Do I Need to Hit Alcohol Rock Bottom Before Going for Treatment?

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Many alcohol abusers are under the misconception that they have to hit rock bottom before they can seek out alcohol treatment help. That couldn’t be further from the truth!

You don’t need to hit any requirements before getting help for your alcohol addiction. If at any moment you feel like you’re struggling with a drinking problem, reach out for help. It’s that simple. After all, people have different definitions of “rock bottom”. Believing this misconception means that you or other alcoholics may put off getting help time and time again.

Your addiction will likely spiral further out of control over time, becoming more challenging to overcome. 

Instead, it’s recommended to find treatment programs for alcohol addiction as early as possible. You’ll discover a new freedom and happiness, and save yourself from the addiction causing potentially life-threatening situations.

Signs of Hitting Alcohol Rock Bottom

If you believe that you have to hit rock bottom before seeking addiction help, then it’s important to define what rock bottom is. It may mean different things to different people. Most people would agree that a sign of hitting rock bottom involves a loss of resources. To hit rock bottom, most people would have to lose one or more of the following resources:

  • Employment.
    The drinking problem may have leached into one’s ability to maintain a certain work performance.
  • Financial security.
    An addict or alcoholic may believe that he or she needs to be having difficulties making ends meet.
  • Housing and safety.
    Heavy or chronic drinkers don’t have to be homeless to have a problem with drinking alcohol.
  • Physical or mental health.
    Drinking alcohol may affect the brain and body. Alcoholism often comes with unsavory side effects. Some of these effects may even be permanent or irreversible.
  • Supportive relationships.
    These relationships may involve family members, friends, or even coworkers.

If you wait until you’ve hit “rock bottom”, you might find yourself in a very bad situation. Loss of one or more resources can have a massive impact on your quality of living. Instead, it’s best to seek help if you notice that you’re starting to have an issue in any of these areas in life.

There are many addiction treatment options available. Each treatment option offers a different level of care. Those with a less severe problem may find outpatient programs to be sufficient enough, whereas a serious addiction requires full-time medical supervision in an inpatient setting.

When is Alcohol Treatment Necessary?

Alcoholism is on the rise yet again in America. 1 in 8 American adults [1] struggle with alcohol abuse, meaning that they meet the requirements set out by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). These numbers don’t include the number of Americans who may binge drink on a weekly basis or have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

“The top 10% of heavy drinkers [2] knock down 74 alcoholic drinks every week. That’s about 18 bottles of wine, three 24-can cases of beer, or a bit more than four-and-a-half 750 ml bottles of hard liquor.”

So, when is it time to get help for your alcohol use? When is alcohol treatment help necessary? Here are some questions you should consider:

  • Have you ever found that your drinking interfered with your work, school, or familial responsibilities? Have you ever neglected any of them, so you can spend more time drinking?
  • Have you, on more than one occasion, tried to stop or cut down on your drinking, but failed?
  • Thinking back, do you spend a lot of time drinking or recovering from a hangover?
  • Do you ever want to drink so badly that you can’t think of anything else?
  • Have you ever continued to drink despite understanding that you’ll likely have to face some consequences? The consequences can be anything, from health problems to a decline in work performance.
  • Do you ever continue to drink despite the fact that it’s making you feel even more depressed?
  • Have you ever engaged in risky behavior because you were drinking?
  • Do you ever feel like you have to drink more and more alcohol to achieve the same effects? If you have, your body has developed alcohol dependence.

APA has released several guidelines for defining alcohol use disorder. They include DSM-5 and DSM-IV [3]. There are some overlaps between the two. Take a look at them to get a better idea of whether your alcohol use has become a problem. Seek treatment for alcoholism as soon as possible. You don’t want to wait until it’s too late!

Why Do Many Americans Avoid Substance Abuse Treatment?

Only about 5% of alcoholics ever seek out addiction treatment [4]. While some have legitimate reasons for not being able to get help, the vast majority simply don’t believe that they have a problem. Others don’t think that their problem is severe enough to warrant alcoholism treatment.

As long as you have a drinking problem, you should get help. Speak with a specialist at an addiction treatment center for a more thorough assessment. Most treatment centers offer free phone assessments and other resources.

With that said, some factors that prevent alcohol addicts from seeking treatment include:

  • Denial. It’s hard to admit that you abuse alcohol. It’s much easier to think that misuse has not become abuse yet. Many alcoholics believe that they can stop drinking at any time. They don’t believe that they’ll experience any alcohol withdrawal symptoms. They also tend to gloss over any warning signs that come their way.
  • Fear. To get help for substance abuse, you have to first admit that you have a problem. You also have to admit that the problem has leaked into other aspects of your life. The barrier to this huge step forward is fear. Accepting the truth can be scary. Taking the first step and reaching out can appear like an equally daunting task.
  • Stigma. There’s a stigma that revolves around getting help. Many professionals are afraid of the stigma that comes with being labeled as an alcoholic. They don’t want others to know that they are seeking alcohol detox.

Regardless of whether you’re an addict or alcoholic, it’s always difficult to get help. Don’t beat yourself down if you’ve realized that it took you a while to look for an inpatient or outpatient program.

What Are The Treatment Options for Alcohol Rehab?

Rehab centers offer a wide range of treatment options for alcoholism. The success rates for alcohol addiction treatment are relatively high. With the right help and resources, the alcohol addiction recovery process can be expedited.

Alcohol addiction treatment can usually be broken down into two components. The first component involves alcohol rehab. The second component involves behavioral therapy. Many of these treatment options are covered under your health care insurance. The insurance accepted will vary between different rehab facilities. Find affordable care by looking at the various options that are available to you.

Understanding how these two components help alcohol abusers is vital. Treating alcohol addiction isn’t easy. Getting a better idea of the types of treatments available can help you make a more informed decision. The rehabilitation process tends to be rather long and lengthy. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the different components involved.

Alcohol Detox

Several medicines treat alcohol addiction effectively. These treatments ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. Most importantly, they prevent life-threatening symptoms, like delirium tremens or seizures.

These medications are often used in conjunction with therapies, or while patients taper off of alcohol use. Some of the most common medications used by most recovery programs include:

  • Acamprosate
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Benzodiazepine
  • Disulfiram
  • Naltrexone

Some of these medications are prescribed as pills. Alcohol abusers may take several pills throughout the day to manage their symptoms. The doses will vary based on each patient’s condition and situation. It will also depend on how the patients respond to the treatment.

Other medicines, like naltrexone, are prescribed in the form of a monthly injection.

Different medications have unique treatment protocols. Some may require patients to be completely off alcohol and drugs first. Each drug also has specific side effects. Knowing the requirements of each medicine, as well as its cost, can help many drug abusers and alcohol abusers figure out what will work best for them.

Those who aren’t getting the desired results should consider switching to another medicine. There’s no harm in doing so if something doesn’t seem to be working. It may even speed up the recovery process.

Behavioral Therapy

The second component of alcohol detox is behavioral therapy. Therapy and counseling will help prevent relapses by treating psychological withdrawal symptoms. This component of the treatments will also improve the mental health of alcohol abusers. The different types of behavioral therapies available include:

Each treatment facility will likely offer different types of therapies and counseling, depending on the specialties of the counselors at the rehab facility. Some counselors specialize in specific types of treatment.

That said, those struggling with an alcohol use disorder can also consider different options. Some therapies are more effective than others for different types of people.

For example, those who are self-motivated may be more keen on motivational interviewing. Teenagers involved in underage drinking may find family therapy to be a more effective option.

When’s the Best Time to Get Alcohol Treatment Help?

Most addiction specialists recommend getting help as soon as you notice that your drinking has gone out of hand. It’s time to reign in now before the situation worsens.

Some people may seek alcohol treatment help as soon as they have difficulties putting the bottle down. Others may wait until they’ve hit alcohol rock bottom or gotten into serious trouble. It’s never too late to get treated for alcohol addiction.

At Avenues Recovery, our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to get the alcohol treatment help you need. Our duty is to help you understand your addiction to alcohol. We provide the resources necessary to identify addiction and the best treatment options for you personally.

Reach out today for professional guidance from our friendly staff. An addiction-free life is within your reach!







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