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Approximately 14.5 million people, ages 12 and up, struggle with an alcohol use disorder (AUD). According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, only about 7.2% of those 14.5 million people received alcohol treatment. 

You may be feeling nervous about what to expect from alcohol treatment. Or you might think you can do treatment alone at home. These may be some of the reasons you were questioning alcohol treatment to begin with. This article will explore what you can expect from alcohol treatment in order to ease some of the added stress and anxiety you may feel from the unknown. 

The Effects of Alcoholism

Alcohol has both immediate physical and psychological effects. It’s important to note that these side effects can turn debilitating if alcohol use continues over a long period of time. If you are struggling with AUD, it may also be affecting your family. It can be hard to sit and watch while someone you love is struggling with an addiction. 

If you are noticing that you’re loved one is struggling with an AUD, it’s important to reach out for help sooner then later. This way, they are able to receive the help they need before it gets worse. 

Signs of alcohol addiction include the following:

  • Slower reaction times 
  • Blackouts 
  • Memory lapses 
  • Impaired speech 
  • Impaired judgment 

The First Step of Alcohol Treatment: Detoxification

The detoxification process is usually the first step for treatment and the hardest. This is because the withdrawal symptoms begin in detox. These symptoms can be hard to handle alone, which is why it is beneficial to attend professional treatment. 

The physical symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Nausea 
  • Headaches 
  • Tremors and shakiness 
  • Sweating 
  • Fever 
  • Seizures

Psychological symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety 
  • Sudden change in mood 
  • Insomnia 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Agitation 

Medical professionals and on-site staff can help to ease these symptoms with certain medications and other treatments. These treatments can include yoga, meditation, therapy, and exercise. 

Differences Between Outpatient and Inpatient Programs for Alcohol Treatment

In most cases, outpatient programs can allow you to receive treatment while also handling daily responsibilities. This can include work, school, and family obligations. On the other hand, inpatient programs, in most cases, involve around-the-clock treatment. This includes 24/7 access to therapists and medical professionals if needed. 

Different Types of Therapy for Alcohol Treatment

Therapy for alcohol treatment can either begin during the detox phase or after, depending on the program. There are a few different forms of therapy that may be offered to you. They all can play different roles in helping you through treatment. 

Behavioral Therapy

There are a few different forms of behavioral therapy that can either be used in individual or group therapy programs. They are all intended to help you understand the motivations behind your behavior as well as the triggers that potentially led to the addiction. This is beneficial because once you understand your behavior, you can develop healthy coping skills. 

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

This form of therapy involves understanding your thought patterns and behavioral responses. This way, you can substitute the negative behaviors with more positive behaviors. 

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

While on the other hand, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) can be beneficial if you are struggling with a dual diagnosis. This includes having AUD and depression existing at the same time. This form of behavioral therapy can help with enhancing behavioral skills to cope with the dual diagnosis. 

Trauma-Focused CBT

This form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) takes the trauma that you may have experienced and looks at how that has affected your behaviors. Trauma-focused CBT can help you notice a link between your trauma and alcohol addiction to break free. 

Family Therapy

Addiction does not only affect you. It can also affect everyone that loves and cares about you. You may have noticed that your addiction put a strain on your family and may have ruined some relationships. Family therapy can help everyone talk with a mediator and learn how to heal and repair those relationships. 

Family therapy can also help family members recognize if they are enabling the addiction. If they realize that they are, family therapy can help teach them ways to stop enabling. 

Post-Alcohol Treatment: Alumni and Aftercare Program

Having a community to lean on for support is one of the most important factors in ensuring success after treatment. Here at West Coast Recovery Centers, we offer an alumni program for post-treatment to help with the transition back into everyday life. The alumni program consists of additional support to assist during this new phase in life. This program allows you to interact with others going through the same path as you through different group activities. Some of the activities include beach bonfires, softball games, and weekly process groups. 

The alumni and aftercare program can also help you learn skills that can potentially reduce the risk of a relapse. This transition into a normal routine can be difficult in the beginning, but there are many ways to succeed. 

The unknown is always scary, and that is no different for alcohol treatment. Alcohol addiction can negatively affect your quality of life over time. This is because it can affect your brain, physical health, and relationships with people close to you. If you are struggling with alcohol use disorder (AUD), it’s important to remember that you have options for treatment. Here at West Coast Recovery Centers, we understand the impacts of alcohol addiction, which is why we prioritize treatment. This is through our extensive outpatient program, along with aftercare and alumni resources, to ensure lifelong recovery. Don’t struggle in silence any longer. For more information, reach out to us today at (760) 492-6509.

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