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To most people, the word alcoholic conjures up images of someone whose life is falling apart, sitting on a park bench homeless and destitute, with no job, no money, and no family or friends left. However, things aren’t so black and white, and there is much work to be done to break down the stigma and stereotyping associated with alcoholism.

A dictionary definition of an alcoholic is someone who suffers from the disease of alcoholism, who has become dependent on alcohol to function, and who experiences withdrawal symptoms when they do not take a drink. But like any disease, there are different levels of severity with alcoholism and every sufferer will have varying symptoms of alcoholism.

For example, there are many dependent drinkers who fall under the umbrella term of functional or high-functioning alcoholic. They have families who love them dearly, a roof over their heads, and can hold down a steady job. But inside they’re falling apart. You see alcoholism is a mental illness, a disease which centres inside the brain. So, whilst things might look okay from the outside, this might not paint a true picture of what’s really going on.

Rebecca Whillians

Rebecca Whillians reviewed Providence Projects - 5
8 October 2016  

Today my husband Paul is 1 year clean and sober thanks to The Providence Projects, he has found himself again and is living the life he deserves. “A life beyond his wildest dreams” as it says in the big blue book – it’s true. He initially signed up for 1 month but soon realised he needed a further 2 months. Paul has been dedicated and followed the advice given to him. He would not be here today if he hadn’t been to The Providence Projects. I cannot thank or praise the program and staff enough I found them very supportive and would not hesitate to reco... See more

How can I tell if I’m an alcoholic?

How do you know whether you’ve crossed that invisible line to alcoholism? Put simply, an alcoholic is anyone who cannot control the amount they drink once they start, and who cannot stop drinking when they honestly want to.

It’s also important to note that alcoholism is a progressive disease, and subtly so. That’s why it can take a long time to recognise the extent of the problem, let alone do anything about it. Many fall into the habit of problematic drinking, starting with a glass of wine in the evenings. But that glass of wine quickly becomes two or three. Then a bottle. Then two.

The evening drink to relax after work turns into a couple at lunchtime, as that nagging voice in your head gets louder and louder: “Go on. One won’t hurt. It’ll make you feel better. You need it to get through the rest of the day. No one will know.” Before long you’re drinking to get out of bed in the morning, hiding it around the house, and ultimately need it to function – you’re physically dependent and drinking against your will.

So, how do you know if you have a drinking problem? How can you stop? And where can you find alcohol addiction treatment?

Finding support

Firstly, we want to assure you that support is out there, and alcohol recovery is possible. There are millions of people who have been through what you’re experiencing, and who want to help. Alcoholism is an incredibly lonely and isolating illness. It’s often said that the opposite of the disease of addiction and alcoholism is not sobriety, but rather connection with other human beings. That’s why such emphasis is placed on having a strong support network in recovery.

One of the main ways in which to meet other recovering addicts and alcoholics is regular attendance at 12-step support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous. These groups provide a safe and non-judgmental space where you can share what’s going on for you and meet other people in the same boat. You can also find a sponsor there. Sponsors are a fundamental source of support and guidance: people who have been where you have been and manage to stay clean and sober over the years.

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Alcohol Rehab

Whilst support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous can help some people to stop drinking and stay stopped, many who are physically dependent on substances will require a residential stay at a private alcohol rehab clinic. By entering an alcohol treatment centre and removing yourself from your drinking and using environments, you stand the best chance of breaking the addictive cycle.

The level of care, structure and support provided at a private rehab clinic is difficult to find elsewhere. From a medically managed detox to bespoke alcoholism treatment programmes and one-to-one counselling, alcohol rehabilitation is the best chance at an ongoing successful recovery.

  1. Alcohol detox:Detox is often required by those who are physically dependent on drugs and alcohol. Entering a private rehab provides a safe, nurturing environment in which to detox safely and with support from trained professionals. Of course, alcohol detox is just the beginning, and detox alone will not suffice in breaking the cycle of addiction. It is only once you are clean and sober that the real work beings, as you begin to tackle the emotional and psychological issues that led to your addiction in the first place.
  2. 1-1 counselling: 

    The role of therapy in addiction treatment and recovery is invaluable, as addiction is often just a symptom of other underlying psychological issues. Here at the Providence Projects, we offer one-to-one counselling in which skilled addiction counsellors will facilitate the addict’s understanding of what led to their addiction in the first place, and help them to develop the tools and coping skills to live substance-free and avoid relapse in the future.These sessions are highly personalised: you may explore childhood trauma, low self-esteem or negative belief systems, as well as other co-occurring mental health problems such as depression or anxiety. By rationalising and understanding the reasons behind your addiction, and peeling back the layers of your behaviour, you can start to heal.

  3. Group therapy:Group therapy sessions form an integral part of most alcohol rehab programmes. We place emphasis on these sessions at the Providence Projects and they are timetabled daily.

Because of the isolating and lonely nature of the disease of addiction, many addicts feel lost, lonely and cut off from the rest of the world. By participating in daily group therapy at our private rehab clinic, people start to build their communication and interpersonal skills and develop relationships with their peers. Groups offer the chance to find companionship, empathy and identification with other addicts, within a safe and supportive environment.

Getting sober is by no means easy. It is painful and hard work, and you may fall down a few times on your journey to recovery, but it is so worth it. If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you or a loved one may have a problem with drinking. We’re here to tell you that alcohol recovery is possible, and you no longer need to seek oblivion from the world through substance abuse.

Help for alcohol addiction is available, and there is a life on offer which is happy and free, and much more rewarding than the one you have been living. By confronting your fears head-on with support and guidance, you can start to walk slowly towards improved self-esteem, self-care and better mental and physical health.

There are people who have been where you have been, and who are free today from the misery and despair that addiction inevitably brings with it. You can recover, one day at a time, and you can start your alcohol recovery today.

If you need help with alcohol addiction and would like to find out more about the alcohol treatment available at our private alcohol rehab clinic, call us today and speak to one of our trained addiction counsellors on 0800 955 0945.



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