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Alcohol Addiction


Does the term ‘alcohol addiction’ seem strange to you? If so, you are not alone. The proliferation of alcohol in almost every culture makes drinking a very normal thing. Nevertheless, that same proliferation of alcohol means there are plenty of people addicted to it; people whose addiction is not always recognised by themselves or others.

In the UK alone an estimated 5.5% of the adult population is either addicted to alcohol already or well on the way to it. In simpler terms, among a gathering of 20 of your closest friends and family members, there will likely be at least one person struggling with alcohol addiction. That’s significant.

Not a New Problem

The Internet age and new treatment options may give the impression that alcohol addiction is a relatively new phenomenon. But it’s not. Alcohol production and consumption goes back thousands of years to ancient cultures. Therefore, it is likely that alcohol addiction goes back that far is well.

The biggest difficulty is, as we previously mentioned, the fact that alcohol is socially acceptable in just about every culture. By contrast, illicit drugs like heroin and crack are not. The social acceptance of alcohol makes it easier to drink and, by extension, easier to become addicted.

Breaking the Addiction

Someone addicted to alcohol typically sees life as being hopeless without something to drink. That hopelessness is one of the reasons many fail to seek the help they need. However, alcohol addiction can be broken if the addict is willing to take advantage of the services and programs currently available.

Breaking the addiction usually involves three components:

  • Detox – The first step in the process is known as detoxification. Detox achieves sobriety very quickly by separating the alcoholic from his or her drink. In about a week their body can completely flush itself off alcohol and its compounds, allowing the body to begin the recovery process.
  • Rehabilitation – The rehab process does what detox cannot: it addresses the mental and emotional addictions. Rehab typically takes longer because the mental and emotional issues are harder to overcome. A typical residential program can last between 6 and 12 weeks.
  • Aftercare – When detox and rehab are both complete, the former alcoholic is ready to return to a normal and productive life. However, the temptation to once again abuse alcohol will always be present. Aftercare exists to provide the support and services needed to prevent relapse.

Making the Decision

Before alcohol addiction recovery can begin, the alcoholic must make the decision to accept help. For many, this is the most difficult step of all. Why? Because excessive alcohol consumption clouds the judgement and impairs the perception of reality. Rather than seeing how alcohol is destroying his or her life, the alcoholic believes it is the only thing helping him or her hold on.

Experts say that the harm being caused to others often acts as a catalyst for seeking help. In other words, when the alcohol addict finally realises he or she is destroying the lives of other people, he or she is more willing to seek the treatment they need. If nothing else, these individuals are not purposely trying to harm their families or friends.

Now that you know a little more about alcoholism, what are you going to do? If you suspect you might be suffering from alcohol addiction, your next step is to contact us at Alcohol Rehabs. We will explore all of the available treatment options with you, help you determine your best course of action and, if you are ready, assist you in making admission arrangements.

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