Alcoholism is a very serious condition, and it can be very frightening if you think that you are an alcoholic. Many people do not know what first steps to take which means that they do not get the treatment that they need which can go on to be extremely dangerous. So, how can you tell if you have a drinking problem and what are the first steps that you should take? Read on for advice which should help you to get on the right path and start building towards a happier and healthier lifestyle without the need for alcohol.

Prevalence

Alcoholism is a major health problem in the United States and many countries around the world, but often this is overlooked because it is a legal substance and widely accepted by society. The truth is that it is incredibly prevalent with about 17 million Americans qualifying as having an alcohol use disorder (AUD) according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

Do You Have A Problem?

It can be difficult to tell if you have a problem with alcohol as drinking is very common in many cultures and the effects can vary drastically from person to person. The main red flags to watch out for are needing to drink in order to feel relaxed, lying to others about your drinking habits, worrying when and where your next drink is coming from, finding it difficult to stop once you’ve started, planning events around alcohol and suffering from physical withdrawal symptoms. Essentially, if drinking is causing a problem in your life, then you may have a dependency on the substance

Try To Go Days Without

If you have concerns over your drinking, then the first thing to try is to see if you are able to go a few days of the week without drinking. Having alcohol free days is highly recommended by health professionals and a good way to determine whether or not you have a dangerous dependence on the substance. Alternatively, if you typically drink heavily one or two nights a week (binge drinking) then see if you can avoid this or go to social events without the need for a drink.

Effects Of Alcohol Abuse

Abusing alcohol can seriously impact many different areas of your life. This includes physical health problems as it can impact practically every organ in your body, it can impact your mental health condition, all of your relationships, your career, finances, and ability to control your life. Admitting that you have a problem is the first step and one which many people struggle to come to terms with. Once you have admitted this to yourself, it is time to take the next step.

Speak To A Doctor

Speaking to a doctor will be the first stage in developing an appropriate treatment plan so that you can start to build towards a healthier and happier life. They will listen carefully to you and be able to offer their advice, which is likely to include referring you to a rehabilitation center.

Rehab Treatment Centers

Rehabilitation centers are highly effective ways for those with alcohol dependency to get better. You should be able to find a facility with the right treatment programs for your condition and also one that your health insurance policy covers and there are helpful services that can do this for you for those with Medical Mutual health insurance. Click here to learn more about coverage and services that you can use to find the right rehabilitation center.

Support Network

Is much easier to cope when you have a support network that you can rely on to provide help and to encourage you through particularly challenging days. It can be difficult to admit to those that are close to you that you have a problem, but if they are able to provide guidance, comfort and encouragement, then they can be of big help and stop you from falling back into old habits. Many people also find it beneficial to seek support groups as it can be helpful to speak to those that are going through the same process and people who may be at different stages to you. Not only this, but often it is easier to speak to those that you do not know too.

What Does Treatment Involve?

Treatment will depend on the facility that you go to, but most rehabilitation centers focus on three main areas: Detoxing to clear the body of the substance and managing withdrawal symptoms, addressing the root cause of addition through one or various forms of therapy and education on healthy living and life skills, finally, aftercare and family support.

After Rehabilitation

It is a major accomplishment to go through rehabilitation, but the work does not stop here as there is no “cure.” You will need to use what you have learned to lead an alcohol-free life, and this can be an enormous challenge with many people relapsing. During this stage, it is vital that you have a good support network around you and that you start to build a new life. This could involve cutting out toxic relationships, avoiding certain places or events and finding new activities and hobbies to enjoy. It is important that you remove temptation so keep the house free of alcohol and you may want to avoid bars, restaurants, etc. at least initially. For some people, the best thing to do after leaving rehab is to move to an entirely new city to start a new life, but this will depend on the individual.

Alcohol abuse is very prevalent in this country, yet it is often overlooked due to the legality of the substance and the fact that drinking is accepted and encouraged in many cultures. It can be incredibly dangerous and ruin lives in many different ways so it important for those with a dependency to get the help that they need. It can be hard to know if you have a problem or not but hopefully this information will help and put you on the right path to finding the treatment that you need and to help you start building towards a better life.

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