Does this situation sound familiar to you? Maybe you have had several cold ones. It’s definitely time to stop, head home, and get some sleep before tomorrow’s alarm buzzes. But. Your favorite late night show just started on the TV closest to you. Why not have another one? Why not? There’s no harm in it, you tell yourself, right? Right. Or possibly wrong. It depends. Many people incorporate alcohol into their lives in a healthy way. Many others abuse alcohol or develop an addiction to it. Sometimes, it is hard to know the difference between healthy alcohol use and unhealthy use. A skilled counselor can help people know the difference.
The therapists at Thriveworks Pflugerville, TX help people understand why and how they are using alcohol. With their expertise, many clients can assess their alcohol use and treat any dependencies or abuses.
What Is Alcohol Dependence?
Alcohol dependence, or alcoholism, is an illness characterized by a chemical imbalance in the brain. The imbalance can present as compulsive alcohol consumption, inability to control intake, and a depressed mood when unable to use alcohol.
Alcohol Dependent Behaviors
Not all alcohol use is detrimental to a person’s health, but knowing when drinking crosses the line from recreational and beneficial to dependent and harmful is not always easy. Another problem is that any addiction also comes with denial and minimization—an inability or unwillingness to see problematic behaviors. Unfortunately, denial keeps alcoholics from receiving the help they need for a serious illness.
Think about how, when, and why you use alcohol. If you experience any of the following, it may be time to ask for a professional’s assessment and help.
Alcohol use may signal an addiction if a person …
- Keeps secrets or lies about drinking
- Uses alcohol alone
- Loses interest in hobbies, friends, work, and family
- Drinks despite relational, professional, monetary, or legal trouble it may have caused
- Has tried to stop drinking but has not been able to
- Feels annoyed or angry at not being able to drink
- Craves alcohol
- Drinks more to feel the same buzz
- Sweats, shakes, or vomits when going too long without a drink
Alcoholism and Other Health Challenges
Excessive drinking is associated with a host of other health challenges. When people consume more alcohol than their body can metabolize, the excess alcohol is circulated throughout the body via the blood stream. This excess alcohol can have a lasting effect and cause further health complications, including …
- Liver disease
- High blood pressure
- Atrial Fibrillation
- Sight problems
- Diabetes complications
Recovering from Alcohol Dependence
Alcoholism can cause horrific physical and emotional pain the lives of those who suffer from it as well as in the lives of their families and friends. There is no easy path to detox, treatment, and sobriety, but many recovered alcoholics will testified that battling their alcoholism was and is worth the effort.
Often, the first step toward recovery is acknowledging the problem and asking for help in addressing it. There are many paths toward recovery, and many people have found that a therapist helped them find the right path for them.
Recovering from alcohol dependence may include a multi-faceted approach. With a therapist’s guidance, finding the right treatment plan is a possibility. Treatment plans for alcoholism may include a …
Psychological Component – Counseling or therapy seeks to treat the underlying causes of addiction. A client and therapist may explore when and how the client first experienced alcohol; coping strategies (that do not involve alcohol) for managing difficult feelings and memories; any untreated mental health problems that have arisen because of the alcohol addiction.
Psychosocial Component – Support groups or group therapy have been an effective tool for recovery in the lives of many alcohol dependent people. In such a group setting, many people find empathy, accountability, and support.
Pharmacological Component – In certain cases, medication may aid recovery or help maintain sobriety. A medical doctor or therapist can determine if, when, or how medication can positively affect treatment for alcohol addiction.
Scheduling an Appointment for Alcohol Dependency
Some people know they have a problem with drinking, but they do not know what to do next. That’s ok. If you have tried to change a drinking habit and have not yet found the right path to success, the Thriveworks Pflugerville therapists get it.
We know it takes courage to ask for help, and we are ready to provide support and guidance.
When you call to schedule an appointment, know that we want you to feel supported, even before your first appointment. We have worked to make scheduling an appointment as hassle free as possible.
At our office, a person will answer your call. We offer convenient weekend and evening appointments. Also, we probably work with your insurance provide.
Are you ready? Let’s get started.