Fighting Alcoholism in South Dakota

South Dakota is something of an anomaly in the United States. Despite being one of the more extensive states in the country (ranked at 17th), South Dakota is actually the 5th least populated state in the United States. This leaves a lot of wide open space where people can enjoy the nice, quiet rural life.

Home to such historical sites as the Crazy Horse Memorial, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, the Jewel Cave National Monument, and of course, Mount Rushmore, South Dakota has a rich and fascinating history. There are also a number of locations administered by the National Park Service, including the Wind Cave National Park and the Badlands National Park.

South Dakota was a gold rush state back during the late 19th century and has retained a lot of that old country feel to it. Mostly a rural and agricultural state, hunting and fishing are two of the most popular pastimes in the state, accounting for over $500 million to the state’s economy.

Unfortunately, the people of South Dakota are not safe from the dangers of alcoholism. Alcohol abuse is a disease that can strike anyone, anywhere, young or old, black or white, rich or poor, no matter what walk of life they come from. Fortunately, there is help. At A Better Today, we are dedicated to providing that help and the care needed to defeat alcohol abuse.

Good Ol’ Boys Drinking Whiskey & Rye

Alcohol is one of the most common substances in the world. It is found in just about every culture across the globe, whether in the form of wine, beer, whiskey, vodka, mead, or some other beverage. It’s uses have varied across the ages and across cultures, ranging from recreation and festivities to religious ceremony. It is also, however, the most commonly abused substance in the world, with incidences of its abuse just as widespread.

So when does alcohol consumption cross the line? When does it go from casual, healthy drinking to substance abuse? After all, half a glass of wine a day supposedly helps reduce a person’s risk of heart disease, cancer, and other maladies, so drinking isn’t inherently problematic or unhealthy.

It’s perfectly acceptable and normal for a person to have a drink after a hard day or have a couple rounds on the weekend with friends. There’s nothing alarming about that. It’s when it goes too far that it becomes a problem.

If a person is unable to relax without that drink, however, that’s not normal. If they need that drink to relax and cannot unwind without a drink or two, there might be more going on that just a rough day.

One of the earliest warning signs to watch for is if a person starts becoming secretive about their drinking. If they hide their drinking or lie about how much and how often they drink for whatever reason, that should send up some red flags.

Blacking out after a night of drinking may make for some hilarious stories among buddies, but more often than not, it’s a cause for worry. It should be, because that’s another serious red flag that the person has a growing drinking problem.

Going hand-in-hand with blackouts is the inability to stop drinking once they start. If they open a bottle of wine or a case of beer, they have to finish it that night and won’t stop drinking until they do. This should definitely throw up a whole bunch of red flags.

It’s normal to be able to drink more the more you drink. Most people think this is just getting used to it and building up a healthy tolerance. Well, there really isn’t such a thing. Building a tolerance to alcohol is a key sign of addiction, as the body has been exposed to so much of it, and regularly enough, that it has begun to adapt in order to cope with it better. If it requires more alcohol than it used to in order to get that same feeling, that’s cause for concern.

Alcohol has a long history of causing trouble in relationships, whether they are between friends, family, or significant others. If a person’s drinking is putting strain on their interpersonal relationships, it’s a warning sign that alcohol has become more important that the most important people in their life.

Following in the same vein, if one begins to neglect their professional or personal responsibilities in order to drink, or because they are still drunk or hung over, that’s a major red flag. At this point, their drinking is now interfering with their ability to work and has taken over their priorities.

Any one of these warning signs, even one of these red flags, is cause for alarm and should be taken seriously. Several of them all together, however, should be setting off bells, whistles, sirens, and every alarm you can think of, as they are indicative of a very serious problem.

If you notice these signs either in yourself or somebody you know and care for, do not wait. Pick up the phone and call for professional help before matters get worse.

How Can A Better Today Help?

Here at A Better Today, we treat alcohol abuse according to the disease model. That is, we understand that alcoholism is indeed a disease that affects and alters the brain and requires professional, medical help to treat.

We know there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” treatment, as substance abuse affects each person differently. As such, we work with our clients in order to develop a personalized treatment plan, tailored to their specific needs.

Utilizing fact-based research and techniques, we offer several different therapies which have all been proven to help the lives of those in recovery. Our therapists specialize in addiction, co-occurring disorders, and counseling, all with a Master’s level or higher education in their field.

Such therapies include individual and group therapy, which can help a client gain valuable insight and feedback from friends, respectively.

There is also family therapy that helps reopen communication between family members and work on repairing the damage the substance abuse may have caused.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is important in being able to gain a new perspective. CBT helps the client uncover and cope with any underlying issues that either caused or continue to fuel their substance abuse.

Music & art therapy permits clients to express their feelings nonverbally. Art and music are proven to have great therapeutic value, making this one of the more popular treatment methods.

Sober living facilities are another option for those who have finished their rehab program, but feel they’re not quite ready to go back out into the world on their own just yet. Sober living is a transitional housing setup where a person can ease back into the responsibilities of everyday life.

All these treatment options and more are available at A Better Today. We tailor each person’s treatment program to their individual needs in order to ensure they get the treatment they need. Our staff is not only professionally trained, but caring and compassionate as well, dedicated to helping people.

Is Affording Treatment Even Possible?

The reasons a person might avoid seeking treatment are numerous, but one of the most common reasons is the cost. Many people don’t ask for help simply because they think they can’t afford it. While it’s true that treatment isn’t cheap, it may not be as expensive as you think.

In recent years, the medical industry has caught up in realizing that substance abuse is, in fact, a medical disease and has begun treating it like one. This means that health insurance providers now treat substance abuse treatment and prevention as they would any other medical condition.

As with any medical condition, it’s all evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Some insurance plans will only cover part of the costs of treatment, whereas other health plans offer full coverage. Call your insurance provider today to discuss treatment options and determine what your specific healthcare plan will cover.

New Perspective, New Horizons

That’s not just a trite little catchphrase. When going into treatment to battle alcohol abuse, a new perspective is going to be needed if you’re going to win this struggle. Gaining a new perspective can be more difficult when surrounded by the same faces, same things, and same locations.

Many industry experts strongly advise traveling for treatment. Going into treatment can already be a scary experience and one might think that uprooting and leaving home far behind would be the last thing to do. In truth, changing your setting can do a lot of good.

Surrounding yourself with a new environment, new people, and new things can go a long way in honing that new perspective. You’ll be learning new skills and making new friends, away from an environment that, in some cases, may have contributed to the problem in the first place or contains triggers that would make treatment much more difficult.

At A Better Today, we work to teach those new skills, foster those new friendships, and help realize that new perspective. With caring, professional staff and industry-leading treatment programs and techniques, we’re ready to help you leave your alcohol abuse behind.

Pick up the phone today and call (520) 288-8484. Help is available and waiting for you. All you have to do is call.

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