Addiction to alcohol is often known as ‘alcoholism’ or ‘alcohol use disorder’, and is a serious illness. Those suffering with alcoholism will drink large amounts of alcohol to the point of dependency, whereby a person relies on alcohol to carry out day-to-day tasks. For many people it is possible to enjoy drinking alcohol for special occasions or to socialize with no serious repercussions. However, when a person drinks alcohol on a regular basis, and in large quantities, there is a risk of developing an addiction that can become detrimental to many aspects of a person’s life.
Alcoholism can take control of a person’s life; eclipsing all other commitments and responsibilities, leaving a person feeling unable to stop and completely powerless over their addiction. Although this feeling can be overwhelming, it is possible to overcome an addiction to alcohol. It is crucial to take the first step and reach out to experts in alcohol addiction, such as the team at Cornerstone.
Cornerstone’s specialist alcohol addiction practitioners have a wealth of experience and are committed to ensure those seeking help can access the highest quality treatment with compassion and care. We understand that alcohol addiction affects each person differently, and so we ensure each treatment program is tailored to your specific requirements to help you achieve your goals.
Free Alcohol Addiction Assessment
At Cornerstone, we understand that the start of recovery is a daunting prospect, often hindered by the fear of the unknown, and what will happen after admitting the extent of the problems faced. For this reason, we provide a free drug addiction assessment with one of our practitioners to ensure a safe space to discuss any concerns, fears and hopes that will pave the way for the journey to recovery. Furthermore, we provide a secondary assessment with a consultant psychiatrist to identify any medical or psychiatric needs to inform the treatment you receive. If required, Cornerstone can provide an alcohol detox procedure, assisted by a medical professional.
Highly Skilled Alcohol Addiction Treatment Specialists
The practitioners you will find at Cornerstone have extensive experience in a vast range of clinical treatments for alcohol addiction which ensures flexibility, accessibility and safety. Our specialists provide a non-judgemental space to support you through your treatment, to discuss challenges and motivations for your recovery. We believe that there should be transparency between patient and practitioner, placing you at the center of the treatment plan with the ability to make decisions about the treatment you receive. We understand that addiction is unique from person to person, and so endeavor to deliver a treatment plan that takes into account all your needs in order to address and heal the underlying causes for your alcohol addiction to achieve lasting recovery once you leave our treatment center.
It is worth noting that delaying or avoiding professional support for alcohol addiction can lead to exacerbated symptoms which may be difficult to acknowledge as they escalate over time. These worsened symptoms can mean using more, stronger or cheaper and more dangerous substances to achieve a satisfactory high. As your addiction develops and worsens, so can the strains and tensions on your personal, professional and romantic life, leading to isolation and the potential for further physical and psychological problems. There is also the risk of developing a secondary, or multiple addictions, such as drug addiction or behavioral and mental health issues which can hinder and decrease your quality of life.
However, recovery is possible at any stage of alcohol addiction; it is never too late. Cornerstone can provide the help you need to overcome your alcoholism and allow the promise of possibility for a happy, rewarding life free from addiction, which everyone deserves.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Cornerstone
At Cornerstone our alcohol addiction treatment program typically consists of an intensive 28-day program which takes place at our treatment center, where you will stay, following assessments from both our alcohol addiction specialists, and psychiatrists. However, we do not set rigid time limits, the duration of your stay will depend entirely on your needs, condition and commitments.
Our treatment at Cornerstone is built upon the 12-step addiction treatment model; based on abstinence that the Alcoholics Anonymous organization (AA) first introduced. The treatment is based on empirical evidence and is customized to each person’s needs and circumstances. The philosophy behind the 12-step program is to focus motivation for recovery beside a set of guiding values and beliefs, challenging addictive and toxic behaviors and thought processes that fuel addiction, underpinned by spiritual influences that teaches both humility and self-worth.
Cornerstone’s alcohol addiction treatment program consists of:
- A complimentary, optional alcohol addiction assessment to allow confidential and non-judgemental discussion of any concerns and to learn what treatments are available, and best suited for your needs, based on the information you share
- An optional 7 to 10 day alcohol detox with medical assistance, consisting of evaluation, stabilization and education; following detox anti-craving medications can be administered
- 1 on 1 and structured group therapy programs
- Couples and family therapy
- Information to seek legal support
- Licensed recovery homes for post-treatment
Outpatient Therapy Package for Alcohol Addiction
If you would prefer not to take part in a residential treatment program, we also provide high quality treatment programs for day treatment, or outpatient treatment, depending on your unique needs.
Cornerstone’s alcohol treatment options can be used either as a first admission point into treatment, or as you begin to reduce the quantity and intensity of treatment for those who have gone through an intensive residential program elsewhere; this will largely depend on the severity and nature of your addiction and the style of support you feel is necessary.
What is Alcohol Addiction?
Addiction to alcohol is often known as ‘alcoholism’ or ‘alcohol use disorder’, and is a serious condition which compels a person to drink alcohol excessively until they become reliant on alcohol to carry out basic tasks and everyday life. Some people are able to drink alcohol on an occasional basis, either to unwind, celebrate or socialize without serious consequences. However, when a person drinks alcohol on a regular basis and in large quantities, there is a risk of developing an addiction that can significantly damage relationships and the ability to carry out professional or academic commitments and impact severely on mental and physical health, in the most serious cases can cause fatality.
Alcoholism is typically carried out without the knowledge of friends, family or employers; those who suffer from alcohol addiction will put great efforts into hiding their drinking, increasing the risk of social isolation and distancing themselves from relationships with partners, friends and family. Furthermore, it is common for those addicted to alcohol to be defensive that their drinking is a problem, known as “denial”; they may justify their alcohol use to such an extent they are unable to recognize the damage they are causing to themselves and others, thereby hindering them from getting the professional alcohol addiction treatment and rehabilitation they need for recovery.
What are the Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction?
Alcoholism can affect people in many different ways, depending on their personality and environment, and the volume and regularity of alcohol use.
However, there are some typical indicators that you or a love one are suffering from alcoholism, these include:
- Being dishonest or deceitful around how much you drink, how often and when you are drinking.
- Discovering a tolerance to alcohol has developed, requiring greater quantities of alcohol and more often in order to feel as ‘drunk’ as you would like.
- Consuming large quantities of alcohol unaccompanied.
- Drinking alcohol until you are unconscious.
- Neglecting social commitments, including important occasions, prioritizing drinking alcohol instead.
- Needing or choosing to drink as soon as you wake up.
- Feeling unable to concentrate due to strong compulsions to drink alcohol, causing irritability or impatience.
- Drinking alcohol in order to cope with underlying or co-existing mental health conditions like depression, stress or anxiety.
- Persistently drinking alcohol even though it is causing significant damage and strain on relationships with family and friends, performance at work or school and health and well-being.
What Causes Alcohol Addiction to Develop?
At Cornerstone we understand that addictions develop through a psychological process called “Positive Reinforcement”; which means a person is driven to continue patterns of behavior due to a positive outcome as a result; if what we do feels good, we will continue to do it.
Drinking alcohol offers positive reinforcement in the form of being “drunk”; a person can feel relaxed, euphoric or enjoy an altered sense of reality. If drinking alcohol enables a person to achieve the altered state they were seeking, it is probable they will continue to drink if they don’t feel able to achieve that state naturally, and eventually rely on alcohol for that feeling. This pattern of behavior is what differentiates an addiction from people who drink occasionally.
In addition to positive reinforcement, research studies signify a number of other factors which can make a person more prone to alcoholism, such as:
- If you have a member of your immediate family that struggles with addiction, research has shown that this increases the risk of developing an addiction to alcohol due to hereditary factors that are aligned with addiction.
- Influential surroundings, such as living with someone who is an alcoholic, being subjected to witnessing adverse behavior as a result of addiction, or observing addictive behaviors from a young age can teach a person that this is normal and not recognize dangerous risks associated with abusing alcohol
- If you suffer from a mental health condition or dual diagnosis you may be more susceptible to alcoholism as a result of self-medicating to alleviate symptoms or to control emotional regulation which over long-term use can exacerbate the condition leading to increased alcohol use.
- Experiencing traumatic or highly stressful life events such as bereavement, divorce or relationship breakdown, unemployment or financial problems, or experiencing a violent or sexual assault can all cause a person to feel the need to drink alcohol to reduce the symptoms of their trauma or deal with the stress of the situation, which can lead to dependency and addiction
What is the Recommended Maximum Weekly Alcohol Intake?
Professionals recommend a person drink no more than 15 units of alcohol a week; 1 unit can be better understood as:
- 12 oz. of beer
- 5 oz. of wine
- 5 oz. of spirits, or “shots”
People who suffer from alcoholism will often disregard advice from experts and drink far more than these guidelines. If you, or a loved one, are frequently drinking in excess of these advised amounts, it could be the case that you are cultivating a dependency on alcohol, which can lead to alcoholism. To treat alcoholism you will need to seek the help and guidance from alcohol addiction specialists, such as those within our team at Cornerstone.
How do I Know if I Have an Addiction to Alcohol?
A popular method of identifying alcohol abuse in treatment settings is called the CAGE test; which involves asking four questions:
- Has there been a time you have wondered whether you should Cut down your alcohol intake?
- Have you ever felt Annoyed by someone questioning your drinking, preventing you from drinking or making judgments about your drinking habits?
- Do you ever feel guilty or ashamed about your drinking?
- Have you ever had an Eye-opener? An eye-opener here refers to a drink as soon as you open your eyes in the morning.
If you can relate to these questions, it might indicate that you are suffering from an addiction to alcohol and would benefit from engaging with an alcohol addiction treatment facility. Reach out to Cornerstone, we are here to help.