Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol Addiction: How To Effectively Diagnose and Treat Alcoholism

Every day millions struggle to overcome their addiction to alcohol. This often progressive medical condition is known as alcohol use disorder (AUD) and is indicated by an uncontrollable consumption of alcohol. This disorder can be disruptant to every facet of people’s lives, causing dysfunction in their families, challenges in their social lives, and both physical and emotional stress. The good news is, outpatient alcohol rehab options in Raleigh, NC are available and effective. No matter what stage of AUD individuals are fighting through, there is a powerful treatment plan available and ready to help them regain control.

Unsure if alcoholism is affecting you or your family member/friend? Continue reading for more information on how to identify this disorder through American Psychiatric Association (APA) determined signs and symptoms as well as what treatment option(s) you should take next. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism, the time for recovery is now! When you are ready to take the next step call 919-893-4465 for personable and immediate help.

What Is Alcoholism?

The term alcoholism refers to a medical condition characterized by the compulsive and unhealthy consumption of alcohol. Those with AUD are being negatively affected by their inhibiting need to drink, yet are unable to stop due to the strength of their addiction. Long-term brain damage amongst other cognitive changes can stem from AUD, causing a variety of mental repercussions. Thankfully, there are many outpatient alcohol rehab treatment options for alcoholism that facilitate recovery and symptom management in Raleigh, NC.

Risk Factors for Alcoholism

Environment, psychology, and genetics can all play a hand in the development of alcoholism. The risk of becoming addicted to alcohol partially correlates to the rate, frequency, and amount of alcohol consumption.

Mental health has also been linked to alcohol use disorder. Several mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, personality disorders, anxiety, and depression are believed to have a hand in causing or aggravating alcoholism.

The following are common risk factors for alcoholism:

  • Underage drinking.
  • Experiencing emotional or physical distress during childhood.
  • Your parents or other family members struggling with alcoholism.
  • Social influences.

Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism

As with all forms of addiction, some signs can be spotted and certain symptoms can be identified. The level of AUD is determined following a diagnosis from a licensed provider of mental health or medical expertise. Those with AUD fall within one of three categories, based on the progression of their addiction. The divisions are as follows: mild, moderate, and severe.

In accordance with APA criteria, here are several tell-tale indicators and symptoms of alcoholism:

  • Using most of your time pursuing, consuming, and recovering from alcohol.
  • An increased frequency and amount of alcohol consumed.
  • Craving alcohol.
  • Being unable to fulfill professional and/or home life due to alcohol dependence.
  • Using alcohol despite its negative effect on meaningful relationships.
  • Unsuccessful attempts to stop drinking.
  • Acquiring a high alcohol tolerance.
  • Being unable to stop even after encountering mental and/or physical disturbances brought on by excessive drinking.
  • Sacrificing or reducing the time spent on hobbies and other once enjoyable activities because of alcohol.
  • Driving or operating heavy machinery during or after the consumption of alcohol.
  • Going through withdrawals when attempting to stop or slow the consumption of alcohol (Symptoms of withdrawal include seeing things that are not real, seizures, increased heart rate, inability to rest, upset stomach, abnormal perspiration, an inability to rest, and excessive quivering.)

Your treatment plan may also include some type of talk therapy or psychotherapy. This can be done one-on-one, with family members, or in group settings depending on what is most appropriate for your situation. By talking about your symptoms and experiences, your provider is able to help you see patterns in your thoughts or actions that may contribute to your mental health condition. From there, you can work to reprogram these negative things into positive ones, further supporting your recovery.

What Is High-Functioning Alcoholism?

The symptoms and signs of alcoholism are reliable guidelines, however, it is not always clear who is struggling with alcoholism. Many alcohol addicts are considered to be high-functioning. This means they can go about their daily lives while under the influence of alcohol. High-functioning alcoholism stems from an increased tolerance for alcohol and is not always apparent to family, friends, and coworkers.

The following are signs and symptoms of high-functioning alcoholism:

  • Comparing oneself to others who are not high-functioning alcohol addicts to validate your drinking habits.
  • Justifying drinks in a social setting.
  • Hiding alcohol consumption.
  • Being concerned with when you can get your next alcoholic beverage.
  • Feeling the need to finish other people’s drinks.
  • Regretting how you acted when you were under the influence of alcohol
  • An abnormally high tolerance.
  • Drinking and driving.
  • Sneaking alcohol into events.
  • Frequently drinking by yourself.

How Does Outpatient Alcohol Rehab in Raleigh, NC Help?

Outpatient rehab is a treatment option that allows those struggling with alcoholism to get the treatment they need in an environment they feel comfortable and secure in. It is understandable to want to live at home during treatment, and if done correctly, this form of treatment will in no way compromise recovery. There are three different types of outpatient rehab, each fitting different needs, so alcohol addicts receive the best treatment for their situation.

Standardized outpatient treatment (OP) is a treatment plan best suited for mild alcoholism. Patients are allowed to remain at home and attend weekly meetings. This approach is less intensive than others.

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) involve more meetings than OPs. It is a solid starting point for those with moderate alcoholism. Most programs begin with fifteen hours worth of meetings a week (three hours for five days) and slowly lessen in frequency. Eventually, those in IOP may feel comfortable transitioning to OP.

For the most intensive approach, partial hospitalization programs (PHP) are the best route. This level of treatment consists of a patient spending around ten hours receiving care for the majority of the week. For those with severe alcoholism, who want to continue living at home, PHP is a great way to get thorough treatment while receiving a high level of support. Eventually, those in PHPs may be eligible to move to an IOP.

Outpatient Alcohol Rehab in Raleigh, NC

Treatment is closer to home than you think! Raleigh, NC houses qualified and reputable outpatient alcohol rehab centers. The facilities are sparkling clean and staffed with personable and empathetic professionals, who cannot wait to assist you in your incredible journey to recovery. With access to standardized outpatient treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, and partial hospitalization treatment, there is a program ideal for you or your loved one. Today is the day to work towards starting a new, revitalizing chapter! Make recovery your priority and the road will be more rewarding than you could have ever imagined. When it comes to living your life to the fullest, you have no time to waste. Take the next step in getting the help you deserve by calling 919-893-4465 today!

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