Alcohol is legal, easy to get, and socially acceptable in the US, so it’s not always easy to tell when habitual drinking becomes an alcohol addiction. What starts off as occasional drinking with friends can turn into daily drinking that creeps up on you over time.
One signal you’re drinking too much is if friends and family members have asked you to cut back or quit. If alcohol is affecting your ability to work, you’re spending a lot of time recovering from its effects, or you’ve tried to quit without success, you may already know you need help.
Del Arroyo Recovery Center is here to support you. We offer comprehensive inpatient residential treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD) at our private Southern California addiction treatment center in Agoura Hills, CA.
Start with an Honest Assessment
It’s easy to dismiss problematic drinking patterns, especially if you’re surrounded by others who drink regularly. Weekend binges can feel normal if they’re a routine part of your social life.
If you have a nagging feeling that you may be drinking too much or feel guilty about things you’ve done while intoxicated, it’s time for an honest assessment. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I ever called in sick to work because of a hangover?
- Have I missed appointments or events because I was too hungover or drunk to attend?
- Have I had problems with my spouse, family, or friends because of drinking?
- Has anyone close to me ever asked me to cut back or quit drinking?
- Have I tried to limit my drinking or quit but found it too difficult?
- Do I experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms when I stop drinking, like irritability, headaches, shaking, or nausea?
- Is my drinking negatively impacting my everyday life?
If you answered “yes” to some or all these questions, these are warning signs of alcohol addiction. If you experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking, these are signs of alcohol dependency.
You can also use the Check Your Drinking tool from the Centers for Disease Control to assess your alcohol consumption.
It may be time to think about alcohol treatment, especially if you’ve tried but haven’t been able to quit on your own. Alcohol addiction is one of the most common substance use disorders, yet it’s also one of the easiest to deny.
Problem Drinking vs. Alcoholism
Problem drinking isn’t necessarily the same as alcoholism. Problem drinking can mean drinking more than you planned, binge drinking, or regularly exceeding the recommended daily limits. While problem drinking doesn’t mean you have alcohol addiction, continued overuse of alcohol can increase your risk of AUD (alcohol use disorder).
Alcoholism (or alcohol addiction), on the other hand, is a chronic disease in which you crave alcoholic drinks and are unable to control your drinking. People with alcoholism need to drink greater amounts to get the same effect and have symptoms of alcohol dependency, like headaches, irritability, or shakiness when they stop using alcohol.
If you’re concerned about how much or how frequently you drink, it’s time to take a closer look at your patterns and consider treatment.
Treatment for Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction treatment often involves a combination of detox and behavioral therapies. Some people need medically supervised detox, since alcohol withdrawal syndrome can be severe and even potentially dangerous for heavy drinkers.
When heavy drinkers stop drinking suddenly, the brain can go straight into “fight or flight” mode. This is what causes alcohol withdrawl symptoms like anxiety, vomiting, and delirium tremens (“DTs”).
If you experience moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking, seek treatment from an experienced provider that offers medically supervised alcohol detox services overseen by a trained physician.
The Del Arroyo Difference: Compassionate Care
We offer evidence-based solutions at our treatment center in Agoura Hills, CA, including mental health care and medical attention for individuals with co-occurring anxiety, depression, trauma, and other challenges.
Relapse prevention is at the heart of our addiction treatment program. Our trained therapists use a variety of proven therapeutic tools like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing to help you work through unhelpful thought patterns that may be contributing to your alcohol abuse.
Individual therapy and group therapy are core parts of our residential treatment programs. We provide a safe and supportive setting where you can explore your feelings and learn vital new coping skills. Family therapy is optional but encouraged. We also offer a variety of holistic treatments, from yoga to outdoor recreational opportunities.
Get Help Today
If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction, the team at Del Arroyo Recovery Center is ready to help you get well.
The low staff-to-patient ratio at our six-bed alcohol rehab center allows us to provide you with the highest level of care. The compassionate staff at our Agoura Hills alcohol addiction treatment center will tailor a treatment program just for you, based on your needs and history.