Alcohol is normalized in American culture. There are ads for it, songs about it, and stores dedicated to it. But this doesn’t mean alcohol is harmless. In fact, addiction to alcohol can be more deadly than addiction to many street drugs. It’s important to recognize the signs of alcoholism and when it’s time to get help.
Recovering from alcohol abuse isn’t easy. But the help of a treatment program can give you solid footing for getting and staying sober.
How Do I Know I’m Addicted to Alcohol?
You can tell whether you’re addicted to alcohol by how much your drinking affects your daily life. If you can no longer function as well as you once did—or as well as you want to—in key areas of your life, alcohol has begun to take over. When it becomes your top priority and clearly negatively affects you, yet you can’t stop drinking, you are probably addicted to alcohol.
Specific warning signs include:
- Needing a drink first thing in the morning to avoid withdrawal symptoms
- Repeatedly missing school or work in favor of drinking or because you’re hungover
- Needing more alcohol over time to get drunk
- Feeling you need a drink to relax
- Continuing to drink at a party or other social situation after others have stopped
- Viewing alcohol as the main reason for going to a gathering or party
- Feeling irritable, anxious, etc. when not drinking
- Alcohol cravings
How Do I Recover from Alcohol Addiction?
Recovering from an alcohol addiction is necessary to avoid liver damage, bone loss, weakened immune system, and so many other consequences. Getting sober is difficult, especially if you have a physical dependence on alcohol. You will most likely need some form of treatment for alcohol abuse.
An addiction treatment program can help you learn what led to your addiction in the first place. During individual and group therapy and other therapy and activities, you’ll learn coping skills and lifestyle changes that help you maintain sobriety long term.
What Path of Treatment Is Right for Me?
There are several levels of care for alcohol abuse. These levels correspond to how severe your alcohol addiction is. Generally, the more severe the addiction, the higher level of care you will need. The highest level is residential treatment. The lowest involves you living at home and coming for treatment sessions at a treatment facility a few hours a week. Many people step down from one level of care to the next as they become more comfortable and confident in sobriety, but everyone’s recovery journey is different.
The three treatment options at Footprints to Recovery are:
- Basic outpatient treatment – This is our lowest level of care. It’s best for those with milder forms of alcoholism and/or people who have obligations they must attend to, like work or caring for children. Basic outpatient involves three hours of programming one or two days per week. You will have individual, family, and group therapy; case management; and the freedom to choose between a day or evening schedule.
- Intensive outpatient treatment – An intensive outpatient program, often abbreviated IOP, is more intensive than basic outpatient. It includes all the same elements of basic outpatient in three-hour days on three to five days per week.
- Partial hospitalization – In a partial hospitalization program (PHP), you’ll spend about half your time in treatment and the other half at home. It’s one step down from inpatient rehab and requires the greatest time commitment while still allowing you to go home each night. It involves six hours per day, five days a week.
Do I Need to Detox from Alcohol?
Quitting alcohol cold turkey is notoriously difficult. If you get withdrawal symptoms—like nausea, shaking, and sweating—after going too long without alcohol, you will likely need medical detox.
Footprints to Recovery offers a medically supervised detox program. Medical professionals will make sure your alcohol withdrawal process is safe and as comfortable as possible by treating any symptoms you have. You may be given medication to make the process easier, but this is done on a case-by-case basis with the guidance of detox professionals.
What Is Recovering from Alcohol Addiction Like at Footprints to Recovery?
All the treatment programs at Footprints to Recovery encompass a wide range of therapeutic approaches, including:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Motivational interviewing
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
- Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
- Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
- And more
We incorporate other elements of wellness into our programs too. These aid in recovery and help you develop life skills and healthy habits you can take with you when you leave treatment and use throughout your life. Nutrition, acupuncture, biofeedback, comedy, and many more options are available to help individualize your treatment. No matter what your unique treatment plan looks like, you can count on being surrounded by a supportive community of peers who share in your struggles and celebrate your achievements.
How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your Blood?
Alcohol can stay in the bloodstream for up to 8 hours.
How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your Urine?
Alcohol can stay in urine for about 12 to 80 hours.
How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your Hair?
Alcohol can remain in the hair for up to 90 days.
How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your Breath?
Alcohol remains in saliva for up to 24 hours.
How Long Does It Take to Recovery from Alcohol Addiction?
How long it takes to fully recover from alcoholism depends on the severity of your addiction. Someone who has been drinking longer and in larger amounts will have a lengthier withdrawal process than someone with a milder addiction, who may not experience withdrawal symptoms.
Completing detox is only a piece of the puzzle. Recovery is about learning what triggers you to want to drink, responding to these triggers with healthier habits, and developing a support system. This process looks different for everyone and isn’t always related to the severity of your addiction. When preparing to enter treatment, you shouldn’t have an exact expectation for how long recovery will take. Many people find that whether they’re participating in 12-step groups or attending alumni meetings, recovery is a lifelong process.
Does Footprints to Recovery Accept My Insurance?
We understand paying for treatment is on the back of everyone’s mind when considering enrolling. We will help you navigate paying for you or your loved one’s recovery. Footprints to Recovery accepts most major insurances, and we work directly with your carrier. This makes things simpler and less stressful for you. Verifying your insurance with us allows us to begin looking into what your specific plan covers and how to get you the most coverage.
What If I Don’t Have Insurance?
We believe addiction treatment should always be accessible and affordable. You can apply for full or partial financing through Prosper Healthcare, with whom we partner to ensure our individuals and families without insurance can still attend treatment.
There may be other options for you too. Learn more about them here.
What Happens When I Leave Footprints to Recovery?
Recovery doesn’t end the day you set foot outside treatment. Maintaining your sobriety from alcohol is a lifelong process. We’ll make sure you have a plan in place and connect you with local support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. We also have an active alumni community that offers a chance to re-connect with other alumni in a fun, community-fostering way. It’s a safe place to process new challenges that come up in the recovery journey.
Alcohol addiction is complex, but it is treatable. Let Footprints to Recovery help you get started on the path to recovery from alcoholism today. Give us a call to learn more about what your individual recovery could look like.