Alcoholism in Dallas, TX
The great city of Dallas is one of the largest cities in the United States, ranking fourth in the nation for most populous metropolitan area. Home to over a million residents, the city of Dallas is a jewel among the desert sands of the Texas landscape.
The area has a long and rich history, having changed hands between the Cabo people, Spanish colonists, France, and Mexico before joining the United States in 1845. In 1963, Dallas, TX was also the location of the Kennedy assassination and now the city is home to a historical museum that covers John F. Kennedy’s life and his many accomplishments.
That’s far from the only museum in Dallas, however. This city is a great patron of the arts and is home to many venues of culture. Some of the most prominent are the Morton H Meyerson Symphony Center, which is home to the Dallas Wind Symphony and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and the Dallas Museum of Art. The Dallas Center for the Performing Arts also houses opera, theater, dance, and much more.
Yet even in a city like Dallas, the crippling disease of addiction can take root and destroy the lives of everyone it touches. It’s no secret that alcohol abuse is a widespread problem throughout the country and Dallas, sadly, is no exception.
Fortunately, nobody is alone in this struggle and there is help available. Here at A Better Today we’re dedicated to providing that help with trained professionals as well as caring, experienced staff, several of which have been through the same struggle themselves.
What To Do If a Loved One is Suffering
It’s all too common a story: friends, family, spouses, and even children can see that there’s a problem, but the person with the bottle in-hand pays them no heed. There could be any number of reasons they don’t pay any attention to the warnings or expressions of concern, but the result is often the same; they continue drinking.
Denial is a common, almost universal phase that almost everyone suffering from a substance abuse problem goes through. Even though their life may be crumbling all around them, they genuinely cannot see it. That is the power that addiction has over the brain once it takes root. As a disease, addiction rewires the brain and impairs perception of related consequences.
What can be done about it, though? Nobody wants to watch a loved one suffer, but many people often feel helpless to do anything about it. Fortunately, you can help. You don’t have to sit back and watch them destroy themselves. It’s called an intervention.
Most people are familiar with what an intervention is thanks to TV sitcoms, movies, or the occasional MTV reality show. In reality, an intervention is no joke and can make all the difference between an uncontrolled, unstoppable downward spiral and a life-saving turning point. It’s important to handle it correctly, though.
What most people think of when they hear the word “intervention” is a group of people, usually family and close friends, reading off letters they’ve written about how the person with the abuse problem has hurt them and how sad it makes them to see them do this to themselves.
Without professional guidance, this kind of intervention is just as likely to escalate the situation and do more harm than good. Family tends to be too close to the situation and without a guiding hand, these events can frequently fall apart and result in crying, screaming, maybe a storm-out or two, and the person who needed help ends up in a worse place than before.
There are trained professionals, however, who can help. These experts are called interventionists and are specially trained to identify the correct model of intervention for the situation at hand and to guide a family through an intervention. A positive intervention, guided by an interventionist and planned with love and support, has the greatest chance of being successful in getting your loved one the help they need.
How Can I Tell If There’s a Genuine Problem?
This is a very good, and very common, question. After all, most people have a drink or two after a hard day or a few over the weekend. It’s no secret Texans love their beer and there’s nothing wrong with that! So when does the drinking cross the line and go from recreation to abuse?
There are warning signs to watch for, in yourself or in others, that are good indicators that alcohol has become a problem. One of these signs alone is cause for concern. Multiple signs indicate a very serious problem and help should be sought.
One of the most common signs that a person has a drinking problem is that they hide or lie about how much they drink.
Shirking one’s responsibilities, professional or personal, in order to drink is another common sign of an alcohol abuse problem.
It should be especially alarming if one regularly drinks more than they intend and/or blacks out after a night of drinking.
A high tolerance for alcohol can develop if someone regularly drinks a great deal. If it takes more and more alcohol to reach the same buzz, that’s a red flag.
Everyone knows that drinking and driving is bad, but one of the effects of alcohol is impaired judgement. It goes beyond driving, though, so going to work drunk or hungover, or drinking alcohol alongside medication, despite a doctor’s warning, is indicative of an alcohol problem.
As previously stated, it’s not uncommon or even unhealthy to have a drink after a hard day. If a person needs a drink to relax, however, and cannot relax without one, that’s a good sign that there’s a problem.
If a person starts experiencing withdrawals if they go too long without a drink, that’s a major warning sign, complete with sirens, flashing red lights, and all the red flags you can muster. Withdrawals are a sign of alcohol dependency and require medical attention. If you witness this, seek help immediately.
Alcohol Withdrawals & The Dangers
Withdrawals are the adverse effects a person suffers when they have become physically dependent on a substance and is suddenly and abruptly deprived of that substance. Hollywood has painted a pretty horrible picture of what withdrawals look like, but that’s not always accurate.
While medically assisted detoxification, which is the process of flushing the toxins of the drugs/alcohol out of the body, is not always required, depending on the substance in question, it is absolutely required for alcohol. Alcohol withdrawals can be severe, dangerous, and potentially lethal.
The symptoms of alcohol withdrawals can include headaches, nausea, vomiting, shakiness, depression, anxiety, inability to think clearly, mood swings, irritability, fatigue, and chronic nightmares. More serious symptoms can appear as well, such as insomnia, rapid heart rate, excessive sweating, and tremors. Most dangerous of all symptoms are delirium tremens, or DTs. This is a severe form of alcohol withdrawals and can cause fever, hallucinations, agitation, severe confusion, and dangerous, life-threatening seizures.
It is absolutely critical to seek medical help when detoxing from alcohol. The withdrawals can, and often do prove fatal. Do not attempt to detox from alcohol by yourself.
How Can I Access Treatment?
There are a number of reasons people don’t seek treatment for their struggle, but one of the most common reasons is the cost associated with treatment. While it’s true that treatment can be costly, it may not be quite as costly as you think.
Nowadays, the world is waking up to the reality of substance abuse. Rather than being viewed as a criminal activity or a culmination of bad choices made by people of poor moral fiber, substance abuse is recognized as a medical disease that affects the brain.
Since substance abuse is considered a disease by medical institutions, it is treated as such by health insurance companies. Therefore, substance abuse treatment is covered by medical health insurance!
As is the case with any medical condition, no coverage plan is the same. Some health insurance plans will cover the full cost of treatment, whereas others only provide partial coverage. Call your insurance company and ask about treatment options to find out exactly what your particular healthcare plan covers.
Where Do I Turn?
Treatment options are all around you, but sometimes, staying with what’s familiar isn’t good for you. Staying in your comfort zone, surrounded by the same things, same scenery, and same people, is not likely to contribute to a new life and new way of thinking.
It’s wise to consider a change of venue, to get away from possible triggers that might undermine your recovery. It may be a good idea to travel for your treatment. A new environment can work wonders for a new outlook.
At A Better Today, we offer the best care available, providing comfortable and confidential treatment. Professional, caring staff are ready to help you through every step of your treatment and recovery and many of them are in recovery themselves, so they know firsthand the struggle you’ll be going through. After all, there’s no better guide out of a maze than somebody who has already found the way out.