What Causes Alcoholism
The true cause of alcoholism is complex and includes a variety of factors. As you learned above, genetics, mental disorders, and environment all play a role in whether a person becomes an alcoholic, or not.
Although there is no known cure for alcoholism, it is a disease that with proper treatment and attention, it can be managed with success. Alcoholics cannot stop – willpower is not part of the equation for a true alcoholic. It is unrealistic to believe that a person can just stop the cycle of alcoholism with their mind – detoxing and eventually stopping the pattern of alcohol abuse requires medication and monitoring by doctors in a controlled medical environment, as severe seizures and risk of potential death can result should an alcoholic stop drinking abruptly. While The Bridges of San Diego does not currently offer detoxification services, we can certainly refer patients to a variety of licensed facilities in their general area.
Following the detoxification process, most alcoholics require inpatient care in a controlled facility for 1-3 months, then transition into our Intensive Outpatient Program where they can continue to hone the skills they have learned to manage the disease, including the various triggers that can spur a relapse.
A healthy diet, regular exercise and exposure to nature, creating distance from individuals and places that encourage or stimulate the urge to drink alcohol, getting adequate rest, and keeping track of ones moods are critical for recovering alcoholics. The most important virtue one must master in the fight against alcoholism is knowing when it is time to seek help from others.