For Users

What happens if I get a DUI?

If you are driving under the influence of alcohol and a police officer stops you, you will be arrested. Depending on the state you are in, you may be kept in jail or a police station if someone pays your bail and takes you home. Although, in other states, it is becoming mandatory to keep the person and have them serve a term, even if the person is a first-time offender. When arrested for the first time with a DUI, you might serve for one or two days. For repeat offenders and depending on other circumstances, the person will have to serve for a longer period than just a few days. 

Driving under the influence is no joke, it is extremely dangerous and can cause lives. For those arrested with a DUI, they can expect to receive a ticket or court summon that gives them the date of their hearing. There the person will receive the charge for their DUI. Some people may try to plead guilty or deny the charges, but the court has proof from the field sobriety test video taken by the officer’s dashboard camera or in jail. When convicted, the person will lose their driving privileges for an agreed-upon of time. The conviction will also require the person to pay a fine and will be required to complete an alcohol and drug education and assessment program to have their driving privilege back.

Additionally, people convicted of drunk driving may be required by some states to obtain an SR-22 insurance policy. This policy can turn out to be quite costly, with the possibility of doubling or tripling your current premium. However, a DUI and its consequences can be prevented by avoiding driving drunk. 

How do I know I have a problem with alcohol?

Similar to other addictive substances, many people who have an alcohol problem may not exactly be aware of it. Many people may use alcohol to relax or have a good time with friends, so it might be tricky to notice when someone takes too far. The DSM-5 is a diagnostic manual for mental disorders which is used to find out if someone has a disorder. The manual has updated its criteria for alcohol and if you display at least two of the 11 symptoms within a 12-month period, you may have a problem.

Symptoms of substance use disorder:

  • You consume more alcohol or other substances than you had originally planned
  • You may worry about stopping your consumption or try to control your substance use and fail the effort.
  • You may spend a lot of time and effort to use or obtain the substance.
  • When you use the substance, it can result in you failing at fulfilling important responsibilities or tasks at home, school, work, or other places. 
  • You crave the drug or alcohol. 
  • You continue the use of the substance even though it causes or worsens your health issues. Issues can include physical health or mental health. For example, an increase of depressed mood, anxiety, sleep issues or blacking out. 
  • You continue to use the substance although it has a negative effect on your relationship. This may include using while loved ones object to it and causing fights about it. 
  • You repeatedly use the substance even in dangerous situations like driving, operating heavy machinery, and other inappropriate situations. 
  • You give up or reduce activities in your personal life because of substance use. 
  • You build up a tolerance to the substance which required you to use more to get the same effect as before. 
  • After stopping use for a period of time, you experience withdrawal symptoms which may lead you to use again. Symptoms may include anxiety, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, irritability, hand tremor, or seizure with alcohol use. 

If you do show any of the symptoms for substance use disorder, you can seek out help and treatment as soon as possible. You do not have to continue to deal with this alone. Visit our Alcohol Addiction Treatment page or call us today at 504-384-7870.

Can I stop drinking alcohol “cold turkey?”

While some people can quit drinking “cold turkey,” others may not. If you have suffered from long-term addiction and health risks involving alcohol, you may need some professional assistance. This may require a medical checkup to see how your health is doing and what you need to do to get on the right track towards recovery.  After that, you can decide if getting addiction treatment will benefit you and find out which program is right for you. It is important to note that when you do stop drinking abruptly, you will start to quickly experience the withdrawal symptoms.

As early as six hours after your last drink, mild symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety 
  • Headaches 
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating and shaky hands

After about 12 to 24 hours severe symptoms may include:

  • Hallucination
  • Seizures

After 48 to 72 hours symptoms include (only about 5% of people experience these):

  • Delirium tremens
  • Vivid hallucinations and delusions
  • Confusion 
  • Racing heart
  • High blood pressure
  • Fever
  • Heavy sweating

How much does it cost to go to rehab?

The cost of rehab treatment can vary depending on various factors. Rehab facilities can offer many treatment program options. Depending on the severity of your addiction, you can choose 30-day for mild, 60-day for moderate, or 90-day for severe. Patients can decide whether they want to stay at an inpatient facility during their treatment or continue living at home and visit an outpatient center a few times a week. After you make these decisions you can get a better idea of how much rehab can cost. 

According to a survey by the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health you can expect to pay:

  • Outpatient: $3,000 – $10,000 for 90 days
  • Inpatient: $5,000 – $20,000 for 30 days
  • Luxury: $30,000 – $100,000 for 30 days 

Do not be discouraged to seek treatment. Along with many treatment options, many payment options also exist. Most facilities accept Medicare or Medicaid, which can provide you assistance with healthcare and help cover substance abuse treatment. Treatment facilities may also offer the option of payment assistance or services on a sliding fee scale. You can also take a look at your insurance website to find out what they offer. The cost of treatment should not stand in your way preventing you to get the help you need. Your recovery and life are worth it. 

What is the recovery rate for people with alcohol addiction?

In an AA membership survey, it was found that 22 percent of members continued their sobriety for 20 years or more. About 14 percent of members stayed sober for 10 to 20 years, with 13 percent staying sober for 5 to 10 years. Then, 24 percent continues sobriety for 1 to 4 years and 27 percent stayed sober for only the year after treatment. 

The number can give you an idea of a general recovery rate, although you should not let it define your own chance for recovery. Every person is unique and different, so statistics should not stop you from getting help. If you do your best and continue with your recovery journey, you can also be sober for more than 20 years. 

For Loved One

What are some signs that someone is an alcoholic?

Unlike drug abuse, someone who abuses alcohol may not show physical signs of use. People who drink excessively can sometimes hide their issues in a social setting or brush off the issue by saying it is only socially drinking. Although, there are symptoms that can confirm whether a loved one has an issue or not. A diagnostic manual for mental disorders, DSM-5, was updated to better diagnose alcoholism and other substance use disorders. 

Possible signs of an alcohol addiction:

  • Have you noticed the person drinking more than they said they would?
  • Have they said they will quit drinking but have continued to do so?
  • Have they spent a lot of time drinking or often being hungover and dealing with the aftereffects?
  • Have you noticed they have a strong urge or craving for alcohol?
  • Do the aftereffects of drinking often interfere with attending to their responsibilities at home or work?
  • Has drinking caused issues with the person’s close relationships but they continue to drink anyway?
  • Do they no longer participate in activities they used to like, to drink instead?
  • Has the person gotten into troublesome situations that can increase their chances of getting hurt or harming others? (Like drunk driving and other dangerous activities)
  • Have they continued drinking even after it has caused bad effects on their physical and mental health?
  • Does it seem like they developed a tolerance to the usual amount and have had to drink even more than before to get the same effect?
  • Do they experience withdrawal symptoms just shortly after they stop drinking or when it wears off?

How can I help someone with alcohol addiction?

If your loved one has two or more of the symptoms above, they may have an alcohol use disorder. There are many ways you can help to get them the right help they need to overcome this addiction. It is also important to bring up your concern as soon as possible so the problem does not worsen dangerously. One of the first things you can do is educate yourself more on alcoholism and treatment options for your loved one. 

How to help your loved one by getting support for yourself:

  • When you care for someone with an addiction, it can take a toll on you, so it important to also take care of yourself so you can continue helping your loved one as well. 
  • Prioritize your family’s health and safety. 
  • Get support from other family members and friends. You should not have to be alone in this. 
  • You can join a support group for family and friends of alcoholics, to discuss your struggles and learn to better deal with them.
  • Addiction can affect everyone around the addict, you can consider speaking with a counselor or therapist to help with your mental health and other issues. 

How to help your loved one:

  • Have a serious heart-to-heart conversation with the person about their drinking, when they are not under the influence. 
  • Share your concerns about their health and give examples of their behavior related to their drinking.
  • When you share your feelings make sure you are using “I” statements to focus on how their alcoholism affects you. 
  • Try to stay non-judgmental and supportive.
  • Do not guilt or use bribery to make the person quit drinking. 
  • You can offer to drive them to treatment or other appointments. 
  • Find new ways to have fun with that person that does not involve alcohol or other addictive substances. 
  • Just be there for your loved one and provide the love and support they need. 

How do I find the right treatment for someone who is addicted to alcohol?

Witnessing a loved one who is struggling with alcoholism cannot be easy, but many treatment options exist to help them out. You may be aware that there is no perfect treatment that can help every person, so it is important to learn about all the available options. Depending on the severity of the person’s addiction, you may choose 30-day for mild, 60-day for moderate, or 90-day treatment, for severe addiction. Then, you can decide whether it would be best to participate in treatment at an inpatient or outpatient center. You can find additional options below. 

Alcohol Addiction Medication

  • There is medication that exists to help treat alcohol addiction. This medication can help by offsetting changes in the person’s brain that are caused by alcoholism. 
  • You might be worried that the medication might also be addictive but the approved medication is non-addictive. It can be used on its own or along with other addiction treatments.

Behavioral Treatment

  • Alcohol counseling or behavioral treatment can help patients work on changing the behaviors that lead them to their addiction. 
  • In behavioral treatment, the patient can develop skills to quit or reduce drinking. 
  • It can help the patient build a stronger support system, as well as help them work on setting reachable goals. 
  • The patient can also learn to cope or avoid triggers and other things that can cause a relapse. 
  • A few types of behavioral treatments include cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivation enhancement therapy, marital and family counseling, and tried interventions. 

How do I distance myself from a person who is addicted to alcohol?

A person can only do so much to help an addict before it nearly destroys them. After you have done everything you can to help your loved one and they still refuse to get treatment, it might be time to put yourself first. Before you distance yourself from the addict, you can consider the additional ideas below and see if they might help. 

As a last resort, you can try to plan an intervention, if you have not already done so. This can let the person see the many faces that are being affected by their addiction. You can provide them treatment information and if you have tried everything else you can also tell them the consequences they can face. The consequences may include them losing visitation rights with their children, taking away a valuable object like a car, or asking them to leave the house if they live with you. Making your loved one aware of the consequences is not meant to be a punishment for them but it can let them realize what can happen if they do not get help. This can also make them think about whether alcohol is worth everything they will lose. 

If you try the intervention approach and nothing changes, then it may be time to distance yourself. You can carry out the consequences you provided because your well-being is also important. After this, maybe the alcoholic will be want to seek out treatment but make sure they are serious and you see a real change. 

Where can I get a free consultation and some advice on this situation?

For help with anything related to addiction and treatment, you can call us at 504-384-7870. We are here to listen to your situation without any judgment. Our goal is to help you get the information and assistance you or your loved one needs. For other options, you can also visit various support groups for family members of addicts. Help is waiting for you.