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Ways of Addressing Alcohol Abuse

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Recognizing Alcohol Abuse 

Many of us have been to a dinner party or other social occasion where one or more people present may be drinking a bit over the limit. But this would require one to know what the limit is. Often, the limit one observes is based on what we consider too much. Some people consider four beers too much, while others may consider a few bottles of wine between two friends acceptable. There are many variations of a limit.

To determine if a person is struggling with alcohol, one only needs to observe their pattern of behaviour with drinking.

  • Social drinking – mild use or moderation, can say no.
  • Problem drinking – their drinking creates negative consequences.
  • Alcoholism – this is a mental dependency or chemical reliance (addiction)

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Various Resources for Drinking Issues

In our current society, alcohol is available at practically every turn. However, there are resources available for help.

  • AA Alcoholics Anonymous 

It is the most common resource for addiction. This service is found in practically every city, town, or village across the country. It is mainly based on group meetings in a town hall, church, or community center. Here, the person meets with others struggling with similar issues and finds peer support. It is done with a sponsor who is there to assist the person in overcoming their desires and gaining inner strength to maintain sobriety.

  • Outpatient counselling

Here, one will meet with an alcohol treatment counsellor once or twice a week for one hour. Normally, the counsellor will work with the person through questioning and orientation based on responses. By having the person inspect their answers, the person can be guided to the sources of their consumption and brought up to a recognition of the underlying reasons. The intent is to help the person change their behaviour, thus bringing about sobriety.

  • Inpatient counselling

With this resource, the person cannot deal with the stimuli of their environment. They need a safe space to address their issues related to drinking. Often, these resources are the same as those who abuse drugs. The counselling will not differ much. Usually, people with alcohol or drug abuse issues will have other underlying problems that must be addressed.

  • Medical Detox

When drinking has become too severe, stopping on their own can be dangerous. It is a question of safely helping the person withdraw and closely monitoring their physical changes. It includes medication to alleviate symptoms. Seizures, HBP, and delirium tremens are common with severe alcohol addiction.

Here, medical staff will keep close watch as the person progresses through their withdrawal period. This includes those persons who have any prior medical condition.

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What to Expect When Stopping Alcohol Use

It depends on what has been consumed: how long, how much, the strength of alcohol in %, and similar factors. It also would include the person’s physical health at the time of their treatment.

In any problem drinking or dependence use, a person could expect one or more of the following general withdrawal symptoms.

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Heart palpitations
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Anxiety and agitation
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Tools to keep one’s sobriety after treatment.

There are certain things a person can do to maintain their sobriety. One of them is to make changes in their daily routine. Don’t just leave work; walk by the local watering hole and fight your way home. You can leave work & go to the gym. It may require you to change some people you hang out with. When at social gatherings, you can ask for non-alcoholic beverages.

You need to find an activity that interests you. It could be a hobby, a physical activity, or simply taking long walks. Another important aspect of keeping sobriety is having no bottles or beer cans around. This means that family members need to help as well. After you stop using alcohol, your spouse should support you and keep all alcohol away from the home. These are simple things that can be done.

Following these actions can bring about lasting sobriety, including a support system. You can, if you feel the need, connect with others who are alcohol-free and support each other. As long as you were honest during the treatment period and addressed all underlying issues related to alcohol drinking, your chances of long-lasting sobriety are greatly increased.

M. James Bernard


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