Am I an Alcoholic?
In society, we have many terms given to individuals who struggle with alcohol abuse. For those who are addicted, the most common term is "alcoholic". The numbers of individuals who struggle with drinking far exceed any other substance. They are the most commonly treated by drug and alcohol rehab programs. Even with this in mind, recent studies state that less than 10% of those that can be classed as alcoholics see their drinking as a problem. These are people we know, loved ones and acquaintances that need help. Perhaps it is even you.
For those who may be addicted to alcohol, we want you to know that you can recover! It may take rehabilitation. It will take personal sacrifice. It can be done. But first, you have to determine the severity of your problem and find answers to the questions: 1) Am I an alcoholic? 2) Where can I get help? 3) Do I need rehab?
Am I an Alcoholic?
Only you can decide whether you need help for alcoholism, but first you must determine if you really are an alcoholic. Some folks can just like to drink and not show any effects of dependency. Others cannot get through life unless they are under the influence. Below are some questions to ask about yourself or your loved one. The more you answer yes, the more likely you are dealing with drinking dependency. They are taken from a larger assessment provided by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. If you would like more help in assessment, visit your medical professional, or contact a program that works more specifically with alcohol treatments.
- Do you drink more alcohol now than when you first started to drink? Is it a significant amount more?
- Do you think about drinking or look forward to drinking every day?
- Do you have a drink in the morning to calm your nerves or 'shakes'?
- Do you feel guilty when you drink?
- Have others expressed concern about the amount of drinking you do?
- Do you hide your drinking from others?
- Have you tried to cut back with little or no success?
- Have you ever had a DUI, DWI or other legal matter happen as a result of being drunk?
- Have you had any relatives in your family you would call an alcoholic?
- Have you ever had a black out due to excessive alcohol consumption?
Where can I Get Help?
If you have come to the conclusion that you cannot stop on your own, then it is time to look into getting help. These days there are many resources and alcohol abuse programs. You should start with visiting your medical professional. You may need alcohol detox first. Detoxification is when you let alcohol run its course through your system and dealing with negative side effects, known as withdrawal. You will want professional help with this step, whether it is through your doctor, or through a detox facility. Withdrawal can get pretty severe, even life threatening for those who are dealing with a severe drinking problem. After detoxing, it's recommended to move into some sort of program to help you recover. When you are dependent on alcohol, abstinence is necessary to keep you from going back to a severe drinking habit.
Alcoholics Anonymous is another place to get help. It is a worldwide organization of individuals who work together in overcoming alcohol. There is only one requirement for membership and that is the desire to stop drinking. You will find A.A. meetings in virtually every community nowadays. The Local Drug Rehab section of the Cirque Lodge website provides a map and links to your local A.A. providers by state. A.A. was the pioneer of the 12-step program and has found success for many decades and for a growing number of alcoholics. They provide a sponsor, a one-on-one support for helping with sobriety as well.
If you have a loved one who may be an alcoholic and not willing to get help, you may need to give them a supportive push through intervention. Intervention is when you lovingly confront your loved one and express your concern about the drinking problem. You can organize and do this with other relatives and loved ones. We suggest using a professional interventionist. These individuals are experienced in dealing with alcoholic behaviors and treatments. An intervention can greatly facilitate your loved one agreeing to get help.
Do I need an Alcohol Rehab?
If you have tried other means to stop drinking and have failed, than maybe it is time to seek out an alcohol treatment programs. Rehab also comes in many different forms. In this case we are talking about inpatient or residential rehab. Most professional rehabilitation centers can help you with an assessment on whether residential care is the best step for you. The advantage to alcohol rehab is that it is a controlled environment in most cases. There is no alcohol in the facility to trigger your drinking. This place provides you with a wide spectrum of programs that analyze your need to drink. It can help you come to terms with being an alcoholic, and can even help your family members by educating them on the disease of addiction.