For Users

What happens if I get a DUI?

Driving under the influence of alcohol is not only an endangerment to yourself but other innocent people as well. If a police officer pulls you over and you fail the field sobriety test, then you will be arrested. The consequences of the arrest can vary in each state. In some states, you might be kept in jail or a police station for a couple of hours or until your bail is paid. Other states might mandate that you serve a term even if you are a first-time offender. For those arrested for the first time with a DUI, they may serve one or two days. Repeat offenders may have to serve a longer term for more than a few days, depending on their circumstances.

People arrested for a DUI can expect to get a ticket or court summon for their hearing date. During the hearing, the offender will receive their charge and accept their crime. If the person wants to deny the charge or plead guilty, at this time, the court can show the person’s field sobriety test video that can be used as proof to their charges. After their conviction, the person will lose the privilege to drive for a time period the court decides on. The person will be required to pay a fine, along with the completion of an alcohol and drug education and assessment program. After the person completes these requirements, they can then get their driving privilege back.

In some states, a person’s conviction with a DUI will also be required to obtain an SR-22 insurance policy before they can drive. The new insurance policy may increase your premium by double or triple the amount you currently pay. Drunk driving can come with many life-altering consequences; you can prevent this by not drinking and driving,

How do I know I have a problem with alcohol?

Alcohol and other drugs can affect the users in various ways sometimes making them not know or notice they have a problem. For some alcohol can be an occasional drink but others might depend on it to function like normal. A diagnostic manual for mental disorders called DSM-5 was updated to include criteria for alcoholism. It can help people find out if they, or someone they know, have an issue with drinking. The criteria include 11 symptoms and if you have two or more of them within a period of 12 months, then you might have an alcohol problem.

11 symptoms of substance use disorder:

  • The person consumes more alcohol or other substances than they had originally planned.
  • They worry about stopping their consumption or do try to control their substance use and fail the effort.
  • They may spend a lot of time and effort to use or obtain the substance.
  • When they use the substance, it can result in them failing at fulfilling important responsibilities or tasks at home, school, work, or other places.
  • The person craves the drug or alcohol.
  • They continue the use of the substance even though it causes or worsens health issues. Issues can affect their physical health or mental health. For example, an increase of depressed mood, anxiety, sleep issues or blacking out.
  • They continue to use the substance although it has a negative effect on their relationships. This may include using while loved ones object to it and causing fights about it.
  • They repeatedly use the substance even in dangerous situations like driving, operating heavy machinery, and other inappropriate situations.
  • They give up or reduce activities in their personal life because of substance use.
  • They build up a tolerance to the substance which requires them to use more to get the same effect as before.
  • After stopping use for a short period of time, they experience withdrawal symptoms which may lead them to use again. Symptoms may include anxiety, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, irritability, hand tremor, or seizure with alcohol use.

If you realize many of these symptoms describe your situation, it is not too late to seek out help and quit alcohol. If your alcoholism is severe, you can participate in addiction treatment to help you get on the right path to recovery.

Can I stop drinking alcohol “cold turkey?”

Quitting cold turkey can work well for some people, but may the work for everyone. Long-term alcohol drinkers may find it difficult to stay away from alcohol on their own. Alcohol can cause many health risks, which can also play a role in the person quitting. If you want to quit without seeking treatment, you should get a health checkup from your doctor to make sure your health is alright and conditions do not worsen. You can also get advice from a recovery expert or figure out if a treatment program is right for you. Before you quit cold turkey, it is important to know the withdrawal symptoms you will start to experience.

Mild symptoms after 6 hours of your last drink include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating and shaky hands

Severe symptoms after 12 to 24 hours include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

Rare symptoms that 5% of people experience include:

  • Vivid hallucinations and delusions
  • Delirium tremens
  • High blood pressure
  • Confusion
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Heavy sweating

How much does it cost to go to rehab?

As mentioned above, when you quit drinking you can experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms that can range from mild to severe. A person who has drunk heavily for many years might experience harsher symptoms than a person who drank for a shorter period. The effects from the withdrawal can have a lot to do with the brain, since alcohol has a great effect on its functions. Some of the severe symptoms include tremors, hallucinations, seizures, and Delirium tremens. Even though you may not have a way around the withdrawal symptoms, it is still worth going through them to recover or prevent alcoholism.

Addiction treatment estimation:

  • Outpatient: $3,000 – $10,000 for 90 days
  • Inpatient: $5,000 – $20,000 for 30 days
  • Luxury: $30,000 – $100,000 for 30 days

Depending on the severity of your addiction, the program and length of your treatment will vary. Inpatient can help with all severity levels but can be especially beneficial for severe cases. Outpatient can be a good fit for someone with mild addiction who needs the flexibility the program offers. For those who need payment assistance, it can be offered in many facilities. Additionally, patients can receive coverage from Medicaid, Medicare, or their insurance, along with A Better Today Recovery Services treatment financing options.

What is the recovery rate for people with alcoholism?

The recovery rate for alcoholism may vary with each person. Statistics might say you have a low or high chance to recover but you can make that decision. If you want to succeed and continue your sobriety, then it can happen. If you need help getting started, there are many alcohol rehab treatment options that can help you overcome your addiction.

To give you an idea of the recovery rate, here is some information from an AA membership survey. In this survey, 22 percent of the members stayed sober for 20 years or more. It continued with about 14 percent of the members staying sober for 10 to 20 years. Then, 13 percent stayed sober for 5 to 10 years. Finally, 24 percent of the members stay sober for 1 to 4 years, with 27 percent staying sober during the year after treatment.

For Loved Ones

What are some signs that someone is addicted to alcohol?

While with some addictions, such as heroin or meth, you can see physical signs of abuse, an alcoholic might not show as many signs. You might be able to tell someone has an issue by how they act or other emotional signs. Sometimes alcoholics may try to brush off their issues by saying they only drink in social settings, but you may not see what they do alone. The DSM-5 is a diagnostic manual for mental disorders to better diagnose whether someone has alcoholism or other substance use disorders.

A few possible signs of alcoholism:

  • The person drinks more than they said they would or say they will quit but do not.
  • They are often hungover or dealing with the aftereffects of alcohol.
  • You noticed they have a strong urge or craving for alcohol and it often interferes with attending to their responsibilities.
  • Alcohol has caused issues with the person’s close relationships and they prefer to drink over doing other activities.
  • The person gets into troublesome situations that can increase their chances of getting hurt or harming others, such as drunk driving.
  • They continue to drink even after it has caused bad effects to their physical and mental health.
  • They developed a tolerance to the usual amount, so you notice them drinking even more than before to get the same effect.

How much is too much for someone to drink?

The number of drinks you can have before going too far can be different for each person. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that those who want to drink and are of legal age should limit their drinking to 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks for men. It is considered binge drinking when the drinker drinks over the recommended amount. Binge drinking means 4 drinks or more for women and 5 drinks or more for men in one day. Heavy drinking may be met when a woman drinks 8 or more drinks and 15 drinks or more for men.

Drinking is not recommended for pregnant women or others at higher risks for complications from drinking. Like with most things, moderation is key. If you notice you start to fall under the binge or heavy drinking category, stop drinking, and if you cannot do it on your own, seek out help.

What can I do to help someone who is suffering from alcohol addiction?

It can be difficult to see a loved one suffering from addiction and not knowing what you can do to help. Although, your support, love, and care for the person can do a great deal for them. The first thing you can do to help is educate yourself on the topic of substance use disorder. Then, you can better understand what they are going through and how to approach the situation. When you are ready, you can have a heart-to-heart conversation to express your feelings and concerns. Show your compassion and do not approach them with anger or accusation. If this approach does not work, you can stage an intervention that includes the person’s support system. Different methods of helping an alcoholic can work depending on what the person needs.

If the person agrees on quitting, whether it is through treatment or on their own, you can continue helping by supporting them throughout their journey. You can attend support group meetings with them or drive them to treatment. You can also assist with their responsibilities with childcare, household, or work-related tasks.

Things to avoid doing around an alcoholic:

  • Drinking around them, and if you can avoid it, do not have alcohol around when they are present.
  • Completing all of their tasks and responsibilities.
  • Supporting them financially unless it is a necessity or for treatment.
  • Telling them what is best for them or what to do.

How do I distance myself from a person who is an alcoholic?

Alcoholism can affect more people than just the alcoholic themselves. If you have tried everything you could think of and your loved one still refuses to quit drinking, then it may be time to do what is best for you. A support system can only do so much. The addict also has a part to play in deciding whether or not they want to get help.

If you have not already, and still want to try one last thing to help, you can try to stage an intervention. For some people, this may not do much, but for others it can make a difference. An intervention is used to show the alcoholic how many people care and love them, along with expressing to them how their addiction affects everyone. During the intervention, you can have information about the long-term effects caused by alcohol and treatment options. As a last resort, if the person is still on the fence to quitting, you can also give them some consequences of what will happen if they continue drinking. The consequences are not meant to be used as a punishment but more of an outlook of the future if they choose alcohol over their loved ones. Examples of consequences can include losing visitation rights with their children, taking away a valuable object like a car, or asking them to leave the house if they live with you.

Once they make their decision and they decide on alcohol, you must follow through on the consequences. It is also time to put yourself and your family first by distancing yourself from the alcoholic. You can seek out counseling or treatment to help you with the pain and damage the person’s addiction has left on you. In the future, if the person does finally agree to get treatment, make sure they complete the treatment and are committed to their sobriety.

Where can I get a free consultation and some advice on this situation?

For a free consultation and advice to help a loved one or yourself recover some an addiction, please call us at 405-583-4309. We are here to help and listen to any questions or concerns you have and will do our best to help you with no judgment at all. For information on support groups for family and friends of addicts, you can try groups like Al-anon, Alateen, and others. Your recovery journey can start today; let us help.

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