Alcohol addiction, also known as alcoholism, is a serious illness that has a dramatic and negative impact on someone’s life. Alcohol abuse can cause psychological, physical, and social problems. It is a disorder that most of the time needs treatment and attention from experienced alcohol rehab professionals. 

Recovery from alcohol addiction is not easy but it is possible with the right treatment at the right time. As every person is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all approach for treatment and people can look for help at different stages in their addiction, however many wait until they hit ‘rock bottom’ before looking for help from addiction professionals.  To find the ideal means of treatment, a person with alcohol addiction must first understand what alcoholism is and what the alcohol rehabilitation process entails. 

 What Is Alcohol Addiction?

People suffering from alcohol addiction cannot control their drinking. Once they have started drinking they find that the compulsion to continue drinking is beyond their control often leading to devastating consequences for them and their loved ones, in other words they develop  a psychological and/or physical need for alcohol. When they’re not drinking, they spend a lot of time thinking about alcohol or planning their next drink. Some people may experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop drinking such as shaking, feeling sick, or if very advanced in their disease at risk of possible death.

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What Makes a Person an Alcoholic?

Alcohol use disorder spans from mild to severe, and not everyone who has a drinking problem is necessarily suffering from alcoholism, however any form of alcohol abuse is potentially detrimental to one’s health and relationships.

Unhealthy drinking patterns vary from person to person. Invariably people suffering from alcohol addiction will ignore the negative consequences of drinking in their life until their health, wellbeing or relationships deteriorate or are severely damaged.

Diagnostic manuals such as the DSM-5 and ICD-10 use a list of criteria to determine whether a person has a problem with alcohol and can be useful in determining the severity of each person’s alcoholism and appropriate levels of care needed.

Signs of Alcoholism

People with alcohol addiction or alcohol abuse disorder will normally display specific warning signs, such as:

  • Lying about or hiding how much they drink
  • Changes in mood or personality, especially when alcohol is involved
  • Episodes of memory loss
  • Using alcohol as a means of self-medication
  • Feeling the need to have a drink early in the day
  • Changes in sleeping patterns or eating habits
  • Neglecting responsibilities in order to, or as a result of, drinking

For someone with functional alcoholism, the symptoms may not be obvious. Even if the person drinks regularly or in large amounts, they will appear to be living a normal lifestyle.

Physical signs of heavy drinking can be spotted via withdrawal symptoms. These usually show up once a person has developed a dependency and tries to cut down their alcohol consumption. They might experience:

  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Fever
  • Excessive sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Delirium tremens

If you feel you may have a problem with  alcohol dependency contact us today. We can help you overcome your addiction and support you on your path toward recovery.

All of the Castle Health addiction facilities specialise in alcohol addiction treatment. In over 30 years, our team of dedicated doctors, therapists and nurses have helped thousands of people overcome their alcohol dependency. Thanks to our extensive network of alcohol rehab centres, we can match people looking for treatment to the right clinic to suit their needs.

Alcohol and Side Effects of Drinking Every Day

Drinking every day can cause potential serious harm. Even if consumed in small amounts, daily exposure to alcohol can have negative effects on someone’s health.

Liver damage and cirrhosis of the liver is the number one potential problem of daily drinking. While the liver can regenerate itself, regular alcohol intake prevents it from doing so. The damage due to alcohol may not be noticeable until the situation is serious.

Long-term consequences of daily alcohol misuse include:

  • Kidney damage
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Korsakoff syndrome (the disorder that primarily affects the memory system in the brain)
  • Weakened immune system
  • Worsening of psychological illness
  • Unstable mood
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
What Causes Alcoholism?
The causes of alcoholism and addiction, in general, are not yet known and hard to define by a formula. This is because alcohol addiction is a complex mental disorder that has biological, social, psychological, and environmental consequences and requires specialised treatment for long-term recovery. Certain people may be more prone to addiction due to pre-existing mental illness, genetic factors, or other circumstances.
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Is Alcoholism a Mental Disorder?
Alcoholism is now officially considered a mental health disorder by medical professionals. In the ICD-10, it is classified under “Alcohol Dependence” and in the DSM-5, it is diagnosable under “Alcohol Use Disorder”.
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Is There a Pill to Help You Stop Drinking?
No. There are a number of medications that are occasionally used for alcohol addiction treatment, however there is no “magic pill” that will help you stop drinking. Addiction is a far more complicated disease that cannot be resolved by medication alone.
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How Long Does Alcohol Detox Take?
The period of alcohol detoxification depends on the person’s history of frequency and amount of drinking. The detox may last as little as a couple of days to over a week. If withdrawal symptoms become too severe it is imperative they seek professional help as alcohol detox can in certain instances lead to seizures and death and their detox must be overseen and managed by a medical professional.
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Alcohol Rehabilitation Programmes at Castle Health

Castle Health is a network of some of top alcohol rehab centres with a proven track record spanning over 30 years. We provide both residential and outpatient treatment across Europe and all of our rehab facilities abide by the 12-step approach and promote abstinence.

Alcohol addiction rehabilitation at a Castle Health clinic consists of a medically supervised detox program, extensive therapy, and supportive aftercare.

Continuing care, the care offered after a rehab programme which usually lasts at least two years, helps prevent relapse. Taking shortcuts will inevitably lead to relapse which can be very dangerous once the body is no longer as tolerant to high levels of alcohol as it once was.

Outpatient or Inpatient Treatment Programmes for Alcohol Addiction: Which is Right for You?

The main difference between an outpatient and inpatient facility is that an outpatient clinic allows the person to stay at home and make regular daily trips to and from the clinic, while the residential clinic provides accommodation and an intensive, joined-up approach to rehabilitation. Some may find the outpatient treatment more suitable due to daily responsibilities, such as work or children; others who have chaotic drinking patterns will struggle to make the daily appointments and avoid drinking while at home.

The downside of outpatient treatment is that the rehabilitation programme is less intensive and the person may continue to be exposed to the surroundings that contributed to their alcoholic behavior.

Inpatient treatment is akin to an all-inclusive programme, where the person attends therapy during the day and resides in a sober living environment by night. It is best for people who are dealing with withdrawal symptoms and those who have not had success staying sober via less intensive means.

Outpatient treatment is recommended for those with a mild to moderate alcohol addiction. If a person is genuinely willing to make the effort to get better, they might be able to address their addiction with self-help resources such as attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. However, this is not true for everyone. For People with a severe addiction it is strongly recommended to attend a more intensive treatment program for alcoholism such as residential rehab.

Personalised Treatment Plan

Rehab centres may use a variety of techniques to support their patients to overcome addiction and live a healthy and happy life. Before the rehab specialists provide a treatment plan to a patient, several diagnostic assessments  are conducted to discover the severity and exact nature of their addiction. .

After that, a team of experts will create a personalised treatment plan to help the patient overcome dependence and build sustainable recovery from addiction. The treatment plan often includes alcohol detox, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) treatment plans, individual and group therapy, relapse prevention education, and aftercare planning.

Individual and group  therapy helps the patient to deal with negative thoughts patterns and feelings to make positive changes. Usually, these therapies use specific techniques, such as CBT, to help people with alcohol dependence to get to the root of any psychological issues that may have contributed to their addictive behaviour. During rehab, a patient will learn specific tools and coping mechanisms to deal with unpleasant feelings and to stay sober.

Here are the benefits of personalised addiction treatment:

  • Goal-oriented care (therapies target the specific issues that caused the addiction to help patients avoid relapse in the future);
  • Foundation for lasting recovery (intensive treatment can lead to successful results that last);
  • Healthy coping skills (patients learn healthy and positive coping skills to better deal with difficult situations in their life);
  • Quality professional care (our experts provide round-the-clock care, thorough medical assessments to ensure clinical care is focused and efficient and appropriate diagnoses are made);
  • The opportunity for trust to grow and form a healthy, open relationship between the patient and therapist, leading to more efficient group therapy and individual therapy.
  • Improvement in family and partner relationships.

Castle Health Outpatient Treatment Centres for Alcohol Addiction

Castle Health has four outpatient alcohol rehab centres throughout the Netherlands and Sweden with a strong focus on therapy and continuing care. Castle Health does not conduct outpatient detoxification in our outpatient facilities, however we can help you find the appropriate services that you need.

In order to participate in our out-patient programs we believe that the best treatment for alcohol addiction is abstinence-focused  therapy.

Castle Health Residential Treatment Centres for Alcohol Addiction

Castle Craig Hospital and Smarmore Castle are our two main residential rehab centres for alcohol addiction treatment. Each one is set in the tranquil countryside, which is ideal for focusing on recovery. Both have 24/7 professional medical staff on site, so every patient can feel safe and secure starting their journey to recovery. .

Our residential centres also offer a range of specialised and complementary therapies, in addition to standard personal and group psychotherapy sessions. Patients can also choose from private or shared rooms during their stay.

Alcohol Rehabilitation Treatment

What is Alcohol Rehabilitation?

Castle Health offers varying treatment programmes for people struggling with alcohol addiction, prescription or illegal drugs, and other behavioural addictions. People with alcohol dependence are often afraid  to start a rehab programme, however once they start the programme they find that  rehab centres are safe, non-judgemental environments meant to support the healing process of those suffering from substance abuse disorder. A rehab centre offers the chance for a fresh start, where patients are surrounded by people who empathise with their addiction and who are committed to seeing the patients fully recovered.

Experts working at Castle Health understand how a substance abuse disorder can affect a person and those living with alcohol addiction to start the recovery process for a better, healthier, sober lifestyle.

Is Rehab Confidentiality Important?

Confidentiality is a major component during rehab and is essential to the success of the treatment and therapy care plan. During rehab, patients discover they can be open about their struggles without worrying that their private information will be exposed to other people who are not involved in their support group.

If you are interested in entering an addiction rehab contact a Castle Health specialist now to learn more about our standard confidentiality protocols and procedures.

What Steps You Will Follow During Alcohol Addiction Treatment?

Alcohol addiction treatment comprises the following three essential steps.

1. Detoxification

This first step refers to the processing of cleansing  the physical system of the person with alcohol use disorder. In this phase, specialists help patients deal with the physical pressure of dependence. When withdrawal symptoms appear, the right solution is administering medication in a safe environment, in a rehab centre.

2. Rehabilitation

After the detox phase, a patient can deal with much more ease with the psychological challenges that led to developing alcohol addiction. Rehabilitation helps the user to change difficult behavioural patterns to build a better life.

At Castle Health, the medical team follows the “The Minnesota Model”, or the 12 Steps Model through getting patients acquainted with the Twelve Steps from the beginning of treatment. During the rehabilitation process, they attend group therapy sessions, educational lectures, and they also have access to reading materials about addiction. Patients progress through the steps at their own pace, allowing for positive long lasting change to take place.

Castle Health provides medical treatment, psychiatric care and specialised therapies such as:

3. Aftercare

Probably the most difficult phase of treatment, aftercare  is about being reintegrated in daily life while maintaining sobriety.

At this point, the patients will need to remember and use the coping techniques learned during therapy sessions. By doing so, the recovering user can move in a more positive direction in life.

To avoid a relapse, it is recommended for recovering users to continue going to counselling sessions and to participate in support groups.

At Castle Health, patients do not have to face the struggles alone. A team of specialists are ready to help, support and guide you through each step of the recovery process. Contact Castle Health for a Free Alcohol Addiction Assessment.

If you think you or someone you care about may need drug and/or alcohol addiction treatment, do not hesitate to contact us and our dedicated team will help find the best treatment for your needs. Our experienced admissions team can give an initial assessment and offer advice on what steps to take next.

There is no obligation for treatment when you contact us, so feel free to call Castle Craig Hospital directly at +44 1721 722763 or Smarmore Castle at +353 41 986 5080.

As an alternative, it may be worth calling an alcohol addiction helpline or visit an alcohol addiction counselling service in person. Since these vary by county, it is best to consult a local resource for suggestions.