Driving Forces Behind Alcoholism
Everyone’s experience with alcohol addiction is different, and the forces driving alcohol addiction in one patient may be completely different in another. According to the American Psychological Association, some of the most common causes and contributing factors to the development of alcoholism include: Treatment for chronic alcoholism.
Genetics. Patients who were raised with an alcoholic parent or family member or who grew up in an environment where heavy drinking was the norm are more likely to develop a maladaptive relationship with alcohol themselves. Many begin drinking early – some before the age of 12 – and continue to drink more and more until they have a dependence that requires alcohol treatment.
Environmental factors. If the general consensus in a patient’s upbringing is that alcohol equals fun or that drinking heavily is a normal activity, then it is more likely that that patient will begin to turn to alcohol first when seeking escape from a problem, relaxation, or an outlet for stress. Binge drinking especially is associated with peer influence.
Co-occurring mental health issues. Those who are living with depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders and other mental health problems with significant and life-altering symptoms often seek to self-medicate by drinking heavily. Unfortunately, this usually serves only to exacerbate the original symptoms and create the dual and equal disturbing problem of alcohol addiction.
History of sexual trauma or physical abuse. Those who have grown up as a witness to or victim of domestic violence are more likely to develop an addiction to alcohol. Similarly, those who have suffered a violent physical or sexual attack or were repeatedly abused may seek to combat feelings caused by the trauma with alcohol and other drugs.
Treatment of severe alcoholism
The Basics of Alcohol Treatment
Different alcohol treatment programs have distinct methods for approaching the problem of alcohol addiction. However, there are some basic elements that almost all alcohol rehabs share. According to the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, some of these basic processes include:
Detox. Alcohol detox is the process of cleansing the body of alcohol-related toxins. During detox, the individual stops drinking alcohol while under the supervision of medical and counseling professionals. The presence of these trained professionals is crucial, as most individuals will suffer from withdrawal symptoms during alcohol detox, and need support and care in order to avoid relapse or any health problems associated with the process.
Individual counseling. The psychological dependence on alcohol is, in many ways, stronger than the physical addiction to the drug. And like drug addiction, the individual needs to address the problem at the source. Individual counseling is the process by which individuals address their past issues head-on, and learn why they led to chronic alcohol consumption. Once these issues have been “smoked out,” the individual can begin to develop better life strategies and decision-making skills that will help them cope with stress in a more productive way.
Group counseling. Group sessions involve meeting with other recovering addicts in the alcohol treatment program to discuss past experiences and work together to help one another find solutions to the problem of alcoholism. These sessions are a boon for those individuals who felt alone and isolated because of their drinking problem. The support network that is formed between the participants can help speed up the recovery process.
Aftercare. Many people often wonder, “What happens when alcohol treatment is over?” Twelve-step programs and follow-up counseling help the individual make the transition back into the “real world.” This is important because oftentimes, family and friends cannot relate to the recovering patient’s experience and aftercare fills that void with understanding and accountability.
Short-Term Versus Long-Term Treatment
The choice between short-term and long-term treatment should be based upon your needs and your rate of progress in recovery, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. This is a highly individual choice and one that can be updated or changed depending upon your experience in treatment. For example, you may at first enroll in a 30-day treatment program and then decide to extend your stay if you feel that you need a bit more time.
If you are unsure about your ability to remain abstinent at home or feel that your home environment is not conducive to a sober lifestyle, you can discuss the option of continued treatment with your therapeutic team. You also have the option of extending your stay at a residential facility while adjusting the focus of your time to suit your level of recovery. Sober living offers you the opportunity to remain in a safe environment for an extended period while allowing you to begin the process of finding a new place to live and a job that is conducive to your new lifestyle.
Rehab at Michael’s House
Michael’s House is a luxury treatment center located in Southern California. We provide alcohol detox, a wide range of physical and psychological treatment choices, and alternative therapeutic treatment in addition to one-on-one therapy and group sessions, allowing you to build a unique individualized treatment plan that works for you.
Treatment of chronic alcoholism
Contact us today at 877-345-8494 for more information about our facility or to learn more about our holistic alcohol treatment philosophy here at Michael’s House.
Speak with an Admissions Coordinator 877-345-8494