Alcoholism is a chronic mental illness that requires treatment in order for someone to get better. Left untreated, symptoms can become dangerous and even life threatening. What do you do when you cannot find the time to meet in-person? Thankfully, online AA meetings are available. You will be able to get help for your alcohol abuse remotely.
What is Alcoholism?
When alcohol enters the body, it disrupts the chemical processes in your brain. Among a host of other effects, alcohol interferes with your brain’s reward system. It causes dopamine levels to rise and for your brain to register the consumption as a positive thing. This makes your brain crave more and more of the alcohol, leading to impulsivity and intense cravings.
Alcoholism is diagnosed based on a few criteria, which are outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders. This is commonly referred to as DSM-5. Individuals must meet two of these criteria in the same twelve-month period in order to be diagnosed with alcoholism. These include drinking more alcohol than intended, being unable to stop drinking, cravings, drinking alcohol in dangerous situations, and developing a tolerance.
Alcoholism can happen to anyone, but there are factors that could heighten someone’s risk of developing the disorder. These include the environment, medical history, and genetics. There is a strong hereditary component associated with alcoholism. It is believed that up to sixty-percent of someone’s risk could be attributed to their genes. Alcoholism can lead to both long term and short term effects. High blood pressure, stroke, liver disease, brain damage, and even death can result in untreated alcoholism.
Symptoms of Alcoholism
Those who are suffering from alcoholism may be difficult to spot. This is sometimes referred to as a functioning alcoholic. A functioning alcoholic does not display noticeable outward symptoms early on, which makes them tend to fly under the radar. However, their mind and body is still being affected. Eventually, their symptoms will become more noticeable as their disorder progresses.
Someone suffering from alcoholism may display sudden changes in mood or behavior. They may seem more irritable or have bouts of anger. Their relationships may begin to falter, both personal and professional. They may have told you that they have been fired from their job or are unable to meet work demands. Their obligations will start to fall through the cracks and they may not speak to you as much. It is important that during this time you keep a positive mindset and encourage your loved one versus passing judgment onto them.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse or alcoholism, it is important to remain supportive and positive. This will help guide them towards proper resources and treatment. While someone should always be held accountable for their actions, do not shame your loved one. Stop enabling behavior and present your loved one with the facts. Set guidelines on what you will tolerate and any consequences that could ensue. Iterate again and again that you care deeply for your loved one and only wish for them to succeed.
What is Alcoholics Anonymous?
Alcoholics Anonymous is considered to be an international group of men and women. These men and women have had or have a drinking problem. Alcoholics Anonymous prides themselves on being open to anyone and everyone who wants help with their drinking problem. Members of the group share their experiences and are able to connect with each other. The program that is used alongside Alcoholics Anonymous is called the 12-step program. It helps those suffering from a way to create a life without alcohol.
What are Online Meetings?
Online Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are surprisingly not new. As the digital age began to develop, AA saw the need for people to use their services from anywhere. Online meetings are typically held one hundred percent remotely and can be joined from anywhere. People have kids, jobs, and sometimes just would not be able to fit driving to and from a meeting into their hectic schedule. So, online meetings are a great alternative.
AA has developed free online chat rooms. Sometimes going to a meeting full of people you may not know can be intimidating, so the chat rooms are a good test run to see how the meetings are run. Of course, you get to remain anonymous due to choosing your own chat handle. The websites will provide a schedule of when these meetings will be available.
Benefits of Online Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings
The benefits of online AA meetings are clear. You will not need to leave your home or wherever you are located to receive the support you need to continue on your road to recovery. There are multiple reasons why someone may not be able to attend an in-person meeting. In-person meetings require someone to put aside time to be able to drive to the meeting, sit during the duration of the meeting, and drive back home from the meeting. This can take hours out of a person’s day. They may also not be available when the AA meeting is taking place. An online AA meeting lets you know what slots are available for you to sign up for and allows you to be present online.
Where to Find Online Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings
Finding online AA meetings is not as simple as it sounds. Often, it depends on where you are located which AA online meetings will be available to you. Online directories can help you navigate which online meetings you would like to attend, as some are Skype oriented and some are chat-based.
Detox to Rehab provides those seeking help with alcohol abuse a multitude of resources and information. They believe that recovery is right around the corner. Their team of professionals will help match you to the services that best fit your needs. Call today to learn more about how they can help you turn your life around.