Every single one of us has either been told by older people or telling others who are too young to figure things out on their own that drinking and doing drugs is the worst thing to ever try, and it is true. Being addicted to drugs, alcohol, and all of those illegal substances get the users to temporarily lose their mind and be unable to think straight, consequently, they might perform a lot of violent acts that they no longer have control over. Well, we are usually taught that they are bad people, but that is not exactly true.
Here is the story; the only bad thing that alcoholics and drug abusers ever do is letting these illegal substances mess up their lives. Once they get used to these things, it can be too late to ever save themselves from being carried away, but, they get treatment, do not they? So, they are more like patients rather than bad people, for addiction is a disease.
It is a disease, not immorality
Alcohol addiction is known to be a prolonged disease; it is characterized by neurotic habits that make the abusers seek for drinking more alcohol or using more drugs no matter how deteriorated their bodies are getting. The constant use of drugs and drinking alcohol leads to a lot of unfortunate consequences, for they cause a lot of changes in the brain, leading it to function differently and not actually in a good way. Instead, alcoholics and drug abusers usually lose control and start performing harmful behaviors. That is why we do not particularly have to perceive them as bad people, but, instead, we should feel sympathy for them for falling victims for such fake appealing substances that led them to believe they will be happier by feeling numb.
The hardest part about addiction is the fact that it is a relapsing disease; alcoholics and drug abusers cannot help themselves but fall back into their bad habits even after an attempt to stop. This disease can be treated, but only with the abuser’s real motivation to stop for good. After quitting for some time, these persons start regaining their ability to control themselves and choose whether to go after this disease all over again or not and that is because the brain starts functioning normally again.
Signs and symptoms
There is always a bright side even to the most unfortunate things in life; being addicted to alcohol is neither fun nor good, but it can be treated through following few simple methods. But before proceeding to the ways, with which you will get yourself free from the slavery of alcohol, let us state all the signs and symptoms that are usually accompanied by this disease.
When you abuse alcohol for a really long time, you start developing a negative way of thinking and your mind is not clear anymore. Besides, your behaviors will start feeling strange to you at first; you will feel like you are not yourself anymore and, with time, you will get used to your new disturbed personality; feeling anxious all the time and ditching everything that has once interested you or made you happy, and for what? Drinking.
It is not actually simple as it may sound, in fact; keeping on drinking can turn your whole life upside down. You will start lose all the people who were once so close to you because they will definitely be disturbed by your new uncontrollable behaviors; you will lose track of time and might, eventually, lose your job or get dismissed from your school. And when you get used to it, things will not get easier, on the contrary; they will get much worse because, every time, you will start drinking more because the amount you are used to has no longer an effect on you.
Well, we have not mention the physical symptoms yet; you will feel sick for most of the time and all you are going to do is trying to deal with your constant fatigue and the aftereffects, so your life becomes a vicious circle of seeking alcohol then trying to get rid of the sickness it accompanies by seeking for more drinks. These symptoms are known as AUD, Addiction Use Disorder.
If you drink too much alcohol and think that you might be suffering from addiction then follow these steps:
Well, that is actually the hardest part; once you decide to quit drinking alcohol, you will find all the reasons to go back to it and that is due to the withdrawal symptoms that come with the quitting process such as nausea, feeling depressed, sweating abnormally, irresistibly shaking, and having trouble falling asleep. Some patients might also experience seizures and hallucinations. Seeking a consultant is always your best choice, for they can help you, with their medical experience, to overcome the tough withdrawal symptoms and keep you sober for as long as they can, so rehab should always be your very first choice for successfully quitting your bad habit of drinking.
2 Primary care doctor
If you are really determined to start a new chapter in your life and let your drinking habits be part of the past, then you should visit a doctor who would be able to evaluate how risky your condition is and set a personalized treatment plan for you to follow. Your doctor might also prescribe for you the appropriate medications needed. There are three popular medications that are currently used for treating alcohol addiction:
• Naltrexone: This one works on making the heavy drinkers cut back on the amount they drink until they can finally be able to reduce their dosages.
• Acamprosate: This medication helps maintain moderation instead of over drinking.
• Disulfiram: Well, disulfiram might be one of the most unpleasant medications ever because it hinders the breakdown of alcohol by the body, consequently, nausea and skin reddening might result making some people give up drinking to avoid these symptoms.
Some people share concerns regarding these medications, for they are afraid that these pills might help alcohol abusers quit one addiction but develop another, but to make things clear; these three medications have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), confirming that they are effective and not addictive at all.
3 Alcohol counseling
Working with a health professional will certainly ease the process of quitting for you, for he/she will be able to help you develop some essential skills that are required for quitting, build a sturdy social support, and make sure you are not going to relapse at any time during your healing process and that is exactly what you need. There are four different types of alcohol counseling, more commonly known as behavioral treatment, and they are as follows:
• Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral therapy is a treatment that occurs either between the patient and the therapist or in a group where everyone gets to share their experience. This kind of treatment works on making the patients vent out the negative feelings or situations that escorted them to heavily drink. The therapy focuses on aiding the patients change their perspective and develop skills with which they can be able to give up their drinking habits and deal with their chances of relapsing.
• Motivational Enhancement Therapy
This Therapy, the Motivational Enhancement, takes a short time to be done with and the goal is to build the patient’s motivation to quit drinking by enlightening them of the importance of getting a treatment, setting a plan, and sticking to it. Over time, the patient’s confidence starts rising and they begin to develop some new skills and get used to stick to their set plan.
• Marital and Family Counseling
Well, this therapy is deemed to be one of the most effective treatments ever because it involves the family members in the treatment process, since that family are known to be a great part of anyone’s support system. Besides; this therapy can help the patient build a strong relationship with his/her family members, so they can help them stick to the plan and avoid relapsing, making their chances of succeeding higher.
• Brief Interventions
Brief Interventions Therapy is so much similar to the Cognitive-Behavioral method, except that it takes a much shorter time. The therapist will gather all the needed information about the patterns of drinking of the patient and the risks that may occur, and then starts developing a personalized plan that aids in making the treatment process easier.
It does not matter whether you are a heavy drinker or a moderate one, if you feel like you are experiencing any of the stated symptoms, do not hesitate in seeking the help that you need to save yourself from being further carried away in this dark path. Stay Safe.