Alcohol is the single greatest cause of substance use disorder in the United States. It impacts millions of Americans and requires professional treatment to beat. Because alcohol is so readily available and there are social pressures encouraging its use, those who wish to stop drinking must be prepared to work hard to remain in recovery for life.

Recognizing You Need Help

Often, we are so caught up in our own rationalizations, excuses and feelings that it becomes very difficult to look at the big picture. It is not easy to recognize that you have an alcohol abuse disorder. So, if you’re wondering if you have an alcohol abuse or addiction issue, ask yourself these questions:

  • Have I told myself that I will cut down or quit drinking alcohol, but just never seem to want to do it or to get around to it?
  • Is my alcohol use getting in the way of my relationships with people who are important in my life? Do any of these people complain about my alcohol use?
  • Since I have been drinking alcohol, has my performance at work or at school gotten worse?
  • Do I drink alcohol when I am stressed out?
  • Have I ever consumed alcohol in situations where it could be dangerous, such as driving a car, drinking at work, drinking alcohol while watching small children or other similar situations?
  • Do I find myself thinking about using alcohol often, such as once or twice a day?
  • Does it take more of alcohol to give me the same effect I once got?
  • If a friend or family member mentions to me that I may have a problem with alcohol, do I become very defensive?
  • Do I find if I haven’t had alcohol for a while that I experience any of the following: mild nausea, nervousness, irritability, shakiness, headaches, depression or anxiety? Do I attempt to drink again to counteract these feelings?

If you honestly answered yes to two or more of these questions you may be struggling with addiction to alcohol.

What to Expect

When considering an alcohol treatment program, it’s only natural to wonder what the program will be like and how long it will last.

Sober living programs vary based on the level of structure, inclusion of activities, education, skill development and overall philosophy. Programs typically require a number of house meetings and fellowship groups at a minimum. More highly structured programs may include several daily groups, outdoor experiential outings and help to develop a comprehensive plan for long-term success. They may even help with transitioning back to a vocation or to school. Many sober living homes are becoming supportive of MAT, which includes various medications that help support recovery. Some other components which might be seen include meditation, hiking and family meetings.

For someone with mild alcohol use disorder, rehabilitation might be complete in as little as 30 days, allowing the user to then enter the life-long recovery process. For those with severe addiction to alcohol, it may take six to 12 months and can certainly include the support of a structured sober living program.

Seeking Help

If your alcohol addiction has forced you into unhealthy and dangerous situations, it’s time to be honest with yourself and seek out an assessment of your alcohol consumption to see if you need treatment. If you’re suffering from an alcohol use disorder, know that you are not alone – recovery and a better tomorrow are possible. The first step is admitting that your drinking is a problem and that you need help. Your alcohol addiction treatment may even be covered by your health care plan.

Take the first step towards recovery and contact us today.