Anyone who has been arrested for DUI or DWI and is still in the process of being treated can find out how to get into treatment for a drinking disorder. This is a very serious charge and one that carries with it some serious consequences. If one is caught drinking and driving a vehicle, the minimum jail sentence is usually a year and a half. However, in the case of a repeat offense, the sentence can be increased substantially.
There are different levels of DUI/DWI punishments depending on the severity of the crime and the level of impairment as determined by an experienced and qualified DUI/DWI lawyer. A common myth about DUI/DWI charges is that drivers do not display the telltale signs of having drank too much alcohol. This is simply not true. In fact, many people who drink and drive do not even realize that they are under the influence of alcohol.
When arrested for DUI/DWI, most people are offered a choice between community service and a mandatory stint in jail. While these sentences certainly provide some deterrence, they don’t address the underlying cause of the problem. It is important to realize that there are two primary treatment options available to those charged with DUI/DWI. Government funded programs and private rehab centers offer both short term and long term services to help those suffering from alcohol use disorders. One should research each option and decide which is best suited for his or her personal circumstances.
The government’s largest long term program is the 12 Step Program. Many people who have completed the program find great success in the process and report fewer symptoms than those who did not complete the program. However, those who have co-occurring disorders are not helped by this approach. Those with co-occurring disorders are more likely to relapse and experience increased risk of serious accidents or injuries while driving after consuming alcohol.
One alternative program that some people may wish to consider is a faith based alcohol treatment center. These facilities focus on offering spiritual support, accountability, and tools to help those struggling with addiction recover. A belief-based program can be helpful when symptoms are mild and have no long-term negative effects on quality of life, but may not be as effective at addressing psychological issues or health condition. Those suffering from mental health disorders and co-occurring disorders may be better suited for these types of programs.
Psychological treatment includes individual and group counseling and therapy, or in a situation where family and friends can’t be an effective buffer, medication-assisted treatment may be an option. Medication used in conjunction with counseling can reduce some of the physical symptoms of withdrawal, such as restlessness and irritability. Common prescriptions used in conjunction with counseling include Benzodiazepines (e.g., Ativan), Buspar, Valium, Klonopin, and Xanax. These medications are best reserved as short-term solutions to coping with symptoms. Overuse can lead to a build-up of adverse effects, including over dependency and addiction.
Health care typically offers one of two options for dealing with substance abuse and addiction. Family and friends can provide assistance in setting up a schedule for counseling and therapy sessions, and can often be a good source for support and information regarding relapse prevention programs. Drug treatment centers offer a more rigid program of rigid treatments designed to meet specific needs of patients. These programs provide rigorous detoxification protocols, in addition to drug rehab programs, in order to eliminate substance abuse and alcohol addiction.
Substance abuse and addiction is a growing problem across the country. Many people do not realize that they suffer from one until it has progressed to the point where formal treatment is needed. The wide variety of treatment options available ranges from detoxification to residential treatment to community service programs, and everything in between. If you or a loved one is exhibiting warning signs of danger to the substance user, be sure to seek help before it progresses any further.