–       Our Holistic Approach to Alcoholism

The alcohol rehab centre’s clinical team take a holistic approach to your substance use and regularly liaise with other team members to provide a comprehensive overview of your individual difficulty and develop a complete treatment plan to provide the best opportunity at achieving the desired outcomes. The following information is to assist you when considering if you or your loved one needs professional help.

Alcoholism is a disabling addictive disorder. It is characterized by compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcohol, despite its negative effects on the drinker’s health, relationships, and social functioning. Like other drugaddictions, alcoholism is medically defined as a treatable disease. Alcoholism, alcohol abuse or alcohol dependenceis one of the most frequently and unsuccessfully treated conditions in our hospitals and rehab clinics today. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant with effects that vary depending on the concentration in the blood. Alcohol dependence also presents the individual with a range of additional problems of all the drugs of abuse.  Aside from developing alcohol abuse and/or dependence disorders most alcoholics engage in unsafe drinking practices and are more susceptible to exposure to verbal or physical abuse, and an increased likelihood of engaging in risky behaviours and injury. There are also the risks of developing emotional problems such as depression and anxiety,problems with loved onesand feeling of worthlessness. Most individuals presenting with alcoholism or alcohol dependence report feeling as though their lives are out of control or severe loneliness.

–        Understanding Alcoholism and Rehabilitation

Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are due to many interconnected factors, including past traumas, genetics, how you were raised, your social environment, and your emotional health. Individuals who have a family history of alcoholism or who associate closely with heavy drinkers are more likely to develop alcohol problems. Also those who suffer from a mental health problem such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder are also particularly at risk, because alcohol may be used to self-medicate.

Since alcohol consumption is so common in Australia and the effects vary so widely from person to person, it’s not always easy to figure out where the line is between social drinking and alcoholism. The bottom line is how alcohol affects you. If your drinking is causing problems in your life, you have a drinking problem.

–        Do you have a drinking problem?

You may have a drinking problem if you…

  • Feel guilty or ashamed about your drinking.
  • Lie to others or hide your drinking habits.
  • Have friends or family members who are worried about your drinking.
  • Need to drink in order to relax or feel better.
  • “Black out” or forget what you did while you were drinking.
  • Regularly drink more than you intended to.

–         Rehabilitation for alcoholism or alcohol abuse

If you’re ready to admit you have a drinking problem, you’ve already taken the first step. It takes tremendous strength and courage to face alcohol abuse and alcoholism head on. Reaching out for support is the second step.
Whether you choose to go to rehab, rely on self-help programs, get therapy, or take a self-directed treatment approach, support is essential. Recovering from alcohol addiction is much easier when you have people you can lean on for encouragement, comfort, and guidance. Without support, it’s easy to fall back into old patterns when things get tough.

–        Getting sober is only the beginning

Your continued recovery depends on continuing mental health treatment, learning healthier coping strategies, and making better decisions when dealing with life’s challenges. In order to stay alcohol-free for the long term, you’ll also have to face the underlying problems that led to your alcoholism or alcohol abuse in the first place. Those problems could be depression, an inability to manage stress, an unresolved trauma from your childhood, or any number of mental health issues. Such problems may become more prominent when you’re no longer using alcohol to cover them up. But you will be in a healthier position to finally address them and seek the help you need. Alcoholism is a complex disorder that can affect every aspect of your life. Overcoming it requires making changes to the way you live, deal with problems, and relate to others. Reducing or stopping drinking takes commitment and support. The good news is that there are many tools that can help you on your journey to sobriety.

–        When a loved one has a drinking problem

If someone you love has a drinking problem, you may be struggling with a number of painful emotions, including shame, fear, anger, and self-blame. The problem may be so overwhelming that it seems easier to ignore it and pretend that nothing is wrong. But in the long run denying it will be more damaging to you, other family members, and the person with the drinking problem.

–        What not to do

  • Don’t attempt to punish, threaten, bribe, or preach.
  • Don’t try to be a martyr. Avoid emotional appeals that may only increase feelings of guilt and the compulsion to drink or use other drugs.
  • Don’t cover up or make excuses for the alcoholic or problem drinker or shield them from the realistic consequences of their behavior.
  • Don’t take over their responsibilities, leaving them with no sense of importance or dignity.
  • Don’t hide or dump bottles, throw out drugs, or shelter them from situations where alcohol is present.
  • Don’t argue with the person when they are impaired.
  • Don’t try to drink along with the problem drinker.
  • Above all, don’t feel guilty or responsible for another’s behavior.

Dealing with a loved one’s alcohol problem can be an emotional rollercoaster. It’s vital that you take care of yourself and get the support you need. It’s also important to have people you can talk honestly and openly with about what you’re going through.

A good place to start is by joining a group such as Al-Anon, a free peer support group for families coping with alcoholism. Listening to others with the same challenges can be a tremendous source of comfort and support. You can also turn to trusted friends, a therapist, or people in your faith community.

  • You cannot force someone you love to stop abusing alcohol.As much as you may want to, and as hard as it is to watch, you cannot make someone stop drinking. The choice is up to them.
  • Don’t expect the person to stop drinking and stay sober without help. Your loved one will need treatment, support, and new coping skills to overcome a serious drinking problem.
  • Recovery is an ongoing process.Recoveryis a bumpy road, requiring time and patience. An alcoholic will not magically become a different person once sober. And the problems that led to the alcohol abuse in the first place will have to be faced.

Ready to take the next step? Or do you have more questions?