It’s not easy to see when drinking has crossed the line from moderate or social use to problem drinking. But if you consume alcohol to cope with difficulties you are in potentially in dangerous territory. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse can sneak up on you, so it’s important to be aware of the warning signs and take steps to cut back if you recognize them. Understanding the problem is the first step to overcoming it.
Most people with alcohol problems do not decide to make a big change out of the blue or transform their drinking habits overnight. Recovery is usually a more gradual process. In the early stages of change, denial is a huge obstacle. Even after admitting you have a drinking problem, you may make excuses and drag your feet. It’s important to acknowledge your ambivalence about stopping drinking. If you’re not sure if you’re ready to change or you’re struggling with the decision, it can help to think about the costs and benefits of each choice.
Addiction to alcohol can be a long and bumpy road. At times, it may even feel impossible. But it’s not. If you’re ready to stop drinking and willing to get the support you need, you can recover from alcoholism and alcohol abuse—no matter how bad the addiction or how powerless you feel. You don’t have to wait until you hit rock bottom; you can make a change at any time.
When evaluating one of the many types of alcohol treatment programs, remember that everyone’s needs are different. In general, the longer and more intense the alcohol use, the longer and more intense the treatment you may need.
- Program accreditation and licensing. Make sure the treatment program is accredited by the state it’s in. Also check to ensure that the program is run by licensed, well-trained mental health professionals and addiction specialists.
- The effectiveness of the program’s treatment methods. Treatment centers should have at least some statistics on their success rates, preferably from an objective outside agency.
- Type of aftercare services to prevent relapse. Is there a well-run aftercare program? Does it provide referrals to other recovery services and support groups in the community? Also make sure that a staff member will collaborate with you to create a discharge plan before you leave the program.
Regardless of a program’s length in weeks or months, support and long-term follow-up is crucial to recovery. A quality treatment program not only addresses the drinking, but it also addresses the emotional pain and other life problems that contribute to your drinking.
If you or a loved one have a drinking problem and would like to receive more information about alcohol rehab centers, call our 7 Day 24-hour Confidential Helpline at 888-382-1424.