For many, enjoying a drink is a harmless pleasure, however, when alcohol use becomes more frequent it can lead to dependency. Without alcohol treatment and rehabilitation this dependency can cause serious long-term problems and may even be fatal.
We understand embarking upon recovery can be an emotionally turbulent time for you. With this in mind, the Priory offers a free alcoholism assessment with an experienced therapist at all of our addiction treatment hospitals and clinics to help you discuss your addiction in confidence. This will help put your mind at ease and help you understand the journey you will be taking towards a more positive way of life.
Priory’s aim is to offer guidance and support in a comfortable, safe and healing environment and provide the most clinically effective treatment to help you get your life back on track.
What is alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a condition where you drink so much that your body eventually becomes dependent on alcohol to function in daily life. Alcohol addiction can affect you physically and mentally, can have a negative impact on your relationships and lead to problems in your work and social life. Alcohol rehab and counselling can help to reduce the impact of alcohol dependency.
What causes alcoholism?
Alcoholism has a cause, a symptom and is treatable, so therefore it has all the characteristics of a progressive disease. But what causes it? Alcoholism develops when you drink to a level where the brain undergoes chemical changes, which augments the feelings of pleasure associated with drinking alcohol and makes you want to drink more. At first, these changes can seem pleasurable, but eventually this can dissipate. A person with alcohol dependency will drink to avoid the unpleasant feelings and sometimes dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
Effects of alcohol dependence
There are common misconceptions about being dependent on alcohol, which can lead to a delay in seeking help. You might believe that a lack of withdrawal symptoms or social problems means that your alcohol dependence is not a problem. Many heavy drinkers, particularly women, can develop cirrhosis and liver failure caused by a tolerance to alcohol that minimises their withdrawal symptoms.
If you think that you are abusing alcohol in your daily life, take a closer look at our symptoms of alcoholism section.
How is alcohol addiction treated?
If you are already thinking about seeking alcohol addiction help, then you have admitted that you have a problem, which is a significant first step. Our nationwide network of specialist consultants and therapists has treated thousands of people to overcome their dependence on alcohol successfully.
Our personalised programmes include a free initial assessment as well as 12 months of aftercare and family support. Abstinence can be a long and difficult journey, but by using the 12-step model of alcohol recovery and a comprehensive support network, we have demonstrated that treatment can work.
There are three types of treatment we use depending on the individual and the severity of your alcoholism. These are abstinence, detoxification and rehab.
How does abstinence from alcohol work?
Where abstinence is needed, treatment is structured and often involves several stages similar to those used in self-help or counselling organisations such as Alcoholics Anonymous. The main aim is to help you give up alcohol completely, rather than simply cut down your drinking.
How does alcohol detoxification work?
If you are physically dependent on alcohol (suffering alcohol withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking), the first step in treatment is medically assisted withdrawal or alcohol detoxification. This involves replacing alcohol with other drugs then reducing the dose over five to seven days in hospital. This may be longer if this alcoholic detox process is carried out at home or as an outpatient. The aim is to reduce the unpleasant symptoms that result from stopping drinking. These symptoms are generally worse during the first day of treatment, but quickly improve over the following days
How does alcohol rehabilitation work?
Alcohol rehab can take many forms depending on your needs. It can vary from support through self- help groups to intensive treatment in a rehabilitation facility. Therapy is aimed at helping you to find out why you drink and to develop alternatives to drinking, eventually leading to a fulfilled life without alcohol. During rehabilitation, you will face up to a variety of difficult issues and may experience intense mood swings.
What is the CAGE test and what will it show?
In alcoholism rehabilitation and alcohol dependency treatment, a commonly used test to work out if you could be alcohol dependent is the CAGE test.
The CAGE questions:
- Have you ever felt you should Cut down on your drinking?
- Have people ever annoyed you by criticising your drinking?
- Have you ever felt bad or Guilty about your drinking?
- Have you ever had an eye opener; a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?
Further information & help with addictions