Battling Addiction from Gresham, OR
Home to such scenic sites as the Mt. Hood National Forest and Columbia River Gorge, Gresham, Oregon certainly has no shortage of beauty. Offering beautiful forests and streams, Gresham is a place where one can find peace and serenity amidst the chaos of modern life.
That’s not to say Gresham is out of touch with the modern world. Far from it! Gresham Station offers more than 50 shops and restaurants of national renown, there are unique boutiques in the downtown area, and much more. Culture can be found in the many museums and art galleries in Gresham, as well as the Gresham Heroes Memorial that honors all men and women who have served in our nation’s armed forces, police forces, and fire services.
Even in a city like Gresham, however, alcohol addiction can take root in the lives of thousands, destroying everything it touches. Addiction does not discriminate. It can affect anyone, regardless of race, gender, age, or class.
Recognizing the Signs of Alcoholism
Alcoholism is probably the single most common form of substance abuse across the globe throughout the ages. Alcohol is prevalent in every culture and has been used for revelry, ritual, and everything in between. No matter where one goes, cultures have always found a way to ferment whatever they had, be it grapes, wheat, honey, potatoes, or something else.
That said, alcohol abuse has been around for just as long and is just as widespread. Stories have been heard for centuries of those who drank too much, couldn’t control their drinking, and so on. It’s easy to identify somebody who is drunk, but how can you tell if somebody has a real problem? Fortunately, there are several signs to watch for.
One of the most common reasons anybody abuses any substance is for relief. This could be relief from stress, anxiety, depression, or any other kind of troubling emotional state. Having a beer after a tough day is nothing to worry about, but five or six or more? That could indicate a problem. If a person can’t seem to really relax without having a drink, that’s a pretty good indicator that there’s a drinking problem.
Another early warning sign of an alcohol problem is lying about how much a person drinks or trying to hide it from others. Denial is common in those who are suffering from substance abuse, so it’s not uncommon to see them drink in private and/or lie about their drinking in order to make it seem like it’s not a big deal.
People who have a genuine drinking problem will also tend to do things like drink before going into work, driving somewhere after drinking, or disregarding a doctor’s orders on not drinking while on medication. These actions are incredibly dangerous and are a strong indication that alcohol is in full control of the person’s life.
A major warning sign to watch for is if a person starts neglecting their responsibilities because of alcohol. If performance at school or work starts to suffer because that person shows up drunk or hung over or skips it entirely, that’s a good sign that alcohol has become a major problem and is having a detrimental impact on their ability to function day-to-day.
Similarly, if an individual’s personal relationships begin to suffer because of their alcohol consumption, that’s an indicator that the alcohol has become more important than the people closest to them. It’s not uncommon for someone who suffers from alcohol dependency to develop problems in their relationships with family, friends, and significant others because of their drinking.
If a person is unable to stop drinking on their own, such as finishing an entire bottle of wine or liquor once it’s been opened, that’s another sign that there may be a problem in their drinking habits. If they’ve tried to quit drinking once already and found themselves unable to do so, that’s a major red flag that should prompt a look at treatment options right away.
Withdrawals & Detox
TV and movies have painted a rather grim picture of what detoxing looks like and what it can do to a person. Detoxing from substances isn’t always a life-threatening ordeal, but in the case of alcohol, it can be, even if a person has only been drinking heavily for a few weeks.
Withdrawals can show up rapidly, as early as a mere two hours after a person’s last drink. Withdrawal symptoms can vary, ranging from shakiness and anxiety to more dangerous and life-threatening complications, such as seizures and delirium tremens (also known as DTs), which is a condition of tremors and severe confusion. Other symptoms one can experience during alcohol detoxification include convulsions, insomnia, seizures, nausea, hallucinations, and even heart failure.
Medically supervised and assisted detox is strongly recommended, and often required, in order to ensure the patient’s safety. Detoxification is always an extremely difficult and trying ordeal, but it is always easier to do with professional assistance and it is certainly safer than trying to do it on one’s own.
The Power of Intervention
Interventions are a fairly well-known concept, although most people know of them as a joke from television sitcoms for everything from serious problems to teasing a friend for loving Reggae music too much. In reality, an intervention can make all the difference between a life-saving turning point and an out-of-control downward spiral into the grave.
Simply appearing in a person’s home with a banner that says intervention and a gathering of family and friends, confronting the person suffering, reading letters, and so on is not very likely to garner positive results. Family is often too close to the situation to keep things calm and level when emotions start to spike, as they are likely to do among family members, all of whom are hurting. Unguided interventions like this often deteriorate into crying and yelling and usually do more harm than good.
Fortunately, there are specially trained professionals called interventionists who can help. Interventionists are often people in recovery themselves, so they know firsthand what a person is going through. They also understand exactly what a person suffering from alcohol abuse wants to hear, what they don’t want to hear, and most importantly, what they need to hear.
These trained professionals can help a family identify the best model of intervention, based on the individual situation, and will then guide the intervention. This means they will coach the family and keep the encounter on track to convey the message of the intervention: love and support.
Isn’t Treatment Expensive?
One of the most commonly heard reasons a person may avoid getting treatment is that they can’t afford it. Fortunately, times have caught up to the reality of substance abuse. Addiction has been officially recognized as a medical disease and, as such, is covered by most insurance providers.
Every situation is evaluated on a case by case basis and the degree of coverage depends on each person’s individual health plan. When considering treatment, a person should call their health insurance representative to discover the full extent of their coverage.
Treatment can be costly, but with insurance plans, perhaps not as costly as most people think. Some insurance plans offer full coverage, while others may only pay part of the cost of treatment. Hence, it is important to determine just how much your specific healthcare plan will cover. Call your provider today to see what’s covered under your healthcare plan.
What If I Can’t Find A Facility Nearby?
It’s important to find the right rehab center to suit your needs. Too many times, an individual will either settle on a treatment center that doesn’t really work with what they need, or might even forego treatment altogether if they can’t find that perfect fit near their location. Tragically, this only harms their chances of successful treatment.
If you find a facility that looks like a great fit but isn’t nearby, consider traveling for your treatment. By itself, a change of scenery won’t kick the alcohol addiction, but getting treatment in a new environment can actually work wonders for the recovery process.
Instead of a last resort, individuals should actually consider traveling for their treatment as a serious option. After all, the home environment may be part of what contributed to the substance abuse in the first place and may contain several triggers that could make rehabilitation more difficult. New surroundings, new scenery, new people, even a new climate can all contribute to a new state of mind, a new beginning, and a new you, free of the drink.
Here at A Better Today, we are dedicated to providing the absolute best care possible to everyone who walks through our door, no matter what walk of life they come from. No matter a person’s history with alcohol abuse, A Better Today has trained professionals with the experience and empathy necessary to help.
Don’t wait for things to get worse. Pick up the phone today and call (510) 246-8864 and start your journey to a better, healthier, happier life.