What To Expect When Coming Down From Alcoholism

The dreaded alcohol come down. Anyone who has experienced symptoms of withdrawals has an idea of what lies ahead when deciding to get sober, once and for all. It may have taken months, or years, to finally arrive at this important fork in the road, but no matter, you are here and have chosen the right path.

Deciding to get sober is one thing, but following through can be another story altogether. You are psyched up and mentally prepared for this first step in seeking recovery from alcohol use disorder, but the idea of coming down from alcoholism is a daunting one.

The best way to approach the goal of achieving sobriety is with the support of a trained team of detox experts. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can become erratic and intense, so it is never wise to take on the challenge alone. A medical detox program will provide the safety and comfort to get you through the detox and withdrawal process and prepare you for the treatment phase of recovery.

What is a Medical Detox?

When coming down from alcoholism there are is a diverse range of symptoms, the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms dictated by the length of history engaged in alcohol abuse, the level of daily alcohol consumption, general health status, and whether there is more than one substance involved. All of these factors will determine the severity of the detox process.

To help ease the detoxification process, while the body is purging the alcohol and toxins, detox specialists provide clients with medications. Because each person’s detox experience will vary, these interventions are determined based on the observable symptoms, vital signs, and psychological status throughout the process. Benzodiazepine is commonly administer to help minimize the risk of seizure, anxiety symptoms, and to aid sleep. Over-the-counter medications provide relief for gastrointestinal distress, headache, and fever.

What Are the Symptoms of Coming Down From Alcoholism?

Coming down from alcoholism happens gradually over a period of days, with the peak withdrawal symptoms occurring on days 2-3, before beginning to subside. In most cases, withdrawal symptoms emerge between 6-12 hours after the last alcoholic beverage, and the detox usually lasts for 5-7 days.

Withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Sweating
  • Hand tremors
  • Headache
  • Agitation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Disorientation
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

Where Should I Get Treatment for the Alcohol Problem?

Getting treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD) may be somewhat confusing at first glance. There are different types of treatment programs, most falling into two camps: outpatient or residential treatment. The outpatient option is appropriate for a recently acquired AUD, one that is mild to moderate in severity. Outpatient programs offer far less structure and oversight, so for someone with a more entrenched AUD, this format will probably not be advisable.

The residential treatment option is appropriate for moderate to severe AUD, as these rehabs offer structure, 24-hour oversight and support, and have a physician on staff. A residential program will likely feature a full daily schedule of various therapy sessions, classes, and groups, which are all designed to promote success in recovery. A residential program lasts from one to nine months, depending on the needs of the client. In general, the longer someone can remain in treatment, the better their recovery outcome.

What to Expect in Treatment

An effective alcohol recovery program will utilize a variety of treatment elements that are designed to work together in helping clients overcome the AUD and transition to a new sober lifestyle. Each rehab has its own “personality” and philosophy, but most will offer most of the following treatment modalities:

Evidence-based therapies: These are scientifically studied therapies that resulted in statistically significant results. Clients will engage in the therapy best suited to their own specific needs and underlying factors. All of these therapies work toward assisting the client to change their behaviors by guiding them toward recognizing disorder thinking that fueled the AUD. Some examples of evidence-base therapies include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and contingency management.

Group sessions. Peer interaction in group therapy sessions is essential while in treatment. These sessions offer the participants a supportive space where they can share their stories, their fears, their disappointments, and their hopes.

Recovery classes. Learning about how addiction happens, how the brain is affected by alcohol, and how to avoid relapse, is helpful in teaching clients how the disease of addiction develops. Recovery tools are taught, equipping clients with new coping skills and better communication techniques that will benefit them when encountering challenges in recovery.

Holistic activities. The mind-body connection is important to address in recovery. Learning techniques that help to regulate stress and anxiety are essential coping tools to be incorporated into life after rehab. These activities might include mindfulness meditation, yoga, massage, acupuncture, deep breathing exercises, aromatherapy, and art therapy.

After Treatment, Then What?

Leaving rehab after an extended stay can be very stressful. After a prolonged stay in a highly structured environment, clients may leave rehab feeling vulnerable and lonely. Attention should be paid to aftercare planning from the outset of treatment. Such services as sober living housing, continuing outpatient therapy, and locating a recovery community for social support are critical in maintaining sobriety for the long term.

Quest 2 Recovery Provides Evidence-Based Treatment for Alcoholism

Quest 2 Recovery is a Los Angeles-based rehab, located in a private home setting. This family-type environment provides a comfortable, secure setting for obtaining a medically supervised detox, and then transitioning into treatment. The treatment program is customized to align with each client’s unique recovery needs and goals, and is based on a comprehensive plan that combines several treatment methods for best results. At Quest 2 Recovery, clients find a caring, compassionate staff that is highly supportive throughout the early recovery process. For more information about our program, please reach out to the team at (888) 453-9396.

The Link Between Panic Disorder and Alcohol Abuse

When it comes to exploring the connection between panic disorder and alcohol abuse, one is faced with a quandary; which disorder emerged first, the alcohol abuse or the panic disorder? This is a logical question, as there is evidence that either scenario may be valid. Someone who suffers from anxiety, in the form of panic attacks, may self-medicate using alcohol as a panacea for the intense fear response that is common with panic disorder. On the other hand, alcohol abuse itself has been linked with stoking panic attacks. Evidently, alcohol abuse is detrimental to individuals struggling with anxiety or panic disorder.

In the first example, of using alcohol to help alleviate the severe feelings of distress experienced during a panic attack, alcohol can become addictive. The individual begins to anticipate the need for alcohol in the event of another attack, so they might reflexively reach for it at the slightest sign of fear or worry. Over time, this thought-behavior pattern has the potential to morph into alcohol use disorder, adding an additional layer of complexity to the existing mental health disorder.

In the second example, alcohol use or abuse may trigger panic attacks due to resulting physiological conditions, such as dehydration, low blood sugar, and increased heart rate. In addition to the physical cause for possibly initiating a panic attack, alcohol abuse leads inevitably to serious negative consequences that themselves could spark the intense fear response. Alcohol withdrawal may also cause anxiety and symptoms related to panic disorder.

The correlation between panic disorder and alcohol abuse is an important one to explore. Each of these disorder on its own lead to isolating behaviors, so when they coexist there is the risk of serious impairment in functioning due to social withdrawal and isolation.

Dual diagnosis are more complex conditions to treat, necessitating a specialized treatment approach that addresses both of the issues, the anxiety disorder and the substance use disorder, simultaneously. This approach has been shown to yield higher recovery success rates than treating the disorders one at a time.

About Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is under the anxiety umbrella of mental health conditions, impacting approximately 2.7% of American adults each year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. When someone initially experiences a panic attack, they may seek medical attention thinking they might be having a heart attack. This is due to the similarity of symptoms between these two events. Panic disorder episodes typically involve the following symptoms:

  • Racing heart
  • Palpitations
  • Shaking
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal distress, diarrhea

When a panic attack occurs it often happens with no warning and with no cause or dangerous situation present. Although research has not yet determined the cause of panic disorder, there is some indication that panic disorder has a genetic component. Significant and stressful life events may also be causal in developing this mental health disorder.

About Alcohol Use Disorder

While most adults can use alcohol responsibly, some may find themselves leaning on the substance and consuming more alcohol than is healthy for them. When someone consistently exceeds the guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this constitutes an alcohol use disorder. The CDC defines moderate alcohol intake as no more than one alcoholic beverage per day for women or two per day for men.

The number of symptoms an individual experiences will dictate the level of severity of the alcohol use disorder, ranging from mild, to moderate, to severe in acuity. Symptoms of alcohol use disorder include:

  • Drinking more than you intend
  • Try to stop drinking, or cut back, and cannot
  • Engage in high risk behaviors while intoxicated
  • Increased tolerance to alcohol, leading to higher consumption
  • Continue to drink regardless of negative consequences
  • Spend increasing amounts of time drinking
  • Withdrawing socially, isolating
  • Legal problems due to drinking, such as a DUI
  • Neglecting responsibilities and obligations
  • Experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit drinking

Comprehensive Treatment for the Panic Disorder and Alcohol Abuse

Treating the co-occurring panic disorder and alcohol use disorder requires a dual diagnosis treatment program. These specialized programs are equipped with the expert staff that is trained to manage the sometimes unpredictable issues that may emerge during treatment. Both disorders should be treated concurrently for the best recovery outcome.

If the individual with panic disorder has developed alcoholism, the first step in recovery will be to undergo a medical detox process. Alcohol detox can present certain health risks, so it is advisable to seek a medically supervised detox program where symptoms and vital signs can be closely monitored and treated.

Treatment for the two conditions will involve psychotherapy, medication, such as antidepressants or naltrexone, and experiential and holistic adjunctive therapies. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is helpful for both disorders by guiding the individual to make fundamental shifts in their behavioral response to triggers. CBT also helps individuals develop new coping skills and a more productive mindset.

Exposure therapy is helpful for treating the panic disorder in particular. Exposure therapy is what the title infers, involving incremental exposure to fear situations or sensations. Helping individuals to apply the coping skills learned in CBT, and utilizing deep-breathing techniques, while engaged in exposure therapy can help them learn how to better manage the intense fear and worry associated with panic disorder.

Treatment should also include activities that enhance relaxation, teaching individuals how to achieve relaxation as a lifestyle remedy for managing stress. These activities might include meditation, mindfulness, yoga, massage therapy, journaling, and regular exercise.

Quest 2 Recovery Provides Expert Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Los Angeles

Quest 2 Recovery is a leading provider of addiction and dual diagnosis treatment, offering an effective blending of evidence-based approaches with holistic adjunctive therapies. For individuals struggling with the co-occurring panic disorder and alcohol abuse, our compassionate team is here ready to guide you toward a successful recovery. For more information about our program, please visit our website or reach out to the Quest team at (888) 453-9396.

Parents Seeking Help: What To Say to an Alcoholic Son or Daughter

In the first step of Alcoholics Anonymous the addict admits a sense of powerlessness over alcohol and acknowledges that life has become unmanageable. Honestly, this step can be just as pertinent to the parents of the alcoholic, as those words ring profoundly true for them, too. Nothing is so disheartening than to find oneself the parent of an alcoholic young adult. After painstakingly raising your child, doing the very best parenting job you could muster, you now witness your grown child’s life going up in smoke as it becomes clear that he or she has an alcohol problem.

At this juncture the knee jerk response is often one born of frustration and anger. Parents simply cannot understand why their child has chosen to drink so excessively that consecutive negative consequences are quickly piling up. Parents find themselves feeling exasperated and lost, not knowing how to help their son or daughter right the ship. Learning what to say to an alcoholic son or daughter that will result in positive action, versus rejection or denial, is key to them taking the first important steps toward recovery.

Helping Versus Enabling

As a parent, it is natural to want to help mitigate the fallout from a child’s alcoholism. Parents only want the best for their son or daughter, and may instinctively make grandiose efforts to rescue their grown child from the consequences of the disease. These reflexive actions are fueled out of fear—Will he have any food to eat?; Where will he live if he loses his apartment?; What if he doesn’t pay that ticket he got?; How will he keep the lights on?—fear that their child may suffer. The conundrum for parents is that they must allow the alcoholic to fall down and experience the consequences of their disease and allow them to own their recovery. Through suffering they may be more inclined to get the help they need, versus parents constantly bailing them out and providing a soft landing.

Enabling behaviors involve the steps that parents take to do the things that their son or daughter should be, and can be, doing for themselves. Enabling behaviors might include:

  • Giving your son or daughter money. While it is tempting to offer them some cash for food or to help pay rent or utility bills, in reality that cash will often be used to buy alcohol instead. Or, just having the parents taking care of the essentials allows the alcoholic to not feel the need to work or be productive and fuels the addiction.
  • Covering for them. A parent may contact their child’s employer or professor to make excuses for an absence. By trying to cover up the alcoholic’s behaviors, the parent is only teaching their child how to manipulate them in the future, and also deters them from being accountable for their actions.
  • Taking over for their responsibilities. Parents may feel tempted to step in and help when there are young children involved when the alcoholic is neglecting their parental responsibilities. This can be true for other neglected responsibilities, such as cleaning their apartment, handling their finances, or arranging for appointments.

Become Educated About the Disease of Alcoholism

Before approaching your son or daughter about their drinking, it is helpful to become informed first. Alcoholism is a complex, chronic disease. It is wise to have a basic understanding of the signs of addiction and the trajectory that the disease takes. The alcoholic does not want you to be informed, as they can manipulate uninformed parents much more easily.

Also, prior to addressing the alcoholism, do some research about detox and treatment options so you will be prepared when/if your son or daughter agrees to get help. This will save a lot of time and allow the parent to be able to move quickly toward securing treatment for their child in a timely manner, giving the son or daughter less time to change their mind.

What to Say to an Alcoholic Son or Daughter

When wondering what to say to an alcoholic son or daughter, it is important to use certain tactics when approaching them. These include:

  • Alcoholics of all ages will recoil if the approach is forceful and anger-driven. It is much more effective to approach them with compassion and understanding. They hate that they are alcoholic. They feel ashamed, guilty, and weak due to this disease.
  • Have evidence of their alcoholism ready to present to them, as alcoholics love to deny and lie about their disease. Have a few concrete examples of how the son or daughter is exhibiting the telltale signs of alcoholism, and that they need to get some help for it.
  • Offer constructive ideas. To just accuse the son or daughter of being an alcoholic is ineffective. Gently reveal the things that you understand, from your research, are indicative of alcoholism, and then offer them solutions. This means specific treatment options to consider, types of rehabs, what to do about detox, and how to plan for treatment.
  • Consider an intervention. If the parent is not confident in their abilities to approach their child about the alcoholism, a professional intervention is a good option. These interventionists are trained to smoothly manage the group meeting where family members and/or close friends convey to the alcoholic how his or her disease has negatively impacted their life, and then guide the person towards treatment.

Preparing for Recovery

In the best-case scenario, the loved one will agree to enter treatment for the alcohol use disorder. This acquiescence may be due to the obvious deterioration of the young adult’s life that is attributed directly to the alcohol abuse. Maybe they have hit their bottom and sincerely desire to change their life. Whatever the reason, the fact that a son or daughter has agreed to get professional help is reason to celebrate.

Prior to the beginning of treatment it is helpful to begin preparing them for the recovery process. This may mean researching different rehab programs together before deciding which is the most appropriate level of care. If the adult child is employed, suggest that they get a medical leave of absence from the employer. They will need to also inquire about their insurance benefits so they can be aware of the out-of-pocket costs of treatment.

Medical Detox Process

The first important step in recovery involves the process through which the body will expel all toxins and chemicals related to the alcoholism. Alcohol detox and withdrawal is a challenging aspect of early recovery, one that often deters many from even entering treatment. However, the benefit of a medically monitored detox program is that a trained team of detox specialists will attend to their needs throughout the process.

During a medical detox, the body struggles to regain equilibrium without the usual alcohol consumption. Brain pathways have adapted to the alcohol, so when it is withheld it causes intense physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol detox can be perilous, which is why a medical team is always important. These experts will consistently monitor vital signs and withdrawal symptoms, allowing them to offer medical interventions as needed to help minimize health risks and the symptoms themselves. The detox specialists, who help keep the individual focused on the end game—recovery, also provide important psychological support.

Comprehensive Addiction Treatment

After detox and withdrawal, the individual will transition to active recovery treatment. This can be obtained in either an outpatient or residential treatment setting, which is largely determined by the severity of the alcoholism. The outpatient option allows for the individual to remain living at home while participating in outpatient therapy for anywhere from 9-25 hours per week. A residential setting provides housing and involves a 24-hour support during an extended stay. The residential option offers the higher level of care, with a more intensive daily saturation of therapeutic activities.

Treatment elements for alcohol addiction recovery include:

  • Psychotherapy. Getting to the root of the addiction behaviors and transforming them is key to overcoming alcoholism. This is accomplished through individual psychotherapy sessions using evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and short-term psychodynamic therapy.
  • Group therapy. Individuals in recovery tend to enjoy hearing from peers during group therapy. These sessions allow participants to share personal experiences and offer mutual support.
  • Family therapy. Family members are encouraged to participate in the recovery process by engaging in family-focused group therapy sessions.
  • Medication. Some individuals in alcoholism recovery benefit from medication assisted treatment (MAT) through the use of naltrexone. In some cases, a co-occurring mental health diagnosis may necessitate medication as well.
  • 12-step meetings. Many rehabs will integrate A.A.’s 12-step programming into the treatment plan, involving 12-step meetings (or similar type recovery community) and guest speakers.
  • Complimentary activities. Various activities will enhance the recovery process, such as participating in holistic therapies like yoga, acupuncture, meditation, or art therapy, and recreational activities. Nutritional counseling also falls under this category.

Quest 2 Recovery is a Residential Alcohol Treatment Program in Los Angeles

Quest 2 Recovery understands the needs, both emotional and physical, of someone recovering from alcoholism. The compassionate staff at Quest 2 Recovery considers themselves partners with the client, walking the journey toward renewal and healing right along with them. The intimate and family-like treatment setting provides a sense of warmth and comfort to clients at a difficult time in their lives.

At Quest 2 Recovery, our program is base on proven therapies that work in tandem to help clients make important behavioral changes that will support long-term sobriety. As part of the therapeutic process, our therapists also help clients explore any underlying emotional issues that may be factors in the addictive reflex to drink. If you are wondering what to say to an alcoholic son or daughter to get them into treatment, contact our admissions desk for guidance and support. Contact Quest 2 Recovery today at (888) 453-9396.

Freeing the Elephant in the Room: I Need Help With Drinking Problem

You know the drill. You show up to the office gathering and can actually feel the looks you are getting from your coworkers. How many times have you attended such events and allowed your drinking to get away from you? Each time this happens, you hear about your raucous antics the next day at work, or see the sidelong glances directed your way. By now it has become apparent that you have an alcohol use disorder… to everyone but you.

Why not finally free the elephant it the room? Before any more damage is done to your career or reputation, why not admit, “I need help with drinking to excess?” Now is as good a time as any to just humbly admit that your use of alcohol is harming you in multiple ways, and get the help you need.

While that may seem like practical advice to those who care about your wellbeing, to someone with an alcohol problem it is likely to be met with resistance. Denial is a handy technique that problem drinkers employ to protect their ability to continue on as usual. But when your excessive alcohol use has reached a point that people are uncomfortable around you in situations when some level of decorum is expected, it is time to get real.

How Alcohol Use Disorder Impacts Your Life

In the example above we touched on the impact that alcohol abuse has on your professional life. In addition to feeling ostracized due to drunken antics at office parties, alcohol abuse can have far deeper consequences at work. Work performance will begin to deteriorate, absenteeism escalates to nurse hangovers, withdrawal symptoms may begin to show up at work, and, ultimately, one can be terminated.

There are many other ways that alcoholism can negatively impact one’s life. Here are a few examples:

  • May cause legal problems, such as getting a DUI or in a car accident
  • May cause abusive or violent behaviors at home or in public
  • May lead to isolating behaviors, drinking alone, social withdrawal
  • May cause you to stop participating in the activities you once enjoyed
  • May disrupt significant relationships
  • May cause financial problems, due to spending too much on alcohol, neglecting to pay bills, losing your job
  • May cause serious physical or mental health issues

There are ample reasons to free the elephant in the room and get the help you need.

What is the First Step to Change Problem Drinking?

Just saying the words, “I need help with drinking too much,” is the first big step toward recovery. Admitting there is a problem and then moving forward toward seeking professional help will launch recovery from alcohol abuse or addiction.

Some people may need to go through alcohol detox before they begin treatment. These are individuals with moderate to severe alcohol use disorder, and should always obtain detox through a medically monitored detox and withdrawal program.

Finding the Best Treatment Fit

Not all rehabs are alike. Although most will offer the basic treatment elements for addiction recovery, there is a very wide spectrum of niches within the rehab landscape. For example, there are faith-based rehabs, couples rehab, pet friendly rehab, non 12-step rehab, 12-step rehab, luxury rehab, and holistic rehab, to name a few. Rehabs can be small and intimate or a highly populated facility. It is important to select the rehab that is most closely aligned with your personal preferences and worldview.

Medical Detox for Alcohol Use Disorder

When a detoxification is required prior to treatment it is important to understand that alcohol detox can be tricky. While most people undergoing detox and withdrawal for alcoholism will suffer mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms, a small percentage will experience unpredictable and serious withdrawals, including the delirium tremens, which can be fatal.

A medical detox provides ongoing supervision by a trained detox team whose mission it is to safely guide the client through the detox process and into treatment. The detox team will monitor vital signs throughout the duration, and administer medical interventions as needed for controlling the withdrawal symptoms. In addition, the detox specialists provide psychological support as well, helping to quell feelings of anxiety or depression that can arise.

Rehab for Alcohol Use Disorder

Getting treatment for an alcohol use disorder begins when you admit, “I need help with drinking issues.” Addiction treatment involves multiple types of therapies and activities that are designed to work together towards rebuilding confidence, creating healthy thought/behavior patterns, and restoring wellness. The rehab environment should be relaxed but organized, offering a daily schedule of classes, group therapy sessions, individual therapy sessions, and recovery group meetings.

In addition to the basic treatment elements, some rehabs offer additional services and activities. These may include experiential activities, such as yoga, meditation, or art therapy. Some rehabs offer adjunctive therapies, such as biofeedback, acupuncture, or EMDR. Recreational therapies, involving outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, sports, or fishing, are also included in some rehab programs.

In the end, the purpose of rehab for alcohol treatment is to help an individual overcome the maladaptive behaviors that led to excessive drinking by unraveling the underlying issues that may have contributed to it. Processing these emotional pain points and learning new, productive responses to triggers will result in a new lease on life.

Quest 2 Recovery is a Comprehensive Alcohol Treatment Program in Los Angeles

Quest 2 Recovery is there for you when the moment arrives that you say “I need help with drinking problem.” The compassionate team at Quest 2 Recovery understands all about the elephant in the room, when everyone sees the trouble someone is in except the problem drinker. In the quiet, mellow setting, this homelike rehab setting allows individuals to come to grips with the underlying issues that are contributing to the alcohol problem, and to make significant behavioral changes during treatment. The client will leave the program feeling equipped and confident, with multiple recovery tools at their fingertips. For more information about the program, contact Quest 2 Recovery today at (888) 453-9396.