While it is normal to take a while to come to terms with the consequences of your alcohol use, this can lead you to postpone treatment entry. Still, abruptly stopping alcohol use can be highly dangerous, or even deadly. Therefore, it is extremely important to recognize warning signs of alcohol use disorder (AUD) as well as when to seek help.
The Dangers of Alcohol Use
The consumption of alcohol, in general, can be extremely dangerous. From the years 2015-2019, nearly 140,000 people lost their lives due to excessive alcohol use in the United States. Both short-term and long-term consequences of alcohol use include, but are not limited to:
- Weakened immune system
- Issues with cognitive functioning, such as memory
- Development of chronic diseases
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can also be extremely dangerous, and sometimes even deadly. This is why it is important to understand the severity of your alcohol use to know the next steps to take for detoxification and treatment. Oftentimes, trying to cut down and quit alcohol on your own will come along with a whole new set of issues that could include medical complications as well as an increased risk of relapse.
The Dangers of Alcohol Withdrawal
Although there are significant dangers that can result from alcohol use, there are also dangers that can result from withdrawing from alcohol. Stopping or quitting alcohol use should never be taken lightly. The effects caused by acute alcohol withdrawal can cause significant medical and psychiatric issues, including:
- Sleep disturbances
- Cognitive impairments
- Fatal consequences
These facts are not meant to frighten you. Instead, they are here to educate you so that you can seek out a quality treatment program for AUD. Such a program can help you along your journey to lasting sobriety, improved health, and overall wellness.
The Value of Detoxification for Recovery
If you have severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms, an inpatient detox program is the safest treatment option. During inpatient detox, doctors and other health practitioners can monitor you 24/7 to help you safely withdraw from alcohol. They may also recommend medications to you to help ease any uncomfortable or otherwise unmanageable withdrawal symptoms.
Alternatively, if you have less severe withdrawal symptoms, or if you have already completed an inpatient detox program, your next step would be to receive treatment from an outpatient program. These programs provide long-term treatment through group therapy and individual psychotherapy interventions to help sustain lifelong recovery.
How Do I Know if I Have a Drinking Problem?
Sometimes it might be hard to figure out how much is too much when it comes to alcohol consumption. Alcohol is a legal substance that is widely available and normalized for its use. Alcohol use is glorified as a way to honor life achievements like graduations, marriages, and birthdays. This normalization can make it easy to continue to use alcohol despite knowing the dangers that can result from use.
Signs of AUD
There are many signs and symptoms to recognize that can help determine whether or not you are struggling with a drinking problem. It is important to seek treatment as soon as possible if you believe you are struggling with your alcohol use or struggle to restrict your alcohol use. Some warning signs of AUD include:
- Loss of interest in hobbies and daily activities
- Inability to follow through with responsibilities
- Reduced work production
- Isolating from friends and family members
- Feeling sick or “hungover” all the time
- Making excuses for drinking, especially when you are feeling anxious, angry, or depressed
- Financial problems as a result of your drinking habits
- Being secretive about your drinking
AUD Treatment Programs
If you are ready to seek help for your alcohol use or AUD, there are many different treatment programs and options available to you. Some of the best treatment options can include:
- Inpatient detox: This is essential to achieving safe and effective detox from alcohol.
- Partial hospitalization programs (PHP): This provides a structured environment that includes medically-assisted treatment, therapy, and psychiatric care.
- Intensive outpatient programs (IOP): IOP is best fit for you if you need a strong treatment structure yet still need the opportunity to foster greater accountability for yourself during your recovery.
- Sober Living: This provides a safe residential setting for you if you need separation from environmental substance use triggers.
- Recovery Coaching: This provides continued and individualized support for your new, healthy, and sober lifestyle.
At first, it might not seem easy to admit that you need help with or recovery from your alcohol use. Once you find a quality treatment program that will provide support and encouragement throughout your recovery process, you will feel more empowered along your journey towards lasting sobriety and overall wellness.
Excessive alcohol use, as well as alcohol use disorder (AUD), are extremely harmful to an individual’s wellbeing. Trying to cut back or quit alcohol on your own can lead to dangerous, and potentially fatal, consequences. This is why detoxification is a crucial first step to healing. Recognizing your own problematic alcohol use can be a step in the right direction to reclaiming your life and your health. At Lighthouse Recovery Texas, we recognize that alcohol use can lead to devastating life consequences. We offer a wide range of treatment programs and options for individuals seeking to achieve and sustain sobriety, including outpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs, sober living, and recovery coaching. To learn more about our treatment programs and options, please give us a call today at (214) 717-5884. Do not hesitate to seek treatment and support as you embark on your personal recovery journey.