Many people who drink are not alcoholics. However, since alcohol is legal and such a popular social activity, people should be aware of significant differences between alcoholics and social drinkers. The precipice of alcoholism is slippery and anybody can slide down, no matter how much they think they will never become one. By being aware of what the major differences are between an alcoholic and s social drinker, people may be able to heed warning signs before becoming a long-term alcoholic who needs an intervention or professional addiction therapy. Below are the differences between alcoholics and regular social drinkers. Alcoholism facts.
One: Alcoholics Try To Hide Their Drinking
A big sign that someone has veered from social drinking to alcoholism is when people try to hide their drinking from others, particularly ones close to them. This is a sure sign that they know that they are drinking too much and want to hide that from their loved ones, so as not to disappoint or to alarm them. And the more extreme lengths, or the more covering up the person tries to do to hide the extent of the drinking, the more serious the drinking problem is liable to be.
Two: Alcohol Is Used As A Coping Mechanism
When people drink socially, it’s usually to unwind and to relax with others. But it’s not something they turn to on a frequent basis to de-stress or if something else goes wrong in life. However, when someone starts drinking alcohol to cope with the stresses of life on a frequent basis they are going from a social drinker to an alcoholic. When a person starts feeling like they need alcohol to remain functional, then this means they’ve started developing a dependency on a dangerous substance that can seriously alter their life for the worse.
Three: Alcoholics Drink To Get Drunk
Social drinkers just want to let loose and have a little fun. But alcoholics want to drink to get drunk. If someone is drinking with the main purpose to get drunk then they are an alcoholic. It should be remembered that drinking in excess can seriously damage the body, so if someone starts wanting to get drunk then that means that they no longer are able to set boundaries about the amounts of alcohol they should be drinking.
Four: Missing Work Or Other Important Obligations
Perhaps one of the biggest ways that alcoholism can visibly damage someone’s life, is if they start missing work or other obligations because they are too busy drinking, hung-over, or inebriated from drinking that has spiraled out of control. Social drinkers will generally only drink at appropriate times, when they know that they won’t overdrink and can still attend to the important obligations they have in their life. If they start missing these obligations because of drinking, then they have definitely become an alcoholic.
Five: Alcohol-Related Driving Accident
And the biggest, and most dangerous sign that someone is an alcoholic and not a social drinker is if they get into an alcohol-related accident. When someone is unable to exhibit good judgment when it comes to drinking and driving, they have not only become a danger to themselves, but to others around them, and seriously need help. Even if someone drinks too much to drive in a social situation, generally they know enough to either call a cab or get a ride home from someone sober. However, someone who knowingly drives while heavily intoxicated is a serious alcoholic and should seek professional treatment right away.
Ultimately, all the differences between social drinkers and alcoholics boils down to alcoholics allowing alcohol to be the main focus in their lives. Alcohol in moderation is what keeps social drinkers merely social and not full-blown alcoholics.
There are many myths and misconceptions about treatment for alcoholism. The reality is that many times there are no simple answers to helping someone recover from a serious addiction. However, what can be helpful is for people to become more educated about alcoholism treatment and the common myths that may surround it. Here are some common myths about treatment for alcoholism.
Treatment That Works For One Person Will Work On Another
Although hearing about someone else’s success story may be inspirational, the reality is that what may work for one person may not work for another. Everyone brings different backgrounds and genetics and that affects how they will respond to a treatment. The best rehab centers will tailor a treatment for an individual to receive the best customized care.
Only Irresponsible People Can’t Stop Drinking
Alcohol is a complex problem, and can happen to even the most responsible and normal people. If someone has developed an addiction to alcohol it doesn’t mean that they are irresponsible, but they’ve developed a dependency on a substance and need professional help.
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Professional Treatment Will Cure The Problem Forever
While professional addiction treatment will definitely set the alcoholic on the right path to recovery, the reality is that it will be a lifelong journey. Addiction is never completely cured, but it will give the patient the tools to cope with life without turning to alcohol, which they had turned to before.
Alcoholics Must Be At Their Lowest Point Before Getting Treatment
An alcoholic doesn’t need to hit rock-bottom before attaining treatment. In fact, it’s better to recognize the problem early so that treatment can be sought before the addiction spirals out of control.
Self-Control Is Key To Overcoming Addiction
Addiction isn’t about self-control, but about overcoming a disease that has taken over a person’s life. Attributing it to self-control is the wrong way to view addiction, and why it’s so hard to conquer.
All Rehab Centers Are The Same
Rehab centers are not all the same, and some may be better for an individual than others. Patients should find the rehab center that offers the best facilities, staff, and individualized care to receive the best chance at a full recovery.
Relapse Is A Major Failure
No one is perfect, and even someone with the best intentions can have a moment of weakness. That does not mean that rehab has been a failure. In fact, it just means that the patient in recovery has experienced a bump in the road, and just needs to get back up again with renewed determination to be sober.
Families Will Immediately Be Reunited After Treatment
Families that have been torn apart by addiction won’t immediately be functional again after a member has received treatment. Besides recovery from alcohol addiction, the individual also needs to work on piecing one’s family back together. That is something that will have to continually be worked on even after treatment.
Mental Health Issues Need To Be Treated Separately
The exact opposite is true, mental issues and addiction problems need to be treated together by a dedicated addiction professional who has experience treating co-occurring disorders. Studies have shown that when treated together, patients have a much greater chance at long-term success.
Treatment Has To Be A Painful Experience
While treatment will be challenging, it doesn’t have to be a painful horrible experience. In fact, it’s time where the patient can focus strictly on oneself, becoming a healthier, more functional person. The patient can focus on growing spiritually and emotionally and have access to top-notch facilities and addiction professionals. There will also be a community of people fostering the path towards a successful rehabilitation.
Parents may have a hard time understanding and communicating with their teenage kids. This relationship becomes more strained if their kid has become an addict, and they don’t know how to approach the issue, or how to find the proper help. It’s a delicate situation, because parents don’t want to completely alienate their kid, but also know how dangerous an addiction can be if it doesn’t get treated.
They should make every effort possible to ensure that their kids get help, but while doing so here are some things they should understand about addiction and how to deal find effective addiction treatment.
One: Addiction Isn’t About Being Weak
Parents should remember that addiction is considered a disease by many, and it isn’t about their kids being weak or bad people. The issue is more complex than that, so parents should try not to approach their children in an accusatory or highly emotional manner.
By understanding that addiction is a disease and that their children are still fundamentally good people with a serious problem, it can help facilitate a better understanding between parent and child.
Two: Figure Out If You Are An Enabler
Unfortunately parents may unintentionally be enablers for their children’s addictions. Whether it’s taking part in unhealthy activities and setting a bad example for kids, not spending enough time with them, or not monitoring their activity, parents can enable destructive behavior in their children. And parents should be brutally honest with themselves also, if they have any issues with addiction themselves.
Three: Study Any History Of Addiction In The Family
Many times a kid who develops problems with addiction at an early age comes from a family where the issue runs in the family, particularly when it comes to alcoholism. Genetics can contribute to someone’s propensity to abuse drugs and alcohol, and this should be taken into consideration when dealing with a kid. It should be something that is addressed, because perhaps the kid doesn’t even know that the pattern of addiction is being continued.
Four: Seek Family Counseling For Everyone
And most importantly, especially if a family has a history of addiction, family counseling should be sought for everyone to give the kid the best possible chance at long-term recovery. A healthy and functioning family-unit is essential to the success of an individual’s long-term recovery. And by agreeing to go to counseling also shows the kid that everyone is trying to work together to help the issue.
Five: Try To Have Regular Family Activities
Sometimes kids want to spend more time with their parents, but don’t know how to ask. Parents can often be busy with work and running a household and not realize that they and their children are starting to drift apart. When dealing with a son or daughter who has an addiction problem it’s important to try to get to know them again, and re-connect with them to find out what they’re thinking about, what is troubling them, and why they are turning to drugs or alcohol. This can go a long way towards re-establishing the familial bonds again so that the individual who is suffering from addiction can start moving forward in a more positive way.
Teenagers often turn to drugs or alcohol because they feel lost or neglected, and use the substances to try to escape or numb their feelings. When parents are trying to deal with a teenager who has these issues, it’s important for them to first research what causes addiction, self-reflect on family issues that may have facilitated the addiction, and to reach out to their children in a non-accusatory way and start re-connecting with them. By doing these things, parents can steer the future of their teenager in the right direction.
The choice to live life without reliance on drugs or alcohol is not an easy one. The transition takes time and is filled with many difficulties and obstacles, as well as self discovery. That doesn’t mean you should get discouraged. The hard work and dedication put into the rehabilitation process pays off in that you begin to live your life in a completely different way.
Sobriety involves taking simple steps through the rehabilitation process. Those steps will be different for each person, but will ultimately lead to the same place. Read on to find out more about the process, and how each part of it is important to achieving a long lasting recovery.
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Some things to remember when beginning treatment that will help you keep a healthy perspective are:
– There is no one treatment that works for everybody. Different people need different recovery plans that are tailored to their specific needs and background.
– Commitment and motivation are necessary for anyone to achieve results.
– Treatment should address all the areas of a person’s life, not just the addiction itself.
– Any co-occurring mental disorders need to be addressed as well and given the proper treatment.
– The use of medication during treatment can sometimes help, and a person taking it must be monitored for possible health risks.
Treatment can begin with an inpatient program, which places a person into a medically supervised environment. This type of treatment helps to immediately remove any temptation to use drugs and provides a safe place to detox. This kind of 24 hour care may seem strict, but it’s often necessary to help keep a patient focused on their recovery during a crucial time. Gradually, they can receive visits from family and friends.
Outpatient treatment is another alternative that places a patient into a rigorous program. Instead of spending 24 hours at a facility, you are allowed to return each night to fulfill family or even work obligations. Outpatient treatment can only work well if stress from outside life activities is kept to a minimum and a person is highly committed. It also works better for those with less severe or short lived addictions.
What Is The Root Of Addiction?
A lot of the hard work of recovery begins when a person enters a rehab program. After the initial treatment and detox, it’s time to get to the root of the addiction. Rehab is where patients address the core issues of their addiction, so they can prepare to live life without reliance on drugs or alcohol.
This all happens through a combination of individual and group therapy, which gives a patient the chance to work on their own issues as well as share in the experiences of others. Another important aspect of rehab is the support that is built through sharing with others and participating in group activities. This support provides a foundation for a stable and long lasting recovery.
Don’t Overlook Aftercare
Aftercare treatment is another important step that unfortunately often gets overlooked. Studies overwhelmingly show that aftercare reduces the risk of a relapse by a significant amount. Aftercare can include one of the following things, depending in the preference or needs of the individual: 12 step meetings, group sessions, volunteering, or returning to a treatment center for occasional therapy.
The idea is build a lifelong habit of support and motivation to stay sober and live more healthfully. This can be done with continued focus, a strong support system, and maintaining a connection with the recovery process itself.