Monthly Archives: February 2017

ALCOHOL WITHDRAWAL ADDICTION

Anyone entering a rehab for a problem with alcohol, commonly referred to as alcoholism or alcohol addiction would be well advised to be aware of the potential effects of alcohol withdrawal, sometimes referred to as a detox, historically referred to as the DT’s.

The effects of withdrawal from alcohol addiction or alcoholism can be severe in some people, and it is a good idea to make sure that anyone entering a rehab is clinically assessed,  by experienced clinical staff to  monitor the effects of withdrawal from alcohol.

One important aspect of alcoholism that is often not fully understood is that it is regarded commonly as what is termed a progressive illness.

There are sometimes a debate about whether alcoholism is a disease or an illness or a combination of nature or nurture, and people will have differing views on this question.

Too many  people who have got sober using Alcoholics Anonymous, they are very aware that her own alcoholism is a progressive illness, and for many it is the progressive element that is really important.

ALCOHOL WITHDRAWAL ADDICTION

The progression of alcoholism in many people is not simply a issue of tolerance for alcohol, it is a description of both how their drinking has progressed over a period of time, how that emotional state has changed during that time, and how alcohol has become at the end of the drinking the only thing of real value, the only thing that needs to be protected and kept safe.

One of the reasons this is so important, is in terms of understanding the nature of alcoholism, and in truth the only people who probably really do understand it either active alcoholics themselves, or people who have got sober and would consider themselves to be alcoholics in recovery.

The nature of alcoholism as an illness can be quite varied and widespread, the progression of it is an element that people who are alcoholics will at some level be able to identify with, either in terms of the  tolerance or lack of tolerance of their drinking, or a more general felt sense of their inner and outer world closing in on them, and alcohol remaining the only thing that is holding them together.

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12 STEPS TREATMENT

The 12 steps treatment program of Alcoholics Anonymous has become widely regarded as a yardstick for recovery from alcoholism, whether it be practised within the organisation of Alcoholics Anonymous, or in a rehab or treatment center.

The phrase 12 steps has become widely used, and often misinterpreted in terms of what they really mean.

This is important, because many rehabs and treatment centres often promote themselves as being 12-step based, which can mean a variety of different things.

Equally there are a number of rehabs and treatment centers that specifically promote themselves as being non-12-step based, and this has implications in terms of what they do offer as addiction treatment programs, and to what extent they are clinically-based or proven.

The original 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous can be found in its entirety in the book of the same name, and is widely available anyone to buy, borrow from their local library, or read online for free.

It should always be remembered that the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous should be taken in context of its writing.

This means that it was written along with a number of descriptive chapters as a record of experience, of what the early members of Alcoholics Anonymous found worked for them.

12 STEPS TREATMENT

People are a perfect liberty to use any or all of  the 12 step program in anyway that they find helpful or not.

A number of treatment centers and rehabs use a variation of the  12 step program, but do tend to promote it as if they were offering the benefits of the program as practised within Alcoholics Anonymous.

This can be slightly misleading, and can also be  seen as taking advantage of people who are quite  vulnerable and do not fully appreciate the difference between the two approaches.

In addition, a number of  rehabs and treatment centers will be very supportive of 12 step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous and will actively encourage or insist there resident clients attend meetings of these organisations.

In this way a number of rehabs will align themselves with a 12 step recovery program.

 

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ALCOHOLIC TREATMENT

The nature of alcoholic treatment can be detailed in certain ways, but should always be fully understood that there are a number of variables that determine whether any form of addiction treatment programs will actually work or not.

Probably the most proven method of treatment for an alcoholic is effected through the  organisation Alcoholics Anonymous,  and its 12-step program of recovery.

There has also grown a huge industry of treatment centres and rehabs which offer a wide range of varying treatment programs for an alcoholic, normally residential, and normally for a period of around 28/30 days.

One of the main issues concerning any type of treatment for an alcoholic relates to what is commonly referred to as the self delusion of the alcoholic themselves.

This normally refers to the nature of an alcoholic themselves, in terms of emotional and mental character, and  the nature of how they relate to alcohol itself.

There are a number of different interpretations of what being an alcoholic means, and how alcoholism itself manifests within different people.

They are also a number of common features of alcoholism and alcoholics, which allow people to relate to each other at a particular level, and can help in terms of enabling people who are alcoholics to get a measure of stability and stay sober.

An alcoholic treatment program, whether it be in a rehab or treatment center, will need to address a number of highly sensitive areas, one of which will be the relationship between the alcoholic and alcohol itself.

ALCOHOLIC TREATMENT

It is probably fair to say, that at some point in their drinking, an alcoholic will come to see alcohol as being the solution to their problems, rather than the problem itself. This may happen at the beginning of their drinking, or maybe an element of the progressive nature of their drinking, Becoming the only type of reality they are able to understand towards the end.

This sense that alcohol becomes the only thing that is holding them together is perhaps unique to alcoholics, and is one of the hardest things for anyone outside of that circle to either understand or be able to deal with.

What is important, is that there is a safe environment created that allows an alcoholic to begin the process of feeling safe enough to dismantle the various emotional coping mechanisms that they have erected in order to keep themselves safe. This can include a variety of emotional survival  skills as well as the main coping mechanism, alcohol itself.

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RECOVERY ALCOHOLISM

Recovery from alcoholism can in some ways be as difficult to understand at the nature of alcoholism itself when someone is drinking as a full-blown alcoholic.

This in part is because recovery from alcoholism for most people is not simply about stopping drinking.

Stopping drinking is an essential and crucial part of the process, but for many people who  intend to stay sober long-term, there is a real need to address and deal with a variety of underlying emotional and mental drives that have fuelled by drinking in the first place.

Many people will often talk about the issue of willpower in connection to either their drinking, that ability to stop drinking, and their ability to get sober or stay sober, or as a reference to an individual’s self will and the ability to seemingly force their life to happen.

Much of this can really refer to a distorted understanding of willpower, self well and alcoholism itself.

RECOVERY ALCOHOLISM

For anyone who is an active alcoholic, the issue of willpower often does not simply arise.

The reason for this, is that there are many alcoholics who simply do not wish to stop drinking, and never do or never try to.

This is not because they are oblivious to the reality of what their drinking is doing to them, but because the nature of that alcoholism in someway turns them in would, and makes them believe that however bad the lifers either internally or externally, alcohol becomes the only thing that matters, and the only thing that is actually holding them together.

In  those cases, will power does not refer to an individual’s desire to stop drinking.Willpower is more likely to be seen in how an alcoholic will try their life board in order to allow them to keep drinking, and somehow seemingly hold themselves or their lives together, however precariously.

This sense of trying to force life to happen, regardless of the reality of how that life presents itself, is often a key characteristic of alcoholism. It is often referred to as self will, which is one expression of this type of enormous energy that somehow can manifest itself in a drive to create and living what in today’s jargon is referred to as a virtual reality.

 

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REHAB ADDICT TREATMENT

Anyone entering a rehab is likely to be referred to as an addict.

This is in one sense a bit of a label, in another sense anyone entering a rehab is looking for help or treatment with one or more  addictions, either to alcohol, drugs, gambling, food or a combination thereof.

Inevitably, a rehab  or treatment center will offer a wide range of treatment addiction programs, normally based upon the 12th program of Alcoholics Anonymous, as a way of helping the individual overcome any or all of these addictions.

This approach may work for some people, may be helpful to some people and  unhelpful for other people.

When treatment centers first came into being they were essentially hospitals and detox units for people who had a problem with alcohol, such people commonly referred to as alcoholics.

Truman centers then began to work with and help people who had other addictions such as narcotics and prescription drugs, and would refer to these people as being dual addicted.

Over time people were admitted to rehabs and treatment centers who were not only  alcoholics, but had other problems as well.

REHAB ADDICT TREATMENT

Treatment centers quickly realised that they could effectively treat anyone who had any addiction to anything, if they focused their efforts on the person, and treated their addictive substance or behaviour as ‘a drug of choice’.

Whether this approach was based on clinical evidence or not is unclear, but it did allow a  significant growth in the number and scope of treatment centers and rehabs.

The potential problem with this approach, and the categorisation of everyone as an addict,  is that it can be a slight distortion of an individual’s reality.

Dealing with the underlying emotional causes that can fuel someone’s alcoholism or addiction to drugs or other substances is inevitably going to be helpful, but it can also distort reality of what an individual’s problems with that substance or behaviour actually are.

There is a danger of fine tuning reality to fit a model that suits the finances and growth of the treatment center industry.

That is not to say that the majority of rehab’s and treatment centres do not approach that addiction treatment programs correctly, the majority of them do.

What is important is that any addiction treatment program at a rehab treatment center offers is based on solid clinical evidence and on solid therapeutic evidence such as the process of the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous.

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ALCOHOL ABUSE TREATMENT

Alcohol abuse is a term that is often used amongst many others, such as alcohol dependency, when people are in some senses either trying to avoid using the word alcoholism,  or when people are quite significantly opposed to the idea of alcoholism being a progressive illness.

In some ways, the terminology itself does not really matter.

People debate the nature of alcoholism, whether or not it is an illness, and whether or not a rehab or treatment center is the best option, whether people should or should not use Alcoholics Anonymous etc.

Whilst all of these are valid questions and debates in their own right, the reality is that someone has a drink problem it should be owned as such, either by the individual themselves if they are able, or by family members, or by an employer or friends.

If the fact that the person has a drink problem can be owned, that Lisa is a process set in motion whereby the nature of the problem is identified, whatever the terminology.

Once a problem has been to some extent owned, then at least a search some type of solution will move forward.

If the debate stays around terminology, be it alcoholism, alcohol abuse, binge drinking, Alcoholics Anonymous, then quite literally the person may never get the proper help and treatment that they need.

ALCOHOL ABUSE

There is a much greater sense that if people are open to the reality of their lives, then they can see over time clearly the nature of the problem and of the solution.

Alcohol abuse may relate to either active alcoholism, heavy drinking at a sustained level, periods of binge drinking or simply a long-term decline in an individual’s sense of motivation and purpose about the life.

Getting an individual to relate to the fact and understand the fact that they have a problem with alcohol is obviously the most difficult and pressing challenge.

If someone is an alcoholic or has a serious alcohol addiction and / or alcohol abuse there is a fair chance that at some point they have moved that locus of control from within themselves to alcohol.

At this point they are likely to see alcohol as being the solution to their problems, rather than the problem itself.

It is this viewpoint that is the most damaging to both themselves and their own lives, and is without doubt the most difficult barrier to get the  the person to lower and seek help.

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SUBSTANCE ABUSE DETOX

A substance abuse detox assessment is a crucial and necessary part of any addiction treatment program that is offered by a residential or day care type rehab or treatment center.

The facilities and personnel to oversee such an assessment should be a vital part of any research that is done prior to treatment being sought.

The terms of substance abuse is nowadays pretty much applied lightly to any type of addiction of a substance that could be termed mood altering, and normally applies to alcohol, drugs, prescription drugs, glue sniffing etc.

The need for a detox, a medical detox, for anyone who has had a serious problem with alcoholism or alcohol addiction and/or  narcotics or prescription drugs is something that needs to be assessed properly for each individual on a personal and holistic basis.

A medical detox for someone who has a drink or a drug problem is important because the withdrawal affects for both these sections can be serious and in some cases life-threatening.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE DETOX

Someone is entering a residential rehab or treatment center for treatment for substance abuse, then at point of entry the rehab should perform an assessment to see if a medical detox is needed.

The rehab or treatment center may have the clinical facilities and clinical staff available itself to oversee the assessment, and oversee the medical detox if needed.

Sometimes a rehab does not have such facilities or staff itself, but will use a local chemical facility such as a hospital to oversee and perform the detox on its behalf.

That is fine, but it is important when assessing what type of rehab treatment option is best suited for a particular client, that this area of a substance abuse detox is carefully considered and thought through.

Any individual entering a rehab center should be reassured that the chemical facilities that will be needed to help them through the early stages of recovery are in place, and that whatever discomfort there may be in terms of physical, mental or emotional pain will be managed in a safe and secure environment.

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BINGE DRINKING

Binge drinking is one of those phrases that is generally used to refer to people who go off on what is also sometimes called a drinking spree, that may in reality last days weeks or even months.

The meaning behind binge drinking is that whilst an individual may go off on one for a certain period of time, there will then follow another period of time, short or long, where they do not drink and stay sober.

The thought process and sometimes the intent behind this approach, drinking is to imply that because they have periods of time when they do not drink they do not actually have a problem.

This line of thought can be well-meaning, and can arise from people’s confusion about the fact that they can drink excessively for a period of time and then either stop or go for another period of time without drinking at all.

BINGE DRINKING

This type of drinking gives rise to the illusion of control, and is a myth in many ways concerning both the nature of alcoholism, and a sense of control or not that an individual may have concerning their ability to control their consumption of alcohol.

Anyone familiar with the organisation Alcoholics Anonymous will be aware that at meetings of AA there are numerous sayings is and viewpoints that AA members have and are often willing to share concerning their understanding of alcohol and alcoholism.

Some of these sayings can seem a bit trite, and some of them a bit suspect or dubious.

One of the better sayings however someone is likely to hear at an AA meeting  is something to the effect  that alcoholism is not about how much you drink, or when you drink, or what type of drink you have, but what alcohol does to you when you do drink.

However this sentiment may be put, it is pointing to a pretty fundamental truth that it is not about the structure of someone’s drinking in terms of amount or time, but it is about the effect of alcohol on an individual which should be the starting point for an assessment of whether or not they have a problem.

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SIGNS OF ALCOHOLISM TREATMENT

When people talk about signs of alcoholism, there is quite often a sense of a hidden agenda, which is sometimes unfair but which often pervades a fear that other people may have about someone else’s drinking or their behaviour associated with drinking.

Whilst many people still debate the nature of alcoholism, there is a widespread belief that an element of it is at least hereditary, witnessed by the fact that a significant number, if not a majority of members of Alcoholics Anonymous who are sober grew up in alcoholic homes.

Whilst none of this is literally provable, whilst Alcoholics Anonymous continues to grow, there are essentially second and third generation recovering alcoholics, a lot of whom give witness to this fact that there is a sense of generational alcoholism within their families.

It is partly this reason that leads people to be overly conscious and perhaps a bit sensitive to their own children’s drinking and behaviour, at different ages and different stages.

If someone has either recovered from a drink problem themselves, or is aware of alcoholism within their family, then there is a real sense that they are likely to look out for signs of alcoholism within their own family, and especially within their children.

There is often a line of thought that if you can spot the signs of alcoholism  early enough, then some type of treatment can be administered early enough and in the case of an adolescent or young person’s drinking perhaps prevent many years of active alcoholism.

Whilst this line of thinking is very understandable and in some sense reasonable, there are dangers to it.

SIGNS OF ALCOHOLISM TREATMENT

One particular danger is that of essentially shipping and adolescent or young person off to rehab, often against their will, because someone else believes they might have a drink problem.

Sadly many rehabs encourage this type of intervention, and will use the parents fear as a way of engineering a perceived need for some type of alcoholism treatment.

Any type of intervention of this nature, at any age, can quite literally do more harm than good.

In many ways,  if a parent is in recovery from alcoholism themselves, or there is this issue of generational altruism, then the family would be much better encouraged to attend meetings of Al-Anon and Al-Ateen, where the individuals will be exposed to the reality of our close as it has affected them.

In addition they are likely to attend open meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, and overall come much more educated about the nature of alcoholism, both within their family and potentially within themselves.

This is probably the best type of preventative treatment – education.

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EARLY REFERRAL and OPIOD ADDICTION

‘When Gov. Dannel P. Malloy last year signed into law a comprehensive bill targeting opioid addiction, many touted it as one of the toughest in the nation, often pointing to the seven-day cap on opioid prescriptions and new prescription monitoring requirements as reasons why.

But a lesser known aspect of the law is one that fosters a new relationship between primary care providers and licensed alcohol and drug counselors, or LADCs.

In essence, the law encourages primary care providers to keep an eye out for signs their patients may be becoming dependent on opioids.

An example, according to Connecticut Association for Addiction Professionals President Susan Campion, is a patient who, not long after coming in with one injury, quickly returns with another.

If the provider suspects an addiction is developing, he or she can refer the patient to an LADC, who will follow steps outlined in Section 6 of the law by gleaning information about the person’s family and personal history of addiction and determining how likely he or she is to abuse drugs prescribed for pain.’

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