If you feel you could use some alcohol counseling or alcohol screening for sorting through alcohol related issues or finding alcoholism treatment, seeking alcohol treatment from an alcohol mental counselor can be beneficial for alcoholism. You may worry that “alcohol counseling” treatment is an admission that you're addicted to alcohol. However, alcohol counseling is generally an effective way to get treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), which is a disease surrounding alcohol that negatively affects your life and often your friends, family members, and close relationships as well.
Even if you don’t experience alcohol use disorder, and simply wish to develop a better relationship with how you drink, have alcoholic parents, or are trying to better understand its potential roles in your life, alcohol counseling can be beneficial. Don’t get too caught up in names – there are many, many types of therapy and mental health professionals devoted to all different aspects of life, such as grief counseling, family counseling, support groups, online counseling sessions, substance abuse therapy, and ADHD counseling, among countless others; alcohol counseling is simply devoted to this particular topic, much like the others are primarily devoted to their respective topics.
Alcohol counseling is a specific kind of therapy that assists someone with an alcohol use disorder or alcohol dependencies. The counselor or treatment provider will work with you to create a treatment plan that helps you understand and recover from your dependency on alcohol, or, for some, addiction. They will teach you techniques for you to implement so that you can work toward living an alcohol-free life, or one less reliant on it.
Am I An Alcoholic?
Deciding if you have alcohol use disorder and if you need alcohol counseling with a mental health professional can be difficult for many people. If you have little control over how you use alcohol or if you require alcohol to cope with a normal day, week, or anything else, then you might have substance use disorder. If consuming alcohol has negatively impacted your relationships with friends, family, or yourself, then you may want to factor this into your evaluation as well.
Drinking can be a relatively harmless thing for many, but if you struggle to control yourself when you drink or you feel like you can’t stop yourself from having more than one drink, then it may be time to consider counseling or substance abuse treatment. Let’s take a look at the different types of treatment for alcohol use disorder recovery and what you’ll need to do to get started with the process of understanding and healing.
You may wish to attend individual sessions to begin alcohol counseling. These sessions will take place with only you and a therapist, social worker, psychologist, or other health professionals. One exception is if your counselor or treatment centers also recommend one or several family therapy sessions to repair relationships with family members. You’ll discuss the impacts that alcohol has had on your life, and together you’ll work out a plan to help you through quitting and getting your life back on track. You’ll have to be open and honest with your therapist. This can be a difficult process but well worth it to regain equilibrium in your life. Individual therapy isn’t your only option, though, but something that you may want to consider if you’re uncertain about getting started.
Another method of counseling for alcohol use disorder is group therapy. Several programs are well known, including Alcoholics Anonymous, but that’s not the only program out there. These methods of therapy revolve around the idea that being with other people who are experiencing the same or similar struggles as you will help you overcome your own. For example, if you’re struggling to cope with being substance free, the others in the group have also been there and can help you with this when you want to drink. In turn, if someone else is struggling, you’ve been there, so you may be able to help them. Each of you understands what the other is going through, and each of you contributes to a unique support system for one another.
If you are thinking about quitting drinking altogether, then it’s important to get help before you decide to do it alone. Even if you have the strong desire to do it, quitting drinking by yourself can be difficult. The process of withdrawal can be risky, and for those who try to quit without medical intervention, it can even be dangerous. Talking with your doctor is the first step to start the process and will allow you to start off on a more successful path.
The detoxification process is the first part of quitting, and this is the part that you may have heard the most about. It can be difficult, and for some patients in recovery, it even requires medication or inpatient treatment. For approximately one week, you may experience shaking, hallucinations, convulsions, or confusion as you attempt to detox from the alcohol. The physical symptoms can be treated with medication, and this is why it’s best to talk with a doctor before you try it on your own. They can get you the medication and the supervision that you need to get through the withdrawals with a safety net of support and resources.
Starting a process of therapy is the next step and will generally include a behavior modification process as well. Behavior modification, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), allows you to learn new skills and coping mechanisms for certain behaviors and thought patterns that can help you throughout your life. Because consuming alcohol tends to start as a social activity or a mechanism for dealing with problems, it’s important to learn new ways to do each of these things. That way, you will still be able to enjoy yourself and overcome obstacles without relying on drinking.
Medication can make it a little easier to get through the process of fully quitting. It can help you to associate negative feelings with alcohol or it may help you reduce the cravings that you could have, even after going through the detoxification process. Getting prescription medication to help you with the process is an option to minimize the side effects of withdrawal and make it easier for you to quit. It’s important, however, not to replace the alcohol dependence with drug dependence, and eventually you will need to learn to resist substance without the medication. Be sure to consult with your doctor or primary care physician before considering any medication options. This article is by no means a substitute for professional medical advice.
For those with alcohol dependence, the goal is typically to stop drinking entirely. While some people can drink socially and never develop an alcohol use disorder, someone who has had this disorder will likely have it their entire lives. That means you can stop yourself from drinking and break the addiction, but it is likely to remain under the surface. If you ever choose to drink again, it could result in the addiction resurfacing. Becoming addicted again can seem easier in the short-term than quitting, and that’s why some people often experience relapses.
With all the difficulty that’s involved in quitting, you may be wondering why you would even want to bother. Other than the potential damage to personal and professional relationships, including loss of friends, family, and even jobs, there are plenty of health reasons to stop drinking. Drinking can cause damage to just about any part of your body, as you’ll read below, and can also lead to potentially life-threatening events such as physical altercations or traffic accidents. Alcohol is also a depressant, or “downer,” meaning that it can make you feel more depressed, particularly if consumed regularly.
Heart disease, different types of cancer, cirrhosis, gastritis, dementia, erectile dysfunction, and other neurological disorders all occur with a higher frequency in those with alcohol use disorder. Mood disorders and psychological disorders like anxiety and depression are also higher in those who have alcohol use disorder. By getting treatment right away, you’ll help yourself to get healthier. The longer you go without drinking, the lower these risks become. That means if you stop drinking, you could lower your risk of developing these health conditions. In any case, it all starts with getting the help you need.
If you’re looking for alcohol counseling, an in-person or online therapist can help immensely. A professional with experience and expertise in alcohol use disorder will help you explore underlying reasons that helped lead to the alcohol dependence. They will also provide you with techniques for how to replace old thinking patterns that enable you to return to the addiction. They will help you develop positive thoughts to replace negative ones; over time and with courage and work, this can result in choosing behavior that benefits you rather than harms you.
A study found that online therapy for alcohol use disorder was just was effective as face-to-face therapy. Rate of attrition was similar to in-person therapy, and participants found this mode of therapy to be satisfactory. Of the participants, 82% would recommend online therapy to friends and family.
BetterHelp is one of the places that you can go to get the help that you need online. It’s a completely online service with therapists. More than that, it offers you access to information about different mental health topics. That means you can get everything you need all in one place. You can also find out more about how to treat alcohol use disorder. When you meet with a licensed professional, you won’t have to leave your home. Instead, you can just log on to the website when your session is about to start and get comfortable, and you do this at a time that’s convenient for you. BetterHelp has many therapists and counselors with expertise in alcohol use disorder who give you the emotional support, understanding, and techniques to help you start living your life alcohol free. Below are some reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people experiencing similar issues.
Rebecca is a phenomenal counselor, her background and experience in a few areas like the judicial system and drug and alcohol treatment offers great insight for those who may have loved ones working through those issues. They are highly available, always willing to open up additional appointments if you can’t find a time that works for you, respond quickly through chat. I would highly recommend anyone who is interested in working with cognitive behavioral therapy to reach out and see if they are available for a chat.
Samantha Toney has been a very positive influence in my life since I began counseling with BetterHelp. She helped me navigate my way through the end of my relationship and coping with my partners addiction as well as becoming a single mother. I highly recommend her to anyone going through struggles in life no matter what they may be.
She is awesome and is helping ne work out how to move forward with my issues and the worksheets she has provided are great. She checks in with me if I have not gotten back to her. Which is wonderful. I do not feel judged and feel better and see there are healthy solution to my stress anxiety and substance abuse.
What happens in an alcohol assessment?
A mental alcohol/drug evaluation or alcohol screening takes a look at your substance use history. The mental treatment facility needs to know how much you are drinking. The purpose of this form of mental treatment (alcohol screening) is to figure out the degree of your mental disorder, so they can match it with an appropriate level of mental counseling.
The alcohol screening process usually takes four steps. First, there is the mental screening phase. You’ll be asked if you have a problem. Many people who have alcohol or drug addictions won’t admit that they do, so the evaluation will continue regardless of the answer.
Next is the assessment phase. The mental treatment facility will analyze your behavior and how much you consume. This analysis can help figure out if you need alcohol or drug treatment.
If it’s decided that you do need mental treatment, then the next phase after alcohol screening is the counseling follow-up. You will be given a treatment program, and as you progress, the follow-up appointment is to see if you’re doing well. Usually, the follow up is something you complete on your own. Mental treatment from a professional comes in the next phase.
Finally, there is the referral phase. If you are unable to finish mental treatment on your own, the next logical step is to find treatment with a therapist. A professional who specializes in substance misuse and alcohol use disorder recovery will work with you to manage your addiction.
What happens when you stop drinking alcohol?
When you stop drinking alcohol, there are going to be withdrawal symptoms. Because your brain is chemically dependent on alcohol, you may feel your mental state impacted with anxiety, vomiting, insomnia, intense sweating, headaches, and other symptoms related to alcoholism withdrawal.
These symptoms tend to be nonthreatening and some people can get past them. People with severe alcohol use disorder may start to hallucinate or have seizures after withdrawal. It can possibly be fatal to stop drinking. It’s important you find mental treatment or counseling. A substance use disorder treatment program can help you recover from your addiction in a safe way with the help of an alcoholism therapist.
People who go to such mental treatment facilities will soon see positive benefits. Their livers become less fatty, they lower their risk for heart disease, and their memory improves. Alcoholism can damage the body, but with mental treatment, the damage can be partially or fully reversed.
Do you get drug tested at an alcohol evaluation?
Possibly. The alcohol screening part may require you to take a drug test. Some people may find that to be intrusive, but it’s needed to determine the best mental treatment or counseling program. For instance, if you have more drugs than alcohol in your body, you may need a more intense mental treatment plan that focuses on drugs.
What is the cause of alcoholism?
Alcoholism doesn’t have an exact cause. What we do know is that when you drink a certain amount, your brain chemistry begins to change. For example, you cannot experience pleasure unless you drink alcohol, and in some cases, you may feel like you’re in pain when you withdraw from it.
No one drinks alcohol once and then develops an alcohol use disorder (AUD) such as alcoholism. Certain genetics make it more likely for you to develop AUD or alcoholism. Finding a specialized therapist for mental treatment and addiction is the ideal solution, as many people with AUD do not have the mental ability do it on their own and require counseling.
How do I stop drinking?
If you have alcohol use disorder or alcoholism, you know how difficult it is to stop drinking. In many cases, people with this disorder abstain from alcohol for the rest of their lives.
Many people imagine that mental treatment is only for those who have hit rock bottom, but mental treatment is for anyone who wants to manage their addiction. Whether this mental treatment is in a facility, with a therapist, or on one’s own, recovery is possible.
If want to stop drinking on your own, first figure out how much you drink in a day and see if you can reduce that amount every week. After a certain amount, it may be safe for you to quit.
This type of mental treatment might work well for someone who can still function in their day-to-day life. For others where alcohol has severely impacted their lives, seeking professional help at a mental treatment facility or through a therapist is recommended.
If you’re considering quitting on your own, consult with your doctor or primary care physician first to determine if this route is safe for your mental state.
What kind of doctor treats addiction?
If you’re dealing with alcohol and drug addiction, you need to seek help from a doctor. Psychiatrists tend to be the ones who deal with addiction because it’s often a problem in the mind.
Psychiatrists may use medication assisted treatment (MAT) to help you. With medication assisted treatment, you’re given medications that stop the cravings and help withdrawal symptoms. The psychiatrist will continue care even after this type of treatment.
An addiction therapist may help as well. This is a licensed professional who can teach you cognitive behavioral counseling, mindfulness-based approaches, or other techniques to help you recover from the symptoms of your addiction.
It’s important that you find treatment for your situation. Because all needs are different, how can you make sure you get the right treatment? One way you can find mental treatment is through SAMHSA’s treatment locator.
The Treatment Locator
A mental treatment locator allows you to put your ZIP code in and look at the nearby mental treatment centers. It’s important to find mental treatment close to you, and the mental treatment locator will help you with that.
When the mental treatment locator finds a place, it will show the address and phone number. In addition, the mental treatment locator will discuss services offered. For example, some people may need detox, while others don’t. The mental treatment locator helps you find what services you need.
The mental treatment locator will tell you payment plans. The mental treatment locator shows what types of insurance are accepted. Because drug use treatment can be pricey, the mental treatment locator can connect you with services that are less costly.
The mental treatment locator can also help you find services for minors. Because addiction can happen during the teenage years, some facilities are more well equipped to handle mental treatment for teens.
Finally, a mental treatment locator can give you more information about what to expect from mental treatment. From there, you can inquire directly at a mental treatment facility or with a therapist to receive more detailed information.
Why can’t I stop drinking?
Alcohol addiction is a chemical dependency, and those who have this disorder need to drink alcohol to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Another reason why people might find it difficult to stop drinking has to with personal problems. Some people will consume drugs and alcohol as an escape. While alcohol and other drugs can provide the escape they need, it’s possible they might develop a substance use disorder in the process, not to mention that the escape is only temporary. Dealing directly with personal problems will minimize or eliminate the use for alcohol/drugs. A therapist can help a person learn how to manage personal problems constructively.
Not being able to stop drinking is not a sign of mental weakness. If you think you have alcohol use disorder or other mental disorder, it’s time to look into mental treatment programs and counseling.
Is alcoholism genetic?
Some genes make it more likely that you will develop this alcohol use disorder or another mental health disorder. If you have a parent who has a mental disorder, it’s important that you be mindful if you decide to have a drink.
With that said, environment plays a part. You may drink more because you’re around drinkers, for example.
Issues with alcohol can stem from either or both genes and environment.
Is there a difference between alcohol abuse and alcoholism?
“Alcohol abuse” and “alcoholism” are commonly used interchangeably, but there is a difference. Alcoholism involves the dependence on alcohol. Someone who has alcoholism can’t go without drinking. They will commonly need to go through a mental treatment process to get better.
Meanwhile, people who experience alcohol abuse often have consequences when they drink. For instance, they could become violent, have relationship problems, and get in trouble with the law. Yet, they’re not dependent on alcohol like people who have alcohol use disorder.
What is the most effective treatment for alcohol dependence?
Treatment for alcohol abuse and dependence varies depending on your needs. The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism list three types of medication that have been shown to be effective and are approved by the FDA for the treatment and recovery of alcohol problems. These medications tend to be helpful for people who have quit or are in the process of quitting alcohol but still struggle with cravings or relapse that have not improved with psychotherapy.
That being said, many folks can and do curb their alcohol dependency and stay sober without medication. Therapy is an important first step in the recovery journey because it addresses many of the underlying issues that lead some patients to self-medicate with alcohol, such as untreated depression or bipolar disorder. Additionally, support groups and 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) provide peer support to overcome compulsive alcohol consumption and are easily accessible for everybody, even those without insurance.
What are the 4 levels of the addiction process?
While not everyone who develops an alcohol and drug addiction will go through the same stages, mental health professionals agree that there are four distinct phases of the addiction process:
Experimentation: again, not everyone who experiments with substance will develop a full-blown addiction, but every person who develops an addiction did experiment with substances at one point. If the person experimenting is struggling with their mental health or are going through a particular stressful time and the experimental drug use results in a positive experience for them, this could push the person to the next stage of the alcohol drug addiction process.
Regular use: in the next stage in the road toward substance addiction, something that was once sporadic or social – i.e., having a drink on a Friday night, smoking a little weed every once in a while with friends – has become a habit. A regular user may report no longer being interested in the activities that they used to enjoy and could also feel the need to consume the substance to carry out their regular tasks. At this time, they may even start thinking about treatment and recovery.
Dependency and tolerance: by the third stage of alcohol or drug abuse, the person has developed a physical and psychological dependence to the substance. The brain stops releasing chemicals on its own and instead relies on drugs or alcohol for balancing and regulation. Living a healthier life might not be possible without treatment or outside help for recovery.
Addiction: once a full-blown addiction has developed, the person spends most of their time thinking about how or when to have the next drink or get high. Many people at this stage will be unable to keep a job, attend school, or maintain healthy relationships.
What are five types of therapy that can be used to treat alcoholism?
Four types of therapy that have been shown to be effective for alcohol recovery include:
What are the psychological reasons for addiction?
According to mental health experts and alcohol counselors identify the following psychological risk factors for developing alcohol or drug addiction: