Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol Addiction or alcohol-use-disorder as it is now officially referred to by Doctors can sneak up on you slowly, or it can develop progressively in response to difficult life events.

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Alcohol Addiction – Hope Rehab Center Thailand

Alcohol Addiction and Alcohol Detox at Hope Rehab Center Thailand

Alcohol affects the central nervous system and acts as a depressant like many sedative medications. It releases Endorphins in the brain with an opiate like effect, triggering a pain response and a euphoric buzz. It also relieves anxiety and it can disinhibit behaviour, thereby helping with social interaction and performance.

Drinking Alcohol daily over time creates a physical dependency and this is a serious problem, however it is possible to be an alcoholic without being physically dependent. Bingeing is a highly destructive pattern of drinking, effecting ones health and endangering self and others.

Alcoholism and Addiction is now recognised to be a brain dysfunction caused by the changes that occur in parts of the brain as a result of either prolonged Alcohol use and/or a pre existing brain chemistry imbalance, particularly with the neural transmitter Dopamine. This leads to distorted thinking or unhealthy choices in order to self medicate your difficulties.

The Alcoholism Gene: One factor attracting scientific researched is the genetic influence, could alcohol addiction be hereditary? It often seems to run in the family and one study found that statistically about half the risk of becoming an alcoholic is if members of your family are also alcoholic. This is to say that in families where addiction is present you are at 50 percent more risk of becoming addicted yourself.

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Alcohol Addiction – Hope Rehab Center Thailand

What causes Alcohol addiction can be a complicated combination of factors listed below and we ask you to explore these when undergoing alcoholism and alcohol addiction treatment.

  • Genetic factors or your family genealogy
  • Psychological history and development
  • Environmental factors like work and relationships
  • Social factors including a drinking culture
  • Emotional health and stress
  • Mental health symptoms, anxiety and depression

Denial is one of the main barriers to confronting a drinking problem, this can involve impaired memory however it is possible to penetrate your denial and help others to do the same in treatment. Humans tend to minimise the harm they do and rationalise why by justifying and blaming. This is instinctive in order to reduce anxiety levels and function. Some denial is rooted in the unconscious and some obvious denial is in your awareness, like lying and hiding. It is useful to recognise signs that there is a problem and can include some of the issues below:

  • Feeling guilty or ashamed about your drinking
  • Friends or family concerned about your drinking
  • Need a drink to cope or relax
  • Black outs or memory lapses
  • Drink more than intended
  • Unhealthy relationships
  • Life is out of control
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Alcohol Addiction – Hope Rehab Center Thailand

Alcohol Addiction

DSM or the Doctors manual of diseases have criteria to ascertain whether you have a problem, this comes on three levels by identifying the traits listed below so as the diagnosis scale can show the level of your progression;

2 or 3 Mild – 4 or 5 Moderate – 6 or more Severe

Read through the criteria for your own assessment of Alcoholism or Alcohol addiction below:

  • Using alcohol in larger quantities and for longer than intended
  • Trying to cut down or stop without success
  • Time lost getting using and recovering from drinking
  • Triggers and cravings to drink
  • Home work or school life effected due to alcohol
  • Drinking even though it is damaging relationships
  • Avoid social, occupational or recreational events due to drinking
  • Drinking repeatedly even when it puts you in danger
  • Continuing to drink in spite of negative psychological and physical harm
  • Having withdrawal symptoms that are relieved by drinking

Note: Substance misuse can induce permanent mental disorders that then become co-occurring conditions such as, anxiety, mood, sexual, dementia and sleep disorders. There are also independent co-occurring mental health illnesses that produce self medicating tendencies such as clinical depression, bipolar and many others.

Social Phobia: Excessive fear of social situations is a very common reason people drink and performance anxiety and public speaking is the number one fear in the world. The symptoms these situations trigger are embarrassing in themselves so there is a compounding affect. The use of the alcohol helps medicate the symptoms and reduce tension caused by a biological stress response.

As well as CBT to help change the self defeating or negative thinking underlying the social anxiety, we use exposure therapy rather than enabling clients to avoid social situations thereby having a restricted life. Also relaxation techniques are helpful and learning new social skills if necessary.

Alcohol consumption is also motivated by high levels of stress. The word stress describes the pressure or tension either at work, from parenting, in relationships or economic. All these stresses trigger an emotional and biological response that feels uncomfortable and exhausting. And although it is exhausting due to worry and fear it can be very difficult to sleep, this compounding your problems even further. So using alcohol to cope can be regarded as self medicating or a temporary escape from the following vicious cycle, – the issue – lack of sleep – drinking – more issues.

Alcoholism and the “compulsion-to-drink-process” can be plotted step by step, by ticking certain boxes; however you may not recognise the process before completing a course of treatment. This is because much of the behaviour is automatic so in treatment we breakdown the different stages listed below to raise your awareness:

  • Obsession and preoccupation when triggered either by thoughts, stress or time of day
  • Alcohol seeking behaviour is the drinking ritual to satisfy the urge no matter what
  • Gratification whether instant or delayed there is a relief
  • Return to normal or just a break in the obsessive thinking and emotional pain
  • Justification convincing yourself its normal and it helps
  • Blame to rationalise why, my works fault or the relationship problems
  • Shame, regret and remorse kick in when the high has subsided and reality is restored
  • Despair when feeling trapped in a destructive cycle
  • Promises to self or others to stop either the consequences or the drinking itself

One tip to ensure Alcoholism and Alcohol addiction treatment is successful is to put all worries about the future aside, especially about whether or not you can drink ever again, as it gets in the way of treatment. Major decisions like these can be dealt with later. Of course the ideal situation is that you commit to abstinence for the time being, until you understand your problem thoroughly.

Accepting help is a common difficulty for Alcoholics and addicts even when admitting themselves for treatment. This resistance develops over time as defences become entrenched or a pattern of protecting supply becomes automatic. We ask you to be open-minded and follow our suggestions even when it gets difficult: remember changing thinking and behaviour takes time.

One of the main focuses of treatment is to take personal responsibility for your own problems. This is because only then can you make the changes necessary to improve your life, otherwise the power is in the hands of those you blame. We do not expect this to happen overnight instead we have a system for achieving this by using CBT skills and recovery assignments.

You will start by getting sober and following Doctors advice regarding Alcohol Detoxification and screening. Then the recovery therapy begins and you will document your drinking behaviour and consequences. There are many good reasons for this however one reason is to confirm without any doubt the need for a robust solution.

Medication can help with Alcoholism and has positive short term results however it is limited. Naltrexone and acamprosate treat symptoms and reduce triggers and cravings. Antabuse is a blocker and antidepressants help with post acute withdrawal or underlying issues. While these meds can help at the beginning they also form dependency and tend to prevent clients from making important changes in their lives. This is the difference between a treatment and rehabilitation program: we say the medication is just like using a sticking plaster, it’s superficial. We suggest using Medication as part of a Holistic approach not exclusively.

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Alcohol Addiction – Hope Rehab Center Thailand

The most successful program known to treat all levels of Alcohol addiction is the Matrix model, which is a holistic approach incorporating many elements and therapies which you will find listed on our Treatment Program page.