When To Seek Help for Alcohol Abuse
June 29, 2022
What is Alcohol Abuse?
Alcohol abuse is commonly defined as the habitual misuse of alcohol. It involves a pattern of heavy drinking at one time or over a period. This misuse may negatively affect one’s health, lifestyle, and relationships.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines heavy drinking as consuming more than 3 drinks per day or 7 drinks per week for women, and more than 4 drinks per day or 14 drinks per week for men.
Abusing alcohol can lead to alcoholism, also referred to as Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). This is when an individual develops a physical dependence on alcohol and loses their ability to control their drinking habits.
Signs of Alcohol Abuse
It’s important to know the early signs of alcohol abuse so individuals or loved ones can identify them and prevent the development of a more serious drinking problem. Early signs of alcohol abuse may include:
- Drinking more than originally planned
- Drinking despite the concerns of others
- Drinking to cope with stress or emotions
- Drinking despite negative consequences
- Frequent failed attempts to quit drinking
- Development or growth of a tolerance
As the alcohol abuse progresses, an individual may become physically dependent and develop AUD. At this point, a noticeable change in mood or behavior takes place and treatment becomes necessary.
Treatment for Alcohol Abuse
There are a variety of treatment options for alcohol abuse. The type of treatment will depend on the individual and the severity of their case.
Below are some examples of the most common alcohol abuse treatment options available today:
- Behavioral Therapy: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a proven method that is widely used today. It aims to help change an individual’s behavior and address underlying issues through counseling.
- Support Groups: 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can offer a valuable layer of support from peers who are struggling with alcohol abuse in a similar capacity.
- Medication: Prescribed medication can help reduce the desire to drink and change how the body reacts to alcohol. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three medications for treating AUD.
- Detoxification: In some, more severe cases, medically supervised withdrawal at a residential or inpatient rehabilitation facility may be the first, necessary step to helping an individual stop drinking safely.
Many times, individuals are more likely to succeed in treating alcohol abuse when a combination of treatment options is utilized.
Help From The MODE
Seeking help for alcohol abuse is both a brave and scary task. The sooner an individual begins treatment, the more likely they are to succeed in recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse, contact The MODE addiction treatment center.
The MODE provides Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) and specializes in the treatment of alcohol abuse. We have Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselors (LCDC) on staff that can help you understand your symptoms and determine the best course of treatment.