Alcohol Rehab in San Diego, California

It can be difficult to seek help for alcoholism (also known as alcohol use disorder). Some people feel ashamed to have an addiction, while others may feel they don’t have a problem big enough to merit a stay in a rehabilitation facility.

But the truth is that rehab is there for anyone who wants help. Staying in a rehabilitation center is nothing to be ashamed of. It is an act of taking responsibility for your addiction and admitting that you need help to overcome it. It’s worth it to be a little vulnerable so that you can work on real healing.

Undergoing addiction treatment can be an incredibly beneficial experience in healing from your addiction. Bayview Recovery Center’s alcohol rehab in San Diego, California offers substance abuse treatment programs and addiction therapy services to help individuals suffering from alcoholism. You can build a new life that’s based on sobriety, and there’s no shame in asking for help to do it.

What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism refers to an addiction to alcohol or the use of alcohol to the point where it negatively affects your life and relationships. Individuals addicted to alcohol can suffer physical effects from excessive drinking, ranging from rosacea to fatty liver disease. They might be preoccupied with drinking alcohol, sometimes at the expense of other hobbies or interests. They might spend all their money on drinks, or drink alone every night. They might spend most of their time drinking or recovering from being drunk, which can often turn into becoming socially isolated over time.

Individuals who suffer from alcoholism frequently engage in binge drinking, defined for men as having five drinks within two hours. The criteria for women for binge drinking is four drinks within two hours. This can happen when drinking alone or when drinking at a bar, and the size/drinking experience of the person doesn’t matter.

In 2020, it was estimated that just over 17% of Californian adults had engaged in binge drinking for a month. They participated in binge drinking an average of 3.7 times per month. This is slightly higher than the national average of 16.6% (as measured in 2018).

When it comes to alcohol addiction in general, most people are not getting the help they need. In America, 6.7% of all employed people over the age of 12 years old suffer from alcohol addiction. However, only about 10% of those people enter treatment for help. If you believe you may be addicted to alcohol, or if people in your life are telling you that your drinking is out of control, you owe it to yourself to get help.

How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain and Body?

Even if there are different types and strengths, alcohol is still an addictive substance and should be treated like one. Signs of addiction are often visible in a person’s life (and on their body) before they realize that they have a problem.

Physical signs of alcohol addiction include:

  • Issues with sleep
  • Increased inflammation (such as with a flushed face or red nose)
  • Needing more alcohol to feel any effects
  • Slurred speech
  • Poor physical coordination
  • Withdrawal symptoms (such as sweating and shaking hands) when taking breaks from alcohol

 

Mental and psychological signs of alcohol addiction can include:

  • Inability to stop drinking (even if the individual wants to)
  • Diminished memory
  • Prioritizing alcohol above relationships
  • Abandoning hobbies or previous favorite activities
  • Increased drinking, even in dangerous situations (such as when driving)
  • Distress at the idea of not drinking
  • Developing depression, anxiety, or other mental illnesses

 

Note that alcoholism doesn’t always have to do with the amount of drinking taking place. However, escalating drinking habits is a classic sign of alcoholism. If you need more and more alcohol over time to feel anything, that’s a big sign that you may be developing an alcohol use disorder (AUD).

Treatment For Alcoholism

Every person’s addiction is different, and not everyone will have the same needs for healing and rehabilitation. It’s important to be honest during your intake at rehab so that you can receive the best help possible to help you recover. The only person that suffers when you lie about how much you drink is you.

What Happens When You Stop Drinking

Withdrawal symptoms usually take place within 72 hours after the last drink. The average person likely won’t experience drastic side effects until six to 24 hours after their last drink. For those suffering from more severe addiction, the most dangerous period for side effects is the final 48 to 72 hours.

During that time, they may experience:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Increased heart rate
  • Insomnia
  • Heart palpitations
  • Upset stomach
  • Rise in blood pressure
  • Those with more severe alcohol addiction may experience hallucinations and more severe side effects.

 

One of the most severe effects of alcohol addiction is delirium tremens, known by the nickname “DTs.” These are severe symptoms of alcohol detoxification. As a depressant, alcohol suppresses the activity of the nervous system. DTs occur when the nervous system is coming up to a functional level again, learning to operate without alcohol.

Symptoms include:

  • Deep confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Hypertension
  • Agitation
  • Hyperthermia (overheating)
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Excessive sweating

 

Immediate medical attention is required for a person experiencing DTs, to prevent permanent damage.

How is Alcoholism Diagnosed?

man attending alcohol rehab in california

A medical diagnosis of alcohol abuse usually comes via an interview with a medical professional. If you suspect that you may have alcohol abuse disorder, they may conduct the following tests:

  • Physical exam: Not all signs of alcoholism are immediately visible. However, a medical professional may be able to detect more physical signs of alcoholism than the average person may be able to see.
  • Interview of you and/or your family: The medical professional will likely ask you straightforward questions about your drinking habits, which you should answer honestly and to the best of your ability. They may also hold confidential interviews with your family members to corroborate your self-evaluation (while respecting your confidentiality).
  • X-rays or a body scan: This is to evaluate the damage done to your internal organs (if any). But your doctor may also request lab tests or other physical examinations to confirm the extent of damage alcohol has caused your body.
  • Psychological exam: Your physician may conduct this type of exam to learn about the extent of your addiction. It may also help uncover other underlying mental conditions that could affect your recovery.

If you’re wondering if you should get help for alcoholism, there’s a high chance the answer is yes. Pay attention to how much and how frequently you’re drinking, and if you’re able to stop when you wish to.

Types of Treatment For Alcohol Addiction

You may have a vision of “rehab” that involves attending touchy-feeling group therapy and wearing a hospital bracelet. However, rehabilitation centers now offer many different services and levels of treatment. All of it is designed to help encourage healing in those who check-in.

If a person’s addiction is moderate to severe, a partial hospitalization program may be the best option. This program is ideal for those seeking extra medical support, such as if they expect to suffer severe DTs. Individuals who choose to undergo partial hospitalization will still have access to many standard rehab services.

This type of treatment takes place at a rehab facility and requires that the individual live at the facility for a predetermined time. Services such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and structured activities are available. Individuals frequently undergo education about substances and how they affect the body. Individualized treatment plans frequently dictate how long an individual stays in this form of treatment.

For those exiting inpatient rehab or whose addiction may not be as severe, outpatient rehabilitation provides an opportunity to continue treatment while adjusting back to daily life. Since the individual isn’t living at a facility, this treatment option is typically more affordable. It’s possible to attend school or work shifts while attending outpatient rehab.
Intensive outpatient rehab is a middle ground between inpatient and outpatient treatment and is ideal for those requiring a higher level of support than most outpatient programs. Individuals do not need to reside at a facility. However therapy services and support networks are still available for patients, and ongoing medical monitoring helps those with co-occurring mental illness or physical ailments. Medication-assisted treatment is also available as part of intensive outpatient rehab.

Treatment is Available at Bayview Recovery Center's Alcohol Rehab

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