Most people who drink alcohol begin socially. What starts as a way to unwind on a Friday night may turn into more regular use: drinking every evening after work, building tolerance, and showing up to the office hungover. When a person loses control over his or her drinking and feels the urge to use alcohol even when it has negative consequences, they have likely developed what’s called alcohol chemical dependency – or addiction to alcohol.
Like all chronic diseases, alcohol chemical dependency can lead to serious health issues if left untreated. The good news is that treatment for chemical dependency is available. Those who suffer from the condition can get sober, recover, and reclaim their lives.
Symptoms of alcohol chemical dependency
Everyone who struggles with alcohol chemical dependency has a different experience, but there are some key symptoms that may indicate if someone close to you has become chemically dependent. Common signs of alcohol chemical dependency include needing to drink more to get buzzed or drunk, driving under the influence, withdrawing from social activities, making excuses for drinking, neglecting personal hygiene and appearance, and unsuccessful attempts at reducing alcohol use.
Treatment for chemical dependency
The first step towards recovering from alcohol chemical dependency is coming to terms with the addiction. It can be difficult to convince someone you love that they need treatment, but if he or she is ready to seek help, a visit to the doctor for assessment is the next step. There are several different treatment programs available with varying levels of intensity to address the needs of each individual.
Inpatient chemical dependency treatment
Individuals experiencing severe substance abuse problems will likely be referred to an inpatient chemical dependency treatment program. Inpatient care involves a safe detoxification where patients receive 24-hour support from a dedicated nursing staff. Substitute medications are often used to help relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal during this process.
Inpatient chemical dependency treatment also involves individual and group therapy to help the individual understand their addiction. Relapse prevention, stress management techniques, and trigger identification and avoidance improve a patient’s coping skills so they learn to navigate problems without turning to alcohol. A combination of detoxification and chemical dependence counseling offers patients the best chance of a successful recovery.
Outpatient chemical dependency treatment
If addiction is addressed early enough when symptoms are mild, some patients can achieve recovery in an outpatient chemical dependency program. A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is a step down from inpatient care and offers a structured daytime setting for those struggling with chemical dependency. In PHP, individuals attend treatment during the day and return home to be with friends and family in the evenings.
An outpatient chemical dependency program is the most flexible treatment option. It’s designed for patients who experience less severe symptoms of chemical dependency, but still need professional help to break the cycle of addiction. Outpatient treatment is typically held in the evenings so patients can still attend work or school while receiving care.
Is someone you love struggling with alcohol addiction? Help is available.
There are fewer things more painful than watching someone you care about struggle with alcohol chemical dependency. If your loved one is open to the idea of treatment, the therapists and staff at Alvarado Parkway Institute are here to help. Our chemical dependency treatment program is built on the belief that every individual’s path to sobriety looks different. That’s why we develop custom plans of care for each patient, matching them with a tailored selection of services that will help them avoid relapse and restore a high level of functioning. To learn more, call our 24-hour crisis line at (619) 667-6125 today.