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Being part of a family unit means being able to support one another through the different things that life throws at you. Through the good, through the bad, and everything in between — it’s about being supported and having support if and when you need it.
When we think of these highs and lows, it’s not always natural to discuss the difficult patches in our lives, especially if you’re a family with children, no matter their age. However, while being open about challenges can be taxing, it’s an important part of ensuring that your children are included in your journey. Although children don’t process information the same way adults do, they can still sense when issues arise or something is wrong at home.
This is why it’s vital that you seek help if you’re experiencing a particularly difficult life challenge, such as alcoholism. Alcoholism affects approximately 15.1 million people in the US, and roughly 10.8 million in the UK; as you can see, alcohol dependency is far reaching and a common problem. As a result, it can affect anyone during their lifetime. This is why it’s so important to be aware of alcoholism, in all its forms, as well as the ways in which you can treat this disease.
Alcohol Dependence vs Alcohol Abuse
It’s easy to assume that alcohol dependency and abuse are one and the same, but they’re in fact two very different types of alcoholism. Consequently, while both need addressing and treating, they need to be tackled in different ways, otherwise those affected will be unable to break the cycle they’re stuck in.
People who are classed as alcohol abusers are those who drink heavily in spite of knowing that it will have an adverse affect on their lives, e.g. they may get arrested or be inclined to start fights when under the influence. In contrast to this, alcohol dependency is when an individual is unable to function without relying on alcohol, e.g. you actively look for excuses to drink, and suffer withdrawal symptoms when you don’t. As you can see, the two are very different.
In terms of treatment, those who abuse alcohol need less rehabilitation, with an intervention from loved ones normally being enough to help address the issue. However, those who have become dependent on alcohol will generally need a more medical form of action, usually involving an alcohol detox.
A detox is typically done while staying at a rehab centre, so that healthcare professionals can be there to monitor your treatment and progress. During the course of the treatment, you will cease drinking alcohol, which will trigger your body to rid itself of the toxins that alcohol introduces into the system. As you’d expect, this part of the process can be difficult for sufferers to deal with, simply because withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe depending on your level of dependency.
The first three to five days tend to be the hardest, after which, your body will begin to familiarise itself with being alcohol free. To help make this transitional period more manageable, a detox course will involve vitamins and/or medications that should make your experience less harrowing. Once you have come out the other side, you’ll be given aftercare to help you continue to maintain this new freedom from alcohol, which in itself can be a challenge.
The main issue a lot of sufferers have with this course of treatment is that it involves being away from home and from your loved ones, which can be particularly difficult for those with children. As a result, some rehabs across the country have developed a means of offering alcohol detox at home. If you’re interested in this, you can learn more about home detox from alcohol at Steps+, one such example of these types of services. Whenever you reach out to such a service, you can do so in confidence and with peace of mind that they understand what you and your family are going through.
Is Home Detox Right For You?
Even though the detox is done at home, that isn’t to say that you have to go through the process without any medical assistance. When opting for such a treatment, the utmost care is taken to ensure that the mental and physical side effects are kept to a minimum and, if they become distressing, that you have someone to talk to.
The obvious benefit of being at home is that alongside the medical help, you also have the support of your friends and family. Being surrounded by loved ones during difficult times has been proven to help with recovery, and so it makes sense to have them be included. Of course, if your alcoholism is severe, being at home may not be a good idea as your children may be affected by what they witness. Considering that a third of children in the UK experience negative effects from an alcoholic parent, while openness with your children is a good thing, sometimes keeping them away from firsthand experiences is the better option.
Another aspect of detoxing at home to consider is the financial implications. When you stay at a traditional clinic, the costs can be quite high, sometimes too high for low income families to afford. In contrast to this, home detox tends to be more affordable because of you undergoing the treatment in the comfort of your own home. Nonetheless, while you need to consider the affordability of your treatment, you also need to go with the option that will lead to the higher chance of success for your severity of addiction.
If you feel like you could benefit from taking the next step on the road to recovery from alcoholism, the next stage is to contact your doctor. Over the course of your appointment, you will discuss your relationship with alcohol, which will help determine whether you have a problem that needs further treatment.
Once you know whereabouts you are in terms of your addiction or growing dependency, then you can better determine whether you seek further medical help or try to reduce your exposure to alcohol by yourself. Again, this comes back to understanding if it’s alcohol abuse or dependency.
Should you find that seeking treatment is advisable, be aware that not only are there clinics and detoxes, but there’s also alcohol support groups at various locations across the country. Furthermore, make sure to sit down with your family and discuss your plans so that you can all share your thoughts and feelings together. If you work together as a unit, you’re more likely to experience success than by trying to go through this alone.
Arguably the best part about starting treatment via a rehab is that there’s no waiting lists that can delay the help you need. This in turn means that you spend less time waiting and more time focusing on getting better and back to full health. No matter what you decide to do, make sure to be kind to yourself, accepting that you have a problem and actively seeking help is a huge achievement in itself. If you’re able to do that, you’re able to get a handle on this disease and get your mental and physical health back to where it used to be.