Alcoholism directly affects not only the health and life of the addict, but also his immediate family, who do not know how to help a loved one. It causes a number of negative effects that make the alcoholic lose control of his life, he focuses only on acquiring and drinking alcohol. Fighting an addiction is complicated, it requires strong motivation, dedication and a comprehensive approach. The reward is sobriety and a return to the old life. How to start treating alcoholism to overcome this difficult opponent?
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Step one – accepting the disease
For therapy to be successful, you must be aware of your own drinking problem. The internal examination of conscience is the first step that allows you to start treatment of alcoholism. An addict has to admit that he is sick and needs help. Even the best alcohol addiction treatment center will not help if the person concerned does not want to change their habits. Living sober requires a great deal of self-denial, often fighting with oneself. It will be difficult to motivate such sacrifices to be made by someone who believes that his addiction is normal and not a disease.
Alcoholic disease affects a growing group of people. Years ago, it was associated mainly with people from lower social strata, and the stereotype of an alcoholic is a sloppy looking man from a liquor store – drinking cheap wine or asking for “2 zlotys for beer”. However, it is worth realizing that this problem equally affects every environment – regardless of social status, profession or place of residence. Addiction can be caused by perfectionism, a stressful lifestyle, a constant lack of time or work that requires maximum concentration and does not allow mistakes.
The first warning signals about crossing a safe border often come from the closest ones. It is important, however, for the person concerned to become aware of the addiction as soon as possible. Often, alcoholics will only admit their problem when alcohol has drastic health effects in their lives, leads to job loss, financial problems (e.g., heavy debt), family breakdown, and relationships with friends.
People who are wondering whether drinking alcohol is already their addiction should answer some basic questions:
How much do I spend on alcohol?
Is my family suffering from my drinking?
Do I even organize trips with friends who do not drink alcohol?
Is alcohol a way for me to relieve tension, improve my mood and solve other everyday problems?
Does life without alcohol seem empty to me?
After stopping alcohol (for at least a few days), do I feel irritable and unpleasant symptoms (physical, mental)?
If you answer yes to at least half of these questions, you are addicted and need therapy. It is worth remembering that the sooner we decide to treat alcoholism, the less havoc alcohol will cause in our body and the easier it will be for us to overcome the addiction.
Step two – asking for help
Where to start treating alcoholism? Many myths have arisen around the topic, which means that it is often not treated like any other disease, but the effect of failure in life and a fact that should be hidden from the environment. Realizing that alcohol dependence is a disease that, like any other, needs to be treated, an important step. Thinking like this will help us overcome our inner resistance, admit we’re addicted, and ask for help. The support of family and other relatives is invaluable in the fight against addiction. Very often it is the environment that motivates the alcoholic to start professional therapy and gives him a sense of security. An addict is often able to sacrifice a lot and persevere in not drinking to regain the trust placed in him by his loved ones.
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Step three – diagnosis
The next step is to diagnose the problem by a specialist.
The therapist conducts a detailed interview with the patient. Its aim is not only to determine the addict’s physical and mental condition and the phase of alcoholism, but above all to find the internal cause of the problem. It is worth remembering that there are psychological reasons behind addiction to psychoactive substances.
The specialist helps the patient choose the appropriate form of treatment, tailored to the severity of the problem, individual predispositions, mental and physical condition, and advises how to start treating alcoholism.