Your drinking problem is more serious than just overdoing it once in a while. There’s a good chance that you’re struggling with an alcohol use disorder. Is alcoholism a disease? Most importantly, is there a cure?
You Know It’s a Disorder, But is Alcoholism a Disease?
In the past, people believed that a drinking problem was a sign of moral weakness. Today, scientists agree that it’s a chronic brain disease. In particular, the illness affects the areas of the brain that govern reward structures and motivation. From there, effects manifest in the form of maladaptive patterns throughout your life.
Medical professionals suggest that there are different stages to alcoholism. At its most benign, you’re likely binge drinking occasionally. As the condition progresses, binges fall closer and closer together. Rather than being the exception, drunkenness is now the norm.
Because of the disease’s chronic nature, there’s no cure. That said, treatment for alcoholism can be extremely effective. Is alcoholism a disease that you can overcome on your own? Actually, as is the case with any other form of addiction, getting professional help in rehab is the best option.
How Rehab Makes a Difference
Although therapists can’t cure the disease, they can show you how to manage it. Therapeutic approaches include:
- Dual diagnosis assessment and care for co-occurring psychiatric illnesses like anxiety
- Individual talk therapy as a way to set goals and prepare for lifelong abstinence
- Group therapy that introduces peer support and accountability
- Extended care, which benefits you when you need a little longer to heal
- Trauma therapy to overcome situations from the past that lead to unwelcome thoughts and emotions
When you understand is alcoholism a disease, the next step is understanding what triggers it. As you go through the treatments, you learn to understand triggers and stressors. Similarly, you know what types of situations to avoid. Besides that, you learn new ways of filling the time that you typically spent drinking or recovering. Boredom can be a significant problem for people who quit drinking.
That’s why high-quality rehab centers provide you with opportunities for experiential therapy participation. Examples include yoga, art, and white water rafting. From these activities, it’s possible to build a new hobby. Most importantly, you might continue to participate in these types of events after graduation from the program.
Finding a Care Setting That Works
Many people believe that they have to move into a facility to overcome an alcohol dependency. This is no longer the case. More and more program participants do very well with partial hospitalization, which allows them to remain at home. Similarly, there are those who benefit from participation in an intensive outpatient setting.
Talking with a care specialist helps you decide on the right treatment delivery. The expert enables you to think through your goals and the benchmarks you want to reach. Most importantly, you learn that you don’t have to keep drinking just to feel normal.
So, is alcoholism a disease? Yes, it is. Reach out to an addiction treatment facility today to begin your recovery journey.