Alcoholics Anonymous Fellowship
Traditionally, a rehab program or treatment center would help treat people through two specific routes.The first would be a medical detox if needed, followed by a fairly intensive therapeutic process based around the first five steps of the twelve step program of Alcoholics Anonymous.
This would mainly be done in a mix of group discussion, group therapy and personal one to one therapy, with some life skills work done as well, under the supervision of qualified clinical staff.This has evolved into an environment where rehabs can offer a bewildering display of what they refer to as rehab programs.A selection of these programs is listed below !
This can be extremely confusing to people researching a rehab, both in terms of what the program is, and how effective it is.Part of the way through this is to have a general undertsnading of how rehabs work, visit the website of any rehab that interests you and see what programs they offer by way of treatment.These programs are sometimes referred to as therapeutic modalities.
If it is not clear what a particular program means, ring or email them and ask them. Also ask them whether the program is evidenced based, in terms of its effectiveness. This really means, is it based on current or ongoing clinical research.
Bear in mind also that the rehab industry is highly competitive and very lucrative, and some rehabs will offer exotic sounding therapies in order to attract business, ie you!Whilst these therapies might be fun, it is often questionable how effective they are in helping deal with alcoholism and drug addiction.
After Care Programs
Behaviour Modification Therapy
Body Image Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Creative Art Therapies
DBT – The Stages of Change
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Drug Primary Treatment
Educational & Experiential Group
Emotional Freedom Technique
Equine Assisted Therapy
Group & Individual Therapy
Herbal / Homeopathic / Naturopathic medicine
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Individual Consultations with Registered Dietitian
Intensive Continuing Care Planning
Life & Career Skills Planning
Meal Planning & Preparation
Mindsight and Interpersonal Neurobiology
Neuro Feedback (Bio Feedback)
Physical Fitness Therapy
Relapse Prevention Therapy
Relationship Building Activities
Somatic Experiencing (Trauma)
Spirituality & Yoga Therapy
Systemic or Strategic Addiction Family Therapy
Therapeutic Restaurant Outings
Thought Field Therapy
Vivitrol Treatment for Opiate Addiction
Wilderness survival programs
12 Step Groups
Long Stay Programs
Early Recovery Skills
Relapse Prevention Skills
Social Support in Recovery
Emotional Sobriety is the title of an article written in the journal of Alcoholics Anonymous, known as the AA Grapevine, by one of its co-founders Bill W.
In the article, he writes at length about the need to address many of the underlying emotional drives that fuelled his alcoholism, and implied that this was in effect a stage that follows the initial phase of getting sober and staying sober.
Many people have interpreted this as meaning different things. Emotional sobriety is often used as a form of judgement as to how ‘well’ people are in sobriety, irrespective of how long they have been sober.
Other people will often compare what they call physical sobriety with emotional sobriety, implying that once physically sober the level with which people are able to adapt and integrate their lives into sobriety indicates a degree of wellness.
It is really important, to understand the thinking behind the term emotional sobriety, irrespective of how long anyone has been sober or not.
Firstly sobriety is about being sober, pure and simple. There are no degrees of it, there is no judgement about it in terms of wellness or not, or how well people cope with it or do not manage to.
Emotional sobriety should be thought of much more in terms of the underlying emotional drives that play a part in most people’s alcoholism.
Anyone getting sober, whether in a rehab or through a 12 step program or some other way, will soon begin to realise that once sober the real issue becomes how do people stay sober, whilst living with the emotional turmoil that most people feel is inside them.
The process of people understanding and making sense of their alcoholism is a really important one.
What is equally important is that they have the freedom to discover for themselves what this understanding and connection is between alcohol and their emotional states.
Most people would recognise that their alcoholism is a mix of an instinctive or instinctual need to drink, and the sense of relief or freedom that alcohol gives them once they have taken a drink or several.
Often this connection between the effect of alcohol and what it is affecting you within is only clear at a felt level. Once sober, it becomes clearer that the emotional states such as anger, fear, loneliness etc that are a common part of alcoholism play a major role as a trigger for the compulsion or obsession to drink.
Emotional Sobriety and AA
However people come to understand their emotional states, it is normally clear from early on either in rehab or in meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous that the main type of therapeutic/spiritual work that needs to be done, is on helping the individual stabilise their inner world, and as such prevent the reflex action of picking up a drink or feeling the need to have a drink.
This work on one’s inner world, on helping to stabilise one’s emotions and begin the process of feeling relatively at peace with oneself at some level begins the moment an individual gets sober, either in a rehab or in meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. This is the real focus of emotional sobriety, the understanding and need to be at peace with yourself.
Many people will have heard of AA, and will associate it with people being able to stop drinking. Some of the most common questions people have about AA include :
– How do you define an alcoholic ?
– Is AA religious ?
– What are the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous ?
– What is a higher power in AA ?
– What are the principles of AA ?
Alcoholics Anonymous is an organisation that is generally well known, and a significant number of people will understand that its main focus is to help people stop drinking. That aside, many will not have any real idea what constitutes an alcoholic, or what the organisation Alcoholics Anonymous really does or how it developed.
The history and origins of Alcoholics Anonymous are well documented, not least by the organisation itself, as well as by many outside independent researchers and historians.It is worth clarifying that Alcoholics Anonymous is and always has been a completely independent organisation, funded entirely by its membership, without any links to any medical or governmental body or organisation.
Its independence is a critical part of its survival and much valued by its membership.This independence is a crucial part of understanding the integral relationship between Alcoholics Anonymous and many rehabs and treatment centers that exist.
This is largely because the majority of rehabs and treatment centres that offer an addiction treatment program have such a program rooted in part of the 12 step program that Alcoholics Anonymous pioneered and offers as its main recovery process, and adapted by other organisations.
It is also worth clarifying that a significant number of rehabs and treatment centres offer a programme that is in effect quite different from the program offered by Alcoholics Anonymous, but with certain similarities.
The independence of Alcoholics Anonymous is also important in the context that many rehabs and treatment centres will actively encourage clients whilst in rehab to attend meetings of AA, both during treatment and once they have left in the context of after-care and support.
Many rehabs and treatment centers will host meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous on site, with the AA group paying a rental fee or giving a donation of similar kind in order to maintain and arm’s-length relationship.
If the rehab does not offer meetings on its own premises, then it is likely to have close links with local AA groups in the nearby vicinity or community.Many people entering a rehab will assume that Alcoholics Anonymous is in some way a part of the rehab, or a part of the recovery program or the addiction treatment program that the rehab offers.
It may well take a while for the individual to make a distinction that AA is not part of the rehab, and this is an important distinction to make for the long-term sobriety of that individual.Alcoholics Anonymous is an independent organisation, that has many years experience of recovery from alcoholism that is completely independent of any rehab or treatment center.
Many people get sober and stay sober simply by going to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, and normally after a while beginning to use the experience of the 12 step program in their own lives as a way of healing their inner emotional turmoil and emotional drives.
There are many different meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, and individuals have the freedom to try any specific meeting that they wish, until they find one that suits their needs. Again in the context of a rehab this is really important.
Rehabs and treatment centers have fairly strict rules and regulations regarding both admission to the rehab, and the type of behaviours and activities and dress code etc clients can conduct themselves in whilst in treatment.
Alcoholics Anonymous and Rehab
Rehabs normally defend these rules and regulations as being part of a structured environment within which the individual can begin to feel safe, and begin the process of their own recovery in an environment that is structured and has boundaries.
This obviously works for some people, and can present a real problem for others. In the context of Alcoholics Anonymous there are no rules or regulations. Anyone who feels they have a drink problem can turn up at a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous and see if it is of help them.
Alcoholics Anonymous is often best seen and best understood when thought of as a body of experience going back many decades, that is effectively expressed through the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous, most notably in the book of the same name.
Any individual can use the experience of Alcoholics Anonymous in any way that they find helpful or not. AA, although not always seen as such, should be a real route to freedom, and an opportunity for people to begin the process of understanding whether or not they are alcoholics.
Such an understanding can give the individual a real sense of freedom in the context of understanding their lives, and a real sense of freedom in the context of being able to rebuild their life, both internally and externally.
Many people use of the terms alcohol, alcoholic and alcoholism almost interchangeably, and there is often a lot of confusion as to what these terms actually mean, and how they relate to each other. In the context of a rehab/treatment center it is really important to understand at some level what these terms mean in order to make sure that the rehab is addressing relevant addiction terms accordingly.
Most people are aware of what alcohol is, and the different types of alcohol. For many people alcohol is not a problem at all in their lives. Many people do not drink at all, either for religious reasons or social ones.
Other people drink moderately and have a sense of control or normality over their drinking.
These types of people are often referred to in the context of alcoholism as social drinkers. Social drinkers represent a large proportion of society who are able to safely consume different types of alcohol as and when they choose, with no significant impact on themselves or others.
For other people, alcohol can represent a serious problem in their lives. This can manifest itself often at an early age when people are in their teens, through to people in later life.
People’s patterns of drinking may differ significantly, but there is often a common thread in that other people start to be concerned about their drinking, and the actual impact of their drinking has a detrimental effect on their lives at some level.
It is worth making a distinction that not everyone who has a problem with alcohol is necessarily an alcoholic. That may well be people who have a problem with alcohol at different points in their lives who are able to stop on their own and see the damage that they are doing to themselves and others.
Making a distinction between an alcoholic and a non-alcoholic heavy drinker is an important distinction, not least because important considerations follow from both these patterns of drinking.
Someone who is a heavy drinker will most likely have become at some level addicted to alcohol as a consequence of continuous use. In the same way that someone becomes addicted to cigarettes, someone who is a heavy drinker will start drinking moderately and over time become more and more dependent on it.
This heavy drinking may well affect their lives, both their work lives and their family lives in some fairly obvious way. It is likely that once realised, the heavy drinker will be able to stop, although they will often need help and support from family, friends and possibly outside agencies.
Someone who is an alcoholic may outwardly displayed many of the same patterned behaviour and patterns of drinking as someone who is a heavy drinker. The real difference is likely to be an internal one, with the alcoholic having a significantly different mental and emotional attitude to alcohol and life.
There are many different patterns of alcoholics, and of alcoholism in general. It is probably safe to assume a few general pointers, although they should not be taken as a rigid definition.
Firstly, anyone of any age, status or background can become an alcoholic. There are no limits or prerequisites. Many people who are alcoholics grew up in alcoholic homes, and there is a widespread belief that there is some genetic component to people’s alcoholism.
Secondly, an alcoholic may well start off drinking at any age, and may start drinking as a social drinker as outlined above, and progress into active alcoholism at any point. Alternatively the alcoholic may start off drinking alcoholically, again at any age, and carry on drinking alcoholically for long as they are able to.
It is also safe to assume that someone who is an alcoholic reaches a point in their drinking when they are completely unable to stop on their own resources, and in most cases lose any will to try and stop as well. For a better understanding of the nature of alcoholism, it is suggested you read the book Alcoholics Anonymous, or attend open meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous.
In its simplest form, alcoholism refers to someone who is an alcoholic, in the same way that someone who is a diabetic is someone who has diabetes. This obviously is an oversimplification in one sense but does stress the point accordingly.
Whilst people have had drink problems for most of humanites time on earth, it is only relatively recently that alcoholism has been recognised as an illness, and as such people who drink alcoholically have been recognised as people who suffer from this illness, as opposed to people who have a moral weakness or lacking character.
In some ways this is a fairly spurious distinction, but is an important context for many people once they get sober. Alcoholism as an illness was recognised by certain members of the medical profession at the time that Alcoholics Anonymous was being formed, and the formation of this society gave significant growth to this belief, both within the medical profession and beyond.
Since then alcoholism is most often referred to as a disease, which has different implications to it being an illness, and has been generalised into a form of addiction in which alcohol and drug addiction and other forms of addiction are treated as the same issue.
This approach to treating alcoholism the same as other types of addiction has largely been formulated by rehabs and treatment centers, and is one that should be taken with much caution.
Alcoholism in its own right is probably best understood by people who are alcoholics themselves, and the relief in terms of understanding that it is a progressive illness gives many people a sense of context and reality that allows them to set in motion the process of recovery, and rebuild their lives both internally and externally.
Many people use the word addiction almost quite loosly in a way to refer to people’s liking or obsession for virtually any substance, activity or behaviour. In normal everyday life the term addiction is often used jokingly, saying that someone is addicted to x, y or z, and it’s not really that much of a problem.
When it comes to dealing with addiction in the context of alcoholism and addiction to various types of drugs and other behaviours such as gambling etc, then it is really important to understand the gravity of what these conditions and situations refer to, and what help is available and where.
Addiction is a widespread term, and in the context of rehabs and treatment centers first came into being in the context of alcoholism in the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholism is often treated in the same context as other types of addiction, but this is normally a mistake and should be treated with caution.
Whilst it is difficult to generalise about alcoholism, and there are many types of it, it is properly fair to say that an alcoholic will drink because they are an alcoholic, not the other way round.
In other words, an alcoholic will not become addicted to alcohol in the same way that someone will become addicted to cigarettes, through a pattern of using an addictive substance that leads to a form of addiction that they cannot break.
A rehab or treatment center will offer addiction treatment programs for alcoholism, alcohol addiction and other types of addiction as well, and should be fully licensed and accreditted
Most rehabs will treat all of these types of addiction as essentially the same problem, and will focus on the individual as being the real problem, with the solution being helping the individual to change.
A rehab is likely to stress that the individual is something referred to as an addictive personality, and that their addiction is or was essentially about a drug of choice, be that alcohol or something else.
The advantage of this type of approach is that it can help the individual to realise that their real problem is within themselves, and thus is changeable either with the help of a 12 step program or through some other means.
A basic underpinning of this approach is that addiction itself is a disease, leading to the idea of an addictive personality and a drug of choice.
Again this may be helpful or not depending on the approach taken by the rehab, and at what level the individual feels it helps them make sense of their lives.
The issue of addiction is quite a complex one, and one that has undergone and continues to undergo much medical and social research.
When considering entering a rehab, it is worth bearing in mind what weight the rehab treatment center places on current clinical research, and how up-to-date that addiction treatment programs are in the context of modern day research.
Addiction and Rehab
A rehab or treatment center also often offer treatment for other types of addiction.
These can range from what is referred to as dual diagnosis, which means people who are alcoholics, addicted to alcohol as well as being addicted to various types of drugs both prescription and non-prescription, through to food, gambling, sexual addiction and addiction to the internet and video games.
It is worth being slightly cautious with any rehab that offers too broad a range of addiction specialities and addiction treatment programs.
There is a belief that some rehabs use the term addiction or addictive personality much too broadly, and use it essentially as a catchall phrase that allows them to treat virtually anyone for virtually any problem that they can classify as an addiction.
Remember that the problem and solution in the context of a rehab or treatment center tends to be seen as that of an addictive personality with a drug of choice. This allows some rehabs to take an approach that has some questionable ethical and moral issues.
At the end of the day a rehab is a business, normally a very profitable business, and the more they can broaden their client base or their customer base the more profitable they will be, even rehabs that describe themselves as Christian rehabs
Addiction to alcohol, alcoholism and addiction to drugs and gambling and other types of serious problems are a major issue, and for many people a rehab or a treatment center is the first port of call that they will enter to seek help.
A rehab and especially the rehab staff is likely to help the individual understand some of the underlying emotional drives and issues that have fuelled thir addiction, and help give them a structure or program that will allow them to rebuild their life and offer them the chance to live a life that is essentially free from their addiction and their addictive behaviours.
People often ask what alcoholism symptoms, often at a way of trying to create a checklist of what constitutes an alcoholic, on the basis that a diagnosis will help confirm the illness in someone and lead to a recovery.
This approach has been fuelled in many ways by the acceptance in medical circles that alcoholism is an illness, often referred to also as a disease, and inevitably this will lead people to think that because alcoholism is an illness, there are obvious symptoms or signs of it that can be identified and labelled.
The reality of active alcoholism is much more difficult to define.
Anyone who lives with what has lived with or has been affected by someone else’s alcoholism will either be painfully aware of it, or completely in denial of it.
Often an individual or independent observer would be able to see that someone has a serious problem drink, either by their behaviour or that attempting to cover up their problems, or the inability to see their own truth about the problem.
Is worth pondering the recovery process of Alcoholics Anonymous to have a better understanding of how alcoholism can be understood and processed.
For someone who is an alcoholic themselves, Alcoholics Anonymous offers a wide range of literature details experience of Alcoholics Anonymous, and presents many stories and examples of people who identify as alcoholics.
The stories and people’s personal sharing is give the individual and opportunity, if they so choose, to identify and begin the process of realising that they themselves may be an alcoholic.
Someone who is closely affected by another person’s alcoholism, either family or friends, then there is a separate concept organisation known as Al-Anon which will help the individual break out of that and measurement with the alcoholic or the alcoholic family and begin the process of re-establishing their lives as a separate person.
Once this process has started, then it is more likely the individual will gain some type of objectivity about the individual drinking and their alcoholism.
It is also were saying that Alcoholics Anonymous, along with other organisations, produces a wide range of literature that tries to explain alcoholism that is specifically geared to people who are not themselves alcoholics, but may well come into contact with people you are and who seek help.
Chemical dependency is a term that has come to be used with reference to almost any type of substance abuse or addiction to alcohol/drugs etc.
The original sense of addiction in the context of a 12-step recovery was an addiction to alcohol, normally referred to as alcoholism.
As an understanding that alcoholism was an illness grew in medical and therapeutic circles, treatment centers and rehabs began to treat people who they referred to as being dual diagnosed, that is that they had an addiction to some type of drug as well as a problem with alcohol.
Since then rehab’s and treatment centers have broadened their concept of addiction treatment programs to essentially deal with anyone who had any type of addiction, to any type of substance or behaviour.
This approach certainly has its critics, many will argue that seeing the individual as an addictive personality, and their chemical dependency or behaviour is simply a drug of choice is highly oversimplistic.
At the same time, most people who have had any dealings with anyone who is an alcoholic or addict, either active or in recovery, will happily testify that they have significant personality and identity problems that have undoubtedly fuelled that alcoholism or addiction.
The linkage between chemical dependency and addiction and rehabs is one that is important to seek an context.
It is very easy for someone unfamiliar with the world of 12-step recovery who is confronted with someone who has a terrible addiction to simply follow the dictates of a particular rehab or treatment center.
Sometimes time is of the essence, and it is often essential to get someone into a rehab or some type of detox program so that the health can be stabilised, at least in the short term.
The process of recovery from any type of addiction or alcoholism, in the context of 12 step recovery, can be done either in a rehab or by going to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous or another 12 step organisation.
This process of 12 step recovery is by necessity a long-term process, and one undertaken by someone who had at some level either acknowledged their chemical dependency and are willing to try and deal with it, or are willing to acknowledge the life is a complete disaster and are willing to try and change it, even if they don’t know why.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
‘As a substance abuse counselor, I was asked many times by clients, “Am I an alcoholic?”
My response was simple: “Do you think ‘normal’ drinkers ask that question?”
Only alcoholics understand what ‘normal’ drinkers are. They’re the ones that walk into a bar, order a drink and leave an hour later with half the drink still in the glass.
Your feelings about the answer to the question regarding normal drinkers can tell you almost as much as the answer to the question itself.
If you hear the question and feel uneasy, anxious or stressed, then your next step should be to schedule an assessment with an addiction specialist. They can point out warning signs to you and let you know what you may want to do.’
‘If you or a loved one has a problem with alcohol addiction, the first step is admitting the need for help and evaluating the different types of rehab options.
It may seem like a small step, but it is essential to learn more about alcohol rehabilitation options.
One of the biggest questions is what kind of treatment is the best choice.
Some people find success with outpatient treatment such as therapy and support groups.
However, others require inpatient treatment if they are showing signs of severe physical withdrawal because some of the symptoms can be dangerous and require medical care.
The purpose of inpatient treatment is to remove the person from the triggers and stressors that may lead to continued alcohol abuse and place them in a controlled setting where they can no longer use alcohol.
According to research, the other objective is to provide comprehensive treatment and to evaluate their needs for a complete and successful rehabilitation.
Those who have medical issues that result from alcohol abuse and sudden withdrawal will be examined by medical staff and in some cases will receive medication to help alleviate the symptoms.’
Addiction recovery is very generally taken to mean that it is referring to the 12 step recovery process originally pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous, and then adapted by other organisations to deal with specific problems not related to alcohol, such as Narcotics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous.
The notion of addiction has widened considerably over the last few years, and there are two important elements to this recovery process that need to be understood.
Firstly that the destructive nature of a wide range of addictive behaviours and practices can now realistically be treated, in ways that were never possible a few decades ago.
That is not to say that everyone who uses a 12 step program or enters a treatment center will automatically be able to break the addiction, the recovery process is more complex than that, but these areas of treatment recovery do offer hope to many people in a way that simply did not used to be possible.
The other area that can be a cause for concern, is that some treatment centres and rehabs will use the notion of addiction as a way of effectively been placing clients by promoting slightly spurious addictions that aren’t really a problem, but the rehab treatment center will make them a problem in order to promote their view of recovery.
Addiction Recovery AA Meetings
Simply because something can seem a bit of an addiction does not mean that the individual has to enter treatment in order to deal with it.
People can often joke about being addicted to chocolate or ice cream, and in reality for most people that is not a problem. For other people issues around food can be a major emotional block, and they may well need some type of professional help in order to get them to be more emotionally aligned as a person.
It is worth noting that meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous don’t generally refer to addiction, people tend to talk about alcoholism and their understanding of alcoholism as an illness.
Very generally, this is likely to centre around individuals craving for alcohol, and the various emotional drives and problems generated the underlying causes of problems within them that alcohol appeared to be the solution to.
Alcoholism, is understood or not by those who have it, is at least a very complex problems which whilst it certainly includes it type of addiction to alcohol, is way more complex and needs much time and spirit in order to process and deal with it.
An alcohol rehab, which can also be referred to as a treatment center, is possibly thought of as a more traditional type of rehab, as when rehabs and treatment centers began to emerge as a way of treating alcoholics, they tended to deal with alcohol only, and as such are often referred to as alcohol rehabs.
Nowadays, anyone seeking help for a problem with alcoholism or alcohol dependency is likely to look at several routes, the most common ones being either going straight to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, or entering a residential treatment center rehab for a period of time, normally about 28 days, where the recovery process will involve a wide range of addiction treatment programs.
Anyone entering a rehab or treatment center is likely to soon be enveloped in the world of 12 Recovery, and specifically in the principles and meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous.
It is important to be really clear that the organisation Alcoholics Anonymous itself has no connection whatever with any rehab treatment center anywhere.
There are however a wide number of informal connections can often overlap, that can sometimes seem bordering on a degree of enmeshment.
ALCOHOL REHAB ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS
This degree of cooperation between the majority of treatment centres and Alcoholics Anonymous can be broken down into a couple of areas.
The majority of rehabs and treatment centres that offer addiction treatment programs based these programs on some of the principles of the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous.
In reality these addiction treatment programs normally quite different in content to the specific cost program of Alcoholics Anonymous, but are often presented as being the same thing.
They are in fact normally quite different, but again do overlap in terms of referring to specific steps, even if the work involved in a specific step is quite different.
The other way treatment centres and alcohol rehabs overlap with alcoholics anonymous is at a number of treatment centers will physically host AA meetings at their venue, and residents in the alcohol rehab will be expected to attend these meetings.
Where this happens it is normally made fairly clear that the a meeting is completely independent of the rehab, and is simply hiring venue in the same way that it hides venues such as church halls. AA
There are innumerable books that are either literally titled quit drinking, or how to quit drinking, or what happened when I quit drinking etc.
As with many books, the title itself is effectively the selling point, and the content of the book or sometimes magazine article is quite often a fairly woolly or vague approach to and possible solution to the specific problem raised in the title of the book.
When people talk about wanting to quit drinking there is a wide range of experiences that can be helpful, but could also be a bit confusing as well.
There is a very simple starting point.
If someone recognises that the drinking is either out of control or they need to moderate it or to quit drinking together, then the simplest solution is simply to do it.
That of course is oversimplifying the issue, but it goes to the heart of why people talk about the need to quit drinking.
If someone can simply stop or quit drinking then it is not an issue. If they cannot stop or quit drinking then becomes a much more serious issue, with possible locations in terms of alcoholism and alcohol addiction.
It is often the sphere of an inability to stop or moderate leading to concerns about active alcoholism that will block people from even beginning to research and understand the possibility of why they can cannot quit drinking.
The early experiences of members of Alcoholics Anonymous were very clear, both to themselves and other people, that they could not quit drinking on their own, and in fact prior to the emergence of Alcoholics Anonymous as an organisation, were unable to stop drinking at all.
The book Alcoholics Anonymous details both the history and the routes which only members of this organisation took in order to get sober and stay sober, and is widely available to anyone who wants to use the experience that this book contains.
The book Alcoholics Anonymous also makes it clear that it does not wish to force its ideas on anyone, and that if people are able to quit or stop drinking on their own then that is absolutely fine and book wishes them well.
The experience contained in the book is really put that to help people who acknowledge that they cannot stop on their own any help. That is often a far more difficult position to acknowledge, and ultimately one that is much more fulfilling.
When people talk about sober living, they are invariably talking about people who have been alcoholics or sometimes drug addicts or possibly both who have got clean and sober, and are trying to rebuild their lives both internally and externally.
Living sober is a title of one of the books published by Alcoholics Anonymous that gives a wide range of practical advice to people who are newly sober, about how to handle a wide variety of practical and emotional situations that they may encounter.
Sober living tends to refer to a much longer process, and sees day-to-day living as being that process in action.
Sober living can also refer to a development that has come about in recent years, which is commonly referred to as sober living in houses.
The scope of what sober living houses mean can vary quite widely, and sometimes can be linked to specific treatment centres or rehabs.
The intent behind sober living housing is for people who are in early recovery from alcoholism and possibly drug abuse as well can live together in a safe and clean environment, and have mutual support from each other, as well as possible input from some type of key worker or therapist.
Sober living housing can sound a great idea, and can often work really well in practice.
Where sober living housing can run into problems is quite simply the nature of the environment.
Putting together a number of people who are in early recovery from alcoholism and drug abuse is both potentially hugely important in terms of providing a safe environment, but is also potentially something of a time bomb emotionally if not managed in an appropriate manner.
It is probably fair to say that anyone in the early recovery from alcoholism is struggling to deal with a wide variety of conflicting emotions, the most common one doing an oval office level of anger.
It often does not take much for these emotions to spill over, and in the context of alcoholics and addicts in recovery living together this can be a tense situation or environment.
Luckily most sober living housing will realise this potential conflict, and will put in place a number of practical measures to minimise such confrontations.
Sober living generally, aside from sober living housing, is a hugely important aspect of recovery, and is a hugely broad subject come sing a wide range of approaches and techniques that people use in order to be able to live a life with a degree of stability in a world that used to frighten and overwhelm them.
‘Her story of living for more than 20 years as an alcoholic is her greatest asset, she said, and uses her experience to help others who are struggling the way she did.
When the Independence Honours were announced last year, Bradshaw was one of the recipients of the Barbados Service Medal for her work in alcohol addiction and counselling.
She works as a unit support worker at the Substance Abuse Foundation that runs Verdun House, assists at Alcoholics Anonymous and has founded fellowships in other islands across the region.
Bradshaw had her first drink of alcohol at age nine, a glass of wine, and then she did not drink again until 12 years later on Christmas Day when she got drunk.’
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UCLA study is the first to evaluate the drug, ibudilast, as a treatment for alcoholism. Study participants were given either the drug (20 milligrams for two days and 50 milligrams for the next four) or a placebo for six consecutive days.
After about a two-week break, those who took the drug were switched to a placebo for six days, and those who were taking the placebo were given ibudilast.
The researchers found that the subjects’ craving for alcohol was significantly lower when they were taking the medication.
In addition, the participants’ reactions were measured after they were asked to hold and smell a glass of their preferred alcoholic beverage but not allowed to drink it.
The subjects reported being in a better mood while they were taking ibudilast than when they were on the placebo.
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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.