what is the first step in an alcoholics recovery

If you (or a loved one) are finally ready to confront an alcohol use disorder, you might wonder what is the first step in an alcoholic’s recovery. Read on to learn all about the detox and withdrawal process.

What is Alcohol Use Disorder?

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) refers to the long-term effects of continued heavy drinking. AUD is diagnosed on a continuum that ranges from mild to severe disease.

To determine if someone has an AUD, the NCADD has created an online questionnaire. It includes a list of common signs of AUD that you may recognize in yourself. The more symptoms that are present, the more severe the AUD:

  1. You avoid friends and family while drinking, preferring to drink alone.
  2. You consume higher quantities of alcohol as time goes on.
  3. You drink in response to stress, sadness, anger, or disappointment.
  4. You have hand tremors in the morning or have other withdrawal symptoms.
  5. You cannot remember things you said or did the night before.
  6. You are experiencing financial, legal, career, or family problems due to drinking.
  7. Your doctor advised you to cut down on alcohol.
  8. You lie about how much alcohol you drink.
  9. You are preoccupied during the day with drinking or crave alcohol.
  10. You get drunk several days in a row.

What Are the Signs Alcohol is Causing Harm in Your Life

There is no debate about the destructive nature of alcohol abuse. Some of the most common signs that your drinking habits are causing you to harm include:

  • Health problems. Alcohol is very toxic to the human body. Symptoms of health issues may emerge that are a direct result of heavy drinking. These include weight gain, heart problems, cognitive problems, liver disease, gastritis, and cancer.
  • Loss of job. You may lose your job, due to a decline in job performance, excessive absences, or drinking on the job. This can have far-reaching effects on your family finances.
  • Relationship problems. Alcoholism begins to demand all of your attention. As the AUD worsens, you spend more time drinking alone, and less time with your spouse and friends. This causes strain on the relationships, even leading to divorce.

Preparing for the Recovery Journey

Now that you have addressed the AUD and are getting ready to begin the recovery journey, there are some items to take care of. These include:

  • Take an extended leave of absence. Sit down with your employer to make a plan to take a leave of absence. Your job is protected by law.
  • Look up insurance coverage. Call your health plan provider to gather the details about what your plan covers. Most health plans now have at least some coverage for addiction treatment services.
  • Select a treatment program. Begin the process of choosing a rehab program. Your doctor can help guide you in terms of what level of care you will need.
  • Arrange for childcare, pet care, and bills to be paid. Get all your ducks in a row prior to leaving for detox and rehab. This helps your spouse manage things during your absence.

The First Step in Recovery: Alcohol Detox and Withdrawal

When starting out on the recovery journey, the first order of business is to rid the body of the toxins associated with alcohol. Detox lasts from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the severity and history of your AUD.

Alcohol detox involves three distinct stages. These stages include:

  • Stage 1: Emerging Symptoms. The early phase of withdrawal begins within 6-8 hours of the last drink. This stage lasts one day and includes the symptoms: stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, tremors, fatigue, anxiety, foggy thinking, and insomnia.
  • Stage 2: Peak Symptoms. The second phase of withdrawal involves symptoms peaking and lasts 2-4 days. Symptoms include increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, body temperature, and respiratory rate, mental confusion, sweating, mood swings, and irritability. Also, it is during this stage that delirium tremens (DTs) can develop, causing hallucinations, severe mental confusion, fever, and seizures.
  • Stage 3: Subsiding Symptoms. The final stage begins after day four and can persist for a couple of days to weeks. This stage is marked by depression, anxiety, confusion, insomnia, and cravings.

Keep in mind that throughout the detox process, your symptoms will be closely monitored and medications provided to minimize discomfort.

After Detox, What Comes Next?

Once you have completed the detox process, you are ready to enroll in the rehab portion of the recovery. Treatment is multi-pronged, with each activity building on the other to effect real change. Here is what you can expect in the rehab program:

  • Psychotherapy. Therapy is the main treatment element for alcohol recovery. Through therapy, you will examine any unhealthy behavior patterns that only perpetuate the alcohol addiction. Using CBT, the therapist guides you to reshape those thoughts and behaviors.
  • Family therapy. Family groups help the whole family unit heal and move forward together as their loved one enters recovery.
  • Education. Learning about the impact of alcohol on brain chemistry can be a deterrent to relapse. You will also be learning new coping tools and making a relapse prevention plan.
  • 12-step or similar. Peer support is a key element in recovery, and these meetings provide the opportunity to share experiences, challenges, fears, and goals with others in recovery.
  • Holistic. Rounding out rehabilitation are several activities that augment psychotherapy, including mindfulness training, yoga, art therapy, acupuncture, recreational therapy, equine therapy, and other activities that teach individuals relaxation techniques
  • Recreational therapy. Golf can be a very therapeutic addition to the rehab process. Spending time outdoors and getting exercise helps improve your mood and mindset.

Golf Drug Rehab Helps You Overcome Alcoholism

Golf Drug Rehab is a full-spectrum addiction treatment program that blends golf into the mix. If you are ready to that the first step in alcoholism recovery, give our team a call at (877) 958-5320.

signs that alcohol is killing you

Notice the Dangers of Alcohol Before it’s Too Late

Too much of anything, no matter how much pleasure it brings, can lead to harmful effects. Take anything you might enjoy—eating chocolate, shopping, playing blackjack, even working. Any of these could cause harm if it is overdone.

The adverse effects of overindulgence are well known. This can cause obesity, bankruptcy, harm to the body, mental distress, and more. The same can be said about alcohol. An occasional drink is not a problem. But if drinking takes on a major role in your life, the effects can be very harmful.

Alcoholism is a widespread problem in the U.S., with 88,000 deaths each year attributed to alcohol. Ethyl alcohol is a highly toxic substance that can cause extreme damage to someone’s life. A drinking problem can harm you both physically and psychologically. Not only yourself but others if they are hurt or killed due to drunk driving.

For many, the harmful effects of heavy drinking may not be clear for some time. But at some point, it will become obvious that alcohol is killing you.

Heavy Alcohol Consumption Defined

The CDC has set guidelines that help people to be aware of what constitutes heavy drinking. According to the CDC:

  • Excessive drinking: 8 or more drinks in a week for women; 15 or more drinks in a week for men.
  • Binge drinking:  4 or more drinks in a single session for women; 5 or more drinks in a single session for men.
  • A “drink”:  A 12-ounce beer, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces or wine, or 1½ ounces of liquor.

5 Signs Alcohol is Killing You

It is mind boggling just how hard alcohol is on the brain and body. The signs alcohol is killing you may creep up slowly, with a symptom here or there. Or it may hit you all at once with a liver that has ceased to function, as in late stage alcoholism. Here are 5 signs that alcohol is killing you:

  1. Cardiac symptoms. Long-term heavy drinking takes a toll on the heart. A sign of a serious cardiac issue that could result in death is a heart arrhythmia, another term for abnormal heart rate. Alcohol can also cause alcoholic cardiomyopathy. This is when the heart muscle weakens and cannot pump enough blood to the organs. This can result in organ damage or heart failure.
  2. Cognitive problems. Excessive alcohol use can lead to brain damage, which shows up first when cognitive function is reduced. Memory problems are another sign. Thiamine (B1) deficiency often results, leading to brain damage.
  3. Gastrointestinal problems. Heavy drinking can cause excess stomach acid, such as acid reflux which can lead to gastritis. It also causes problems in the stomach lining, such as ulcers and bleeding. The loss of blood can lead to anemia, causing extreme fatigue.
  4. Liver disease. Alcohol is highly toxic to the liver. The problem with liver disease is that the signs of it may not be noticed until later stages. This happens with cirrhosis. It often begins as fatty liver disease. It is a fatal condition unless a liver transplant succeeds.
  5. Cancer symptoms. Excess drinking causes an increased risk of many types of cancer, most of them deadly. Types of cancer linked with heavy drinking include oral, throat, esophageal, colon, rectal, pancreatic, liver, and breast cancer.

In addition to these health effects of alcoholism, other very bad consequences can be caused in other ways. These include legal problems due to DUIs, loss of a job, divorce, custody battles, and money problems.

Detox and Withdrawal

The first step in recovery will involve detox. Withdrawal symptoms range from mild to severe depending on factors like drinking history, age, health, and mental health.

The detox timeline is fairly consistent. What is not so easy to predict is acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome or the DTs. This health emergency emerges on days 3-4 in about 5% of those going through detox. But of those who it affects, there is a 15% death rate.

Detox Timeline:

Stage 1: Symptoms commence 6-12 hours after the last drink. This early phase lasts only one day and includes such symptoms as hand tremors, headaches, and nausea.

Stage 2: Symptoms peak during this phase, which begins on day 2 and usually lasts two days. This stage includes such symptoms as vomiting, sweating, confusion, fever, irritability, mood swings, heart palpitations, anxiety, and insomnia. Those with a more severe alcohol problems may also have hallucinations, mental confusion, and high blood pressure. There is also a risk of seizure.

Stage 3: The final two days will see the symptoms subside as the brain becomes stable. While the intense symptoms start to decrease, some still feel the psychological effects. These include depression, anxiety, irritability, and insomnia.

Comprehensive Treatment for Alcoholism Recovery

After the detox is complete, the individual will be stable enough to begin treatment. Treating alcoholism relies on a group of therapies that are designed to work in tandem. Treatment helps them change toxic behaviors and equips them with new coping skills.

These rehab elements include:

Psychotherapy: Therapy is at the heart of treatment. Using evidence-based theories such as CBT, DBT, and motivation enhancement clients learn new thoughts and behavior patterns. Therapists will work with clients to assist them in changing thought distortions that have led to the drinking problem.

Group work: Group therapy allows clients to share about the events in their lives that have led to the problem of drinking. These peer support groups provide a safe place to help each other while in rehab.

12-step program: A.A.’s 12-step program is often added to the treatment plan, but not always. There are non 12-step recovery programs available as well, and some rehabs offer both types of meetings.

Recreation therapy: Restoring health after alcoholism is a key focus during rehab and beyond. Nutritional counseling and outdoor fitness provide ways to improve brain health and wellness.

Holistic activities: To learn how to reduce stress is key in recovery. Many rehabs today offer holistic activities that teach clients how to relax. These might include yoga classes, massage, guided meditation, art or music therapy, and mindfulness training.

Golf Drug Rehab Provides Effective Treatment for Alcoholism

Golf Drug Rehab is a unique rehab program located in South Orange County. Using a blend of evidence-based therapies and golf recreational therapy, clients balance recovery work and enjoyable pastimes. For any questions about the program, please connect with Golf Drug Rehab today at [phone_number].

Exercise and Addiction Recovery

If you are in early recovery for a drug or alcohol addiction chances are your body has seen better days. In active addiction, most people pay little attention to nutrition and exercise, leading to eventual vitamin deficiencies, a depleted immune system, and a paunchy physique as time and energy were diverted toward acquiring, using, and recovering from the drug of choice. Once the mind clears in sobriety and you begin to focus on the consequences of the addiction, you may be startled at the poor state of your physical health.

Thankfully, the body is resilient and, with some consistency and dedication to overall wellness, it can rebound. Making fitness a priority can provide a multitude of benefits for the individual in recovery. Exercise and addiction recovery is an excellent combination for renewing strength, confidence, and hope in achieving a fulfilling life.

Exercise and Addiction Recovery: The Protective Effects of Physical Activity

While it has been widely understood in the recovery field for years that exercise is beneficial to individuals in addiction recovery, there is actual research that helps indicate how and why that is. In an article by Mark A. Smith and Wendy J. Lynch published in Frontiers in Psychology entitled “Exercise as a Potential Treatment for Drug Abuse: Evidence from Preclinical Studies,” the authors explain how epidemiological studies, or how certain determinants can influence disease development or progression, demonstrate the protective effects of exercise for the recovering addict. The article states that “Collectively, these studies have provided convincing evidence to support the development of exercise-based interventions to reduce compulsive patterns of drug intake in clinical and at-risk populations.”

In their study featuring rats who had access to a running wheel in the home cage, they found that the effects of running lasted beyond the exercise period, reducing the rats drug-seeking behavior after a period of abstinence. This, they posit, demonstrates how exercise may be effective at preventing relapse. They conclude by stating that the neurobiological effects of exercise can serve as an alternative non-drug reinforcer of sobriety.

How Early in Recovery Should Exercise Begin?

Considering the multiple realms that exercise and addiction recovery seem to work in tandem for positive outcomes, there is no reason to delay integrating regular physical activity into the recovery process. Starting in rehab, where most programs provide recreational activities or a gym, the individual can begin the process of restoring physical health while enjoying the psychological benefits of exercise.

Cardio-based activities such as walking, jogging, cycling, dance fitness, running, and swimming are excellent options to include in the recovery routine. Cardio or aerobic, exercise involves the pumping of oxygenated blood by the heart, delivering it to the working muscles. This works the lungs, heart, and muscles simultaneously, providing many health benefits.

5 Benefits of Exercise in Recovery

When you set aside a certain amount of time each week for physical activity you are sending a subliminal message to yourself that you care about your health and wellbeing. As the results of regular exercise start to become apparent, it will inspire you to continue on this positive, healthy trajectory in recovery. The primary benefits of combining exercise and addiction recovery include:

  1. Decreases stress while increasing resilience to stress. Stress is the number one foe of someone in early recovery, having the potential to induce a relapse. Regular physical activity will improve circulation and release brain chemicals leading to stress reduction. Over time, pushing oneself physically can create stronger mental stamina over stressful situations.
  2. Improves overall mood. It will take time to correct brain chemistry so that it will begin producing dopamine naturally again. Meanwhile, exercise is known to cause a release of endorphins and serotonin, boosting mood naturally.
  3. Boosts confidence. The sense of accomplishment that you get from completing a task, even a round of golf or a brisk walk, can help boost confidence in yourself. As you get stronger and begin to feel better, you slowly build up a renewed sense of self-worth.
  4. Promotes physical health. Just getting outside and moving your body can begin the process of restoring health. Regular exercise has enormous positive effects on all bodily systems, improving heart health, stamina, energy level, muscle strength, joint mobility, and increased immune response.
  5. Improves sleep quality. Regular physical activity helps to regulate body temperature, reduce stress, and promote relaxation, all beneficial to getting quality sleep. The energy expended in exercise can translate to getting more hours of sleep as well.

Golf Drug Rehab Incorporates Golf and Fitness Into Addiction Recovery Program

Golf Drug Rehab is a luxury rehabilitation center located in Orange County, California. As implied in the name of the program, Golf Drug Rehab places an emphasis on the fitness component of recovery, offering access to three deluxe golf courses in the local vicinity for its clients. Golf Drug Rehab combines outdoor activity with a powerful arsenal of proven evidence-based therapies for excellent recovery results. For more information about how the program meshes exercise and addiction recovery, please contact Golf Drug Rehab today at [phone_number]

Am I an Alcoholic

Alcohol abuse, alcohol addiction, alcohol dependency—with so many terms referencing an alcohol use disorder it may make the actual definition of alcoholism seem murky and confusing.  In reality, alcoholism is a complex substance use disorder with various features that help define the severity of the problem, or whether the alcohol use, although excessive, even reaches the clinical definition of the disease.

According to the definition of alcoholism by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, alcoholism is:

  1. Continued excessive or compulsive use of alcoholic drinks
  2. a.  Chronic, progressive, potentially fatal disorder marked by excessive and usually compulsive drinking leading to psychological and physical dependence or addiction
  3.  Acute alcohol poisoning resulting from the usually rapid consumption of excessive alcoholic beverages

Well, this serves as a starting point in understanding the nuances of alcoholism, but still allows for different interpretations of what exactly constitutes alcoholism.  If you are asking yourself “Am I an alcoholic” or “Do I need addiction treatment” then this blog may offer some helpful information.

What Exactly is Alcoholism?

It is difficult to know whether someone is an alcoholic or just

a problem drinker.  Some people can abuse alcohol for years without developing alcohol dependence. Others may be high-functioning alcoholics, able to be successful at a career and fulfilling family obligations even though they consume high amounts of alcohol.  Eventually, however, abusing alcohol for an extended time period will take a toll one way or another. Health will be impacted, cognitive decline occurs, or there might be a DUI arrest that creates legal headaches—even if the individual never became alcoholic in the classical sense.

Risk Factors For Alcoholism

So why is it that some heavy drinkers become alcoholics and others do not?  There are some risk factors for alcoholism that can predispose an individual to become an alcoholic.  The genetic component is one such factor. If someone has a strong family history of alcoholism there is a much higher probability that they could also become an alcoholic.  A co-occurring mental health disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, or generalized anxiety can also result in alcohol dependence, as the individual seeks to numb emotional pain or symptoms of anxiety.

A series of difficult life events, such as losing a loved one, divorce, losing a job, or experiencing or witnessing trauma can all contribute to depending on alcohol to soothe the emotional symptoms that are experienced as a result of the negative events.  

So, Am I an Alcoholic?

There are behavioral symptoms that an addiction is forming that can serve as warning signs.  These might include:

  • Obsessing over when you can drink next or how to obtain the alcohol
  • Trying to quit drinking and cannot
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Loss of interest in the activities once enjoyed
  • Drinking more and more alcohol as tolerance increases
  • Mood swings
  • Losing interest in maintaining personal appearance and hygiene
  • Irritability
  • Concentration problems
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Alcohol cravings
  • When an attempt to quit drinking withdrawal symptoms emerge

10 Signs that Help Answer the Question, “Am I an Alcoholic?”

There are some universal signs that someone has crossed into alcoholism.  The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has an online questionnaire that can help you determine if you have a problem with alcohol.  Among the points the NCADD includes are:

  1. You avoid friends and family while drinking
  2. You consume higher quantities of alcohol as time goes on
  3. You drink in response to stress, sadness, anger, or disappointment
  4. You have hand tremors in the morning
  5. You cannot remember things you said or did the night before
  6. You are experiencing financial, legal, career, or family problems due to drinking
  7. Your doctor advised you to cut down on alcohol
  8. You lie about how much alcohol you drink
  9. You are preoccupied during the day with drinking or crave alcohol
  10. You get drunk several days in a row

Treatment for Alcoholism

Getting treatment for an alcohol use disorder is life changing.  After completing detox, you will enter into an extended period of active treatment during which you will immerse yourself in a variety of therapeutic activities that all work together to help you overcome the alcoholism.  This will include individual talk therapy with a clinical psychotherapist who will guide you in examining any past traumas or emotional pain that might be driving the need to drink. Group therapy sessions allow a peer support system to develop where clients can help each other and share experiences.  Medications, such as naltrexone, can be used for the early phase of recovery to help reduce alcohol cravings. Recreational therapies, such as yoga, hiking, exercise sessions, golf, tennis, or surfing can take some pressure off and infuse some social activities during treatment.

Golf Drug Rehab Provides Superior Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment in Southern California

Golf Drug Rehab is a luxury drug and alcohol addiction treatment program in California.  The expert and compassionate clinical staff at Golf Drug Rehab is highly trained in detox and addiction treatment for individuals in need of help for an alcohol use disorder.  Offering the very latest treatment modalities and three amazing golf courses to help clients enjoy some recreational therapy, Golf Drug Rehab provides the perfect blend of therapy and golf.  If you are wondering “Am I an alcoholic?” or have questions about our program, call Golf Drug Rehab today at [phone_number].

Mild Alcohol Withdrawal

It is widely understood that people with an alcohol dependency who want to enter recovery should undergo a supervised detox. There is good reason for this guidance, as alcohol detox and withdrawal can produce highly unpredictable, even dangerous, symptoms. A detox is monitored by trained detox specialists who are prepared to intervene should such symptoms arise and cause an emergency. At the very least, a detox program is able to help reduce unpleasant symptoms and safely guide the individual to the other side and into treatment.

Not all withdrawal symptoms, however, are so severe. The severity of the withdrawal symptoms is correlated to the acuity of the alcohol dependency. Someone with a fairly recent alcohol use disorder or who hasn’t consistently consumed large amounts of alcohol will likely experience mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms. A detox is still the best route to starting the recovery journey, but expectations of horrendous withdrawals would be overblown in the case of a mild alcohol use disorder.

What Causes Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

Withdrawing from alcohol can result in physical discomfort and pain, as the body tries to adjust to the cessation of alcohol consumption. This is caused by the impact of consistent alcohol consumption on the central nervous system and how that impacts neuropathways. When the alcohol intake suddenly stops, the decreased responsiveness of GABA receptors in the brain will incite withdrawal symptoms.

Only so much alcohol can be metabolized by the body, broken down by enzymes in the liver. The brain or other bodily tissues will absorb any excess alcohol. Over time, the increasing levels of toxins stored in the brain, as a result of excessive alcohol consumption, can cause the brain to suppress certain neurotransmitters, so when alcohol intake ceases, hyperexcitability of these brain chemicals results.

Factors that Influence the Severity of Alcohol Withdrawals

Certain factors dictate the level of the withdrawal symptoms, which can range from mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms to severe. These factors include:

  • How long the individual has had the alcohol use disorder
  • The level of alcohol consumed
  • History of alcohol withdrawal syndrome
  • Age of individual
  • General health status of individual

Co-occurring mental health disorders can also exacerbate some of the psychological symptoms experienced during withdrawal, such as anxiety and depression.

What is Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS)?

The above factors are taken into consideration during the intake process to help gauge the level of alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) that might occur. Acute AWS features severe withdrawal symptoms when alcohol use is abruptly stopped. Approximately 10% of individuals withdrawing from alcohol will experience alcohol withdrawal syndrome featuring acute symptoms. These acute withdrawal symptoms emerge approximately 2 to 4 days into the detox process and might include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hallucinations
  • High fever
  • Excessive sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Seizures
  • Delirium Tremens

What is Considered Mild Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

Not everyone who stops drinking will experience acute withdrawal symptoms. Some individuals might only experience sweating, hand tremors, nausea, sleep disturbance, and anxiety. Someone with a mild or recent alcohol use disorder should not avoid detox for fear of withdrawal symptoms, as these mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms are easily managed by the detox team. A sedative, such as Ativan, can help with both insomnia and anxiety, and simple over-the-counter interventions can help with fever, stomach distress, or headache.

Withdrawal symptoms begin to emerge about six hours after the last alcoholic drink. Symptoms peak on days 2 and 3 and then begin to subside. In most instances, alcohol detox and withdrawal is completed in less than one week, again, depending on the factors that determine the severity of the detox process.

Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

When deciding to enter treatment for an alcohol use disorder, it is common to feel apprehensive about the detox process. Unfortunately, too many people who are in need of treatment shy away from it due to the fear of experiencing withdrawal symptoms. It is important to overcome this concern, knowing that a quality detox program will have in place all necessary interventions to make the detox as comfortable as possible. In addition to providing physical comfort and relief from symptoms, the detox professionals also provide psychological support to help each client successfully complete the detox stage of recovery.

After detox is behind them, the client will then begin the actual addiction treatment program. Alcohol use disorders are best treated using a variety of interventions that work in tandem together. These treatment elements often include:

  • Psychotherapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and contingency management are evidence-based therapies that have demonstrated success in treating addiction
  • Group therapy. Participating in small group counseling sessions can be a source of peer support and encouragement, as fellow clients in recovery share their own experiences and struggles
  • Medication assisted treatment. Naltrexone has been shown to help someone in the early months of alcohol addiction recovery by reducing alcohol cravings
  • Addiction education and relapse prevention planning. Gaining an understanding of how alcohol impacts the brain and leads to chemical dependency is essential in helping to deter relapse. Making a thorough relapse prevention plan is critical in identifying potential triggers and making a plan to manage them
  • 12 step or other recovery meetings. Social support is an intrinsic component in recovery, so active participation in a recovery community is a useful element in the treatment
  • Other therapies that complement psychotherapy. These might include experiential activities such as yoga class, meditation, journaling, art therapy, massage therapy, and acupuncture.

Golf Drug Rehab Will Guide You Through Alcohol Detox and Withdrawal

Golf Drug Rehab is an elite alcohol and drug rehabilitation program in Southern California. Situated in a spectacular coastal community, this luxury rehab offers the highest caliber detox team and treatment specialists for individuals with an alcohol use disorder. The rehab program begins with detox and is followed by multi-layered therapeutic interventions featuring the most up-to-date addiction treatment methods. As part of the rehab programming, our clients will enjoy some recreational therapy with access to three outstanding local golf courses. For more information about this premier treatment program, please contact Golf Drug Rehab today at [phone_number]

Naltrexone Implant

For some in recovery for alcoholism the effort to stay sober is akin to swimming upstream, using every fiber of your being to work against the strong current that threatens to pull you right back downstream into drinking.  Someone with a long history of heavy alcohol consumption, who has become chemically dependent on it, may struggle, and fail over and over again to remain abstinent.

The drug, naltrexone, under the brand names Revia or Vivitrol, is the most promising development in alcohol addiction treatment in recent years.  Although first developed in the 1960s, naltrexone was eventually FDA cleared to treat alcoholism in 1995.  Clinical trials demonstrated that this drug was well-tolerated with few, if any, adverse side effects, and has been successful in helping motivated individuals remain sober.

Naltrexone Alcohol Detox Uses

Naltrexone is a non-narcotic medication that can be used in conjunction with therapy and other sources of support to achieve a life of sobriety.  Clients who have repeatedly relapsed and who have a moderate to severe alcohol dependency are the ideal candidates for naltrexone therapy.  Clinical studies have repeatedly shown that naltrexone can be highly effective in recovery from alcoholism.  Raymond F. Anton, M.D., in a published article entitled Naltrexone for the Management of Alcohol Dependence in the July 2008 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine states, “Typically, the studies have shown that oral naltrexone was superior to placebo in preventing relapse to heavy drinking after an initial abstinence period and in increasing the percentage of abstinence days.” Naltrexone works by attaching to the opiate receptors in the brain, blocking them from receiving any effect from alcohol.  With the opiate receptors blocked, the client experiences fewer cravings for alcohol, making it easier to avoid relapse in recovery.

How Does Naltrexone Work for Alcohol Addiction Recovery

No one but an alcohol dependent person can even attempt to explain the persistent drive to consume alcohol that plagues them on a daily basis.  Once the brain has been remapped to accommodate the constant infusion of alcohol into the system, it etches a reward pathway that is very difficult to overcome.  Even when alcohol becomes merely a medicinal substance that prevents them from experiencing the highly uncomfortable withdrawals that will ensue, they still desire it.

Naltrexone helps to break that connection between the substance (alcohol) and the desire to imbibe.  Overcoming this compulsion to drink can be accomplished over a period of months of naltrexone use, as the brain’s opioid receptors are blocked resulting in decreased cravings.  If the individual does drink while on naltrexone, they will not experience the high they remember, leading to a reduced desire to drink at all.

Alcoholism Treatment and Aftercare

Professional treatment for alcohol dependence should be a multi-disciplinary program that integrates therapy, 12-step participation, and naltrexone for qualified candidates.  This three-part approach to treating alcoholism, combined with a highly motivated individual, can be very effective in breaking free from the addiction.  Here is how the treatment elements work together:

  • This mainstay component of addiction treatment functions in several ways.  As the term indicates, psychotherapy is the interaction between a therapist or counselor and the client that addresses psychological concerns that may be related to the addictive behaviors.  Resolving these issues, including life traumas, a mental health condition, a suppressed emotional pain revolving around a relationship, death of a loved one, loss of a job, divorce, or any such difficulty, is imperative during addiction treatment.  The psychological damage that these events may have caused can be contributing to the compulsive alcohol abuse.

Psychotherapy can take many forms, including private meetings with the therapist and group therapy.  An evidence-based therapy that has been proven to be effective in addiction treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).  CBT addresses the knee-jerk behavioral response the client may experience to a stressful event or trigger that resulted in drinking and helps them to find new healthy solutions and responses.  New coping skills are taught in therapy, as well as stress reducing techniques.

  • Non 12 or 12-step support groups. Peer recovery groups have been shown to be an important resource for clients, especially in the first year or two of recovery.  The meetings provide a safe and supportive venue for sharing, learning, and gaining resolve when it is fading.  A sponsor can help the client by providing a backstop resource at times of weakness.  Both the sponsor and the peer group provide a sense of accountability, where the client feels beholden to practice (work) the steps and become stronger over time.
  • Naltrexone therapy. Cravings are reduced or eliminated, and if the client slips up they will not experience the pleasurable high they had anticipated.  Over time, the client will lose the desire to drink.
  • Treatment does not end when the discharge papers are handed to the client.  Recovery from alcohol addiction is an ongoing process, therefore aftercare planning is important to the overall outcome.  Aftercare measures can include living in sober housing for several months while the newfound sober lifestyle takes root, continuing to participate in 12-step recovery meetings, and attending weekly therapy sessions.

Golf Drug Rehab Utilizes Naltrexone Implant Alcohol Method

Golf Drug Rehab is a luxury alcohol and drug addiction treatment rehab situated in the seaside community of Dana Point, California.  Golf drug Rehab utilizes the naltrexone pellet as part of its alcohol treatment program, combining it with detox, addiction therapy, and recovery group meetings.  Golf Drug Rehab features recreational therapy in the form of three stellar local golf courses for our clients to enjoy.  For more information, please contact Golf Drug Rehab at [phone_number]

orange county detox

You hear about hitting bottom.  In fact, you might even believe that your bottom is now, that this is the time to get some help.  Maybe your job is in jeopardy or your marriage.  Maybe your finances have taken a beating due to drug use.  Or maybe you recognize signs of deteriorating health.  Each person who reaches the point when they can no longer deny the addiction problem arrives at it in his or her own way and on their own unique timetable.

Reaching out for help is a difficult step for many to take.  How much easier it is to continue to deny that you have a problem with a substance, anything but having to face down the detox and withdrawal process, right?  But the reality is that detox is nothing compared to the extensive damage to your career, family, and even your life if you take no action.  Detox, and then subsequent treatment, is a small sacrifice to make for the greater good of your life, and those in your sphere.

Understanding what detox is can help allay many of the misconceptions and fears regarding the process of detoxification.  At a drug and alcohol detox in Orange County, California, you will be aided every step of the way, from beginning to end.  Trained detox nurses and addiction specialists team up to monitor the withdrawal symptoms, ushering you safely to the other side.

Signs of Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Many people rely on the assistance of pills or alcohol to buffer the effects of stress or emotional distress in their life.  Americans routinely access medication for reducing anxiety or assisting with sleep disorders.  Alcohol is commonly used to promote relaxation and provide an escape, at least temporarily, from feelings of depression, PTSD, or any other mental health issues.  Adults can safely use these substances for helping them cope with the small bumps in the road of life.  Substances used judiciously for a limited period of time don’t typically become problematic.  But when the substance becomes central in someone’s life, using excessive quantities for prolonged periods, that trouble with addiction can ensue.

Here are some common signs of addiction that should not be ignored:

  • Obsessing over obtaining the substance, having enough on hand
  • Neglecting obligations, such as family or work responsibilities
  • The decline in work or academic performance
  • Losing interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Secretive behavior, hiding the substance and the substance abuse from loved ones
  • Change of appearance, losing interest in grooming and hygiene
  • Loss of control, using increasingly higher quantities of the substance as tolerance builds
  • Mood swings
  • Problems in relationships, such as becoming distant, uncommunicative, argumentative, angry and irritable, and neglecting the partner
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to cut back or stop
  • Continuing to use substances despite the increasingly negative consequences

Addiction is a highly prevalent behavioral health disorder that impacted over 21 million Americans in 2014, according to statistics provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Alliance.  Of the 21.5 million, which represents about 8% of the US population aged 12 and older, who are impacted by a substance use disorder, 17 million have an alcohol use disorder.

What to Expect in a Drug or Alcohol Detox Orange County California?

Once the initial assessment process is completed, during which the severity of the substance use disorder is determined, the individual begins the detox phase of addiction recovery.  Detox is the first, not the last, step in recovery.  Detoxification is the process by which the body expels the toxins and chemicals that have built up in body tissues over time.  Detox and withdrawal is necessary in order for the individual to be fully present and focused for the active treatment phase that follows.

During the days that the body is ridding itself of the substance, the individual will experience physical and psychological discomforts.  In fact, anticipating these discomforts creates a significant barrier to entering treatment in the first place.  But detox should be kept in perspective.  It is unpleasant, there is no arguing that.  However, those few short days of experiencing the effects of withdrawal are the gateway to a whole new life in recovery, and well worth the suffering.

During the detox, there will be trained professionals monitoring your progress and symptoms for up to a week.  This provides the necessary oversight in the event withdrawal symptoms escalates into an emergency.  The role of the detox team is to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms as much as possible using medications and to also offer emotional support through the process.

Why is a Detox Better than Detoxing On Your Own?

The detox and withdrawal process can present some health risks, depending on the substance of abuse.  An alcohol detox in Orange County, California is especially important, as unforeseen complications can emerge, such as seizures or delirium tremens (DTS), a potentially life-threatening condition.  Other substances, such as Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, and Valium, of the benzodiazepine family of sedatives, can also present serious health concerns during detox and should only be detoxed under supervision.

Aside from the physical health risks that can emerge in detox, psychological withdrawal symptoms can be so severe that the individual simply gives up altogether, returning to drug or alcohol use.  These psychological symptoms can include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Severe mood swings
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Psychosis
  • Powerful cravings

Psychiatric professionals can provide medication and counseling to assist with these symptoms.

Medication-assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of certain drugs to help block the effects of the substance and reduce cravings and relapse.  These drugs can be useful in the early phase of recovery for certain individuals and may be initiated toward the end of the detox phase after the substance is out of the system.  These drugs include buprenorphine, naltrexone, or methadone, and may be prescribed for up to a year.

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Golf Drug Rehab is a luxury addiction treatment program located in the beach community of California.  With a top-notch clinical team of therapists and addiction specialists, Golf Drug Rehab specializes in executive detox and addiction treatment.  The busy professional benefits from this program where detox and treatment accommodate the executive who needs to address their substance use disorder while in the most upscale, comfortable surroundings available.  With three beautiful golf courses available to clients, rehab can include both treatment and recreational enjoyment.  For more information about our short-term executive treatment program, please call Golf Drug Rehab today at [phone_number]

Treatment for Alcoholism

Alcoholism continues to be the dominant reason for rehab admissions in America.  While there has been a lot of attention focused in recent years on the opioid crisis, alcohol addiction represents 80% of the individuals suffering from a substance use disorder, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Alliance.  Because of the strong genetic component to the disease, with over half of U.S. adults having a family history of alcohol use disorders, alcoholism rates just keep moving up.

Continued alcohol abuse can contribute to multiple health conditions, cognitive impairment, relationship problems, and employment difficulties.  These serious consequences can include dementia, heart disease, serious mood disorders, increased cancer risk, liver disease, gastrointestinal problems, social problems like divorce, violence, loss of job, and crime.  When the problem of drinking escalates and, over time, becomes alcohol dependence, the disorder becomes life threatening.

Treatment for alcoholism continues to be tweaked and refined, as new medications are trialed and new psychotherapy methods tested.  The most effective treatment for alcoholism involves a mix of approaches that are tailored for the unique needs of the individual and features of their alcohol addiction.  By personalizing treatment to align with the specific needs of the individual, alcoholism treatment will become increasingly effective.

Signs of an Alcohol Use Disorder

Even though alcohol is such an intrinsic part of our culture, it has the potential to become a threat to wellbeing of some.  Some individuals have a high tolerance level for alcohol and can consume large quantities before feeling its effects. These individuals may be predisposed to alcoholism, as regular high consumption of alcohol can lead to addiction.

In many people, alcohol addiction sneaks up stealthily.  For the longest time drinking may have been manageable, then suddenly it isn’t.  Often, people just deny they have a problem, even if others can clearly detect their friend or loved one spiraling into addiction.

There are some general signs that drinking habits have evolved into an alcohol use disorder:

  • Drinking alone or in secrecy
  • Drinking much more than you originally intended
  • Mood swings
  • Losing interest in activities once considered enjoyable
  • Creating reasons to drink, such as to provide relief for a stressful day or to aid symptoms of depression or anxiety
  • Continue to drink even though it is causing negative consequences in life
  • Experiencing blackouts
  • Irritability
  • Feeling hungover when you don’t drink
  • Neglecting responsibilities and choosing to drink more
  • Isolating from family and friends
  • Engaging in high risk behaviors
  • The trouble with the law, such as a DUI
  • Cravings for alcohol

Considerations for Alcohol Addiction Treatment

When it is time to seek treatment for an alcohol problem there are several important things to consider.  With so many rehab options it is easy to feel overwhelmed by all the choices available.

Detox.  Alcohol detox can be tricky, as withdrawal symptoms are often unpredictable.  Because of the risk of a serious event during alcohol detox, it is always advisable to undertake the process in a monitored detox program.  The trained detox team will be vigilant in monitoring vital signs as a proactive measure as withdrawal symptoms emerge. Medications will help manage the uncomfortable symptoms and help the individual safely complete the process.

Treatment.  There are two basic rehab formats available, inpatient and outpatient programs.  From there, options to consider are couples programs, pet-friendly rehabs, luxury rehabs, faith-based rehabs, and more.

Inpatient rehab

An inpatient program, where one will reside, is always recommended for those with a long history of heavy alcohol use, and the program may need to be 3-6 months in duration for the best recovery outcomes. This is because it takes that long for the brain to heal, for the brain chemistry to normalize, and for other lingering withdrawal symptoms to fade.  Leaving rehab too soon can result in a higher risk of relapse.

Outpatient rehab

An outpatient program is less structured and allows for the individual to reside at home during the treatment period, outside of therapy hours.  Outpatient programs are best suited for mild or recent alcohol use disorders. Therapy requirements vary based on the individual’s particular treatment needs.

The Most Effective Treatment for Alcoholism

Although each person’s treatment needs will vary, there are certain evidence-based approaches that have been clinically proven to help with alcohol use disorders.  These include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Contingency management
  • Motivational enhancement therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy

What these all have in common is that they are about changing behaviors.  Clients learn new ways to frame their thoughts and responses in a more productive manner, and this can be achieved through the various means available in the different modalities.

Using naltrexone for 6-12 months following detox can help reduce alcohol cravings and in turn lead to fewer relapse events.

Therapeutic activities that promote relaxation are important in fortifying recovery.  These healthy habits and holistic activities can enhance the effects of talk therapy. These might include daily exercise, yoga, meditation, mindfulness exercises, journaling, and deep breathing techniques.

The Importance of a Support System

Another important component of effective treatment for alcoholism is social support.  Engaging immediate family members and close friends in the commitment to living a sober lifestyle can be powerful.  These individuals care and want you to succeed in recovery. In addition, regular weekly group therapy sessions are another effective source of peer support, where a therapist can lead the group in various topics of discussion, and ideas and experiences can be exchanged.  Some people enjoy 12-step or some alternative recovery group meetings for fellowship and being held accountable to others. All these sources of support can help the individual shore up their recovery.

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Golf Drug Rehab is a leading alcohol treatment program that offers an upscale recovery environment.  Situated in the tranquil community of Dana Point, California, Golf Drug Rehab combines expert addiction treatment with high-end amenities, including access to three superb golf courses for recreational therapy.

Golf Drug Rehab offers the most effective treatment for alcoholism available.  Detox, evidence-based behavioral therapies, naltrexone pellet therapy, a two-week rehab program up to several months in length, and a large selection of luxurious amenities make Golf Drug Rehab a first-class addiction program.  For more details about the program, please contact Golf Drug Rehab today at [phone_number].

Rehab for Professionals

When alcohol addiction affects someone who is in a leadership position at work it can present a difficult dilemma.  How does this executive, with all the many job responsibilities that cannot simply be ignored, manage to get treatment for the alcohol problem?  This quandary has led to the formation of specialized niche rehabs that have created certain adaptations in their programs to accommodate the busy executive.

In addition to providing technology and office equipment that allows the executive to remain engaged with the office while in rehab, an alcohol rehab for professionals often includes special recreational activities and holistic therapies.  These amenities provide opportunities for relaxation and make the time in rehab more enjoyable.

Why Does Alcoholism Only Impact Certain Professionals?

As someone who is surrounded each day by colleagues, it may cross your mind that only some who hold down high-stress jobs have acquired an alcohol abuse or addiction problem.  It is true that alcohol dependency does not attach itself to all people, even if some of these colleagues consume even more liquor.  Although over 15 million adults in the U.S. suffer from an alcohol use disorder, the assumption that alcohol will affect every individual the same is simply a myth.

The reality is that a certain minority of individuals will find themselves with an alcohol addiction due to factors that still remain a mystery.  There are certain underlying factors that can influence alcohol addiction, such as genetics, where a family history of alcoholism exists.  Other causes might include brain chemistry imbalance, a co-occurring mental health disorder, past traumas, or beginning to drink heavily in youth.

Working in a highly stressful environment can exacerbate the need for using alcohol at a higher consumption level than most.  Alcohol is a depressant, so some busy executives seek to relax and be relieved from stress through the use of alcoholic beverages.  If they are predisposed to alcoholism, as tolerance increases he or she will use increasingly higher amounts, which can lead to addiction.

What is Alcohol Rehab for Professionals Like?

The initial step in getting help for alcohol abuse or addiction is to undergo a supervised detox and withdrawal.  Detoxing from alcohol necessitates certain safety protocols because of the risk of seizures or delirium tremens, which can be fatal.  A detox team will guide the professional through the process and manage the withdrawal symptoms throughout.  In certain cases, naltrexone can be prescribed to help manage alcohol cravings and reduce the risk of relapse.

During the treatment phase of rehab, the executive will engage in a variety of therapeutic activities.  Addiction treatment is customized for the individual’s specific needs, so the therapy will be selected accordingly.  All individuals will participate in individual talk therapy, group therapy, and 12-step or similar non-12-step recovery meetings.  Rehab programs range from 2 weeks to 6 months or more, depending on need and resources.

How Do the Added Amenities Help in Alcohol Rehab for Professionals?

Executive rehab programs are unique because of the premium locations, high-end accommodations, private rooms, and work accommodations.  It is understood that the busy professional will need certain tools available to be able to continue to connect with colleagues and subordinates.  These programs will likely make every effort to accommodate the needs of the professional client who still needs to engage at work while in treatment.

In addition, executive rehabs will provide special holistic activities that may resemble a spa or resort.  Massage therapy, sauna, yoga classes, and acupuncture aid in stress relief and promote relaxation.  Recreational activities, such as golf, fishing, hiking, or boating may round out the program.

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alcohol treatment programs

High-level executives encounter excessive levels of stress on a daily, hourly basis.  Chronic exposure to high stress can often result in the use of alcohol as a means of relieving the pressures of the job.  Eventually, this daily habit of self-medicating with alcohol can develop into addiction or dependence, becoming a threat to health, career, and family.  Addressing an alcohol use disorder at the earliest point offers the best chances of a sustained recovery, but treating alcoholism at any stage of the disease will offer hope of living a fulfilling life of sobriety.

The biggest challenge for a busy executive, however, is carving out the extended period of time needed to get the treatment needed.  For this reason, some programs now offer an inpatient two-week treatment program that can expedite the process while also providing the tools needed to remain engaged at the office.  Better yet, these two-week plans may design a treatment program that includes golf or other extracurricular activities to help pass the time.

About Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcoholism is a chronic relapsing disease that impacts brain chemistry and the nervous system.  It can sneak up on someone with little warning as tolerance to the substance increases and one begins to drink more heavily in order to achieve the relaxation response they enjoyed when first using alcohol.  Alcoholism should be taken seriously, as without detoxification and treatment, in addition to ongoing continuing care efforts, it could be deadly.

What may begin as a couple of drinks in the evening following a hectic day at the office can morph over time into a need to imbibe first thing in the morning and then throughout the day.  Once the body has become accustomed to the daily dosage of alcohol it will rebel when alcohol is withheld, initiating withdrawal symptoms that send you right back to the alcohol.  The symptoms of alcohol addiction or dependence might include the following:

  • Unable to stop drinking once started
  • Being able to drink more and more alcohol
  • Blacking out, having no memory of actions or conversations
  • Lying about your level of drinking
  • Hiding alcohol from loved ones
  • Neglecting responsibilities at home or work
  • Relationship troubles related to the excessive drinking
  • Trying to stop drinking but can’t
  • Withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop, include tremors, profuse sweating, nausea, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and more.

What to Expect at an Inpatient Two Week Alcohol Treatment Program?

The individual who has reached the high ranks in their profession is someone who is driven and very busy.  These executives may be aware of their alcohol problem but can’t fathom how they could go into a month long (or longer) rehab program with so many responsibilities that need to be addressed on a daily basis.

An inpatient two week alcohol treatment program condenses the usual 30-day program down to 14 days, accommodating the busy life of an executive while still providing high quality treatment for alcoholism.  Treatment will begin with detox and withdrawal and then segue into psychotherapy, both individual and group sessions, alcohol addiction education, relapse prevention planning and techniques, and participation in a recovery support group.  Most executive rehabs also provide other holistic or adjunct therapies that augment the program.

Golf Drug Rehab Offers Executive Golf Two Week Alcohol Treatment Programs

Golf Drug Rehab is a premier two week alcohol treatment program in coastal California that cater to executives who happen to love golf.  This truncated program allows the busy executive to receive the needed help for an alcohol use disorder over a two-week period while enjoying golf as a recreational diversion with three beautiful local courses to choose from.

Golf Drug Rehab provides the necessary technological tools at the executive’s disposal so they can remain in communication with staff during their stay in rehab.  Golf Drug Rehab features high-end accommodations and amenities as well as highly trained clinical staff who will guide the individual toward lifelong recovery.  For more information about the program, please contact Golf Drug Rehab today at (877) 958-5320.