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Alcoholic Use Disorder or AUD is the term for a chronic disease characterized by excessive consumption of alcohol and the preoccupation with that substance. AUD is a chronic relapsing brain disease marked by a loss of control over alcohol intake and the surrounding negative emotional states when not in use. An estimated 16 million people suffer from the disease in the United States alone. To be diagnosed, individuals must meet certain criteria according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Criteria for AUD include:
- Have you ended up drinking more, or longer, than you intended?
- Spent a lot of time drinking? Or being sick or getting over the aftereffects?
- Experienced craving — a strong need, or urge, to drink?
- Found that drinking — or being sick from drinking — often interfered with taking care of your home or family? Or caused job troubles? Or school problems?
- Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends?
- Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink?
- More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?
- Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem? Or after having had a memory blackout?
- Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want? Or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?
- Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating? Or sensed things that were not there?
If you or a loved one has answered yes to any of these questions, you may be suffering from AUD. The more of these symptoms you can say yes to, the more likely you could be in need of a detox program like an alcoholic anonymous inpatient program. These programs exist to establish a support network with viable steps for recovery aided by trained staff and professionals.
Alcoholic Anonymous’ Foundation
After prohibition ended in 1920, alcohol once again poured into the streets, paving the way for alcoholism to emerge from the shadows. By 1935, Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith (both recovering alcoholics) had had enough, founding the Alcoholics Anonymous as a community-based fellowship to encourage sobriety for recovering alcoholics. The fellowship developed into 12 steps that governed AA meetings, as well as 12 traditions:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
These traditions have cemented the legacy of Alcoholics Anonymous, which now has more than 2 million active members worldwide, with more than 50,000 groups nationwide. The original steps still remain as they were first created and have also helped other addicts from other vices in groups like Narcotics Anonymous. Many groups use similar themes with minor variations, which show the impact of this foundation.
Alcoholic Anonymous Inpatient Program
The combination of a twelve step program such as AA combined with inpatient treatment can be an effective combination in fighting alcohol dependency. Entering inside a program is the most important part of a journey to recovery. Admitting you have a problem and accepting the responsibility will make it easier to take the next step. A residential treatment center is a buffer that allows individuals to benefit from oversight and management of symptoms by trained staff and professionals. A detox program as part of the inpatient plan is key to expelling the built up chemicals and toxins of alcoholism. With added oversight, patients will be monitored during the individual cycles through the detox, as well as the withdrawal process. Rehabilitation will follow with a comprehensive treatment for alcohol dependency utilizing alcoholic anonymous steps and other comprehensive strategies. Following the treatment program, an individual will benefit from ongoing outpatient therapy, so relapsing can be minimized and ultimately stopped by participating in a recovery community.
Residential Detox for Alcohol Withdrawal
Drinking alcohol heavily for weeks, months, or years, and then suddenly stopping, may cause serious mental and physical issues because of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Because alcohol has a depressive effect on your system that slows down brain function and changes the way your nerves send messages back and forth, this sudden cessation of alcohol intake may shock your central nervous system. It will take a good amount of time for your system to adjust and reach a new equilibrium. This is why an alcoholic anonymous inpatient program is so important, because a supervised withdrawal process is safer and more conducive to maintaining recovery. These specialized detox programs provide a detox team that is trained to provide immediate interventions as withdrawal symptoms increase, as well as keeping the client as safe and sound as possible. Alcohol detox and withdrawal symptoms include:
- Shaky Hands
- Racing Heart
- High Blood Pressure
- Heavy Sweating
Generally, the symptoms of withdrawal will start roughly 8 hours after your last drink. After 24-72 hours, the most severe symptoms will peak. After 5-7 days, these symptoms will start to taper off and decrease in their intensity. Later on after the first week, some side effects, which may include psychological effects, may linger for weeks. That is why it is important to enter an alcoholic anonymous inpatient program, so that that these psychological issues can be treated.
After the initial detox period, and the body has cleared the alcohol, the individual will stabilize psychologically. At this point, they will be ready to enter the treatment process. Inpatient residential rehab programs typically range from 30 to 60 to 90 days, depending on the severity of the alcoholism. Rehab can be provided in either an outpatient or inpatient treatment center, but for more severe cases, an inpatient option is more effective. The structure and intensity of inpatient treatment offers more stability than an outpatient process. Whichever type of rehab is selected, the treatment goals and methods will be similar—to maintain sobriety. Generally, treating an individual with AUD will involve a multi-pronged approach, including:
- Individual Therapy.These one-on-one psychotherapy sessions allow the individual to explore the underlying reasons for the alcoholism forming. A trained therapist can be helpful in providing solutions and recovery techniques for managing the root causes and triggers.
- Group Therapy.Group therapy is often helpful at this lonely time, as these sessions remind sufferers that they are not alone. A therapist who will lead the group in discussions dealing with their alcoholism. Group therapy offers a safe, supportive space where people can share their struggles and fears, while encouraging each other.
- 12-step Programs.A.’s 12-step programming is a crucial element used by rehabs, and provides a structure and setting where individuals can gain peer support, but also tangible actions within the steps.
- Tools For Recovery. The number one goal of rehab is to train the individual with skills and the tools they will need to maintain their recovery. This includes learning how to manage stress through mindfulness, yoga techniques, and deep breathing meditation. These added tools also include time management skills for those dealing with real world pressures.
- Relapse Prevention.The reality of recovery is that triggers can start the alcohol use disorder all over again. That is why it is important to make a detailed list of the potential triggers, so an individual can take proactive steps to battle it, so they can remain clean and sober.
Alcohol Rehab Aftercare
Finishing a stint at rehab is a big part of staying sober, but it is not the end of the recovery process. It is simply the beginning of a learning process that will continue as you maintain your sobriety. You will have to make fundamental changes to how you manage stress, the people you surround yourself with, and the lifestyle you maintain. By being mindful to what you’ve learned in an alcoholic anonymous treatment program, you should be able to avoid temptation and make the necessary positive changes to keep sober. Joining a recovery community in the form a support group with 12-step meetings will be helpful in building stability in your post-rehab life. Also, continuing outpatient therapy is also important, as staying in recovery is often difficult. A therapist in your corner is very helpful.
Capo By the Sea is a Luxury Seaside Rehab that Treats Alcohol Addiction in Southern California
Capo By the Sea is a premier alcohol rehabilitation program in Orange County. Alcohol withdrawal and treatment is executed by Capo By the Sea through an integrated approach that includes conventional therapies, holistic therapies, and addiction education/recovery skill building classes. Capo By the Sea offers the utmost in luxury accommodations, with spa-like amenities to enhance the rehab experience. For more detail about out program, please contact Capo By the Sea today at 888-529-2114.