who have suffered through alcoholism just like you.
Therapy can be a huge step to getting you on the right path to recovery, when you are ready you can book a free consultation today.
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