Counseling and Treatment for Alcoholism in Alexandria, VA
Can you relate to this experience? Maybe you have done something similar…You know the family get-together will be dry, but it’s right during your usual cocktail hour. Just because booze will not officially be served doesn’t mean you can’t sneak a little something into the party for yourself. Plus, skipping your evening cocktail is not an option. You tell yourself that anyone in your situation would do the same. It’s normal. Right? Sure. Or not. It’s hard to tell. That’s the problem with alcoholism and alcohol abuse. It’s hard to tell the difference between healthy and harmful use.
The line between enough and too much can be fuzzy when it comes to drinking. That’s why many people have benefitted from working with a counselor who can give an unbiased and non-judgmental assessment.
The counselors at Thriveworks Alexandria have helped many clients discern whether their alcohol use was healthy, abusive, or even addictive. Through counseling, many people have found the treatment they needed for alcoholism and been equipped to make better decisions about the alcohol they drink.
Alcoholism and the Brain
Alcoholism. Alcohol Dependence. Alcohol addiction. Alcohol use disorder. There are many terms to describe the same disease. Alcoholism is an imbalance in the brain wherein chemicals that control impulsiveness decrease and chemicals that control pleasure while drinking increase. The imbalance presents as lack of control. Alcoholics may drink compulsively and experience negative or depressed feelings when not drinking.
The loss of control can lead to many harmful behaviors.
What Does Alcoholism Look Like?
If you or someone you know struggles with alcoholism, you know that the disease can lead to devastating behaviors in a person’s life. These behaviors can alienate friends and exacerbate family members as loss of control with alcohol can feel like loss of control in all of life.
Often, alcoholics engage in one or more of the following behaviors…
- Drinking in secret or alone
- Lying about how much, where, or when they drink
- Becoming angry or annoyed if they cannot drink
- Valuing alcohol above their family, work, and hobbies
- Craving alcohol
- Drinking more and more to feel the same buzz effects
- Continuing to drink even after alcohol has caused relational, monetary, legal, or professional challenges
- Trying to quit or curb intake but being unable to do so
- Experiencing nausea, the shakes, or sweats when going too long without a drink
Alcohol Addiction and Related Health Problems
Alcohol addiction is, in itself, a serious health challenge. Unfortunately, alcoholism also raises people’s risk for other health problems. Alcohol in people’s blood stream can cause or complicate other diseases, including …
- Sight damage
- High blood pressure
- Liver disease
- Diabetes complications
- Atrial fibrillation
- Birth defects
Detoxing and Cultivating Sobriety
Alcohol addiction is a serious condition, but many people have detoxed from the alcohol and lived a healthier and sober life.
Denying or minimizing the problem are significant impediments to seeking treatment. The first step to healing may be accepting the problem. No one can make another person want to change or seek help, but if you struggle with compulsive alcohol use, know that help is available. Addiction therapists have helped many people detox and regain control of their lives.
Therapists often use many tools as they help their clients overcome alcoholism. If you reach out for help, your therapist may use one or more of these treatment plans…
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
CBT addresses the underlying causes of alcoholism. A therapist can use this treatment to explore how any negative experiences or beliefs may have allowed the alcoholism to form. Through treatment, those negative experiences can be processed, and the negative beliefs can be replaced with positive, true beliefs.
Support groups or group therapy often play an important part people’s lives as they detox from alcohol and learn a sober lifestyle. These groups often give people a safe place to process with people who understand.
Treating alcoholism may, at times, be aided by certain medications. With the oversight of a doctor or qualified therapists, medicine may become a part an alcohol addiction recovery plan.
Setting Up an Appointment for Therapy
Are you uneasy about how you have been using alcohol but do not know what the next step might be? The counselors at Thriveworks Alexandria, VA understand and have appointments available. We have helped many clients honestly assess how they use alcohol and make empowered choices for their future health.
Are you ready to get started? When you call Thriveworks Alexandria, VA you may be able to see your therapist within 24 hours. A person will answer your call and help you schedule your appointment. Our therapists also offer weekend and evening sessions. We even accept most forms of insurance. Call today.