How to Start an Alcoholism Recovery Journey

Learn more about the dangers of alcoholism, how to begin alcoholism recovery, and where to get the help you need.

Alcoholism Overview

Alcoholism is the craving and excessive drinking of alcohol by an individual. It is the inability of an individual to manage their intake of alcohol, thereby leading to physical, mental, and biological problems. Alcoholism often leads to a range of health problems that can range from mild to fatal. Starting an alcoholism recovery journey may seem scary, but it can save your life.

Alcoholism Recovery

Is Alcoholism a Disease?

It is a chronic disease, also referred to as alcohol use disorder. The individuals experiencing alcoholism often feel unsettled or cannot go about their day-to-day activities without alcohol intake. Over time, these individuals tend to experience some side effects due to the constant intake of alcohol.

However, you can begin your alcoholism recovery journey to help you overcome alcohol use disorder. If you or someone you know is struggling with an alcohol use disorder, Essence Healthcare is here to help you on your journey to sobriety.

Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism

An individual experiencing alcohol use disorder often shows some signs and symptoms. Some of the symptoms of alcoholism include:
  • Frequent intake of large amounts of alcohol
  • Experiencing frequent and strong cravings to drink
  • Continual consumption of alcohol, regardless of the issues it causes with their relationships
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, depression, nausea, shakiness, anxiety, and restlessness
  • Finding it difficult to control or reduce drinking 
  • Drinking more than usual to get the same effect each time
  • Giving up on pleasurable and important activities to drink 
  • Getting into dangerous situations while drinking 
  • Showing signs of tolerance to alcohol

Dangers of Untreated Alcoholism

Although some individuals can limit their alcohol intake, others find it difficult to do. It is vital to pay attention and not ignore the signs of alcohol use disorder because of its harmful effects. According to the World Health Organization, three million deaths occur yearly from alcohol use disorder.1
Some harmful effects might not be discovered early, making it difficult to reverse their health complications. The following are some of the health dangers and effects of alcoholism:
  • Alcoholism affects the individual’s brain by causing complications such as loss of coordination and memory. This effect can be long or short-term because prolonged intake of alcohol often affects the proper functioning of the brain.
  • Excessive alcohol intake can weaken the heart. It causes an increase in the triglyceride levels in the individual’s blood, thereby increasing the risk of health conditions. These health conditions include diabetes, heart disease, and sudden cardiac arrest.
  • The liver breaks down and removes alcohol from the blood. However, over time, the metabolism process can become overwhelming, leading to a chronic condition called fatty liver. Some liver complications attached to alcoholism are cirrhosis, hepatitis, and fibrosis.2

Short-Term Side Effects

Some of the short-term side effects of alcoholism include:

  • Slowed breathing
  • Vision impairment
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Head pain
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Feelings of drowsiness
  • Injuries such as burns and falls
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Trouble making decisions

Long-Term Side Effects

Some long-term effects of alcoholism include:
  • Constant changes in weight and appetite
  • Increased conflict and tension in relationships
  • Insomnia
  • Ulcers
  • Cancer
  • Weak immune system
  • Mental health problems such as anxiety and depression
  • Respiratory infections
  • Seizures
  • Nerve damage
  • Alcohol dependence

What to Do if You or Your Loved One Show Signs of Alcoholism

A national survey shows that in 2019, 14.1 million adults had alcohol use disorder. Most individuals experiencing alcohol use disorder tend to hide it from their loved ones and families. These individuals often carry breath mints, hide their alcohol bottles, and cover up whenever they drink. Due to these habits, discovering how serious their alcohol use disorder is may be difficult.3

Below are some of the things to do when your loved one shows signs of alcoholism.

Support and Pay Attention

Your loved one will need love and support to overcome their alcohol use disorder. Pay attention and offer them your support in every way whenever they need it. Help them to find a good treatment center for an effective alcoholism recovery and listen to their opinions.

Learn More About Alcoholism

Before lending a helping hand, it is important to know more about alcohol use disorder. Do adequate research, become educated on alcoholism recovery, and learn about the symptoms of alcoholism and the treatment options available.

Approach Them With Solutions

When approaching your loved one, it is vital to know what to say and how to say it. Ensure you choose a comfortable time and environment that will not make you emotionally charged. Avoid blaming or speaking with negativity; instead, speak with compassion.

Treatment Options for Alcoholism Recovery

There are various treatment options for effective alcoholism recovery. Some alcoholism recovery options are detailed below.

Outpatient Program

An outpatient treatment program for alcoholism in medical facilities enables the individual to live at home. These patients receive their treatments in the comfort of their homes, allowing flexibility. However, these individuals must have a stable and drug-free home environment before participating in the outpatient program.4

Intensive Outpatient Program

The intensive outpatient program is a treatment option for alcohol use disorders that do not require 24/7 supervision. It is a program that allows the patients to continue with their day-to-day activities while also receiving their treatments. IOP provides individuals with relapse management, coping strategies, and support mechanisms

Partial Hospitalization Program

In this treatment program, intensive care is available at the facility for the individuals. The environment is often flexible, and the patients can attend their treatments during the day and head home after.


Aftercare begins after the successful completion of an alcohol treatment program. It is a vital part of the alcoholism recovery process. Once the individual completes the treatment program, they may face challenges that can lead to relapse. Aftercare is designed to provide continued support to help patients achieve long-term alcoholism recovery.

Some types of aftercare programs to aid alcoholism recovery include:
  • Support groups
  • Sober living communities
  • Aftercare therapy
Alcoholism Recovery

Alcoholism Recovery at Essence Healthcare

If you or someone you know is struggling with an alcohol use disorder, know that alcoholism recovery is possible and there are many resources available to you. At Essence Healthcare, we will be here to support you every step of the way in your alcoholism recovery journey.

What We Offer

At Essence Healthcare, we understand that each person’s recovery journey looks different. Our team of compassionate professionals will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs. We offer a variety of treatment options, including psychotherapy, peer support groups, medication-assisted treatment, and more holistic approaches.

These include yoga, meditation, and mindfulness exercises. Our goal is to help you achieve long-term sobriety and will help you get there in any way we can.

Contact Essence Healthcare Today

You don’t have to struggle with alcoholism alone. Reach out to Essence Healthcare today for more information about our available treatment options.

Table of Contents

Questions About Treatment?

We are a patient-first substance abuse and mental health treatment facility located in Los Angeles, California. At Essence Healthcare, we provide different levels of care from detoxification to drug rehab aftercare. Our team is standing by to address your questions. Your call is confidential and no obligation is required.