Alcohol Counseling: Getting Help
Orange County Christian Counseling
Are you or someone you know struggling to stop drinking? Do you find that you can’t just have one? Does your friend seem to always have a drink in their hand? Does there seem to be things that your friend can’t remember after a night of heavy drinking? These things can be signs that you or your friend could benefit from Christian alcohol counseling.
In today’s society, what was considered alcohol abuse has now become the norm for having a good time. Today’s sense of social drinking is party hard. Often, we hear of those who drank so much they blacked out, or worse, experienced severe alcohol poisoning. When the use of alcohol has caused embarrassment or injury without being able to remember, then it could be time to get professional help.
No temptation has overtaken you except something common to mankind; and God is faithful, so He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13, NASBLike us if you are enjoying this content.
What is alcohol counseling?
It is a valuable tool used to treat alcohol use disorder (AUD). Through alcohol counseling, you will be able to receive treatment that will guide you as you navigate overcoming the struggle with alcohol. Most rehab facilities are staffed with counselors that create a plan to treat the whole person. Which means physical, emotional, and mental health are addressed.
What are the signs of an alcohol problem?
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if someone has a drinking problem. However, some signs will be a good indicator that there is a problem and counseling is needed. Possible signs include:
- Always looking for a reason to drink.
- Requiring more alcohol to achieve the same effect.
- Seeming to be tired and/or irritable.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Secretive about the amount of alcohol that is consumed.
- Failing to meet responsibilities.
- Cravings or a strong “need” for alcohol to remain calm.
- Lack of interest in anything that does not involve alcohol.
- Inability to stop at one or two drinks.
- Regular binge drinking.
- Blackout/memory loss.
- Promise to cut back/stop but cannot follow through.
- Drinking at work.
- Drinking while driving.
- Physical indicators such as a red face, sweating, and a bloated stomach.
If you or someone in your life are experiencing at least two of these symptoms, it would be beneficial to seek alcohol counseling through a Christian counseling center near you.
How do I talk to someone about their alcohol use?
Because of the shame and condemnation that comes with having an alcohol problem, many are not comfortable talking about their struggles. Even though they may want to get help, the thought of others knowing they have a problem makes them feel ashamed of the situation. Because of this sense of unworthiness, it is best to approach someone when you see they are in a comfortable space.
Choose a place that is inviting and private. If there’s a chance that someone could walk in on the conversation, the person may not feel able to open up and talk about the problem. The main thing is that they are comfortable enough to open up and discuss what is troubling them.
Speaking in a manner that shows genuine concern and sensitivity will ensure that there is no feeling of judgment. Letting the person know that you miss things you once did together is a good way of letting them know that you are concerned because you care.
Preparing for the conversation.
Once you have chosen the right place, be certain that both of you are in a mood that will ensure what is said will be received calmly. Being angry does not create a safe and peaceful place for any difficult conversation. Both parties must be willing to listen and willing to respect what is said.
You should also be prepared to give possible places of treatment and support. Offering to pray before, during, and after the conversation will also help the person understand the conversation was not meant for degradation, but for reasons of concern and love. Remember to be patient as they try to express their side of the conversation. It is not easy to talk about something that causes feelings of unworthiness.
Stages of alcoholism.
To help decide if alcohol counseling is needed it is helpful to understand the stages of alcoholism and the signs associated with each stage. It is important to understand what an alcoholic drink consists of and what constitutes binge drinking.
Those who are using alcohol in this stage aren’t easily identified. Alcohol hasn’t appeared to cause any serious issues and there do not seem to be any compulsive behaviors associated with alcohol consumption. Most of the time, a person in this stage will either progress to the next stage or remain in this stage, depending on their ability to have something that keeps them from becoming dependent on the consumption of alcohol. Those at risk are the ones who need alcohol to unwind or boost social confidence.
People in this phase of alcoholism are considered to be in the transitional phase. This is when the drinking becomes more regular and social gatherings become a reason to binge drink. It is common for people in this stage to experience blackouts from overconsuming alcohol. One of the most common characteristics is that they seek to get inebriated quickly.
A person in the middle stage is also called a chronic alcoholic. It is evident to friends and family that the person is consuming alcohol on a regular or even day-to-day basis. The person may disagree but there is also evidence at work/school. The struggle with alcohol and its effects is noticeable. The need or desire for alcohol takes priority over family and work. Treatment is very beneficial for those who are diagnosed with chronic or middle-stage.
At this point in the alcoholism stages, the person is considered to be at a loss of control over the alcohol. They feel they need to drink just to survive. Drinking becomes their life, fully consuming them. Even if it means losing a job, a home, or a family, the need for alcohol takes precedence.
When there is an attempt to quit there is often an onset of hallucinations or tremors. Someone who is in this stage may be considered a functioning alcoholic. Those in this stage may find that if they do not receive some type of treatment, they may battle a life-ending disease.
What are the most common treatment plans?
There are a few treatment options that an alcohol counselor may choose from when they are creating a plan. No matter what stage of alcoholism is being addressed, there is help. People can recover from alcoholism with the right tools and support. A Christian counselor will be able to help decide which plan will be more beneficial.
This is a classical psychotherapy approach that consists of conversation sessions. These can be one-on-one or group. Talk therapy helps with understanding how to manage cravings.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT).
This option has been proven to help alleviate the strain of alcoholism and its effects. This approach helps the person identify the negative thought process and behaviors that are commonly associated with dependency. Once that is done the counselor will help the person learn how to replace them with positive thoughts and behaviors. This approach will focus more on the actions that will produce change and less on the diagnosis.
This treatment option is conducted through a group setting in which others are struggling with the same type of issues. It is a supplement to therapy and is effective in assisting in maintaining sobriety. The most popular program is AA (Alcoholics Anonymous.) Celebrate Recovery is a faith-based 12-step program that addresses alcohol use from a Christian perspective.
Help for alcohol use.
If you or a loved one are having problems with alcohol consumption reach out to a local Christian counselor in your area. They will be ready to help you with a plan for alcohol counseling so you can begin recovery and leave the troubles of alcoholism behind.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:2, NASB
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