CAN I GET FIRED FOR MY DRINKING PROBLEM?
No, you can not get fired from work for your drinking problems. Although, these problems can affect your work in many ways. By law, an employer cannot decide to fire someone based solely on a person’s drinking habits. Drinking is part of each person’s personal business, and as long it does not interfere with their work duties then it should not be a problem.
However, if you have an alcohol dependency problem and it does interfere with work, then there can be consequences. Some people with addiction may not be able to function without a drink for a certain amount of time. This can make their work productivity suffer. Alcohol issues may also affect their personality, attitude, mood, and other things that in turn also impact others around them. If your drinking problem leads to bad situations at work, then you may be disciplined, which can lead to a suspension or getting fired.
HOW MANY DRINKS A DAY IS TOO MANY?
Based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it is recommended, for those who wish to, to stick with one drink per day for women and two drinks for men. If you decide to drink, it is important to remember that the key to staying healthy is moderation. Binge drinking starts when you drink an excessive amount of alcohol, usually four drinks or more for women or five drinks or more for men a day. When a woman drinks more than eight drinks per week or a man drinks more than 15 drinks, it is considered heavy drinking. Drinking any amount of alcohol is not recommended for pregnant women or for those who do not want to drink. Be aware of how much you drink, whether it is a recommended or excess amount, and do your best to follow the guidelines.
AM I AN ALCOHOLIC IF I JUST BINGE DRINK?
Drinking guidelines define binge drinking as drinking more than the recommended amount. This ends up being more than four drinks for women and more than five drinks for men within two hours. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism also considers the percentage of a person’s blood alcohol concentration to know whether it is binge drinking or not. If it reaches 0.08 percent or higher, it is binge drinking.
Binge drinking can lead to alcohol dependency and can increase a person’s health risks. Some people choose to binge drink occasionally, while others do it every day and that can be an issue. If you notice that you can no longer stop yourself from drinking and it is becoming a problem, then you should speak to someone about it. You might be able to receive help before it turns into alcohol addiction.
CAN YOU HAVE FUN AND ENJOY LIFE WITHOUT ALCOHOL?
Yes, of course, you can have fun without drinking alcohol! Many people may find it freeing to have a clear mind when doing fun things sober. When you stop drinking you can benefit from eliminating numerous health risks that come with drinking. People can also enjoy the experiences even more, along with other advantages.
BENEFITS OF NOT DRINKING:
– Improved Skin
- When you quit drinking, you may notice your skin looking better than when you were drinking.
- Drinking heavily can lead to inflammatory skin disease psoriasis and other skin issues.
- Alcohol can dehydrate your skin, and when you stop consuming it you will notice a restoration of elasticity.
- You will also notice the gradual disappearance of redness and yellowing of the skin as well as the around your eyes.
– Better Sleep
- Not drinking alcohol can help improve your sleep. Alcohol can make you sleep poorly because it has an impact on your sleep-wake cycle. When you drink, it can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Alcohol can restrict your throat muscles, which can cause you to snore or have sleep apnea.
- When you quit drinking alcohol, your sleep might not immediately improve but the longer you stay sober the better your sleep quality will get.
- Improved Weight
- Often when a person drinks an excessive amount of alcohol, on top of their recommended calorie intake, they can gain weight.
- Alcohol is considered an empty calorie beverage, because it has no nutrients that benefit your body and is filled with carbohydrates.
- When you stop drinking alcohol, you might notice the gradual weight loss, since you will be consuming fewer calories than your body was used to.
- Improved Immunity
- Quitting alcohol can result in fewer colds, flu, and other illnesses. Drinking can make it harder to ward off illnesses. When you no longer consume it, you can feel the difference in your body.
- Enhanced Nutrition
- As mentioned before, alcohol comes with empty calories, so it depletes your body of essential nutrients.
- Some people with alcohol addiction may drink their calories in alcohol instead of eating a real meal. This results in not giving your body enough protein, carbs, fat, vitamins, and minerals.
- After you quit drinking you can focus on eating enough and allowing your body to get healthy again.
- Reduced Cardiovascular Risk
- Quitting alcohol can help keep your heart safe, along with improving your overall health.
- Heavy alcohol drinking can damage the heart, leading to a stroke, high blood pressure, and other risks.
- The chances of an alcohol drinker having a cardiovascular event are much higher than for a non-drinker.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GO TO REHAB?
No matter what your financial situation looks like, money should not be an obstacle between you and your addiction recovery. Rehab facilities offer a variety of payment options with their treatment services. If you cannot pay out of pocket, you may be eligible to receive Medicaid or Medicare, as well as other insurance coverage. Depending on the addiction severity, patients can choose 30-day for mild, 60-day for moderate, and 90-day for severe addiction. Along with the length of the treatment, the patient can choose between inpatient or outpatient programs. Inpatient may be a good fit for all severities but someone with a severe addiction can find it extremely beneficial. Outpatient is not recommended for severe addicts because it is too intense, but it can be good for mild and moderate addictions.
After deciding on the right treatment program for you, you can consider the payment options. Most facilities accept Medicaid and Medicare, as well as payment assistance and services on a sliding fee scale. If you have a current insurance policy, you can also check with them to see how much is covered for treatment. Additionally, A Better Today Recovery Services offers treatment financing options to make addiction treatment accessible to those who need it. This option can help those who have a high insurance deductible or who need help for other reasons.
For A Loved One
CAN AN ALCOHOLIC QUIT ON THEIR OWN?
For some people, it can be possible to quit drinking alcohol alone, perhaps if they have a mild addiction, but others may not be able to quit on their own. Repeated drug or alcohol use affects the brain, like the part that gives people self-control, making it difficult for people to control themselves from not using the substance. Long-term drinkers with moderate to severe addictions may require a medical examination to see the damage caused by alcohol abuse.
In a treatment program, patients can benefit from addiction assistance through the recovery process. They will receive help to get through the alcohol withdrawal and recovery process and learn how to better control themselves from seeking alcohol. During detox, patients may have various withdrawal symptoms which can be monitored in treatment. Depending on what each person needs, they may receive medicine to ease the symptoms, or social support.
Withdrawal symptoms may vary with each person. Some may experience anxiety, headaches, insomnia, sweating, nausea, and vomiting. In extreme cases, about 5 percent of people may experience delirium tremens, vivid hallucinations, and delusions, along with confusion, racing heart, high blood pressure, fever, and heavy sweating.
CAN A PERSON REALLY DIE FROM ALCOHOL DETOX?
Like with most things, each individual will deal with their addiction and withdrawal process differently. A person might have mild withdrawal while others may have a severe or life-threatening process. People may experience a variety of symptoms ranging from mild to severe. The severity of the detox might depend on how severe the person’s addiction is and how heavily they have drunk alcohol for a long period.
MILD SYMPTOMS AS EARLY AS SIX HOURS AFTER LAST DRINK:
- Shaky hands
SEVERE SYMPTOMS AFTER 12 TO 24 HOURS MAY INCLUDE:
RARE, SEVERE SYMPTOMS AFTER 48 TO 72 HOURS INCLUDE:
- Delirium tremens
- Vivid hallucinations and delusions
- Status epilepticus
- Confusion or disorientation
- Rapid heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Heavy sweating
If not treated, severe withdrawal symptoms can lead to death in rare cases. It can also depend on the person whether the symptoms affect them more or less. Older people with long-term heavy alcohol use, history of seizures or delirium tremens, and other illnesses may be at higher risk to develop delirium tremens during detox. Detox deaths can be prevented. If you notice your loved one experiencing these symptoms, you can get them the help they need.
CAN YOU FORCE AN ALCOHOLIC TO QUIT?
You cannot necessarily force an alcoholic to quit, but you can help lead them in the right direction to seek treatment. Sometimes, an addict may not know they have an issue until someone brings it up. Other times, they may know but feel scared or ashamed to ask for help. You can have a conversation with your loved one to let them know how their addiction is affecting others around them and themselves. It is important not to threaten or try to force the person to do something they don’t want or are not ready to do. If you push them too far, it might force the addict to pull away and they might not be willing to listen.
Before you talk to your loved one, you can do some research on addiction and treatment that can be a good fit for the person. This can help the addict know what to expect and take some stress away from decision making. The way you go about helping the person can help strengthen your relationship. For the addict, it can be significant to know they have a support system ready to be there for them during the whole recovery process and after.
HOW CAN I HOW CAN I HELP SOMEONE WITH ALCOHOLISM?
The DSM-5 is a diagnostic manual for mental disorders that can help determine whether someone has a substance use disorder or not. If you take a look at the 11 symptoms and notice your loved one has displayed two or more of them within 12 months, then they do have an alcohol problem. On top of helping your loved one find treatment, it can be extremely beneficial for you to also get the support you need.
HOW TO HELP YOUR LOVED ONE BY HELPING YOURSELF:
- Caring for a loved one with addiction can take a toll on you. To be able to help them better, you need to take care of yourself.
- You need to prioritize your family’s health and safety. Do not let the addiction interfere with that.
- When you need support, ask for help from others. You can join a support group for family and friends of addicts to be able to have a safe place to discuss your struggles.
- You can consider speaking with an addiction-specialized therapist to work on your mental health along with other possible issues.
HOW TO HELP YOUR LOVED ONE:
- To help your loved one know how their addiction affects you and others, you can have a heart-to-heart conversation with them.
- You can share your concerns about their health and give specific examples of their behaviors surrounding alcohol.
- Use “I” statements when sharing your feelings and focus on how the person’s alcohol abuse has affected you.
- Stay non-judgmental and supportive to not push the person away.
- Find fun things to do with your loved one that don’t involve alcohol or any triggers.
HOW DO I FIND THE RIGHT TREATMENT FOR SOMEONE WHO IS AN ALCOHOLIC?
Suffering from substance addiction is not only difficult for the addict but also for their loved ones. It can be hard to witness a person you love and care about be affected so greatly by an addiction. However, there are many things you can do to help them. One of the most important things you can do is be supportive and there for the person. Helping them find the right treatment can also be life-changing for them. You can educate yourself on the treatment options to better find the right one for your loved one.
First, you can choose the treatment length depending on the severity of the person’s addiction. Typically, 30-day programs are best for mild addiction, 60-day for moderate, and 90-day for severe. Then, you can choose between an inpatient or outpatient facility. In inpatient, patients live at the center where they get treated. This can be especially helpful during the detox process to have 24-hour medical assistance. In outpatient, the patient can continue living at home while attending treatment at the facility a few times a week. Outpatient is not recommended for severe cases since it can be too intensive, therefore inpatient might work better for severe addicts.
ADDITIONAL TREATMENT OPTIONS:
- A medication exists that can help treat alcohol addiction. It works by offsetting changes in the addict’s brain that were caused by alcohol. This can make it possible to quit and overcome the addiction a little easier.
- The medication is approved and proven to not be addictive. So the person taking them does not need to worry about becoming dependent on it.
- Medication can help all severe levels of addiction alongside an addiction treatment program.
- During behavioral treatment, patients receive help to change the behavior that often leads them to seek out alcohol.
- The patient can develop skills to quit or reduce drinking and learn to cope with anything that can cause a relapse.
- The treatment can help the patient work on building a stronger support system.
- They can set reachable goals and work towards them.
- Behavioral treatments can include cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivation enhancement therapy, marital and family counseling, and brief intervention.
All the treatment options have the possibilities of a successful recovery; the person needs to be fully committed to the program. Addiction recovery is a long journey, but it is worth it when addiction is no longer in the way of you living your life.
For more information on addiction, treatment, or anything in between, please call us at 405-583-4390. You can also take a look at our Treatment Programs page. You are not alone.