Monthly Archives: September 2012

Alcohol Addiction Advice: Denial

If I am in denial, when do I know when my drinking a problem?

Great question for our Alcohol Addiction Advice Section!

As most of us know already, the word denial is the refusal to admit the truth or the reality of the situation, but I think when it comes to alcohol abuse and addiction it means, “refusal to acknowledge there could possibly be an issue.” For me, the main difference is that you don’t have to admit you’re an addict or that you have abuse issues. It is just about living in the possibility of it, to take a long look at your behaviors, and then make a decision.

In fact, denial can be one of your biggest obstacles to getting the help you need. Your passions and desires to drink alcohol might be so strong that you can’t see what’s actually happening when you do drink. You might not be able to see the big picture of the end result. Well, besides the dreaded hangover in the mornings. You could even rationalize why you drink, like, “I work really hard,” “my life is very difficult,” “people don’t understand me.” The list can be endless.

When one excuses of rationalizes their drinking in ways like this it keeps them from looking honestly at that behavior and its negative effects. Here are some other ways people deny having a drinking problem:

  • Blame others for your drinking problems.
  • Make light of the consequences of your drinking.
  • Underestimate exactly how much you drink.

This is what I always say, “If you’ve no problem with alcohol then you‘d have no reason to cover up how much you drink and what happens when you do.”

Outpatient Detox, an Alternative

Kicking an addiction, whether it is drugs or alcohol, is a major accomplishment, and treatment of any sort usually includes a group therapy of some sort. Counseling of some sort is essential; cognitive behavioral therapy, family counseling and other forms of therapy approaches can assist people who follow addiction advice to stay clean and sober.

If you are abusing alcohol or drugs and don’t feel at this point you are dependent upon them, or maybe you’re considering an alcohol or drug treatment program, but the thought of spending time away from work and home is too frightening, or just not for you right now, there is a very good alternative. An outpatient detox might be the right thing for you.

Consult your doctor if you’d like to quit. Your doctor can help you decide what the best form of treatment is for you, and he or she can help you find the support you’ll need to safely go through any withdrawal symptoms that might occur. Some people have painful withdrawal and some don’t, but it is helpful to let your doctor in on your plan. He or she can help you through, making it safer, less painful, and quicker – with or without any medications.

If you find you cannot quit on your own, an outpatient detox might be the right thing to do. It will help you get through the first craving for alcohol or drugs as you are learning to stay sober.

An outpatient detox treatment is generally when you go to a mental health clinic, treatment facility, or even a hospital clinic on a regular basis. Your doctor can help you make the decision on how often per week you should attend. The choice might depend upon:

  1. How severe your addiction is,
  2. Your mental health,
  3. Your family support, and
  4. Your living situation.

However you and your doctor decide to move forward, it is important to go to outpatient detox sessions regularly and to get other types of support. Having support from loved ones, good transportation and a stable living situation are vital to your continued success.

Most importantly is your commitment to a sober lifestyle.


photo credit: Christopher/Getty

Is an Outpatient Detox Right For You?

Finding the right outpatient alcohol detox program for an early stage alcoholic is probably the best way to start recovery. There are mainly three types of rehabilitation facilities to choose from, an outpatient alcohol detox is just one of them.

Who qualifies for an outpatient alcohol detox? Well, normally, and there isn’t a written rule on this, just statistics. It is usually an alcoholic who is still functional, someone who possibly still has a job and in good standing there and someone who’s life is still somewhat manageable on the outside. However, what draws them into an outpatient alcohol detox is their inability to stop and what happens to them when they do drink. They are normally on the edge of losing their job, relationship, and possibly even housing. And, but for the grace of God, or a higher power, or even an intervention of some sort, they have decided to make a change.

An outpatient detoxification tends to be the least invasive and the least time consuming compared to a 24 hour/7 day/4 week inpatient program. The treatment is somewhat straight forward and involves group and/or individual therapy and counseling. In general though, the time spent in this type of detox can vary from person to person and can go from weeks to months. It is considered to be a very successful way for early stage alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

Each outpatient detox has its own set of guidelines, and learning to ask questions and for general addiction advice is helpful. They can be stringent or in some cases a little bit more lax, but there is a theme through each set of rules.

  • No alcohol or drug use,
  • Compliance to rules and respect to others in the recovery detox,
  • Frequent and consistent visits, daily or three times per week,
  • They live in a safe place during outpatient detox and the rehabilitation period,
  • Patient agrees if outpatient alcohol detoxification and rehab is unsuccessful they will enter an inpatient program.

However the detoxification and rehabilitation program is taken, there are other important factors to consider. The alcoholic must want to recover, to have a desire to stop drinking, and this is a program of recovery. It doesn’t just stop after an outpatient alcohol detox.