If you’re struggling with alcohol use, you are not alone. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that in 2019 nearly 15 million Americans above the age of 12 had alcohol use disorder (AUD). [1] This figure includes more than 400,000 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 with AUD. Alcohol use disorder, or alcoholism as it is commonly known, is a problematic pattern of alcohol use in which a person cannot control their drinking.

A particularly concerning problem is the prevalence of heavy alcohol use and binge drinking. Approximately 1 in 4 Americans engages in binge drinking (defined as a woman consuming 4 or more drinks and a man consuming 5 or more drinks in 2 hours or less). Another worrisome emerging trend is that of high-intensity drinking, which is defined as consuming alcohol at a rate that is 2-3 times than binge drinking levels. People who drink alcohol at 3 times the binge drinking threshold are roughly 90 times more likely to end up in the emergency room for an alcohol-related event. [1]

These sobering stats highlight the importance of getting help at an alcohol rehab without delay. Yet, finding an alcohol rehab facility nearby which is effective and affordable can be challenging. The National Drug Helpline at 1-844-289-0879 is a drug and alcohol hotline that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including weekends and holidays. You can call the hotline and get free, confidential, non-judgmental advice and information on finding the best alcohol treatment programs nearby.

When is alcohol a problem?

An occasional drink is not a problem in most adults. (Certain people should avoid alcohol completely, for example, those who have jobs that require coordination and alertness, such as heavy machinery operators and airline pilots).

In people who can drink safely on occasion, alcohol consumption becomes a problem when a person starts to have trouble controlling their drinking or becomes preoccupied with alcohol. [2]

An important physical sign of problematic drinking is that a person needs more and more alcohol to get the same effects (this is called tolerance). Over time, the person develops a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol and has withdrawal symptoms if they stop drinking. Tolerance and withdrawal are signs of alcohol dependence and addiction.

Behavioral signs of alcoholism include continuing to drink even when the drinking causes significant problems. This can include continued alcohol use in the face of health complications, relationship issues, financial problems, and/or legal troubles.

If you or a family member is experiencing significant problems in your daily life due to alcohol, you could have alcohol use disorder. AUD can range in severity, but even a mild disorder can cause significant problems. Therefore, getting access to early treatment for alcoholism is critical.

The National Drug Helpline at 1-844-289-0879 is a toll-free 24/7 helpline that offers friendly and useful advice and information on finding the nearest alcohol rehab. If you have been struggling to find an alcohol rehab facility that does not have a waiting list, call the hotline today. We will help you find alcohol rehabs in your city that are accepting new clients without delay.

What are the stages of alcoholism?

Alcoholism doesn’t happen overnight. It emerges after long-term alcohol use and goes through various stages. Knowing the signs and symptoms of each stage of alcoholism can help you identify it sooner and get help.

Experimenting: This is the initial stage which is common in adolescents and young adults who are frequently under peer pressure to try new drinks or test their limits. Binge drinking is common in this age group. Heavy drinkers and binge drinkers are at a significantly higher risk of becoming alcoholics. [3] Even a single episode of binge drinking can have devastating consequences, including alcohol poisoning, car crashes, burns, falls, drowning, violence, sexual assault, sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancy, and serious health complications.

Frequent drinking: The next stage in alcohol consumption is when a person’s use of alcohol becomes more frequent. For instance, they may progress from drinking socially on weekends to drinking every day. The reasons can be anything from boredom to stress, loneliness, or peer pressure. As the drinking continues, the person becomes more and more dependent on alcohol to feel good and is at risk of developing alcoholism.

Problem drinking: This is the stage where a person starts to experience the negative impact of their alcohol abuse. This can include psychological effects such as depression and anxiety, health complications related to excessive alcohol consumption, and/or social issues like relationship problems.

Alcohol dependence: During this stage of alcohol abuse, a person develops a dependence on alcohol but is not yet addicted to it. Meaning, alcohol takes over the person’s daily routine and they can no longer control their drinking. They need to drink larger quantities of alcohol to feel buzzed or get drunk. They also experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, fast heartbeat, sweating, trouble sleeping, nausea, and shakiness when they sober up.

Alcoholism or alcohol addiction: At this stage in an alcoholic’s journey, they are drinking not just for pleasure but because they must. Alcoholics have strong cravings (physical and psychological urges) to consume alcohol.

It is important not to wait until you hit rock bottom and develop full-blown alcoholism before you get help. The sooner you get treatment for yourself or a loved one, the greater the chances of successful recovery from alcohol use disorder. The National Drug Helpline at 1-844-289-0879 can help you find an alcohol rehab nearby where you can get effective treatment for alcoholism.

What are the different types of alcoholism treatment?

Most people have heard of the 12-step program or a 28-day inpatient rehab program for alcoholism. However, it is important to realize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for alcohol use disorder. What works for one person may not be ideal for someone else. Understanding the different types of treatments available is a good first step in choosing the right program.

Medically supervised detoxification is the first step in safely getting alcohol out of a person’s system. The body naturally performs an alcohol detox after someone stops drinking, i.e., it attempts to get rid of toxins and waste products formed from the breakdown of alcohol. However, people who have been drinking heavily for a long period can experience uncomfortable, even dangerous, symptoms during detox. For this reason, medical monitoring is necessary during alcohol detox to mitigate the effects of withdrawal symptoms.

Behavioral therapy is aimed at changing a person’s drinking behaviors through alcohol counseling. Studies show that professional counseling and therapy led by mental health professionals is highly effective in helping people get sober and stay sober.

Prescription medications such as disulfiram (Antabuse), naltrexone, and acamprosate (Campral) can help alcoholics stop or reduce their drinking. They can also help prevent relapse in recovered alcoholics. Disulfiram works by causing you to feel sick with nausea and flushing if you consume alcohol, thus reducing the probability that you will drink. Naltrexone blocks the pleasurable effects of alcohol and helps ward off cravings, thereby reducing heavy drinking. Acamprosate reduces withdrawal symptoms and makes it easier for you to stay sober. [4]

Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and 12-step programs offer peer support to people trying to cut back or quit drinking. These groups are a valuable addition to comprehensive evidence-based alcohol addiction treatment led by health professionals.

The National Drug Helpline at 1-844-289-0879 can help you or someone you love connect with leading alcohol rehab centers in your city. You can find out about the alcoholism treatment programs available at these facilities, including both inpatient and outpatient alcohol rehab. Calling the helpline can also help you gain access to supplementary services such as mutual support groups for alcoholics in your community.

Tips for choosing treatment for alcohol problems

Finding and selecting an alcohol rehab can be confusing. Many people are left wondering – “Which is the best alcohol rehab near me?”

The National Drug Helpline at 1-844-289-0879 can offer advice on what to consider when choosing an alcohol rehab program. When you call the hotline, you will gather a lot of information on the various treatment options nearby. Speaking to someone who has first-hand knowledge of various programs will help you make a decision and choose the best option that fits your needs.

Some of the questions you should ask an alcohol rehab facility include:

  • What kind of alcohol treatment programs do you offer?
  • Do you follow evidence-based medicine?
  • Does your program rely on all the currently available methods to promote abstinence?
  • Do you offer medications for alcohol abuse treatment?
  • Are mental health issues addressed together with alcohol addiction treatment?
  • Is the alcohol rehab program tailored to each client’s needs?
  • How do you measure treatment success?
  • What is your policy to handle relapse in alcoholics?

How do I find an alcohol rehab near me?

Ready to take the first step towards regaining your life? It’s easy to find an alcohol rehab nearby. Call the drug and alcohol helpline at 1-844-289-0879 and get useful information, friendly advice, and non-judgmental guidance in complete confidentiality.

Last updated: June 7, 2021

References

1 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol Facts and Statistics. Available online. Accessed on June 6, 2021.
2 Mayo Clinic. Alcohol use disorder. Available online. Accessed on June 6, 2021.
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Binge Drinking. Available online. Accessed on June 6, 2021.
4 American Family Physician. Medications for Alcohol Use Disorder. Available online. Accessed on June 6, 2021.