In order to start on the path of recovery an alcoholic must recognise that they have a disease and that their behaviour and habits are reflections of this disease.  Those who have an alcohol addiction cannot always recognise that they have a problem with substance abuse as the negative impacts of alcohol are outweighed by their compulsion and addiction to alcohol. Alcoholism affects millions of people every year and many people suffer without ever seeking treatment. There are a multitude of signs when trying to recognise if someone has an alcohol addiction with many of them varying from addict to addict. Questions such as do you drink alone?; are loved ones concerned about your drinking?; and does your drinking have a damaging effect on your daily life? can identify the majority of alcoholics. If the answers to all three questions are yes, it can be almost certain that you have a drinking problem. If a person is addicted to alcohol they will be reliant on it and they will need to enter a long term rehabilitation centre with a 12 step programme in order to help them on the path of recovery and to learn to live a sober and happy life free from alcohol.  There are many different treatment options for alcoholism. Short-term treatment facilities only deal with detoxification from alcohol, as they do not have the resources or expertise to tackle any other of the problems that an alcoholic will face.  Many alcoholics think that a simple detox is all they need to feel better again. This is not so and just having a detox is usually a waste of time and money if the alcoholic and their family want permanent change. This generally means that when an alcoholic leaves the detox programme and re-enter themselves into society they will not have the necessary skills to live a sober life and they will have a very high chance of relapsing. The most successful option for recovery from alcoholism is a longer term rehabilitation programme, most notably, those focusing on the psychological reasons for drinking and a way of living life sober, usually through the twelve steps. There are generally three strands of treatment to enable recovery. The first is the detoxification process in which a person is cleansed of all the toxins and alcohol in their body. As abstaining from alcohol after being addicted can cause severe withdrawal symptoms, there must be professional medics on hand for supervision in case any problems occur. The second approach to treatment is addressing the spiritual requirements of an alcoholic. Lots of people turn to alcohol and finally start abusing it because of loneliness and a feeling of emptiness. Long-term rehab programmes will incorporate a 12-step program to help address this issue and using these tools leads to higher success rates of living a life of sobriety. The 12-step program also prepares the alcoholic for life outside of rehab. They do this by having group meetings emulating those that they will attend after they leave their treatment programme The last approach to recovery in a long-term rehabilitation programme is focusing on behavioural therapies and counselling. These teach the addict the skills they need in order to abstain from alcohol in the long term. These therapies tackle issues such as peer pressure, stress and triggers. They give the addict the long term life skills they need to live a happy life without needing to turn to alcohol. Recognising the signs of alcoholism clearly differs greatly depending on the person but long term rehabilitation programmes are necessary in order to help the addict turn their life around and kick the habit once and for all.

The Haynes Clinic is an alcohol treatment centre which offers detox from alcohol and the necessary counselling and therapy for an alcoholic to live a happy life of future abstinence. For free and confidential advice, call 01462 851414.