Alcohol

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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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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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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ALCOHOLISM and ADDICTION

Alcoholism and addiction often lumped together as being the same thing, with alcoholism simply being an addiction to alcohol.

Anyone trying to understand the nature of alcoholism for several reason, will quickly understand that whilst an addiction to alcohol is certainly part of the nature of alcoholism, the term itself encompasses an illness that is much more than simply a physical addiction craving for alcohol.

There is much medical debate, still, about alcohol, alcoholism, alcohol dependency etc. What is much more pronounced in terms of recovery is that  there is a lots of help available, either through cost at programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, through residential treatment centers and rehabs and a number of outreach alcohol and drug recovery teams in local communities.

The idea of alcoholism being an illness was first put forward in the book Alcoholics Anonymous, and has become widely accepted in the recovery movement as being true.

What is less widely accepted is what the nature of that illness is.

As with a lot of illnesses, if you want to have a real picture of what alcoholism is, then the best place to go is to an individual who suffers from it.

In this context talking to someone who is an alcoholic in recovery is likely to give an insight into some of the traits and behaviours and thought processes that lie beneath a very obvious drink problem of which the alcoholic is very often in active denial of.

ALCOHOLISM and ADDICTION

Going to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous would allow someone to hear a wide variety of different experiences of alcoholism, all of which would have points that were very different from each other, and all of which would have points that were in some ways markedly similar.

The thing that perhaps is most important to realise is that for the majority of alcoholics, at some point in their drinking they see alcohol has been the solution to their problems, rather than the problem itself.

The majority of alcoholics will deepen  this belief and lead a life that effectively protects alcohol as they increasingly believe it is the only thing that is holding them together both spiritually, mentally and physically.

 

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ALCOHOLISM COUNSELLING

Many people are familiar with the term counselling, and also with the term alcoholic  or alcoholism, but there can still be some confusion about both terms, especially when they are linked together.

The definition of alcoholism, or trying to decide if someone is an alcoholic or not is in many ways often an irrelevant issue.

if someone has a drink problem and needs help, then focus on that and not  arbitrary definitions of what an alcoholic is or isn’t.

The terms counselling and therapy often interchangeable, and there are quite literally  a wide variety of different types of therapy and counselling available.

Anyone entering into therapy or counselling of a general nature for any reason, is likely at some point to alert the counsellor that they have a drink problem.

Any reputable therapist or counsellor will have had some part of their training directed towards what is normally referred to as substance abuse, and they should be able to detect that alcohol is an underlying problem, or is the main issue behind the person’s problems even if the individual themselves cannot see it.

ALCOHOLISM COUNSELLING

A good therapist or counsellor will focus on this and try and direct the individual to obtaining help for their alcohol problem, either by going to Alcoholics Anonymous, entering some type of residential rehab or treatment center or some other method.

In addition, many therapists and counsellors will effectively advertise themselves as alcohol recovery councillors, and they may well be what name as recovering alcoholics themselves.

This means that they are individuals who once drank  alcoholically, have got sober and stayed sober, and direct their counselling or therapy schools towards people specifically who have drink and or drug dependencies.

The other context in which alcoholism counselling can come up is in the area of  residential treatment centers and rehabs.

The majority of treatment centers and rehabs  will employ a number of clinical staff as well as a number of modern clinical staff in various capacities. The clinical staff should include a number of trained therapists and counsellors, as a large part of the treatment centers addiction treatment program will focus on a combination of group therapy and individual counselling on a one-to-one basis.

 

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ALCOHOLISM OUTPATIENT RECOVERY

The nature of alcoholism can sometimes be debated in a theoretical sense, the most common debate being between nature and nurture.

There is a place for this debate, but for the majority of people are causing is best understood either by those who have it, those who are in recovery from it and those who are otherwise widely affected by it i.e. family, friends, employers and society generally.

The belief that alcoholism is an illness is relatively recent in medical terms, and is generally accepted although there is some dissent in certain countries.

Whilst this is important, what is more important is to get people who have a drink problem that is destroying their lives and the lives of those around them any type of help that will work, will help to get them sober and more importantly keep them sober.

Most people assume that if someone has a drink problem the starting place for their recovery is a treatment center or a rehab, where they will go for a residential stay normally of up to 28 days, and then when they come out 10 meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, and stay sober that way.

This is certainly one route, and certainly a common one for many people.

ALCOHOLISM OUTPATIENT RECOVERY

What is also true is that there are many many more millions of people who go directly to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and never go near a rehab treatment center, either residential or outpatient.

This is not to knock treatment centers or rehabs, simply to make the case that there are many ways people can use help that is available in order to get sober.

People can certainly go to a rehab or a treatment center, people can do to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous or other 12 step fellowships or a variety of what are commonly referred to as secular organisations which tends to use it on end as life skills to help people get sober as a posed to a 12 step program.

There are many residential treatment centres and rehabs which also offer outpatient help, either as an extension to a resident’s addiction treatment program once they have left that we have, or simply as a form of outreach work to the local community.

There are many people who use different types of recovery who are able to carry on working at the same time, who simply would not be able to either take the time or do not have the money to go into a residential rehab.

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ALCOHOL POISONING

Alcohol poisoning is not often talked about in the context of rehab or treatment for alcoholism and drug abuse, but is a hugely important part of the recovery process.

The issue behind alcohol poisoning is twofold.

Firstly is the reality of where someone who has been drinking alcohol for a long time has got to, in terms of the damage they have already done to their body and mind, and the need to recover from it.

Secondly is the potential damage that alcohol can do to an individual, whether they are a heavy drinker or an alcoholic.

The key to helping people understand about alcohol poisoning is education.

This is not to say that simply educating people  will free them from alcoholism or heavy drinking, but it will help to create an environment where people can understand much more readily the issues behind why people drink, and what help there is available for them and their loved ones.

ALCOHOL POISONING

Anyone who has had dealings with an alcoholic or heavy drinker will be well aware of how difficult it can be and usually is to get them to see that they have a problem.

In the understanding of alcoholism, it is generally understood by people who are themselves recovering alcoholics and people who work in the field of alcoholism, that the extent of denial that most  alcoholics have of the problem is essentially a defence mechanism.

It may be a bit odd to call it a defence mechanism, but for most alcoholics call at some point becomes the solution to their problems, rather than the problem itself.

This may be in stark contrast to the reality of the life of an alcoholic, which may well be in total chaos, both internally and externally.

It requires a level of experience of alcoholism to fully understand this, but it is also widely accepted that the mind of the alcoholic is often as abnormal in this record as is the body of an alcoholic in terms of how they react to alcohol.

Alcohol poisoning can be a real and substantive threat to individual who drinks too much, be they an alcoholic or not.

It is hugely important that people educate themselves and others, both formally and informally as to the dangers of alcohol and alcoholism, and hopefully this will begin the process of making a significant contribution to the problem.

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ALCOHOL DETOX

An alcohol detox is perhaps one of the most important elements of recovery from alcoholism, that is generally either not given the amount of attention it should be, or is otherwise completely ignored.

There is a bit of a myth among some people that simply stopping drinking does not present any dangers of itself, and can simply be a bit uncomfortable in terms of withdrawal symptoms.

For some people this is obviously true, however the risk is that coming off alcohol for someone who has a serious problem with it is an unknown quantity.

Anyone entering a rehab or treatment center for treatment connected with an alcohol or drug problem needs to be properly assessed by medically qualified personnel to see what the risks are concerning withdrawals, and whether or not appropriate medical detox under medical supervision may be needed.

The risks of  withdrawal symptoms from alcoholism can be severe, and in some cases life-threatening.

At that very definite possibility that someone who is an alcoholic has been drinking heavily for many years, has quite possibly been using various types of narcotics as well, is probably generally fairly unfit, and that diet if any will be fairly spartan.

ALCOHOL DETOX

The overall health of an individual who enters rehab needs to be seriously looked at, both physical and mental.

Assessing an individual regarding an alcohol detox is a crucial element of their recovery.

A rehab or treatment center should have  medically qualified personnel available who are able to oversee such a process, both in terms of the assessment and the actual detox itself.

If a rehab or treatment center does not have such qualified personnel, then they should have arrangements with a local clinical facility such as a hospital who can undertake both the assessment and detox themselves necessary.

People sometimes refer to a home detox in terms of withdraw from alcohol and drug use. This can be a highly dangerous process and is usually ill-advised.

Anyone entering a rehab treatment center should be aware that the process of recovery begins with an alcohol detox assessment, and is generally followed by a certain period of time, normally a total of a month or so, where a variety of therapeutic counselling techniques will be employed to help the individual begin the process of understanding their alcoholism and / or drug addiction.

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ALCOHOL TREATMENT

Alcohol treatment will be a process designed for anyone who recognises or comes to recognise that they have a problem with alcohol, and are often referred to as alcoholics or people who have alcohol addiction problems.

The nature of alcoholism and alcohol addiction can sometimes be endlessly debated, but in reality the basis for acknowledging there is a problem and what treatment options may be available should be based on the experience and behaviour of the individual, not any academic interpretation of what alcoholism or alcohol addiction may be.

The notion of alcoholism as an illness, now widely accepted in medical circles, was born out of the experience of many doctors and early members of Alcoholics Anonymous, who recognised the abnormal craving and compulsion of people drinking, drinking which was essentially out of their mental control.

In the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous,  the point is made that alcohol will have a different effect on someone who is an alcoholic, to someone who is not an alcoholic.

The comparison to an individual having an allergy is used, a comparison that some people find helpful and others find slightly confusing.

ALCOHOL TREATMENT

The important thing to realise is that at some level and for some reason an alcoholic drink differently to someone who is not an alcoholic, even a heavy drinker who may externally show some of the same characteristics and behaviour is that of an alcoholic.

Alcohol can be a part of many people’s lives, and may even be a problem in some people’s lives at certain points of their life.

Trying to define an alcoholic, or someone who has an alcohol addiction can be a very difficult and time-consuming process.

There are many people especially in the youth who might exhibit problems associated with alcohol, but who will in effect grow out of them.

There are other people of exactly the same age who may drink the same and exhibit similar behaviours and experiences who are in reality alcoholics but have not yet come to realise it.

Alcohol treatment can come in many forms, ranging from residential rehab addiction programs, through to  12 step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, through to medical detox, through to an individual simply abstaining.

 

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ALCOHOL RECOVERY

It is sometimes surprising to people that the word alcohol only appears once in the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, given that this program is regarded as the main recovery tool in the field of alcoholism and addiction work.

It is something of a paradox, that it is a realisation of powerlessness and alcohol triggers a willingness to move in a different direction internally, and create a world that is based on a reality of real-life, rather than a fantasy world that an active alcoholic can live and feel safe in.

Any reading of the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous will give people an understanding of the process, even if the enormity of what it means in reality can only really be understood by someone having an experience of the order that working through the 12 steps tends to produce.

An admission of being powerless over alcohol should not be taken as an admission that is not true.

ALCOHOL RECOVERY

The wording of step one in the 12 step program is designed to be read as a statement of experience, not as a belief system or as a guide, or as advice to other people as to what they should or should not do.

The early members of Alcoholics Anonymous were very clear that they felt they had a solution that works for them, and they were very happy to share that solution we are the people who felt that they had a similar problem.

The early members of AA also very clear that they would not force and did not want to force this solution on anyone either did not want it, or who felt they could solve their alcohol problem in their own way, or  who could drink, even quite heavily, and yet somehow manage it themselves or keep it under control themselves.

It is probably inevitable that people have lost sight of this principle that th this 12-step program is a statement of  experience, and should be regarded as a source of freedom, rather than a source of  either trapping people or forcing people into believing things that are not true.

 

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