What is alcoholism? Is an alcoholic just someone who drinks until they get drunk? Is it someone who drinks every day? Is it a person who gets mean when they have even a little alcohol?
The US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration describes alcoholism as having four components:
- Cravings: a strong urge or need to drink
- Loss of control: Once the drinker starts, he is unable to impose a discipline on his or her drinking
- Physical dependence: There are symptoms of withdrawal if the person quits drinking, such as nausea, sweating or anxiety or worse, if the alcohol consumption has been very lengthy or heavy
- Tolerance: They need to drink greater amounts to get the same effect as before.
The World Health Organization also adds that when the drinker tries to cut down on use, he or she is unable to, even when the habit is having a destructive effect on their life. When a person truly hits the stage of alcoholism or alcohol dependence, they need effective help to break this destructive pattern.
Narconon alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers have been helping alcoholics get clean and sober for forty-five years, in centers located in Austria, Croatia and Denmark; in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina; in Africa, Australia and across the United States. In this long-term residential program, alcoholics learn to swap alcohol consumption for productive, enjoyable lives. It's not something that happens overnight. Working through the process at their own pace, each recovering alcoholic on the Narconon program learns to dismantle the addictive lifestyle they were living and replace it, brick by brick, with new values, integrity and restored self-esteem.
Some alcoholics will need medical care to get through the first stages of withdrawal to prevent problems related to cessation of heavy drinking. But as soon as that is done, they can start the Narconon journey back to sobriety. The Narconon path to alcohol recovery starts gently, with nutritional support and one-on-one exercises with Narconon staff. Gentle reorientation exercises help the recovering person perceive the new environment without the haze of alcohol; physical processes calm the body as it starts its recovery. Nutritional supplements begin to build up the body's resources so the person has the strength to focus on the issues in his or her life that will need to be viewed and resolved for a drug-free future to become a reality.
Most people who are alcoholics or who are addicted to drugs have certain patterns to their use. They drink, smoke dope or shoot up with certain people, in certain places. They buy their drugs or alcohol in particular locations. There are certain reasons they drink or use drugs. There are specific situations or people that trigger the desire to use alcohol, crack, heroin, marijuana or other drugs. Removing the addicted person from this environment and into a new environment can be one of the most important elements of recovery.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, either outpatient or residential treatment programs need to be longer than 90 days to be effective. After all, it has taken most people several years at least to get into the condition where they need alcohol dependency treatment. Building a new drug-free life takes time - takes repairing relationships, healing the body, working through and resolving the issues that led one to start drinking or using drugs in the first place.
A person recovering from alcohol dependency can restructure their life and set new goals - but if they do not alleviate the guilt that accompanies dependency, their recovery is not complete. The Narconon alcohol dependency recovery program has this point covered in a most unique fashion.
Each participant must first learn how guilt is created and then why it is retained long after any wrong actions were committed. With staff guidance, each person then learns the exact process they can to use to lift the burden of guilt permanently. The relief each person feels is remarkable. Without the relief of guilt, a formerly addicted person could be driven back to substance abuse to cover up this kind of pain. Once the feelings of guilt are lifted, a person is freer to communicate with loved ones they may have withdrawn from before.
By the time some people get help, they have been dependent on alcohol for years, sometimes for decades. But it can come to an end. It just takes a rehab program that is effective, that takes the alcoholic through all the steps of leaving that lifestyle behind and building a new, sober life. Seven out of ten Narconon graduates say that the Narconon recovery program did just this for them, because they stayed clean and sober after they went home.
For information on how the Narconon alcohol and drug recovery program can help you or someone you love, contact one of our rehabilitation specialists now. Call 800-775-8750