Alcoholism Treatment in South Florida

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism or alcohol use disorder, it can be challenging to believe things will ever change for the better. However, beating alcoholism is possible with the help of alcoholism treatment programs. The key is figuring out where you can seek help and developing a solid understanding of why alcoholism often develops. Today we’ll discuss these topics and much more to help you understand the topic comprehensively so you can take the first steps on your road to recovery. 

How Alcoholism and Mental Health Issues Often Go Hand in Hand

Alcohol is an easily accessible substance available to anyone of legal age within the United States. For this reason, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that nearly 90% of American adults have reported drinking alcohol at least once in their lifetime. While a single night of drinking doesn’t automatically place a person at a higher risk for an alcohol use disorder, it can trigger specific at-risk individuals. 

The 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that more than 14 million Americans battled with alcohol use disorder. In addition, nearly one in five Americans, or about 53 million people, lives with at least one mental health disorder. Often, alcoholism and mental health problems go hand in hand.

Sometimes, mental illness comes first. For example, a person may use alcohol to cope with the symptoms of disorders like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety. There are many reasons someone might turn to alcohol or illegal substances to cope instead of seeking professional help. Lack of accessibility, having no insurance and a general stigma about mental health are a few examples.

Other times, mental health issues happen after a person drinks excessively or for long periods. This might occur because alcohol is a depressant that disrupts the balance of neurotransmitters inside the brain. Alcohol consumption also leads to sleep disruptions, financial problems and increased stress, all of which can cause mental health disorders over long periods. 

What Is Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)?

Alcohol use disorder, also known as AUD, is a chronic disease in which a person has an unhealthy preoccupation with alcohol that leads them to drink uncontrollably. AUD and alcoholism are often used interchangeably and refer to the same thing. Someone with AUD has a physical and emotional dependence on alcohol and how it makes them feel. This dependence leads a person to drink in excess, which can cause significant harm to their physical and mental health. 

Signs and Symptoms of AUD

The most significant sign you or someone else is battling alcohol use disorder is a strong urge to drink alcohol. Other signs and symptoms of AUD may include:

  • Problems controlling your drinking (including drinking at inappropriate times or continuing to drink although it causes issues)
  • Drinking until you black out
  • Mood disruptions, especially when alcohol is unavailable (including agitation, anger, fear and aggression)
  • Partaking in illegal activities to fuel your alcohol consumption
  • Missing work or school because you’re drinking 

A person with alcohol use disorder may also regularly appear intoxicated. Symptoms of intoxication include dizziness, shakiness, digestive problems, slurred speech, tremors and a general lack of restraint. 

When a person with alcoholism doesn’t have alcohol for a certain period (usually a few hours to a day), they’ll begin suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms vary but can include:

  • Irritability, anger or anxiety
  • Displays of fear or aggression
  • Digestive problems
  • Sweating (including cold sweats)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Inability to sleep or sleeping too much
  • Fast or irregular heart rate
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision

Importance of Treating AUD and Mental Health Issues Simultaneously

When alcohol use disorder and mental health issues coexist, it’s called dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders. For the millions of people battling both these issues, it’s crucial to treat them simultaneously so you don’t start drinking after rehab again. Treating only one or the other can increase a person’s risk of relapse and lead them to seek out alcohol again. For this reason, it’s imperative you find a rehab facility able to treat both conditions. 

How to Seek Care for Your Alcohol Use Disorder

If you’re seeking rehab for a drinking problem, an intensive inpatient rehab program is the best option for dual-diagnosis patients. Inpatient rehab programs involve temporarily living at a facility for a set timeframe so you can focus on your recovery without external stresses. The length of stay for these programs varies but is generally at least one month and may last as long as three or more months. 

During your stay at an inpatient facility, you’ll first undergo a comprehensive mental health assessment. Then, you’ll likely be given a combination of medications and therapies for your mental health problems. However, the exact course of treatment will depend on the condition you’re diagnosed with.

Rehab for drinking problems usually involves a combination of therapies. These might include group, family, individual and cognitive behavioral therapy. Learning new, healthier coping mechanisms and increasing your physical health will also be part of your recovery journey.

However, before other therapies can begin, you’ll have to undergo a process called detox, where all the alcohol leaves your system. Detox can be a painful process and is best done under medical supervision. Withdrawal symptoms during the detox process can be challenging and, on rare occasions, can even lead to medical emergencies in certain at-risk people. 

Restore Is Here to Help

The professionals at Restore Mental Health are here to help you on your path to recovery. We understand that each treatment program needs to be customized to the individual for maximum results. We’re prepared to support you in each step of the program in the ways you need most. Our state-of-art rehabilitation facility in southern Florida is designed to provide the most relaxing, supportive environment possible. 

If you or a loved one needs alcohol addiction help, don’t be afraid to seek it. Contact us today by calling (877) 594-3566. Our knowledgeable, understanding staff is ready to take your call around the clock so you can begin your recovery journey today.