It is not difficult to identify a person who takes to drinking because the physical signs of uncoordinated movements, slurred speech, smelling of alcohol, and lower inhibitions are very recognizable. But it is hard to say whether the person is addicted to alcohol by considering these signs only. Detecting persons suffering from alcohol use disorder or AUD can be tricky because the persons may be able to conceal many of the apparent symptoms for quite some time. People addicted to alcohol tend to ignore the addiction like the people surrounding them would also do. Mostly these people prefer to be in a state of denial.
The warning signs of alcohol addiction
If you suspect any of your loved ones are addicted to alcohol, look for the most definite signs to arrive at a conclusion. When a person loses control of drinking and feels a craving for drinks, it means addiction has set in. If someone thinks that drinking helps to feel good or normal and develops alcohol tolerance that keeps increasing the intake over time as it takes longer to reach the threshold level, it is a sure sign of addiction.
Demonstrating peculiar behavior while handling alcohol like drinking in secret or alone, storing alcohol away from public view, and continuing drinking despite facing negative consequences are some other alcohol addiction signs. Alcohol use disorder, which is the other name of addiction, also includes too much preference for drinking over other hobbies and activities. Experiencing blackout or temporary loss of memory about incidents that happened during drinking and feeling irritated when unable to drink when you want are all signs of addiction.
Hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, sweating, convulsions, and shaking are the other signs of addiction.
Diagnosing AUD or alcohol addiction
Unlike diagnosing any disease based on the signs and symptoms, the diagnosis of alcohol addiction takes the approach of diagnosis of exclusion. The focus is on eliminating the suspected signs to conclude. The doctor considers all health and behavioral problems and applies the diagnosis technique by exclusion to determine that the type of drinking is the addiction only. Doctors might use questionnaires to evaluate the behavioral traits under the influence of alcohol and dependence on alcohol.
The first step in the treatment for alcohol addiction
Once you feel that your loved one has a problem with alcohol addiction, it will not be easy to start treatment straight away. You can take a horse to the water but cannot make it drink, says the adage. Similarly, you can have a tough time making any alcohol addict admit that he or she has a problem because they are always in denial mode. After you can coax and persuade the person to make him or her accept that, you can think about sending him or her to some inpatient rehab in Arkansas to start the treatment, depending on the degree of the problem. Simply reducing alcohol intake does not help because the treatment goal is to give up drinking altogether and lead a sober life.
Long term treatment
Overcoming addiction is a long process that depends a lot on the willingness of the addicted person to recover from addiction and the various therapies or treatments offered at some alcohol rehab in Connecticut or some other similar treatment center. The patient’s condition and the extent of addiction are important factors to determine the treatment line and the expected time it will take to recover. Factors like the history of alcohol dependence, how much the person is committed to quit the habit of drinking and lead a sober life, financial situation, and the level of support from friends and family are critical to creating an optimal treatment plan effective.
Most important is the person’s willingness to undergo treatment and cooperate with the doctor to abide by the instructions to go through a multi-stage treatment process that leads to a gradual recovery.
Stages of the treatment
There are four stages of alcohol addiction treatment: detoxification, behavior modification, counseling, and medications.
- Detoxification helps to cleanse the body of alcohol and breaks the physical addition of the body to alcohol. The process usually takes a week to complete.
- Behavioral changes happen in people addicted to alcohol because they are also addicted to the act of drinking. This treatment stage teaches skills and coping mechanisms that help to stay away from alcohol even after the treatment is over.
- Counseling individually and in groups helps to garner support from others to continue the treatment. Others suffering from similar problems can encourage a more positive response.
- Medications are also part of the treatment for alcohol addiction.
Even after completion of the treatment, the journey to eliminate addiction continues throughout life. So be cautious whether you are seeking treatment for self or a loved one.