How to Assess Alcohol Addiction Recovery Needs

How to Assess Alcohol Addiction Recovery NeedsFor an alcoholic to continue drinking and not try to get help, he must become very good at ignoring and denying the problem of alcohol. When he decides to get help and start the process of recovery, he must do the opposite, and confront and assess his addiction.

Making a careful and honest assessment of the problem, with the help of a professional counselor, can guide an alcoholic toward a solid and long lasting recovery.

Planning an Individualized Alcohol Addiction Recovery

The importance of assessment may not be immediately obvious to someone who has not been through an addiction recovery before. A quick assessment of “I drink too much. I need to stop,” might seem like a complete picture. Even though that simple assessment may be perfectly true, it does little to suggest a plan for recovery. A detailed assessment, however, can do many things to help develop a recovery, including the following:

  • Breaking down the problem – Assessment shows what smaller problems are contributing to the large, and seemingly impossible, problem of alcoholism.
  • Prioritizing component problems – An understanding of the component problems contributing to the alcoholism, and their interaction, can show which areas need to be addressed first in order to move forward.
  • Identifying strengths – Even while in the grips of a terrible addiction, people possess assets and talents that they can use to recover. Assessment can bring these strengths to the forefront of the treatment plan.

This clearer understanding of the addiction helps the counselor or therapist direct the alcoholic’s work toward the problems that will bring the most improvement the most quickly.

Medical Assessment of Alcoholism

The body’s dependence on alcohol can vary widely among alcoholics. The process of detoxification can range from mildly uncomfortable to life-threateningly dangerous. Assessment of physical symptoms can give an indication of the level of medical supervision that will be needed as the alcoholic makes the transition to alcohol-free functioning.

Psychological Assessment of Alcohol Addiction

Physical dependence disappears in a matter of days, but the psychological effects of alcoholism can last much longer, triggering relapse in alcoholics who have been sober for years. Assessing this aspect of alcoholism brings the alcoholic and the therapist to some of the roots of the problem, which may include:

  • Habits and rituals that surround the drinking
  • Stressors and triggers associated with alcohol use
  • Any mental disorders that alcohol may have been used to help medicate
  • Approaches for coping with stress, aside from alcohol, that may be working or not working

Learning about the psychological issues at the root of the addiction can help the alcoholic choose the best methods of therapy to address his particular needs.

Alcoholism Can Affect All Aspects of Life

Alcoholism is a problem that affects every aspect of someone’s life. As a result, a plan for treating it should consider all areas of life and involve the whole person in the treatment.

Assessment considers this complete picture of the person with an alcohol problem. Areas of interest include:

  • Educational attainment or deficiencies
  • Legal problems
  • Family problems
  • Employment situation and aspirations

Paying attention to and supporting these important aspects of an alcoholic’s life can make the difference between recovery and relapse.

Take the First Step Toward Recovery from Alcohol Addiction

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, call our toll-free helpline to learn more about assessment and treatment that can help you overcome addiction. Admissions counselors are available 24 hours a day.

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