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Signs you need to go to rehab before attending AA

Joining AA is not a bad thing, but watch out for signs that meetings alone can’t keep you sober and rehab would.

Your body tells you something else when you’re not drinking

If you’re a chronic drunk and can't go a day without a drink, or you always end up drinking after staying sober for a week or so, you may want to go to an addiction treatment center that offers detox. You can’t just quit cold turkey because it would increase the chance of a bad withdrawal experience.

While alcohol withdrawal is in the most part, not life-threatening, it can be if you have been drinking for a long time. Up to 5% of alcoholics have died from delirium tremors, a condition characterized by a fast heartbeat, fever and confusion which can happen in as few as two hours after the last drink.

Withdrawal can be a tough time but you will come through it with the right treatment program in a rehab. It will be easier to go through the typical sleepless nights, depression, headaches and nausea during the withdrawal phase if you have a team of addiction specialists behind you.

While some problem drinkers gradually reduce their drinking to none, tapering off never works for an alcoholic. It may sound inviting but it’s simply impossible for an alcoholic to do so. Once they take that first drink they usually continue till they’re drunk. Such loss of control over alcohol is the very thing that defines alcoholics. So, it’s either AA or rehab, but in both cases, complete abstinence is advised.

Your addiction is just a symptom of a deeper problem

Have you been in a self-destruct mode over and over because you feel so guilty over your drinking but you cannot stop? Alcoholics know they are alcoholics, and a lot of them try to stop but they cannot. They always go back to it, because they unknowingly need to deal with a deeper problem which AA meetings alone typically won’t help.

AA motivates people to stay sober. But when you need more than motivation to stop, that’s when an individualized addiction treatment program in a rehab comes in. AA doesn't address the real issues that have been causing you to drink though the fourth step encourages soul searching.

Someone with alcohol dependence needs the guidance of sober doctors or counselors to uncover the underlying issues of alcoholism. For example, a lot of alcoholics have self-worth issues.

When something good happens in their lives they tend to sabotage it because they feel they don’t deserve it. So, they end up drinking to punish themselves and when they want to stop to save what they are about to lose, they drink even more. Others have security issues that’s why they want something they can control, like drinking. But in the long run, alcohol controls them that they end up losing the very thing they want-the ability to control.

There is no "magic format" to cure alcoholism. What works for others may not work for you. AA has helped a lot of alcoholics in formulating a more productive lifestyle for a lifetime of sobriety while others need a suitable program of recovery in rehabs to overcome alcoholism for good.