Alcoholism, also called alcohol use disorder (AUD) is characterized by a marked inability to control one’s drinking habits, to the point where affected individuals believe themselves unable to function without alcohol. People with an addiction to alcohol continue to drink even after their drinking negatively affects their physical health or personal relationships.
Fortunately, with evidence-based treatment provided by medical professionals, those suffering from alcoholism can receive treatment for this addiction and ongoing support throughout their recovery.
Signs of Alcoholism
Because this substance, unlike other drugs, is socially acceptable and legal to consume, problematic use may go undetected for a long period of time. Alcohol can be misused in a variety of ways, including binge drinking and excessive use.
Individuals suffering from alcoholism may initially drink in a social setting, but their consumption increases over time. Eventually, they may begin to drink alcohol at inappropriate times throughout the day or in dangerous situations, such as while operating a motor vehicle. Risk-taking behavior increases as alcohol becomes a higher priority in one’s life.
Symptoms of alcoholism may include:
- Consuming alcohol throughout the day
- Drinking a large amount of alcohol in social situations
- Feeling the need to drink every day
- Developing a tolerance (must drink more to bring about the same effect)
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms between instances of drinking
- Trying and failing to stop drinking or control one’s alcohol consumption
- Focusing heavily on alcohol (eclipsing family, friends, hobbies, and responsibilities)
- Continuing to use alcohol even after experiencing negative health effects
- Drinking alcohol in dangerous situations
Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder
Because alcoholism is a disease of the brain, individuals are unlikely to quit drinking based on willpower alone. It is a combination of physical and mental obstacles that make professional intervention necessary. Depending on the duration and severity of one’s alcohol use, the process of detoxification may require close medical supervision to ensure patient safety.
Pine Grove provides a variety of treatment options for patients with alcohol use disorder. Care should be tailored to the specific needs of each individual. Residential level addiction treatment, partial hospitalization programs, and outpatient treatment options are available.
Residential treatment is the most intensive option available and is recommended for those who have a significant dependence on alcohol. This option provides 24/7 access to medical supervision and professional care. It also ensures that participants are able to fully focus on their recovery without the distractions or temptations of daily life.
Those who pursue outpatient treatment may have a milder problem with alcohol. They are able to receive treatment during the day but live at home. This option is ideal for those with a supportive home environment, a clean bill of health, and a short history of problematic drinking.
Treatment for alcoholism involves:
- An initial intake assessment
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Motivational Interviewing (MI)
- Life skills training
- Group therapy
- Participation in local Alcoholics Anonymous meetings
- Step-down programs to transition back to daily life
- Ongoing supportive care
Alcohol treatment programs vary in length depending on each person’s individual needs and substance use history. Insurance providers may cover some or all of the required treatment for alcoholism.
Alcoholism Treatment at Pine Grove
Alcohol use disorder is a chronic condition, but fortunately, it can be managed through a combination of medical and therapeutic intervention. At Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services, our gender- and age-specific treatment programs are tailored to the needs of each individual. We offer support along the full continuum of care. Please call 1-888-574-4673 to speak with a member of our team.