Alcohol Addiction Counselling

September 8th, 2010

How Can it Help?

Alcohol addiction counselling is an effective method of treating the disease of alcoholism and allows for a greater chance of stable recovery for alcoholics. South Africa has many well known and internationally respected alcohol rehab facilities that specialise in the treatment of this disease. These alcoholism clinics have the facilities and experience to provide life-changing treatment.

A closer look at alcoholism

Unlike years ago, when alcoholics were simply placed into hospitals to ‘dry out,’ or mental institutions to keep them from their ‘moral failings’, alcoholics today have a much better opportunity to get their life back together and live as sober and happy individuals. Alcoholism is now regarded by many professionals as a disease. This disease of alcoholism is progressive, meaning that the symptoms worsen over time, leading to a physical dependence. Strong cravings cause alcoholics to drink time and time again, despite being fully aware of the negative consequences of their drinking.

Alcoholics often start their day with a drink to ease their withdrawal symptoms and then simply carry on drinking, despite their intentions of only having one.  Typical characteristics of an alcoholic include severe behavioural changes when drinking, drinking in secret or alone, drinking at inappropriate times e.g. at work or in the morning, smelling of alcohol, the ‘shakes’ in the morning or when not drinking and a general decrease in self-care.

Often, when an alcoholic requires addiction treatment, a quality alcohol detox is needed before they can commence with alcohol addiction counselling. An assisted detox from alcohol allows the sufferer to undergo the withdrawal symptoms in a medically prepared facility. These precautions are necessary as withdrawal symptoms can be very dangerous, and include shaking, increased heart rate and increased blood pressure, tremors, seizures, hallucinations and delirium, sweating and muscle pain – also known as” DT’s” (delirium tremens).

What causes alcoholism?

There is no proven cause of alcoholism. Different schools of thought argue different opinions; however it is generally believed that alcoholism is caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors. Many alcoholics have a history of alcoholism in their family. Many different social aspects can be at play in terms of developing alcoholism such as upbringing, childhood experiences, psychology and emotions.
No one is to blame for the development of alcoholism, and the disease is definitely not a case of lack of willpower, moral fibre or strength of character.

It is important to recognise the difference between alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. The abuse of alcohol includes over-indulgence or misuse of the substance. Alcoholism includes consumption and consequences that are one step further than alcohol abuse. The consequences of drinking become increasingly worse, as does the frequency and amount of drinking. Relationships begin to disintegrate as does the ability to uphold responsibilities. When drinking makes a person’s life unmanageable, they are probably an alcoholic.

An abuser will face negative consequences to their drinking, and will eventually stop. An alcoholic cannot stop, no matter how bad their consequences become.

Alcohol addiction counselling can help an alcoholic stay sober

Time in an alcoholism centre can be an incredible benefit to the recovery of an alcoholic. In treatment, a client will undergo alcohol addiction counselling with therapists and counsellors to process their past and help them cope with the present. An alcoholism centre will also teach them a programme of recovery to help them remain abstinent day by day, once they leave the safety of treatment. It is often said that it is easy to stop drinking, but the difficulty is in staying stopped. Alcoholics drink to escape the present and uncomfortable feelings and situations they experience. Therapy can help them to examine which factors in their lives, and their reactions to these factors are a threat to their recovery from alcoholism.

The 12 Step programme of Alcoholics Anonymous is a recovery programme that is respected and followed world-wide. Alcoholics Anonymous founded the 12 Steps and the associated programme, and has led to many ‘hopeless alcoholics’ going on to leading normal and happy lives, free from the compulsion to drink. Alcohol addiction counselling at many alcoholism centres in South Africa and abroad use the 12 Steps in their therapy and treatment. This is a practice that has led to far better rates of recovery than simply using psychological counselling.

The disease of alcoholism may be an incurable and potentially fatal condition, however, if proper help is sought through the facilities at an alcoholism centre offering alcohol addiction counselling and a 12 Step programme, there is no reason an alcoholic cannot live a sober life and reach their full potential.

We Do Recover offer rehabilitation referrals to alcoholics around the world, and allow them to find alcoholism centre offering alcohol addiction counselling to best suit the alcoholic’s needs.

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