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How to Get Help For Drinking Problems – A Guide

Written by Seth Fletcher on February 2, 2015
Last update: February 28, 2024
Attempting to overcome alcohol abuse without help can be likened to rappeling down without a harness – not holding onto the rope and not falling are nearly impossible. If you don’t want to fall, knowing how to get help for drinking problems is an essential and powerful part of making the decision to start recovery.

Do You Need Help for Drinking Problems?

If you are concerned about the amount you are drinking, there is a high possibility that you are drinking too much.The same is true if you have noticed that your health, wellbeing and relationships have changed negatively as your drinking has increased.Here's a quick and easy test. Go through these questions and see what your answers are. Do you:
  • Drink every day or 4 or more times a week?
  • Hide from others how much you drink?
  • Have difficulty remembering things that have happened while you were drinking?
  • Drink to feel better or happier?
  • Drink to feel normal or to fit in?
  • See changes in your appearance, particularly in your skin?
  • Have trembling hands the morning after drinking?
  • Feeling sick and anxious when you stop drinking?
  • Need a drink to start your day?
If you answered yes to more than 5 of the questions above, it's time you consider serious help.

Where to Get Help for Drinking Problems?

There are different services to suit different needs. Many people just need someone they can open up to, while others may need much deeper intervention. Similarly, groups work for some, whereas others need one-on-one contact to feel safe and supported. Or some of you just go out there and start looking for answers on how to stop drinking once and for all.The help you require will depend on the severity of your drinking, how long you have been drinking and your personal circumstances.Your options include:help for drinking problems
  • Going to your family doctor and having a talk, see what they say.
  • Online support like forums and groups that cater to individuals who think they need help
  • Individual counselling with a therapist or counsellor
  • Group therapy / support sessions (like the group settings of AA aka Alcoholics Anonymous)
  • Inpatient Treatment / rehab centres
I can't stress enough that the above options strictly depend on various factors. If you have tried quitting and are unable to quit, or you feel like you're chained to alcohol - treatment in rehab centres will do the best for you.

There's That, And Then There's An Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehabs work very well and have super high success rates of recovery because they're intensive. Round-the-clock care. You see, recovery is a process and it never stops. The other options like attending groups etc require you to take action daily (or weekly, depending on their routines and meeting times)They require you to get out of your home, and transport yourself to a location of the group or therapist, etc. If your alcoholism is severe, how many times do you think you can do it? It gets tough having to stick to that commitment.But inpatient rehabs require you to bring clothes and toiletries and you literally live there for a period of time. Most rehabs do 30 days. And depending on how good their team and treatment approach is ... it could be enough for you to get back to normal. Ever heard of the saying "To form habits, you need to do it for 30 days straight"? Right there is one huge benefit for admitting into a rehab.Sometimes people throw in 45 days instead of 30 for good measure. Oh, and rehabs provide you with things like lifetime of aftercare. It's like having a tool belt for what you will do and how you'll stay sober once you're back home.That's typically the best option to take where you're no longer chained to alcohol. Because you'll immediately feel the relief and happiness. There's way too many benefits an inpatient treatment program offers than can be listed here.

How to Get Started With Help For My Drinking Problem?

In severe cases, where medical assistance is required immediately, the first step to getting help is accepting that you have a problem. By the way, rehabs like ours usually do in-house detoxification where you're monitored and helped for safety. Alcohol withdrawal can sometimes be bad.You can talk to someone you trust and ask them to support you in the process of getting help. They can accompany you to the doctor or even sit with you while you phone a help line or a rehab. They will assess your situation and provide you with details on the available services in your area. These services can be government operated (like the Ontario government funded programs) or private and fee-based, like ours where the treatment plans are customized for you.The main aim of any help line is to provide you with information and put you in touch with the right help for you. Pretty much something like what you've read here so far. Even if you are not ready to stop drinking yet, help line staff members are there for you, even for actually supporting you. You can ask questions or just chat with them when things seem too much to handle.

Hard Decision But Worth It

While getting some help for drinking problems may be one of the hardest decisions you will ever make, it is also one of the most positive ones!
Certified Addiction Counsellor

Seth brings many years of professional experience working the front lines of addiction in both the government and privatized sectors.

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