What You Need to Know About Alcoholism and Alcohol Rehab in Bellevue, Washington

Alcoholism is a disease. The American Medical Association called alcoholism a disease in 1956, and nothing has changed. Alcoholism is an especially dangerous disease, because the signs of it are often hidden in plain sight.

See, unlike many forms of substance abuse, there is no law against alcohol, at least not since Prohibition. Since the use of alcohol is normalized in American culture, it follows that the abuse of alcohol too often goes unchecked and unnoticed until it's too late.

If you see somebody doing meth, cocaine, or heroin, you immediately sense a problem, regardless of who or what the circumstance. If you see someone drinking a beer, wine, or liquor, would you see alcoholism, or just someone having a drink? This is part of the problem with sensing alcohol addiction - it's a problem that sometimes is confused with simple recreational alcohol consumption.

Nevertheless, alcoholism remains one of the most deadly preventable diseases in the United States. More than heroin, more than meth, more than even prescription drugs, alcohol withdrawal is exponentially more deadly than withdrawal from opiates.

Alcohol is no less dangerous than any other addictive substance - it's arguably even more so. If you don't feel like yourself anymore without a few drinks, it may be time to give us a call and determine if you have a problem that needs treatment.

Risk Factors That Can Lead to Alcohol Addiction in Bellevue

It's an uphill battle trying to beat addiction if you don't understand what it is and how it works. Like any disease, alcoholism comes with risk factors that make you more susceptible to it. Family history, medical problems, and mental illness can all make you more prone to alcoholism, but that doesn't mean you're immune if you're free of those risk factors. Addiction, especially alcohol addiction, can strike basically anywhere, anytime.

Often times people fall into alcoholism just because they're part of a social group that frequently drinks, and so they simply associate heavy drinking with having fun with friends. It doesn't have to be a cascade series of problems for addiction to arise. Sometimes the path to alcoholism feels like an absolute blast before it starts getting bumpy and difficult.

But that path is like driving your car on a frozen lake; no matter how much fun the ride might seem, it isn't worth the potential consequences.

What Are the Signs of Alcoholism, and How Do I Know if I Need Rehab?

What makes alcoholism so difficult to detect is that it doesn't feel like a problem when you're doing it. From the addicted person's perspective, drinking is what brings them back to "normal." It feels GOOD to drink - or so they think.

It's quite a leap to go from thinking like this to deciding you need rehab. The first step of admitting the problem is especially difficult for alcoholics, because alcohol use is normalized and legal, unlike the use of hard drugs. Why would you incur the alcohol rehab cost when it doesn't even feel like you have a problem?

The answer is that you may have a problem, whether it feels like you do or not. It fact, the feeling that you don't have a problem when you drink could actually be the biggest part of your problem. A few of the common signs of alcoholism are:

Hiding Your Drinking or Lying about it

Since denial is such a big part of alcoholism, an alcoholic might start drinking in secret to make it not seem like as big a deal. And of course, hiding it to make it not seem like a big deal is basically the same as admitting that it is a big deal.

Drinking Regardless of the Circumstances

You might have a drink or two after work on a Friday night to unwind, and that's fine. But do you find yourself having drinks on a Tuesday morning before work, when you have to drive yourself? Finding time to drink in seemingly inopportune moments is a good sign that you've become dependent.

Not Being Able to Stop at One Drink

Alcoholism isn't just about how often you drink, it's about how much, as well. If you have a glass of wine with dinner every night, that hardly makes you alcoholic. If you have that glass of wine, and you can't seem to stop until you've polished off two bottles, that's much more likely to be a problem.

Needing a Drink to "Relax"

This one's a little fuzzy. Plenty of people have a drink to loosen up a little, particularly after a long day. That isn't really a problem... unless you need it. It's fine if having a drink helps you relax. What isn't fine is if you can't think of anything to relax you other than a drink. If you can't forego a drink and instead relax with a book, a bubble bath, or your favorite hobby, ask yourself why that is.

Blacking Out Frequently

Do you drink to have fun? Okay, fine. Lots of people drink at parties or with friends. But do you frequently find yourself drinking to the point of passing out and not remembering what happened? Sure, it happens to people once in a while when they don't heed their limits, but then they learn their lesson and make sure to stop earlier the next time. If you keep plowing past your limits and blacking out, that's a serious problem. And you might find it requires more and more alcohol to get there in the future - increased alcohol tolerance is also a sign of alcoholism.

There are studies about "binge" drinking - the general term for heavier, potentially habit-forming levels of drinking. The threshold varies by study, but the most common definition of "binge drinking" is consuming 5 drinks or more (for men, it's 4 or more for women) during the same drinking occasion, or within a two-hour period.

Of course, binge drinking isn't the same thing as addiction. A binge is a one-time thing, and while dangerous, one instance of binge drinking does not necessarily equal a drinking habit.. Addiction is sneaky. It hides itself deep inside and chips away at your life slowly from the inside out.

Most of the time, you're the last one to realize you have a problem. This is why interventions are so common - often the denial is so strong it takes a collection of the closest people to you all together to break through and help you see what the drink is doing to you and your loved ones.

If you're unsure of what to do, don't worry. You can call and consult with us if you think you or someone close to you has a problem.

Evergreen Recovery's Treatment Philosophy

Every rehab facility has a slightly different approach to the same problem. Of course we want you to choose Evergreen for your recovery - we think we're the absolute best at what we do, and we want to prove it.

But we would never want you to make that decision without having all the facts. This recovery is your journey, and you deserve to have all the information you can before choosing where to take the first steps toward the rest of your life. So weigh your options carefully. Here's what we offer.

Individual therapy is the most important aspect of drug rehab, as it gets to the root causes of your addiction and is completely customized to your unique situation. And we don't just call it individual therapy because it's administered individually. Your treatment is designed specifically with you in mind.

Addiction is different from person to person, so of course we believe treatment should be as well. Evergreen works by that mantra every day. We personalize everybody's treatment plan with evidence-based treatment that are proven to work, and therapy sessions that take your unique background, personality and situation into account.

In addition, we also offer group support in many forms. You'll get access to the informal support that comes from people who understand your suffering firsthand. When you're struggling, it helps to know you're not alone, and group support puts you around people who understand your suffering better than anyone.

Evergreen is an outpatient treatment center, which means we treat people while they continue living at home. But for alcohol recovery, detox is often a requirement, due to the dangerous effects of alcohol withdrawal. If that's the case, we will refer you out to a trusted detox clinic as part of your treatment. Find out more about alcohol detox in Bellevue here.

Support Options for Alcohol Recovery in Bellevue, Washington

When people think of rehab, they often think of inpatient rehab like the Betty Ford Clinic. That's not how Evergreen does things, but for some people, it may be the best option.

Evergreen's outpatient program is best for people who still have obligations to meet at home and at work, and who can't afford to submit themselves to a full-time stay in rehab. Some people also have strong support networks at home, and their recovery simply goes better with their family and friends to support them. Outpatient rehab is a convenient middle ground between full-time alcoholic rehab, and not getting treatment at all.

That said, there are ways to get help that don't involve rehab at all. If you're interested in support groups that can help you throughout the process of recovery, here are a few things to look into.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is well-known as the progenitor of the famous 12-step recovery program. AA has helped millions of alcoholics overcome their problems since 1935, and can be a great supplement to a traditional rehab program, or even a great recovery plan on its own. AA is well-known throughout the world, even amongst people who don't drink at all. AA's plan is largely spiritually-based, and most meetings begin and end with a prayer.

SMART Recovery

SMART is a different kind of program than AA. It involves only 4 steps, not 12, and focuses on self-empowerment and reliance. It's a great alternative for those who are less receptive to AA's spiritually-based approach. There aren't quite as many meeting for SMART Recovery than AA, but you can still find weekly meetings in the Bellevue area.

Secular Organizations for Sobriety

AA's spiritual approach to alcohol recovery is effective for a huge number of people, but it's not right for everyone. Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) is a 30-year-old organization that provides an alternative path to recovery. SOS isn't as big a program as AA, but they have proven success, they have local meetings, and like SMART, they check spirituality at the door.

Family Support

Family is going to be one of the most important things you have while you're going through your recovery. But you know what? As painful as alcoholism is for the addict, their family suffers just as much, and they need support, too. Support groups like Al-Anon/Alateen of Washington work with your family and loved ones to help them better understand your addiction. Alcoholism can be confusing and upsetting to those on the outside looking in. Often times, they want to help, but don't understand your suffering well enough to know how. These groups are to help with that.

Why Choose Evergreen?

Evergreen Recovery aims to provide the best alcohol rehab in the state of Washington. But this isn't a competition. We're trying to beat addiction, not beat other rehab clinics. Everybody's on the same side here.

So we don't care where you end up going for treatment, as long as you get the help you need. We're not publicly funded, so people aren't court-ordered into our program. We want to take people who are here voluntarily to kick their addictions right in the proverbial teeth. We want you to gather all the information you need, and come to your own conclusion that we're the absolute best choice for your recovery. We want you to choose us because we're as committed to cleaning up your life as you are.

We treat you like an individual here - not a patient number, or an ailment. You're a person, and when you come to Evergreen, we're going to get to know you. We want to know about your problems, your joys, what makes you tick. We want to understand what makes you drink, so we can figure out - together - how to help you stop, and never again feel like you need it.

If you're ready to take that first step towards the rest of your life, contact us now. And if you're not sure if you're ready, contact us anyway. Let us at least discuss your situation and try to determine the best course of action for you. If you're not sure what to do next, let us help.