If you have a problem with alcohol, there are two things that you should know. Firstly, the struggle is not yours and yours alone. And this is evidenced in a survey published by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), which found that some 16 million people in America struggle with an alcohol use disorder that severely disrupts their life. Of those with such a disorder, 8 percent are men, 4 percent are women, and over 2.5 percent are boys and girls age 17 or younger. It is, of course, worth noting that someone does not have to be officially diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder to have an alcohol problem. According to researchers involved with the same study, the following behaviors also constitute an alcohol problem:
- Binge drinking
- Underage drinking
- Drinking while pregnant
As far as the second thing you should know about if you have a problem with alcohol, it is entirely possible to break the cycle of addiction and regain control over your life. And this is true whether you have been drinking heavily for a few months or several years. That said, successfully doing so requires going through a rehab program with a licensed alcohol rehab facility and, from there, going on to join a support group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), to ensure long-term sobriety.
What Does an Alcohol Detox Program Entail?
Before delving into the benefits of joining Alcoholics Anonymous, let’s take a moment to address the first step in overcoming an alcohol problem, which is going through detox. For those not already in the know, the human body will naturally rid itself of alcohol and other contaminants within 6 to 12 hours after an individual has consumed their last alcoholic beverage. Although this process happens naturally, it is, arguably, one of the more challenging parts of overcoming one’s struggles with alcohol. The reason being is that going through detox can trigger an onslaught of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, some of which include the following:
- Delirium tremens
- Loss of appetite
- Mood swings
- Nausea and vomiting
- Not thinking clearly
- Profuse sweating
- Rapid heart rate
To provide some much-needed relief from these symptoms, many rehab facilities will offer medication-assisted detox to the individuals in their care. In short, medication-assisted detox is a treatment modality that entails using FDA-approved drugs, such as Naltrexone, Acamprosate, and Disulfiram, for example, to combat anxiety, depression, and other ill-effects commonly associated with abrupt alcohol cessation.
Life After Detox and Rehab: Why Joining Alcoholics Anonymous Makes Sense
While getting through detox and completing rehab does set individuals up for short-term sobriety, joining a 12-step program, such as the one available through Alcoholics Anonymous, can help individuals quit alcohol for good. In short, AA is an organization composed of individuals who have struggled with alcoholism at some point in their life and are committed to remaining sober. That said, AA is available to anyone, irrespective of age, race, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or religious affiliation. The only requirement to join is a commitment to quit drinking and a willingness to follow the organization’s 12-step recovery program.
Is Alcoholics Anonymous a Good Program?
To say that AA is a good program would be a gross understatement. Studies show that 40 to 45 percent of individuals who joined AA were alcohol-free one year after completing rehab. By comparison, only 20 to 25 percent of individuals who did not join AA were able to maintain their sobriety at the one-year mark. It is worth noting that those who joined Alcoholics Anonymous and remained alcohol-free at the one-year mark attributed two things, specifically, with enabling them to do so. The first one was connecting them with other members who could relate their struggles of quitting alcohol. Second, many people credited AA’s 12-step recovery program with helping them recognize just how much better their lives could be by giving up alcohol.
All in all, Alcoholics Anonymous is an excellent program, and it is also one that can help people remain sober for years. All of that aside, joining AA is the last leg of the journey as far as achieving sobriety is concerned. The first part of getting clean and regaining control over your life starts with being admitted into a licensed rehab facility so you can begin detox. To learn more about Alcoholics Anonymous or if you need help finding a rehab facility in your area, you’re encouraged to speak with one of our associates today at 844-903-2111.