Alcoholism in whatever form it presents is a life-threatening condition. Many will argue that they are not alcoholic as they do not conform to the stereotypical image of what an alcoholic is. PCP has successfully treated thousands of alcoholics over the years at our alcohol rehab clinics in the UK. We find that our patients have varying styles of drinking and have very individual alcohol treatment needs.
All stages and types of alcoholism are treatable and recovery from alcoholism is possible. It is never too soon or too late to ask for alcohol help.
Stages of Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a disease of the brain that is characterised by progression and relapse. Whatever your problem with drinking there is help and treatment available.
Many alcoholics, however, will not seek alcohol help or alcohol treatment until the end stages of alcoholism. This is the nature of the illness of alcoholism sadly and is what causes so many alcoholics to die.
As a progressive brain disease, alcoholism can develop quickly or slowly. It varies from person to person. For some the progression is fast and for others, it develops slowly over a period of years.
Once a person has reached the compulsive stage of alcoholism there is little hope of their recovery unless they are admitted to an alcohol rehab facility for intensive residential alcohol treatment.
Types of Alcoholism
Those that are alcoholic and seek alcohol treatment within our detox and rehabilitation centres come to us with varying types of alcoholism. All types of alcohol addiction are extremely dangerous and life-threatening. More often than not professional alcohol treatment is required.
Some alcoholics binge drink and are referred to as binge drinkers. They can go for days or weeks without any alcohol whatsoever, but when they start to drink there is no telling when they will stop. Alcoholic binges can go on for days, weeks, or even months. There is always one more binge and one more period of sobriety.
Eventually, their binges start to seriously affect their personal relationships, their work, their physical and mental health and their finances.
Binge drinkers often require alcohol rehab in order to break the cycle and learn to live life sober.
Many alcoholics are able to function whilst drinking. They drink just enough to to be able to function when needed or drink around their functioning times. At times they will lose control of the amounts they are drinking and this will draw attention to their problem.
A functioning alcoholic may continue to work or look after a family whilst controlling their drinking to an extent. They ensure that they are capable whilst they are required to function. For some, this means keeping alcohol levels topped up, for others this means not drinking for a set period of the day.
Usually, once commitments are fulfilled for the day a functioning alcoholic will drink more – often to black out or until they pass out. They suffer from a psychological compulsion to drink that is beyond their mental control and will struggle to go without alcohol in their daily lives.
Alcohol can often be smelt on a functioning alcoholics breath but they are very secretive and careful to ensure that the full picture of their drinking is not discovered.
Functioning alcoholics often require a medical alcohol detox for alcohol dependence and a residential alcohol rehab programme in order to recover fully and prevent alcohol relapse. An alcohol recovery programme is usually always required to sustain a functioning alcoholics sustain sobriety.
Alcohol Dependent Alcoholic
An individual that is alcohol dependent constantly needs alcohol in their bloodstream in order to avoid alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Alcoholics are often alcohol dependent but not always. When an alcoholic is not alcohol dependent they are often convinced that they do not have a serious problem.
Problem drinkers are usually in some way dependent on alcohol whether it is physically, psychologically or both. With alcoholism, it is often both, but the main component that makes an alcoholic is the psychological dependence. This manifests in a compulsion to drink alcohol that takes precedence over everything else.
The psychological aspect of alcoholism is extremely complex and requires intensive evidence-based alcohol treatments in order to overcome.
Some alcoholics may be able to stop drinking without medical intervention but cannot stay stopped. Some alcoholics can reduce for short periods of time but cannot maintain it. Some alcoholics may only drink in the evenings but too excess. Some alcoholics may only lose control when they pick up a drink but can go days in between.
*If you are alcohol dependent it is vital that you do NOT suddenly stop drinking. This can prove fatal in some instances. Please contact us for information on our alcohol detox programmes or seek support and treatment from your GP.
This is someone who is in the advanced stages of alcoholism and has an overwhelming compulsion to drink all the time. They have lost all control over their drinking and have high tolerance and dependence levels to alcohol.
Chronic alcoholics are nearly always extremely intoxicated. They cannot be relied on to fulfil any commitments. They lose everything that is of value to them in terms of relationships and financial security. They are considered hopeless and self-destructive by others.
Chronic alcoholics are in the advanced stages of alcoholism and cannot hide their problem from others; they will often seek out other hopeless alcoholics for the company or isolate and avoid contact with anyone except for their local shopkeeper. They have little else in their life except for alcohol.
Chronic alcoholics nearly always need a full medical alcohol detox and an intensive residential alcohol treatment programme in order to survive and get well.
Bespoke Alcohol Treatment
There is no one size fits all when it comes to treating alcoholism, it develops in stages within varying time spans and with varying consequences to the individual. For this reason, alcohol rehab programmes must be bespoke in order to be effective and lasting.
The one thing that ALL alcoholics have in common is that they are unable to leave alcohol completely alone no matter how great the need or desire to do so.
If you or a loved one are suffering from alcoholism or a problem with alcohol and need alcohol help and treatment, please call us to find out more about our affordable alcohol detox and alcohol rehab programmes.
Free help and support for alcohol can be sourced in the community through the following sources:
- Alcoholics Anonymous: https://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/
- Smart recovery UK: https://www.smartrecovery.org.uk
- Local Drug and Alcohol Team: https://www.talktofrank.com/support-near-you