Many people develop unhealthy relationships with alcohol over time without even realizing it. We understand how difficult and scary it can be to reflect on your drinking habits and consider changing.
If you’ve noticed your alcohol use feels out of control or is causing negative effects, you are not alone.
Unhealthy drinking impacts so many, but support and brighter days are ahead.
This blog post offers guidance on recognizing signs your relationship with alcohol may have become unhealthy, along with compassionate advice on steps to take if you are contemplating getting help.
How to Tell if Your Alcohol Use Has Become Problematic
Here are some common signs that your alcohol use may have become unhealthy:
- You regularly drink more than intended and have difficulty stopping after just one—this loss of control points to developing dependence.
- You experience nausea, sweating, or anxiety when not drinking. Withdrawal signs indicate physical dependence has formed.
- Alcohol occupies a lot of mental space, and you obsess over drinking. This shows an unhealthy preoccupation has developed.
- You hide how much you drink or downplay reasons for drinking. Denial keeps the extent of the problem hidden.
- Drinking has impacted relationships, work/school, or health. These consequences signal alcohol abuse.
- You drink before risky situations like driving. Disregarding safety is a major red flag.
- You rely on alcohol for confidence in social settings or to cope with stress and trauma. This dependence subordinates life skills.
If several of these resonate with you, it may be time to make changes for your well-being. Have compassion for yourself in this process.
Should You Consider Getting Help?
Here are some questions to reflect on if you think you could benefit from alcohol treatment and recovery support:
- Have you unsuccessfully tried to quit or cut back on drinking before? Difficulty controlling use often necessitates help.
- Do obsessive alcohol cravings and thoughts consume your day? This level of preoccupation points to dependence.
- Has drinking negatively impacted family, work, finances, or health? These harmful consequences signal the need for change.
- Have friends voiced concern over your alcohol use? Consider loved ones’ feedback with care.
- Do you drink to cope with underlying issues like anxiety or depression? Self-medicating calls for healthier skills.
The above patterns indicate external support could greatly help you overcome unhealthy drinking, heal holistically, and build a fulfilling alcohol-free life. Prioritizing your well-being takes courage and strength.
Next Steps: Types of Help and What to Expect
If you decide additional support could benefit you, here are some excellent options to consider:
Talking to Your Family Doctor
Your doctor can screen for alcohol misuse, refer specialized treatment resources, and prescribe anti-craving medications. Medical guidance is often an important first step. Your doctor can also monitor your health through the treatment process. Being open and honest with your doctor about your drinking patterns allows them to provide the best care.
Outpatient Treatment Programs
Outpatient programs offer structured therapy 1-5 days per week while living at home. You build healthy coping skills and new habits through counselling approaches like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing. Outpatient treatment allows you to continue work, family, and other obligations while getting help.
Inpatient Treatment Centers
Inpatient treatment removes you from environments with alcohol access for 1-3 months of intensive recovery programming and 24/7 clinical care. It is ideal for severe dependence. Inpatient facilities provide a safe, structured environment to focus fully on sobriety and recovery skills. Detox support, group counselling, life skills classes, and more are available.
Private Therapy & Counseling
Seeing an alcohol use disorder specialist provides personalized support. Therapists help uncover the root causes of drinking and teach techniques to change entrenched habits. Having a supportive therapist gives you someone to turn to during moments of crisis or cravings in early sobriety.
Medications for Alcohol Dependence
Prescription medications that reduce cravings and block the rewards from drinking, when combined with therapy, can support long-term recovery. Anti-craving drugs help control urges and withdrawal in the initial stages of sobriety. Medication-assisted treatment provides a multi-pronged approach.
You’ve Already Shown Strength in Considering Change
If you relate to this article, please know hope exists, and you have already shown strength by contemplating change.
Our caring team at Heal@Home is here to listen without judgment and help you take the next steps. Please reach out; we are ready to support your recovery journey.
The Courage to Seek Help and its Rewards
Deciding to seek help for an alcohol use disorder is extremely courageous. While the road ahead involves hard work, countless individuals have achieved lasting sobriety and an improved quality of life. You do not have to continue suffering in isolation. Support and community exist to help you reclaim your health and fulfillment.
While recovery is a lifelong process, the rewards of living alcohol-free are immense. Those who work to build sober living skills report deeper connections, increased self-confidence, improved work and financial stability, better physical health, enhanced spirituality, and an overall greater sense of purpose and joy in day-to-day living.
Early Sobriety May Bring Growing Pains
Early sobriety can feel emotionally turbulent at times. Mood swings, depression, and cravings may come and go as your brain chemistry recalibrates. This is very normal. The more tools and healthy outlets you have to cope with discomfort, the easier this transition period becomes. Treatment programs and support groups all exist to help you through the ups and downs while building the life you want.
Support Exists When Taking the First Step
We know taking the first step to get help can feel scary. But sharing your struggles with someone you trust – like a doctor, therapist, or support group – can start you on the path to healing. You don’t need to feel ashamed. Addiction professionals have helped many people facing the same battles. Fellow group members will offer understanding and hope without judgment.
Even though addiction can feel isolating, more support is available than you may think. Making that initial brave reach out is often the most difficult part. By getting help, you can gain the tools to live joyfully, have meaningful relationships, and reach your full potential in recovery.
Believing in Your Ability to Heal
We completely believe in you. Your best days are still ahead. Contact us today!