Alcohol abuse is one of the largest health issues in America. It is estimated that over 17 million people in the United States suffer from alcohol abuse at some point, and many of them go untreated. So how can you diagnose alcohol addiction, and what can someone do to get help?
Signs Of A Problem
Many warning signs of a problem with alcohol begin early on in a drinker’s career, but this does not mean they can’t come about later on. Some traits that are common among those with an alcohol addiction are:
- An inability to control how much you drink
- An inability to control when you drink
- You have tried to cut back on drinking but have been unsuccessful
- Alcohol has interfered with personal relationships
- Drinking has caused issues with your job
- Left behind passions to instead continue your pursuit of drinking
There are many more signs of an alcohol addiction, but these are some of the most commonly reported.
You have decided that you have a problem with alcohol, and that it is time to seek help. Often times someone with alcohol addiction can feel helpless, but there are many options for getting treatment that can help you get your life back. There is not one agreed upon treatment method that is necessarily most effective, as it varies from person to person.
There are several medications that have been approved to help people cut back on their drinking, whether it is to simply cut back or stop altogether. These can be prescribed by your physician or another medical care professional. While they can be taken without doing anything additional, it is generally recommended that you use these medications in conjunction with some type of counseling or group support.
12 step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous provide the support that some need to finally kick their alcohol addiction. It is not necessarily known just how effective these support groups are due to the fact that they promote anonymity, but many success stories have come from the program of AA. Similar to the medications, it is generally recommended that you do something else for your addiction in addition to a support group, such as also meeting regularly with a counselor.
Finally, this type of treatment aims to change your drinking behavior with counseling. Unlike the above, behavioral treatments have been shown through studies to be effective. There are several different kinds of treatment options as well:
- Cognitive-Behavioral Theory
- Motivational Enhancement Theory
- Marital and Family Counseling
- Brief Interventions
These various options all incorporate different components to attack alcohol addictions from different angles, with some being more short term options compared to others being better for the long haul.
Alcohol addiction is something that should be taken very seriously; this is a disease that can destroy lives and should be treated as such. It can be difficult for someone to come to terms with an alcohol addiction, so be sure to broach the subject lightly if you suspect someone you know suffers from this. If you suspect yourself of possibly having a problem with alcohol, this is a great starting place.