The Disease of Alcoholism – Alcoholism Rehab
The treatments offered at the various alcoholism rehabs in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Thailand today are far more advanced than previous methods used. This is because more is known about alcoholism: the causes, features of the disease, progression of the illness, as well as the best treatments and maintenance programmes. The overall quality of care at some alcoholism rehabs in South Africa and Thailand is so good that these clinics attract hundreds of patients from the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East each year. Some alcoholics even travel from as far afield as America, Asia and Australia to receive treatment at top SA alcoholism rehabs at a much reduced rate than they would pay for private care in their home countries.
Alcoholism has been recognised as an illness for many years. Whilst there is nothing too concerning about occasional over-indulgence in alcohol, those who over indulge to the point of sacrificing their jobs, their friendships, their families and their security for their drinking habit have a serious addiction to alcohol and need professional counselling help from a rehabilitation centre.
An alcoholic is someone with the disease of alcoholism; a person who cannot stop their excessive alcohol consumption, even when they are fully aware of what they are losing, including the potentially fatal results that continued drinking may bring and the loss of family, finances, status as a direct result of their drinking – and yet they continue to drink! Alcoholics Anonymous or AA is a fellowship of recovering alcoholics who help each other stay sober, and was founded in the 1930’s. Many alcoholics have found continued contented sobriety through working the 12 step programme of Alcoholics Anonymous. Many who have begun their journey of sobriety in an alcoholism rehab have found continued help through the worldwide fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. Most quality alcoholism rehabilitation centres will have AA meetings on the premises that patients attend during their stay in rehab and this introduction to the twelve step programs and principles has helped during and after their time in treatment.
You see; the value of one alcoholic sharing their experience, strength and hope with another is invaluable. No-one quite understands what is means to drink alcohol against your will, against your better judgment, against your family protestations, against you career advancement and everything that makes sense, until you’ve experienced it. For an alcoholic to turn his absolutely out-of-control demon and worst nightmare into a precious commodity that he or she can use to help the still suffering (read: still drinking) alcoholic is a wonderful gift.
There was little hope for alcoholics trapped in the obsessive and compulsive cycle of drinking before AA was founded. Many were simply taken to mental hospitals and institutions to be restrained and allowed to ‘dry out.’ Drying out is a term used to describe an alcoholic undergoing withdrawals from alcohol to ‘sober up.’ Others were taken to church, doctors, psychiatrists, and other organisations to try and rid them of their alcoholism.
However, once they were no longer under the influence of alcohol, their first action was usually to return to drinking. Without a significant internal shift and change in personality it’s a matter of time until sobriety becomes unbearable and the alcoholic starts drinking again. This is the chief aim of alcoholism rehabilitation centres – to engender a corrective emotional experience for their alcoholic patients. The disease of alcoholism In the present day, many professionals dealing with the consequences of alcoholism and alcoholics on a daily basis believe that this condition is a disease. It was first described as a disease by Benjamin Rush in 1785. Yes, the very same Benjamin Rush who signed the United States Declaration of Independence.
Alcoholism is incurable, progressive and without proper rehabilitation can be fatal. The illness is never cured but can be arrested and managed. For an alcoholic to arrest and manage their disease they need to do two things: one – they need to become sober (usually with the help of an alcohol Detox), and two – they need to remain sober. Time as an in-patient in an alcoholism rehab centre can help this process immensely. Achieving sobriety is not something an alcoholic can often do alone. Despite their best intentions, an alcoholic cannot stop drinking without help from outside. This outside help can include support from a 12 Step fellowship, and alcohol addiction counselling at an alcoholism rehab.
The disease concept of alcoholism states that the illness is an allergy to alcohol, which is present from birth. Others believe that the disease is caused by external factors, and others believe that the illness is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental aspects. A person with the disease will have a first drink that will change their lives, as the disease is ready and waiting. It has not been proven as yet, but many alcoholics report feeling ‘different’ and ‘like an outsider’ as a child, no matter how many friends they had.
Regardless of how the alcoholism has come about the critical thing to consider is what can constructively be done about it. Being admitted to an alcoholism rehab is a positive means of allowing the alcoholic to begin to take responsibility for their condition and move forward sober. The signs of alcoholism – what to look out for Alcoholism is a progressive disease. This means that the symptoms of the disease will be more advanced in some alcoholics and less advanced in others.
A red light symptom of alcoholism is the inability to control alcohol consumption. A person who intends on only having one beer and wakes up without any memory of the previous night as one beer turned into ten or more is showing a sign of alcoholism – loss of control. Alcoholics are powerless – once they have consumed one drink, they lose control over their drinking.
Another indicator of alcoholism is the consumption of alcohol at inappropriate occasions. An alcoholic comes to work drunk or turns up drunk at a family gathering in the afternoon. Similarly, an alcoholic will drink at inappropriate times of the day, such as in the morning. Another feature of alcoholism is tolerance. You’ll find that once enough alcohol has been abused the drinker develops a tolerance and more alcohol is required to achieve the same effect, or less effect is achieved by drinking the same amount of alcohol.
An alcoholic who has been consuming enough alcohol to become physically addicted will begin to suffer withdrawal symptoms a few hours after their last drink. Withdrawals cause shaking, sweating, muscle pain, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, hallucinations and delirium, also known as “delirium tremens” or “DTs”.
Seizures are also a possibility. Alcoholics often need a drink when they wake up to ease their withdrawal symptoms so that they can fulfil their everyday responsibilities. Alcoholics often hide their liquor and are secretive about their drinking. They are able to justify to themselves that they do not have a problem with alcohol, yet they know that others would disapprove. Behavioural changes are also a noticeable indicator of alcoholism. Depression, aggressive behaviour and isolation are common. What can be done to help An alcoholic can begin the healing process from their illness at an in-patient alcoholism rehab. Time spent as a patient in such a rehab is a very beneficial start.
Addiction therapy and alcoholism counselling deal with the symptoms of alcoholism (i.e. drinking) and also the inner troubles, wounds and inability to accept life as it is. Therapy for alcoholism generally includes group therapy, one-to-one therapy, and a 12 Step programme for daily maintenance and support.
These will all assist an alcoholic to stay sober once they leave the alcoholism rehab.
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