The idea of checking into a St. Louis alcohol treatment center might seem daunting. Even if you want to do it, you might not know where to turn. Besides, you’re not really at that point yet, right? The truth is, there are a lot of options for alcohol treatment in Missouri, and if you are even a little worried about your alcohol consumption, a St. Louis alcohol treatment center might have good treatment options for you. It’s important to realize that alcohol treatment exists on a wide spectrum — those 28-day inpatient programs you might automatically picture are just one method.
Before we get into any specifics, though, we need to make some disclaimers. First of all, please don’t make any important medical decisions based solely on one blog post. Reach out to your doctor if you have any concerns at all about your alcohol use. You can also contact us here if you think you might be a good fit for our programs. Just know that you’re not alone and that there are plenty of resources available to you to find the right alcohol treatment in Missouri.
But if you’re just looking for some general information on if you might be a good candidate for a St. Louis alcohol treatment center, read on for some general guidelines.
Signs to Watch For
These are all according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
- Drinking more or longer than you had intended to
- Trying or wanting to cut down on your drinking multiple times but not being able to follow through
- Spending an outsized amount of time on drinking or being sick from drinking
- Experiencing strong urges to drink
- Not being able to take care of your responsibilities (family, work, school, etc.) due to drinking and its aftereffects
- Knowing your drinking causes issues with your friends or family and continuing to drink anyway
- Prioritizing drinking over activities that were important, interesting, or fun to you
- Being in risky or dangerous situations during or after drinking on multiple occasions
- Knowing that drinking was negatively impacting your physical or mental health and continuing to drink anyway
- Having a memory blackout
- Having to drink significantly more than you used to to get the same effect
- Finding that how much you usually drink does not affect you nearly as much as it used to
- Having withdrawal symptoms when the effects of alcohol were wearing off. These symptoms include mental effects like anxiety, depression, irritability, and sensing things that were not there. They also include physical symptoms like trouble sleeping, shakiness, restlessness, nausea, and sweating.
If you have experienced any of these within the last year, it might be worth reaching out to a St. Louis alcohol treatment center. If you have experienced several or even many of these symptoms, it’s even more imperative that you seek alcohol treatment in Missouri.
About Alcohol Use Disorder
The symptoms we’ve listed above are symptoms of an alcohol use disorder. This is a brain disorder, and it’s characterized by “an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences.”
Problems with alcohol use can include drinking too much, too fast, or too often. If any of these characteristics feel like they describe you, know that you’re not alone — approximately 17 million adults have an alcohol use disorder, and it’s one of the most significant public health issues in the country.
Like many conditions, alcohol use disorder can be diagnosed on a spectrum. Depending on how many symptoms you display, your alcohol use disorder might be determined mild, moderate, or severe. Don’t mistake a mild alcohol use disorder for one that doesn’t require treatment, though — all levels of the disorder can cause problems, and all of them can be addressed through alcohol treatment in Missouri.
Alcohol use disorder can change your brain. If that sounds scary, also know that the right St. Louis alcohol treatment center can help heal your brain with the skills and support you need to help you get better.
Special Considerations for Different Groups
Alcohol can affect different groups of people in different ways. If you fit into one of the following groups, you might need to seek specialized alcohol treatment in Missouri.
Obviously, when you’re pregnant, what might be considered normal drinking otherwise is a complete no-go. Drinking during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol syndrome, which is a life-long condition. At birth, symptoms can include low birth weight and having issues with eating, sleeping, seeing, and hearing. As children with fetal alcohol syndrome grow up, they can also have trouble learning, following directions, and getting along with their peers. They might need medical care for their whole lives.
The best thing is to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome from developing in the first place. To do that, you might need the help of a St. Louis alcohol treatment center that specializes in working with pregnant people. You have plenty of options for alcohol treatment in Missouri, and finding one that caters to your exact needs can produce great results.
To detox while pregnant, it’s often best to be in an inpatient program so you can be monitored by doctors. Medical professionals who specialize in alcohol treatment for pregnant people can provide the highest level of care. Not all centers for alcohol treatment in Missouri are equipped to treat pregnant people, but with some searching, you should be able to find the resources you need. As always, talking to your primary doctor about your concerns and needs is a great first step.
Students headed off to college for the first time are at particular risk of developing an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. College students binge drink and engage in heavy alcohol use at higher rates than their peers who are not full-time college students. With the sudden increase in unstructured time, often uneven enforcement of underage drinking laws, and high expectations from their peers, many students engage in unhealthy alcohol consumption, especially in the first few weeks of their college careers.
Those first week activities can turn into long-standing habits. It can be hard to get alcohol treatment in Missouri at any age, but trying to seek treatment while in college has its own set of concerns. Just juggling your classes is hard enough. Fortunately, you might not need an inpatient stay at a St. Louis alcohol treatment center to get you on track. Your primary doctor or regular mental health practitioner is a great place to start. They can recommend resources and treatment options that are specific to your needs.
The NIAAA also has resources specifically for younger people who need help with an alcohol use disorder, which you can find here.
As we get older, our tolerance for alcohol can decrease. Certain conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure are also a lot more common among older adults. Such conditions are worsened by heavy drinking, and drinking can interact negatively with medication older adults might be on, as well.
The general guidelines for adults over 65 are no more than three drinks in a day or seven drinks in a week, according to the NIAAA. Of course, some people might need to drink less than that or not at all, depending on their circumstances.
As such, it’s important to be especially aware of how unhealthy relationships with alcohol can present themselves in older people. You can definitely find alcohol treatment in Missouri catered toward older adults, and if you’re looking for a St. Louis alcohol treatment center, make sure to ask if they’re well versed in treating older patients. There are definitely plenty of options out there, no matter what your age is. It’s never too late to get help.
Other Aspects to Consider When Looking for a St. Louis Alcohol Treatment Center
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to alcohol treatment in Missouri or anywhere else. It’s all about tailoring the treatment to your exact needs. With that in mind, we’ve compiled some things to bring up to your doctor if you’re looking for a St. Louis alcohol treatment center. These considerations can help match you with a center that will meet all of your specific needs. Do keep in mind, though, that the best way to do that is to get evaluated by a medical professional who specializes in alcohol treatment. This is just a list to help you get started and get thinking about it.
Where you live and how stable that living situation is will have a lot to do with what kind of treatment will produce the best results. This consideration also includes how much social support you have — do your friends and family support you in your efforts to seek alcohol treatment in Missouri, or are they more resistant to it? Can you count on them to help you in your recovery in appropriate ways?
Here, you should also note your access to transportation. If you can’t get around very easily, an outpatient St. Louis alcohol treatment center might not be the right choice for you. Take all of these things into account, and mention any concerns you have on any of these fronts to your doctor.
Some people have to undergo alcohol treatment multiple times before it really sticks. Everybody’s path is different, and that’s okay. If you’ve sought alcohol treatment in Missouri or elsewhere before, definitely disclose that information to your doctor. Make sure they know what kind of treatment it was and how it went. This isn’t to judge you for needing further treatment, it’s just to help guide them in what kind of treatment to recommend for you this time around.
Often, an alcohol use disorder isn’t the only condition a patient might need help with. There might be other mental health issues going on, like depression. You might also be dealing with other health issues that require medical care, like diabetes. All of your health concerns should be taken into account when you’re trying to decide on a St. Louis alcohol treatment center.
It’s also important to disclose what other kinds of drugs you use, if any. Any issues you have with using other substances will be very important in designing your treatment. A St. Louis alcohol treatment center that doesn’t specialize in treating other types of substance use disorders might not be the best choice for you if you have problems with more than just alcohol.
You might be a little hesitant to open up, but try not to be afraid. Your doctor should be understanding of whatever you tell them, and they should want a complete picture of your health before recommending any kind of alcohol treatment in Missouri.
Find a St. Louis Alcohol Treatment Center
You’re not alone in dealing with this. A St. Louis alcohol treatment center can be the perfect partner to help you get healthy.
If you’re at all concerned about your alcohol consumption, a great place to start is speaking with your general practitioner. After looking through the alcohol use disorder symptoms we’ve listed above, make note of any that ring true, and bring them up with your doctor. They’ll be a great first resource.
Also be sure to bring up any other relevant information to your doctor before they recommend any kind of alcohol treatment in Missouri. Aspects of your life like how much social support you have, your living situation, and whether you’ve sought treatment before should all be made known to your doctor. They should also get a full medical history for you, including what other types of substances you use, if any. Then, they should be able to make some good recommendations.
It’s great to start with some recommendations from your doctor, but you can also start doing some research into a St. Louis alcohol treatment center. Make sure to specify any particular needs you might have, like if you’re pregnant.
With all of these criteria and considerations in mind, you’re sure to find a good option for alcohol treatment in Missouri.