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Alcohol treatment FAQ

Do you have inquiries regarding alcohol treatment? The inquiries beneath are the most frequently asked by our patients and potential patients as they consider alcohol recovery at our office.

Alcoholism is one of the most seasoned synthetic addictions known to mankind, yet clinical scientists are as still investigating the roots and impacts of this issue. Today, alcoholism keeps on being one of the main preventable reasons for death in the US. As indicated by Preventing Chronic Disease, alcohol abuse was in charge of about 88,000 fatalities every year in the vicinity of 2006 and 2010, or an average of 10 percent of all death among American adults. In case you’re worried that you may have an issue with alcohol, or that somebody you love could be an alcoholic, read our frequently asked questions for answers and solutions.

Is alcoholism a disease?

Alcoholism has not generally been viewed as an illness or disease. The illness model of alcoholism depicts recent revelations on the way of this devastating condition. For a considerable length of time, alcohol abuse was thought to be a behavioral issue or an impression of a powerless character. In the 1940s, the American therapeutic group started to change its point of view on this issue, notes the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism. The accomplishment of Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1930s, and the failure of the Prohibition development to exile drinking in the US, demonstrated that alcohol abuse could be a dynamic disease process and not moral failing.

In the 1960s, the researcher E.M. Jellinek separated the confusion into stages. Jellinek additionally authored the expression “the disease concept of alcoholism.” Alcoholism, Jellinek accepted, was a dynamic condition bringing on increasing harm to the body, mind, and spirit. In the 1970s through the 1990s, achievement revelations in neurobiology uncovered that alcohol abuse influences the structure and capacity of the brain, bringing about resistance, addiction, and withdrawal manifestations without alcohol.

Is alcoholism genetic? (Is there an alcoholism gene?)

Despite the fact that the malady idea of alcoholism is upheld by clinical research, it is still viewed as a hypothesis, and a considerable measure of addiction specialists object this model. In any case, numerous scholastic establishments and government organizations, such as the National Institutes of Health, support the hypothesis that dependence on alcohol is a chronic disease, characterized by uncontrollable utilization of alcohol regardless of the negative results.

Is alcoholism hereditary? (Is there an alcoholism quality?)

Alcoholism has a solid hereditary segment. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism gauges that hereditary variables are in charge of around 50 percent of the danger of building up this issue (extra hazard elements might be social, natural, or mental). Logical reviews have showed that family history assumes a critical part in the danger of creating alcoholism, particularly on the off chance that you have a parent who drinks intensely.

Hereditary research on the organic sources of alcoholism proposes that this sickness is not related with a solitary quality, but with several genes interacting to increase the danger of alcohol dependence. As indicated by Science Daily, there is an entire system of qualities that communicate to advance alcohol reliance in a few people. By a similar token, there are qualities that seem to dishearten alcohol abuse by advancing unfriendly metabolic responses that make the individual less inclined to drink intensely. Genes alone are not in charge of alcoholism, or for the absence of alcoholism, however they can contribute fundamentally to the danger of turning into an alcoholic.

What natural components may prompt to alcohol manhandle/compulsion?

Your condition affects your odds of turning into an alcoholic. Your condition incorporates the home where you were raised, the area where you grew up, the school you went to, your work environment, and some other setting that shapes your propensities or conduct. A couple of the components that may add to alcohol abuse/dependence include:

  • A tolerant disposition toward alcohol abuse in your living environment
  • An absence of parental supervision when you were growing up
  • A high rate of crime and alcohol or drug abuse in your neighborhood
  • Peer pressure from friends to drink intensely
  • A history of poverty or unemployment

Distinguishing ecological and social elements that add to alcoholism is a critical stride in the treatment procedure. Unless you know about the mentalities and impacts that add to the infection, you can’t effectively work to change them.

What is the difference between abuse and addiction?

The expressions “abuse” and “addiction” are frequently used reciprocally in reference to the misuse of alcohol. Be that as it may, the terms really allude to two unique conditions. Alcohol abuse is an example of conduct portrayed by excessive drinking in spite of dangerous outcomes, for example, issues at work or school, relationship clashes, or lawful troubles. The user takes dangerous risks while drinking, for example, driving drunk, getting into fights, or having unprotected sex. At this stage, the client may at present have some control left over his or her drinking; be that as it may, there is serious potential for full-blown alcoholism.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence states that in spite of the fact that not everybody who abuse alcohol will turn into an alcoholic, alcoholic abuse is a noteworthy risk factor for this disease. As per the disease model of alcoholism, the confusion starts with heavy drinking that advances to chemical reliance and addiction. The signs of alcohol addiction, or alcoholism, include:

  • The need to drink more alcohol in order to get the same feelings of relaxation, inhibition, or euphoria
  • Physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms (such as shaking, headaches, nausea, insomnia, and anxiety) when you try to stop drinking or reduce the amount you drink
  • Compulsive drinking in spite of adverse effects on your health, personal relationships, work life, finances, or legal status
  • inability to control the amount you drink on any given occasion, in spite of your best intentions
  • Obsessive thoughts about obtaining or consuming alcohol
  • Repeated relapses every time you try to quit drinking

Regardless of where you are in the movement of alcoholism, it’s never too early or late to get assistance. A few consumers choose to stop not long after their first negative encounters, while others continue drinking for a considerable length of time before they go to recovery. Alcohol addiction treatment can help you stop or even turn around the impacts of chemical abuse whenever.

What is binge drinking?

Binge drinking is characterized as the substantial utilization of alcohol in a brief timeframe. For most men, this implies having at least five alcoholic bottles in two hours. For most ladies, it implies at least four alcoholic drinks in two hours. As indicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of each six American adults consumes at least eight alcoholic drinks each time they binge, with binges happening at least four times every month.

Many binge drinkers erroneously trust that since they spare their drinking for quite a long time, gatherings, or exceptional events, they aren’t at danger of getting to be distinctly reliant on alcohol. Yet, alcoholism is a typical symptom of binge drinking. Other health dangers include:


  • Alcohol poisoning. This includes the utilization of more alcohol than the body can securely metabolize, bringing about extreme inebriation, vomiting, loss of consciousness, and even death.
  • Cardiovascular issues. Heavy drinking increases the danger of hypertension, heart attack, and stroke.
  • Liver issues. Binge drinking exhausts the liver, the organ that metabolizes alcohol. Steady strategic alcoholism can bring about liver malady and liver failure.
  • Accidental wounds. Motor vehicle accidents, falls, suffocating, smolders, and different wounds are more regular among binge drinkers.
  • Unsafe sex. Alcohol debilitates judgment, increasing the danger of unprotected sex, rape, sexually transmitted diseases, and impromptu pregnancy.
  • Harm to oneself as well as other people. Fights, assaults, ponder self-damage, and suicide attempts are more basic in people who are binge drinking.

What is intoxication?

Intoxication or Inebriation is a condition of adjusted consciousness, insight, and motor function initiated by a psychoactive substance. This substance could be alcohol or any other mind-changing drug. An inebriated individual is incapable of performing subjective assignments, everyday exercises, or more confounded motor tasks to the level of their typical capacity. There are diverse levels of inebriation, going from mellow weakness to outrageous inability or obviousness. Recorded below are probably the most widely recognized indications of alcohol inebriation:


  • A flushed face
  • An unsteady gait
  • Combativeness
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Giddiness or euphoria
  • Loss of depth perception
  • Loss of motor coordination
  • Memory loss (blackouts)
  • Mental confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slow reflexes and reaction times
  • Slurred speech
  • Talkativeness
  • Loss of consciousness

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, stifling the exercises of the mind and nerves. In the early stages, you may feel more satisfied, vigorous, and dynamic than normal. However, as you keep on drinking, you will feel the depressive impacts of alcohol, for example, disarray, sluggishness, stupefaction, a discouraged disposition, and slow motor coordination.

In the US, most states have embraced the lawful meaning of inebriation as a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08. As indicated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, this is the limits at which most adults show signs of cognitive or motor impairment that interfere with their ability to drive. Once a driver achieves this level of inebriation, the chance of a fatal or deadly motor vehicle accident increases considerably.

What is alcohol poisoning?

Alcohol poisoning happens when the measure of alcohol you’re consuming and the rate at which you’re drinking surpass your body’s capacity to process this substance. The normal adult’s liver can metabolize alcohol, or clear it from the body, at the rate of around 0.25 oz every hour, as per George Washington University. A standard drink is 12 oz of brew, 5 oz of wine, or 1.5 oz of hard alcohol, implying that a heavy drinker can, without much of a stretch, consume more alcohol than his or her system can handle.

Alcohol ingestion rates can fluctuate, starting with one individual then onto the next, in view of elements like age, weight, sexual orientation, digestion system, recent food consumption, and the presence of different drugs or solutions in the body. When you surpass your body’s capacity to metabolize alcohol securely, you may encounter the impacts of alcohol poisoning:


  • A drop in blood pressure
  • A drop in body temperature
  • A weak pulse
  • Bluish skin
  • Seizures
  • Severe confusion
  • Slow, uneven breathing
  • Unconsciousness
  • Vomiting

Alcohol poisoning can prompt to death. A man who has consumed an excessive amount of alcohol ought to never be left independent to go out or sleep off. In the event that you see at least, one of the indications of alcohol poisoning in yourself or another person, look for medical attention promptly.

What are the physical indications of addiction?

Addiction is a disease of the body and as well turmoil of the brain. Alcohol compulsion influences the greater part of the body’s significant system and key organs. Addiction frequently shows itself through indications of alcohol withdrawal, also. Here are the most frequently noted physical indications of alcoholism:


  • A bloated, puffy appearance
  • A yellowish or reddish tinge to the skin
  • Bloodshot or red-rimmed eyes
  • Frequent nausea or upset stomach
  • Headaches
  • Heavy sweating
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Unintentional weight changes (loss or gain)

Physical addiction is described by a wild desire to savor alcohol, despite of the undeniable impacts on one’s wellbeing and health. At the point when the alcoholic can’t drink, or can’t consume as much as he or she needs to, the brain produces extraordinary longings and physical withdrawal indications, for example, precariousness, insomnia, sickness, and migraines.

What are the mental indications of compulsion?

Addiction uncovers itself in your mental status, disposition, and conduct. Alcoholism can change your identity as well as your point of view. Many addicts turn out to be so distracted with drinking that they isolate themselves from family or friends who don’t comprehend their conduct. They may come up short at work or school in light of successive absence or poor performance. Relationships regularly endure as a result of mood changes, emotional disregard, or household abuse. Here are the most common mental/behavioral indications of alcohol addiction:


  • Aggression
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Impulsivity
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Neglect of favorite hobbies
  • Neglect of school, work, or family responsibilities
  • Poor grooming and hygiene
  • Self-isolation
  • Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts

Alcoholism can negatively affect the way you see yourself and also your loved ones and your life in general. Self-destructive thoughts and suicide attempts are more basic among alcoholics than in the general population. According to the QJM journal, alcohol inebriation increases the danger of suicide by as much as 90 percent.

What are the short-term health concerns for alcohol abuse?

You don’t need to abuse alcohol for quite a long time, or notwithstanding for a considerable length of time, to start experiencing the health results of heavy drinking. When you commence drinking intensely, you place yourself in threat of these transient issues:


  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Aspiration (inhaling vomit into the lungs)
  • Breathing problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Impaired judgment
  • Loss of motor coordination
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Passing out
  • Poor reaction times
  • Tunnel vision

Poor thinking, slow response times, and slow reflexes can significantly improve the probability of damage or death in a strike, squabble, or accident. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 2009, alcohol-impeded drivers were in charge of more than 10,800 traffic death in 2009, or 32 percent of the aggregate number of movement fatalities in the US.

What are the long-term health concerns for alcohol addiction?

After some time, alcohol habit incurs significant damage on the whole body as well as the brain. The fundamental organs, including the brain, liver, heart, lungs, kidneys, and digestive tract, all experience the ill effects of the poisonous impacts of alcohol. The most genuine health worries of constant alcohol abuse include:


  • Alcohol addiction/alcoholism
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral atrophy (shrinkage of the brain tissues)
  • Complications of diabetes
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Heart attack and stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Pancreatitis
  • Seizures
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Stomach ulcers

The American Cancer Society expresses that alcoholism is related with a higher rate of a few types of cancer, including cancers of the mouth, throat, voice box, throat, breast, liver, colon, rectum, and pancreas. The more alcohol you consume, and the longer you’ve been drinking, the more noteworthy the danger of getting these cancers.

What treatment options are available?

There are many ways to treat alcohol abuse, from 12-stage groups to outpatient centers and Partial hospitalization or private projects. Your decision of treatment alternatives relies on upon the time span you’ve been drinking, the sum you drink, your past encounters with recovery, and co-happening physical or mental health concerns. Here are the most major treatment alternatives:

  • Alcohol detox. Without medical supervision, alcohol withdrawal can be deadly. The seizures, hypertension, fever, and delirium related with alcohol withdrawal disorder can have genuine outcomes, including death. Alcohol detox is commonly the primary stage in an alcohol treatment program. Amid this stage, the alcoholic gets medical supervision, fluid and nutritional substitution, and pharmaceutical treatment to decrease the side effects of withdrawal and help wash down the poisons from the body safely.
  • Partial hospitalization treatment. Partial hospitalization alcohol treatment offers an organized, steady condition in which the patient can concentrate solely on recuperation while living full-time at the office. In an Partial hospitalization setting, patients take part in treatment sessions, counseling gatherings, 12-stage groups, and all-encompassing recuperation services. Discharge planning, including case management services and referrals to outpatient care are additionally provided. Partial hospitalization  programs are given at clinics, independent recuperation facilities, mental health offices, and different areas.
  • Outpatient recovery. Outpatient recuperation projects are available in numerous settings: private facilities, group health centers, committed recovery offices, correctional centers, and more. In outpatient treatment, the patient gets recuperation services amid the day, while living in transitional lodging or in his or her private home. Outpatient recovery is proper for independent, persuaded patients in the early phases of alcohol abuse, or for long-term alcoholics who are venturing down from a more serious Partial hospitalization program. Outpatient facilities can give most, if not all, of the administrations offered in Partial hospitalization treatment, including individual treatment, family counseling, prescription management, 12-stage programming, and all-encompassing treatments.
  • Partial hospitalization programs. Fractional hospitalization is a middle level of care amongst Partial hospitalization and outpatient treatment. At a partial hospitalization program, patients go to treatment sessions, classes, and other recuperation activities amid business hours, while keeping on living at home. These program offer more supervision and structure than the typical outpatient program, yet they’re less intensive than Partial hospitalization care.

How much does treatment cost, and how can one pay for it?

The cost of alcohol treatment shifts enormously. There are many free or low-cost alternatives accessible to patients with constrained budgetary assets. These projects are typically subsidized by state or government sources and offered through public detox offices, clinics, psychological health offices, or dedicated recovery centers. Types of public financial assistance are regularly acknowledged as payment for administrations, and sliding scale projects are available.

At the opposite end of the range are private, for-profit or not-for-profit facilities offering treatment programs going from $50,000 to $80,000 or more. Some of these offices acknowledge medical coverage, while others acknowledge just private payment. In the middle of these extremes, there are numerous moderate yet exceedingly successful projects that will acknowledge either private payment or insurance. Generally, outpatient treatment is less costly than private recuperation, on the grounds that the office doesn’t need to cover costs like 24-hour staffing and lodging services.

Some medical insurance projects will completely cover alcohol treatment, while others don’t. Many projects constrain the span of treatment to a specific number of days or limit scope for the kind of services rendered. A financial counselor or admission expert can help you answer inquiries concerning payment and explore insurance coverage for the particular program that interests you.

What are AA and the 12 steps?

AA, or Alcoholics Anonymous, is a mutual self-improvement gathering devoted to recuperation from alcoholism. AA got its start in 1935, when two alcoholics — Bill Wilson, a Wall Street stockbroker, and Bob Smith (“Dr. Weave”), a doctor — established a gathering in Akron, Ohio to help different alcoholics recoup from this illness. AA initially started as a branch of the Oxford Group, a Christian association whose standards later impacted the structure and contents of the 12 stages.

In the 1930s, the predominant demeanor towards alcoholism was that excess drinking was a sin, or an indication of moral shortcoming. Charge Wilson and Dr. Weave Smith believed that alcoholism was not a transgression, but rather a type of emotional sickness that could be overcome if the alcoholic were eager to surrender his addiction to a higher power. The 12 stages were produced as an approach to accomplish this spiritual change and accomplish flexibility from the insanity of alcoholism.

Today, Alcoholics Anonymous remains a standout amongst the most well-known, successful ways to treat alcoholism. Consistent with its unique standards and mission, AA stays free to individuals who are asked only to make a little donation at each meeting or to contribute their time to facilitate the activities of the gathering. Gatherings are held in groups all through the world. For the individuals who can’t go to gatherings, online gatherings are accessible. AA does not effectively publicize or promotes its gatherings, with the exception of through the positive cases of its individuals, who serve as supporters to different alcoholics as an approach to keep up their own particular sobriety. As the AA introduction expresses, “the main prerequisite for enrollment is a craving to quit drinking.”

AA gatherings take a variety of arrangements. “Open” gatherings are available to general society, and non-alcoholics are allowed to go to. “Closed” gatherings are open just to alcoholics, or to people who want to quit drinking. There are gatherings for men only, for ladies only, for adolescents, and for the lesbian-gay-bisexual group. A few gatherings are devoted to helping people with co-happening issue, or mental illness joined with alcoholism. Al-Anon, the sidekick gathering to Alcoholics Anonymous, is committed to helping the loved ones and friends and family of alcoholics adapt to the impacts of the malady.

The 12 stages encapsulate the rule that help individuals change their lives. The means are dynamic, shaping a way from early alcoholism to recuperation. New individuals are guided through the means with the assistance of a support – a more experienced part who has effectively finished the procedure. The support likewise goes about as a tutor in sobriety and as a steady guide.

AA is a non-denominational, non-partisan association; be that as it may, it has an emphatically spiritual premise. Many individuals object to AA due to this, inclining toward a mainstream approach that does not oblige them to surrender their self-assurance to a spiritual substance. Some object the gathering’s idea of alcoholism as a physical and spiritual entity. Regardless of these objections, AA keeps on drawing new individuals every day. A huge rate of these people are self-alluded, while others are coordinated to AA by friends and family, advisors, specialists, or the courts.

Can alcoholism be cured?

There is, as of now, no cure for the infection of alcoholism. Be that as it may, the illness can be dealt with through a blend of treatments, for example,

  • 12-step programs
  • Anti-alcoholism medications
  • Behavioral modification
  • Family and marriage counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Psychosocial therapy (“talk treatment”)
  • Relapse prevention training

Generally, addiction authorities’ believes that maintaining a strategic distance from alcohol is the most secure approach to treat this illness. Since the condition is described by lost control and impulsive desires, total abstinence from alcohol is typically suggested. Counseling, pharmaceutical, and self improvement gatherings give the alcoholic the instruments that he or she needs to lead a significant, alcohol-free life.

There are presently three pharmaceuticals that have been endorsed by the U.S. Nourishment and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of alcohol reliance. These incorporate disulfiram (Antabuse), naltrexone (ReVia, Depade, Vivitrol), and acamprosate (Campral). Antabuse, the most seasoned of these prescriptions, discourages drinking by activating obnoxious side effects when you consume alcohol while taking this drug. Naltrexone, a more up to date drug, controls desires by obstructing the lovely impacts of alcohol. Acamprosate, the latest addition, advances sobriety and facilitates the impacts of withdrawal by reestablishing typical function to the alcoholic brain.

Medication can’t “cure” alcoholism, however when consolidated with an exhaustive treatment program that incorporates psychosocial treatment and behavioral change, anti-alcoholism drugs can be exceedingly compelling recuperation instruments.

What steps can you take to stay sober and avoid relapse?

Numerous alcoholics would concur that remaining calm is a standout amongst the most difficult parts of recuperation — all the more difficult, in some courses, than the early phases of detox and recovery. Building a support system is a standout amongst the most significant strides in remaining calm. There are many wellsprings of quality, education, and motivation in recuperation, including:

  • 12-step groups
  • Aftercare services
  • Community health centers
  • Community volunteer organizations
  • Counselors and therapists
  • Online recovery forums
  • Outpatient treatment facilities
  • Secular support groups, such as Rational Recovery
  • Sober clubs and sports teams
  • Spiritual counselors and religious groups
  • Supportive friends and family

The more assets you have available to you, the more prominent your odds of avoiding a relapse. When you’re released from an alcohol treatment program, you ought to have the assistance of a caseworker or discharge organizer who can guide you through the next period of recuperation. For a few alcoholics, a move to outpatient mind or a halfway hospitalization program is proper. For others, a stay at a calm living home can give the strength and supervision that they have to keep up the advantages of recovery.

Twelve-stage gatherings can have a major influence in keeping up sobriety after recovery. AA gatherings are accessible in all major urban regions — and most littler urban communities or towns — all through the nation. In AA, you can learn the abilities and adapting systems that you have to manage the worry of day by day life. A solid, experienced AA support can be one of your most significant accomplices in the everyday work of building a sober life.

Relapse prevention training is one of the key segments of a viable recuperation program, takes note of the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices. Relapse prevention action aptitudes are educated in various distinctive arrangements and settings, either through behavioral change bunches, fundamental abilities classes, or group treatment sessions. Relapse avoidance shows you how to get ready for high-risky circumstances, and how to traverse them without trading off your sobriety. It likewise shows you how to limit the effect of a relapse on the off chance that you do have a slip, so you can get back on track with your recuperation program at the earliest opportunity.

Anti-alcoholism prescription can be an effective addiction to your recuperation toolbox. Taking a FDA-affirmed solution like ReVia, Depade, Campral, or Antabuse can make it easier to maintain a strategic distance from yearnings and keep a relapse. According to a survey of studies distributed in Alcohol and Alcoholism, recouping alcoholics who take naltrexone for 12 weeks have less cases of relapse and consumed less alcohol than the individuals who took a fake treatment.

Today, there are more alternatives than any time in recent memory for individuals looking for opportunity from the disease of alcoholism. On the off chance that you, or a friend or family member, are battling with alcohol abuse, it’s never been a superior time to exploit the most recent developments in treatment.