Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Counselling

Alcohol Addiction (otherwise known as Addiction involving alcohol) and often referred to as alcoholism is Addiction that is manifested by a compulsion or lack of restraint to repeatedly drink alcohol despite it causing negative consequences to the person’s well being.  Patterns of alcohol use can vary between individuals and may include binge drinking (episodic drinking when the person consumes more than 5 drinks at a time), daily drinking, social drinking, or drinking alone (e.g., “a closet drinker”). Behaviours persisting in spite of negative consequences are commonly a symptom of Addiction.

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, memory, motivation and related circuitry.  Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations.  Addiction is about differences in brain functioning where the substance use or behaviours are recognized as consequences of the disease.  Addiction is a single condition-Addiction is Addiction- rather than describing “addictions”. This is the reason that we use the language of “Addiction involving…”

Addiction is characterized by:

A.  Inability to consistently Abstain
B.  Impairment in Behavioural control
C.  Craving
D.  Diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviour and interpersonal relationships and
E.  Dysfunctional Emotional response

Addiction involving alcohol is a chronic medical condition. Some of the main characteristics of Addiction involving alcohol include:

  • An overpowering feeling to keep drinking alcohol
  • Drinking alcohol more often or in larger doses than intended
  • Feeling annoyed by others criticizing your alcohol use
  • Hiding or lying about how much you drink
  • The inability to consistently abstain drinking alcohol

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

At Health Upwardly Mobile, we provide outpatient, continuing care for alcohol Addiction.  All new clients seeking Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Counselling initially undergo our full comprehensive assessment. It is recommended that all appointments be done on separate days to optimize the opportunity for you to talk openly and honestly with each professional and learn incrementally through each interaction.  A comprehensive treatment plan will be developed throughout this process and shared with you as the assessment progresses. By the final assessment session, recommendations will be discussed, which will provide guidance regarding ongoing services at HUM, which includes individual counselling and group therapy.  Referrals to external resources will be done as needed.

Abstinence is a goal for Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Counselling to enable a person to get back to a state of optimal health and wellness. Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol can vary from a mild headache, stomach upset to nausea, vomiting, tremors to the more dangerous withdrawal seizures or delirium tremens (DTs). If a person is experiencing the acute, more serious and severe withdrawal symptoms, these need to be properly assessed and treated to prevent progression to seizures and the DTs which can be life threatening.  Through Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Counselling, goals are set around abstinence and holistic recovery. A person will learn more about potential triggers, addictive thinking, feeling and behaviours that impact wanting to escape/numb with alcohol. This work may be done in residential treatment, hospitalization, intensive or outpatient settings. The level of treatment is dependent on the acuity (severity of symptoms). If you are concerned about withdrawal symptoms and/or are interested in medically supervised detoxification services, we will schedule you in to see a physician at HUM for support.

As Addiction is a primary, chronic brain disease, continuing care and alcohol Addiction counselling are necessary to optimize an individual’s health and wellness and reduce relapse risk. Social and peer support is important and participation in 12-step groups may be encouraged. In addition, other recovery actions such as meditation, journaling, a balanced approach to exercise and nutrition are some of the recommendations as part of the bio-psycho-social-spiritual framework of recovery for those seeking Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Counselling.