Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Ocean Recovery is a rehabilitation centre based in Blackpool, in the North West of England. Our treatment approach to alcohol addiction is based on full abstinence. Each and every one of our clients receives a fully personalised addiction treatment plan when attending our residential rehabilitation centre. However our treatment methodology does abide by some guiding principles which are pervasive for all treatment plans we offer.
The vast majority of people drink alcohol occasionally and socially and don’t have an alcohol addiction. Most of us are mildly aware of alcoholism, and society is not too sympathetic to those who develop this disease. If your understanding of alcoholism is hazy at best, then make no mistake that alcohol is a highly addictive drug that kills millions of people each year around the world. In 2017, they were 7,697 deaths in the United Kingdom due to excessive alcohol consumption. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these people did not attend an alcohol rehab clinic or any other form of alcohol addiction treatment.
Alcohol is addictive from a physical and psychological point of view. According to NHS estimates, in the UK alone, around 3% of women and around 9% of men will develop alcoholism. For these people, drinking alcohol is not a choice because they will suffer from deadly withdrawal symptoms when alcohol consumption is abruptly stopped. Many of these people arrange their lives around their drinking. Simply put, without alcohol, people suffering from alcoholism are unable to function.
What is Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol addiction, alcoholism and alcohol dependency are sometimes used interchangeably when talking about alcohol use disorders, and the terms essentially bear the same meaning. Alcoholism or alcohol dependency is a chronic disease, those suffering from the illness will not be able to control how much alcohol they consume each day. This is because these people will experience a physical dependency on alcohol. This means physical withdrawal symptoms will occur when drinking alcohol is suddenly stopped.
Whilst alcohol addiction is a debilitating illness, many people with an alcohol dependency will nevertheless be able to function in everyday life. This is because alcohol dependency is a progressive illness. In fact, the majority of people who suffer from alcohol dependency will be able to go on with their everyday life until they hit rock bottom.
If you are unable to relax without drinking alcohol, then you could be experiencing the early stages of alcohol dependency. If you are unable to relax in front of the TV on a Saturday night without drinking alcohol, it is likely that you are experiencing a psychological dependency on alcohol.
A psychological dependency on alcohol always precedes a physical dependency on alcohol, so this should certainly be a cause for concern. You will know when a physical dependency on alcohol develops because you will begin to experience physical withdrawal symptoms when your blood alcohol-level begins to fall. These symptoms include nausea, sweating and experiencing tremors.
What’s The Difference Between Alcohol Dependence and Alcohol Abuse?
Whilst alcohol dependency is akin to alcoholism, alcohol abuse really means binge drinking. Alcohol abuse is not considered a disease, although you do put your health in serious danger when you engage in alcohol abuse. In fact, the vast majority of fatalities from drinking alcohol are linked to alcohol abuse. This is generally because alcohol abuse is much more prevalent than alcohol dependency. If you engage in alcohol abuse and if you do not take steps to address your drinking, then you could become physically addicted to alcohol.
Both alcohol abuse and alcohol dependency negatively impact your life in many different ways. These include a failure to fulfil professional, family, and other social responsibilities, and inflicting serious damage to your physical and mental health and wellbeing. You will also begin to neglect hobbies and important relationships with others.
Another sign of both alcohol abuse and alcohol dependency is that you will need more and more alcohol in order to experience the desired effect. This is because you build up a tolerance to alcohol. You will also become more and more pre-occupied with alcohol. This is when you spend a lot of time thinking about drinking alcohol and thinking about how you may obtain alcohol or when you can drink alcohol even in situations where it is not appropriate to do so.
If you suspect you or your loved one could be suffering from alcohol addiction, alcohol abuse or alcohol dependency, get in touch with our admissions team today.
What Are The Signs of an Alcohol Addiction/Alcohol Dependency?
You may be concerned that either you or a loved one could be experiencing alcohol dependency. If so, you will likely benefit from knowing the various signs and symptoms of alcoholism that could justify these concerns.
Here are the classic signs of alcohol dependency:
- You consistently worry about where your next drink is coming from. You actively arrange your life around your desire to drink alcohol.
- You experience powerful cravings to drink alcohol. Once you begin to drink alcohol, you find it almost impossible to stop.
- You feel the need to drink alcohol as soon as you wake up in the morning. You regularly act on these feelings so that you do end up drinking in the morning, even before you eat any food.
- You experience a range of physical withdrawal symptoms when you don’t drink alcohol. These symptoms stop when you drink your first alcoholic drink
If you recognise the above symptoms, you should contact Ocean Recovery Centre today to discuss alcohol addiction treatment options such as alcohol rehab on 01253 847 553.
What Are The Key Causes of Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol addiction is a complex disease of the mind. Modern science has failed to pin down one definitive cause, although many hypotheses are offered up.
Potential causes of alcohol dependence include:
- The genetic and cultural environment you were raised in.
- Experiencing traumatic events in childhood or adulthood.
- Dually diagnosed mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. People with these conditions are known to ‘self-medicate’ using alcohol.
- Having an ‘addictive personality’, although this is controversial.
How Does Alcohol Dependency Affect My Health?
Alcohol dependency is known to inflict damage upon your health in many different ways. Because alcohol is a toxin, it literally affects all tissues in your body that it comes into contact with. Specifically, alcohol dependency causes high blood pressure and liver failure. You also vastly increase the risks of suffering from a stroke when you develop alcohol dependency. Lastly, you also increase the risk of developing alcohol-related heart disease.
Alcohol dependency also inflicts damage on your mental health. If you suffer from alcohol addiction, you are much more likely to suffer from a range of mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. These ailments arise because alcohol affects neurotransmitters located in the brain which are essential for sound mental health.
Our Approach To Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Following initial alcohol detoxification our clients receive counselling and therapy sessions which aim to treat the psychological component of addiction. We employ a team of psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists who administer therapy and counselling sessions. Therapy ensures clients come to terms with the damage addiction inflicts on personal health as well as on professional and social life.
The majority of our therapies revolve around ‘talking therapies’. Typically this will involve our clients discussing and discovering the reasons which give rise to the addictive behaviour. Wider problems will be discussed and neutralised. Our clients are encouraged to make positive lifestyle changes essential for long term recovery and in avoiding triggers which give rise to addictive behaviours.
Alcohol Addiction Treatments We Offer
A list of treatment models we employ during a typical residential alcohol rehab programme include:
- Standard detoxification
- Rapid detoxification
- Group Therapy
- Individual Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Stress Management
- Relaxation Therapy
- Auricular acupuncture
Addiction Treatments Goals
Our alcohol addiction treatment models are designed to prevent clients from relapsing back into addiction upon leaving our centre. Unhealthy psychological states which allow addictions to thrive are cut off at their core and replaced with positive coping strategies which aid long-term recovery. Our therapy sessions are intense and conducted to ensure learning has taken place. Staff and clients often describe our therapy as ‘mental healing’ and therapy proper takes place once initial detoxification has successfully been tackled.
What Are Alcohol Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms?
If you are physically dependent on alcohol, you will experience a range of highly discomforting and even deadly alcohol withdrawal symptoms if you abruptly and suddenly stop drinking alcohol. These symptoms will onset within as little as two-to-three hours after the last drink was consumed.
Below, we list some of the more common symptoms of alcohol addiction withdrawal you will likely experience if you suffer from alcohol dependency:
- Tremors – particularly in the hands
- Depression and anxiety
If you experience the above symptoms when you stop drinking alcohol for any length of time, it’s likely to engage in ‘relief drinking’. This is when you drink merely to stop yourself from experiencing the above withdrawal symptoms.
Alcohol addiction treatment also extends beyond the duration of residential alcohol rehabilitation in the form of after-care and extended care. After-care and relapse prevention go some way to ensuring recovery is lasting. Patients receive a tailored relapse prevention plan and will be assigned to a relapse support team. This resource becomes particularly useful if clients relapses or come close to relapse upon leaving our centre. We also encourage our clients to work with local Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous groups once residential rehabilitation has concluded.
Our New Enhanced Aftercare interventions are designed to help you and your loved ones begin a new journey to long term recovery; improving your health, wellbeing and relationships. Our range of enhanced 1-1 sessions are designed to ensure that you can make your Recovery Dreams a reality and keep you on the right path to your new future. Find out more about our enhanced aftercare service.
Getting Help for Alcohol Dependency
If you suspect you or a loved one could be suffering from alcohol dependency, it is important to seek out professional help before it is too late to do so. If you experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms, it is likely you will require a medically assisted detox. This is a service we offer at Ocean Recovery Centre through our alcohol addiction treatment programme. To learn more about attending our residential rehab clinic, call us today on 01253 847 553.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment FAQs
If you or a loved one are suffering from a drinking problem, then looking at getting help through the use of alcohol addiction treatment programmes can be tough to accept. We are regularly asked many different questions about this, so we’ve answered some of the most common ones below, as we believe they will help you.
Q) I try to limit my alcohol intake to 14 units every week. I often feel drowsy the next morning and very thirsty. I understand that my alcohol intake is within NHS guidelines. How do I know if I am damaging my health?
NHS guidelines are just that, guidelines. If you are drinking every week then you are classed as a frequent or regular drinker. The health risks involved with increased consumption of alcohol on a regular basis are very well documented.
What is binge drinking? It’s when you drink a lot of alcohol over a short space of time – normally just a few hours. Binge drinkers are often more prone to find themselves the subject of accidents, often through behaviour that they would, when sober, consider as reckless. Information on the NHS website suggests that you should spread your alcohol use over several days. It is also advisable to have some days when you do not drink any alcohol at all to allow your body to recover.
Q) My wife and I are trying to start a family. Our friends tell us that it is still safe for her to drink alcohol if it is only a small amount. Is this true?
It is recommended by the NHS that women should not drink any alcohol at all while trying to conceive. It is also harmful to the baby for pregnant women to consume any alcohol during pregnancy especially in the early months. Men should also limit their alcohol consumption during this time.
When Alcohol Misuse Becomes Problematic
Q) I have drunk alcohol for many years and believe that I am still healthy. However, my family say I should reduce my alcohol intake. Are they right to worry?
Ongoing and persistent consumption of alcohol puts you at a very real and heightened risk of vulnerability to serious health conditions. You should speak to your GP about a health review. Conditions such as heart disease, liver disease, and liver cancer can remain undetected and can be caused by persistent alcohol misuse.
Q) I know I drink more than the recommended guidelines and I drink every day. My family keep complaining about my behaviour but I do not understand why they do this. Can you help?
Dependent drinking is when you someone is no longer in control of their alcohol drinking. Dependent drinkers are often the last people to acknowledge or recognise their problem. Perhaps a candid discussion with a third party might help you to decide whether you wish to continue with your current lifestyle or not.
Q) My alcohol consumption is spiralling out of control and I find it hard to limit myself to just two or three drinks a week. I am considering stopping completely is this safe?
If you are dependent upon alcohol and you decide to stop altogether or significantly cut back, you are likely to experience significant physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Hand tremors, depression, sweating, hallucinations, and anxiety are common. In more serious cases, sudden alcohol withdrawal can cause seizures. We would suggest that you speak to your GP before taking any course of action.
Q) I think my friend might be misusing alcohol. We always have a good time together when we go out for a drink at the weekend but she also drinks by herself through the week. How can I tell if she has a problem?
If you think your friend has a problem then it is likely she is regularly drinking more than the recommended daily limit. You might notice that, often, she can’t remember what happened when she has been drinking because of the amount she is drinking. Other early warning signs include her failure to do what is expected of her because of her excessive drinking. You might notice that she is missing appointments or turning up late for work because she has a hangover.
Q) My partner has struggled with alcohol misuse for many years and as I have always made excuses for him he now feels that his behaviour is acceptable. I do not feel able to continue in our relationship but I don’t want to desert him either. What can I do to help him?
It appears that you have developed coping strategies over a long period of time in order to deal with your partner’s problem. At this stage, it seems that you are still taking ownership of the problem.
One solution is to adopt an approach of tough love and give him an ultimatum. If he is not prepared to address his problem, then you cannot remain in a relationship with him. Only if he takes ownership of the problem will he feel motivated to seek help. He will still need your support in the future if you are willing to support him whilst he engages with appropriate services to help him safely reduce his alcohol intake.
Additional Alcohol Addiction FAQ’s
Yes we do. We advise our clients to become part of support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, as they are a great way of supporting your recovery.
If an alcohol addiction isn’t treated then it could end up progressing to the point of developing life-threatening illnesses. In addition to this, alcohol poisoning can occur when you drink too much over a short period. This can result in a coma or death – sometimes even without warning signs.
Currently, there is no “cure” as such for alcohol addiction. Fortunately we provide a number of different, effectively managed treatment options which have a high success rate.
Like all addictions, alcohol addiction will start with experimentation, then a change in drinking habits will lead to stages of abuse, problem drinking and dependancy before actually becoming an addiction.
Due to the side effects that can be experienced during the detoxification phase of treatment, we are able to prescribe medication such as Benzodiazepines which can help prevent the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms such as Seizures.
Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the individual. Some individuals experience main symptoms that come from withdrawal while others may not experience many effects from the process. The severity of the symptoms is not consistent with every individual as it varies from person to person.
It’s recommended by the government that your weekly alcohol intake should be no more than 14 units, this is equivalent to:
- 6 glasses of wine
- 6 glasses of beer
- 14 25ml measures of spirits
If you find that you’re constantly drinking more than the recommended intake then it is likely that you have developed an addiction and require urgent treatment.