Among the signs of alcohol addiction is the inability to stop the substance abuse or curb the urge to drink. Even as personal, professional, and health-related problems mount due to an alcohol use disorder, someone struggling with the disease cannot stop. During customized alcohol counseling, clients frequently discover that they suffer from a co-occurring disorder, which makes rehab more difficult. Seeking treatment in a setting where compassion and dedication to advocate for the client are present, recovery is possible.
A Closer Look at Alcohol Use Disorder
Problem drinking goes beyond the occasional binge-drinking event that results in a nasty hangover the next day. It occurs when you overdo alcohol consumption more often than not. During alcohol counseling appointments, clients reveal that they spend a lot of time obsessing about drinking when not engaging in the behavior. Many experience blackouts, participation in unsafe practices, and withdrawal symptoms when too much time elapses between drinks.
What Happens when Alcohol Counseling Reveals the Presence of a Co-occurring Disorder?
At the time a client seeks treatment, the alcohol use disorder is easy to diagnose. Over the course of the therapy sessions, however, some clients recognize that they also struggle with a psychiatric or emotional disorder. Statistics gathered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that 20.2 million adults suffer from a substance use disorder. Another 43.6 million deal with a mental illness.
Between the two groups, 7.9 million individuals experience both conditions. Adults between 18 and 25 years old are the most likely to struggle with both a substance abuse problem and a mental health condition. It is interesting to note that this dual diagnosis is on the rise for the 50 and over demographic, too. Certainly, individuals with a mental health problem who seek alcohol counseling need to receive integrated treatment for best results.
It isn’t always clear whether the substance abuse problem contributed to the mental health condition or if it is the other way around. Typically, a psychiatric disorder is in place already, and someone reaches for alcohol to deal with the challenges it presents. Because this substance is a depressant, it creates notable changes in the brain chemistry. These changes further aggravate the mental health problem. In the end, a vicious cycle develops.
How Does Integrated Treatment Work?
Devising a customized treatment protocol is essential. Typically, a partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient program is an ideal backdrop for concurrent treatment.
- Partial hospitalization. The program combines structure and compassionate support with a variety of therapy approaches. During individual therapy sessions, you learn what triggers your alcohol use disorder. At that time, you explore how your mental health challenge affects the problem and vice versa. Group and family therapy sessions round out this part of the treatment.
- Intensive outpatient program. Graduating from the partial hospitalization to the intensive outpatient program allows for the formation of strong peer bonds. You continue to focus on regaining your health and become even more aware of triggers. Co-occurring disorder treatment continues as well. Moreover, alcohol counseling now focuses more directly on relapse prevention.
Make the Connection with a Rehab Facility Where Client Care is the Top Priority
If you see the signs of alcohol addiction in your life, isn’t it time to get help? You may have gone down this road before, but you’ve never experienced collaborative alcohol counseling with the compassionate therapists at Steps to Recovery. Don’t give up hope and quit trying! Dial 866-488-8684 to get real help.