The cost of alcoholism to the nation is staggering, with the amount being estimated at $30 billion nationwide. This is just the financial strain as this disease takes its toll on family, communities, and workplaces. Alcoholism can devastate these arenas, taking a huge toll on a marriage or job. Not being able to function at work or in life is a huge cost for a habit or addiction that can be dropped.
Being an Alcoholic is Devastating
Getting care is important, especially since alcoholism can be so devastating to one’s personal life. Losing friends, families, and jobs can be exhausting, emotionally traumatic, and lead to an end to life that is less than happy or to a drunk driving violation. To begin treatment, a person needs to be serious and then seek the correct care. Physicians and other health care workers with such specialized training and experience are best suited to manage alcohol withdrawal and the medical disorders associated with alcoholism.”
Seeking Treatment is the Right Option
As with any addiction, alcohol can be hard to stop using unless you take careful measures, have discipline, and receive support. Support isn’t always necessary if one has enough discipline, but it’s very important. A regimented program is best, with in-patient care, since it is hard to suddenly stop drinking. Having the support of the in-patient programs works best, is most effective, and has a great retention rate. People tend to stop drinking for good after in-patient care. In any event, seeking treatment and reaching out, is the right option.
The Levels of Treatment
As e-medicine states, there are several levels at which to seek care for this disease. The website goes on to say, “Medically managed hospital-based detoxification and rehabilitation programs are used for more severe cases of dependence that occur with medical and psychiatric complications. Medically monitored detoxification and rehabilitation programs are used for people who are dependent on alcohol and who do not require more closely supervised medical care. The purpose of detoxification is to safely withdraw the alcohol dependent person from alcohol and to help him or her enter a rehabilitation (rehab) treatment program. Most medically managed or monitored rehabilitation programs last less than two weeks. Many alcoholic individuals benefit from longer-term rehabilitation programs, day treatment programs, or outpatient programs.” Deciding the level of treatment is the first step to getting well.
The Reasons for Rehabilitation
The reasons for rehab are varied, but they begin to make sense when a person looks closely. Some reasons for this are as follows:
- To help the person accept the disease, understand it, and have some measures for coping with it
- To give the person skills like the 12-step program or other programs that the center might empower or use for information and inspiration
- To help explore these key concepts of aspects like the use of affirmation or even prayer or positive thinking to support the changing of this habit
- To educate people about every aspect of alcoholicism from the dangers to the discipline of stopping drinking
- To provide therapy, including but not limited to group therapies, to help people to feel better about whatever it is that is preventing them from stopping whether it’s self-esteem, habitual action, or psychologic or learned behavior.
- To help the person to have hope and see the disease in proper perspective and then to begin taking the steps one needs to take to stop the behavior
- To teach people to separate the behavior from the person: you are not this disease, and it can be beaten
- To help people to find the support of each other because it can help to understand that one is not alone on this walk
Hearing the Person
Overall, it’s important for people to remember that alcoholism is a disease that can be beaten. Stopping any behavior takes time, discipline, and extended action or effort. Since thought precedes all action–or it usually does–we need to change our thoughts before we can change our behavior. The action follows from the perception or thought.
The role of an in-patient program, partially, is to change how we see alcoholicism and how we are affected by it. Once we perceive that it is a problem, we are able to examine ways to end the problem. Avoiding the problem–simply ignoring the problem–will not bring the relief that will improve our lives. Ending alcoholicism starts with hearing a personal call to action and then deciding, first, that it would be worth doing.
This disease is one that is worth ending, in all ways, not only for ourselves but for our family members, communities, and workplaces, which all deserve our full and best attention and selves. An in-patient program is an investment in ourselves and all three.