Alcohol Abuse in Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines is the capital of the state of Iowa and is also the state’s most populated city. Originally named after Fort Des Moines, which was named after the Des Moines River, the city was incorporated in 1851. As of 2013 the city is home to almost 600,000 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The city has been deemed both “The Best Place for Business” (Forbes Magazine 2010/2013) and the “Wealthiest City in America” (NBC 2014). The name “Des Moines” is French for “of the monks,” and the river itself was named after the French Rivière des Moines meaning “River of the Monks.”

There is one river that flows as continuously in Des Moines, Iowa as it does everywhere else, and that is the ever flowing tide of alcoholism. For a long time, alcohol, and similar substances, has been abused profusely in society. Even now alcohol abuse is joked about regularly on television and in movies: protagonists are seen drinking throughout an entire episode and “Intervention” jokes run rampant, the audience is cued to laugh, and everything is one big joke. This mentality has made it more difficult for alcoholics to see the facts and recognize when they have a problem. Part of the issue also lies in how we deal with alcohol-related crimes: instead of sending the alcoholic to treatment, they are incarcerated. Jail has no therapeutic value; in fact, it is quite the opposite.

Instead of locking alcoholics up we need to offer care and healing. Recently alcoholism and drug addiction were both classified as a disease, which completely turned the world of recovery toward a new way of looking at the conditions. Treating alcoholism like the disease it is has shown marginally more success than ever before. Now it is understood that at a certain point the alcoholic no longer has a choice as to whether or not they drink because their body has become dependent on the alcohol.

Alcoholism: All Cons, Zero Pros

When it comes to tallying up a list of pros and cons, alcoholism is entirely one sided. There are absolutely no benefits to excessive drinking to the point that your brain believes alcohol to be a dire necessity. Rather, drinking to this stage can actually have severely detrimental side effects that could cost you your way of life, if not life itself. It can also heavily damage your relationships with others, whether they be friends, parents, siblings, spouses, or children.

Initially it is your choice whether or not to drink, and then drink again, but there comes a point where we no longer have that choice. When it comes to substance abuse our choice gets taken away from us as the substance we become dependent on takes the number one spot on our priority list. Your work declines, your relationships with family and friends falters, and even your body starts to slow down. Nothing is as important as alcohol to the point where if you haven’t had a drink in a while, you develop shakes, tremors, migraines, and often anxiety. These are just the initial stages of withdrawal. Drinking more to get these side-efffects to subside only strengthens your dependency.

Alcohol abuse has a lot of consequences associated with it. Some of the side-effects can be psychological or physical, but there are also some that have less effect on you and significantly more on those around you. Studies have shown that many cases of domestic violence involved alcohol. Alcohol abuse is also tied to a great many cases of drunk driving fatalities: sometimes the alcoholic is the one who dies, other times they end up injuring others due to delayed response time and impaired judgment.

The damage that can be done to those around you is scary enough without considering the health aspects. The short term and the long term symptoms of alcoholism are a long list of unpleasant consequences that can greatly degrade your quality of life. Ranging from all the unpleasant effects of alcohol poisoning, to cirrhosis of the liver, to throat and mouth cancer, and even dementia.

Withdrawal – Treatment – Healing

A Better Today is well aware of the dangers of alcoholism and the bite of its withdrawal. We will medically supervise your withdrawal symptoms during your stay with us as you undergo treatment and therapy. Here we have employed Master’s educated therapists with specializations in addiction counseling. These therapists will work with you in individual and/or group therapy sessions to give insight into your addiction.

During withdrawal you are likely to experience some very unpleasant side effects. This is natural: your body is detoxing itself, cleansing the system of any and all harmful toxins and chemicals it ingested as a result of alcohol abuse. These symptoms can be managed with the right medication and you will be supervised at all times during this process.

As you go through your treatment you will be provided with multiple options for therapy. While group and individual therapy are our primary methods, we offer several other unique and effective forms. The point of group therapy is to give insight as well as give you a community for sharing and gaining new perspective. In being involved in a community of other recovering alcoholics you can also draw strength from one another as you go through this process. Individual therapy is very similar, except you sit in one-on-one sessions with your therapist on a weekly basis. During these sessions you will work together to find the underlying causes for your addiction and learn how to resist and fight them.

Other methods of therapy are effective in their own way and can be combined with group and/or individual therapy. We offer equine therapy, music and art, exercise therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and family therapy as additional forms of healing. These encourage healthy, productive outlets for stress instead of turning to alcohol or drugs. A lot of times with alcoholism the beverage is used as a way to cope with a stressful day at work or a fight with a friend or loved one, maybe even just having a day that seemed like it would never end. The problem is this once stress-relieving activity became habit which eventually formed itself into a dependence. At this point you are no longer able to say no to alcohol without suffering from shakes, headaches, and increased anxiety. These other forms of therapy can be used after treatment as way to deal with life as it is without the hazy-fog of alcohol.

As your treatment continues you will learn the necessary skills to resist future urges that would cause a relapse. You will get to practice these skills in a safe, controlled environment. Even after your treatment is complete, A Better Today strongly recommends you continue your therapy as a means of accountability.

Other ways to stay accountable are to join a mutual support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Transitional living will also give you the opportunity to live in a safe environment with other recoverees while you get back on your feet.

Traveling and Paying for Treatment

It might be difficult to consider, but staying at home or near home for treatment can be a hazard to your recovery. At home you will be surrounded by familiar triggers which could send you back into a relapse. A Better Today and many professionals recommend travelling for your treatment in order to experience a new environment. We aim to give you a stress-free stay to maximize the potential for your recovery.

If you travel you will be able to get away from any and all possible triggers: things that cause an emotional, psychological response in your brain that makes you want to drink again. Being around these triggers while you are trying to detox and go through treatment has the potential to only take you back several steps. But if you travel, these things are far enough that they are unable to affect you during your recovery, giving you a stronger foundation on which you can heal.

The worst thing you could do is nothing at all, but sometimes finances get in the way. This is why ABT accepts most forms of private insurance which could cover most if not all of the costs of treatment. Even if you do not have insurance, ABT has crafted reasonable, affordable payment plans so that nothing will stand in the way of the recovery you, or your loved ones, deserve.

Call (520) 288-8484 now to get started on your journey to an addiction free life. Speak to one of ABT’s specialists and get all the information you need in order to take your first step on the road to happiness

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