For a person struggling with alcohol use disorder (AUD), the idea of confronting their disease can feel like an overwhelming thing to even consider. When someone is deep in the throes of addiction, they no longer have control over that part of their being. It’s a scary, vulnerable position, and it takes a great deal of strength to break out of the addiction cycle and decide that enough is finally enough.
Although it’s an isolating disease, sufferers of alcoholism are far from alone in their plight. In the United States alone, over 15 million people struggle with their alcohol use to the point of disorder. Alcohol has become the third most prevalent cause of avoidable death in the country.
AUD can be literally life shattering, but help is available for people who are ready to overcome their addiction.
Treatment centers are located all over the country. Deciding which one is best for you or your loved one depends greatly on a variety of personal factors, but educating yourself about the options is the best way to ensure the right decision for your unique situation.
Taking the first steps toward treatment
Making the choice to seek treatment for alcohol abuse is a decision that takes time and commitment. Like all journeys, the path to overcome addiction starts by taking the first steps.
What is the treatment for AUD?
Though the specifics can vary depending on your personal needs, AUD treatment generally involves physical and mental support with the primary goal of helping you give up alcohol and maintain a healthy lifestyle. You’ll work with a qualified healthcare professional to set realistic goals for yourself, and get started on the road to recovery.
Depending on your method of treatment, you might be given additional support during the difficult detoxification period that you might not otherwise have. You may also have access to medications that can help lessen withdrawal symptoms and reduce the urge to drink.
Often, the recovery process will involve a deep self-analysis with the help of a mental health professional. It can be incredibly valuable to take a look at past traumas, lifestyle issues, and other factors that could be contributing to the problem. Taking a closer look at what brought you to the point of your AUD might be just the perspective you need.
Influential personal factors
There are a number of personal factors that can influence which treatment options will be the most effective for you.
If you have an ongoing struggle with alcohol, a more structured program might be more beneficial at the start than outpatient counseling. Similarly, if you have a huge support network and a real desire to get sober, a more hands-off approach to therapy might be more appropriate for you.
Your financial situation can also play a large role in deciding which treatment options will work for you. If you’re not sure what your health insurance will cover or if you don’t have insurance, talk to the intake department of the facility you’re considering. The admissions departments of most treatment centers know the ins and outs of insurance policies, and they’ll guide you in the right direction. Every state offers some level of government funding for addiction treatment, so income limitations don’t have to be a factor in choosing sobriety.
Types of treatment
Though the details of available options will vary based on the facility, there are a few different types of treatment that you may be able to choose from.
Stages of treatment
When you’re going into treatment, you can generally expect to go through three distinct stages in your journey. The details will depend on your treatment center and your needs, but most programs will build a thorough recovery plan around these steps.
Detox is the most grueling part of your recovery, and it’s the first hurdle you’ll have to clear once you’ve made the decision to enter treatment.
Depending on the severity of your AUD, you may experience withdrawals that can range from uncomfortable to life threatening. You should only attempt detoxification under the watch of treatment specialists. Withdrawal symptoms may include tremors, restlessness, headaches, nausea, seizures, and possibly even hallucinations. Your medical team can give you medicine to help control your symptoms.
The worst of your detox is likely to be over within 24 to 48 hours of your last drink, though symptoms may last as long as three or four days.
After the alcohol is out of your body, you’ll move on to the rehabilitation stage of treatment. Here, you’ll learn to identify triggers, use coping tools, and plan a sober future. Your primary therapist will help you to create a strategy that focuses on maintaining your healthy new lifestyle once you’re out of treatment.
This part of recovery can take place on an inpatient or outpatient basis, depending on the severity of your addiction. Talk to a treatment specialist to figure out what method will work for you.
Once you’ve learned the necessary skills for sobriety, it’s time to start using them. It may take some time to get acclimated to life after treatment, but when it comes to sobriety, practice makes perfect.
In this stage, you may choose to continue seeing an addiction counselor for ongoing one-on-one support. Support groups are also available to help you stay on the right path. Many people swear that attending regular AA meetings is an instrumental part of maintaining their sobriety.
Consider which treatment options are best for you
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to AUD treatment, and there’s no shame in freeing yourself from addiction. Your best chance at recovery relies on being truthful with yourself, and choosing a solution that fits your needs.
Are you ready to start living your best sober life? Contact us for information and support.