For many years, alcohol use disorder, or alcoholism, has been known as a threefold disease that affects the mind, body, and spirit. Within the disease, three parts are referred to as the spiritual malady, the physical allergy, and the mental obsession. These components, in conjunction, make up the disease of alcohol addiction, as defined by the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. AA has been the treatment program that most people have become familiar with over the years. Understanding alcohol use disorder as a physical allergy or, more properly, a chronic disease requiring professional treatment so the individual can heal and recover is key. At Oceanfront Recovery, we can help individuals struggling with alcohol use disorder and those that care about them better understand the disease and find the treatment they need.
Alcohol Addiction as a Physical Allergy
Just like people have allergies to certain foods, those suffering from alcohol addiction have developed an allergy to alcohol. The sort of allergy that a person suffering from alcoholism can be explained as a “phenomenon of craving.” Dr. William D. Silkworth, in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, explains, “We believe, and so suggested a few years ago, that the action of alcohol on these chronic alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy; that the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average temperate drinker. These allergic types can never safely use alcohol in any form. Once having formed the habit and found they cannot break it, once having lost their self-confidence, their reliance upon things human, their problems pile up on them and become astonishingly difficult to solve.”
In short, we lose all power and control over our drinking once alcohol enters our bodies. Drinking to excess and entering into binges and sprees is the allergic reaction that occurs when we drink. Dr. Silkworth, in a 1937 speech entitled Alcoholism as a Manifestation of Allergy, explains, “The spree is characterized by certain definite physical symptoms in all such cases. The phenomenon of craving is prominent; there is a complete loss of appetite, insomnia, dry skin, and hypermotor activity. He has a feeling of anxiety which amounts to a nameless terror. He presents the picture of a person who has just finished a race but must have more stimulation to start again at once.”
We must manage the symptoms of alcoholism in the same way that we would manage any other allergy—avoiding the substance that causes the allergic reaction. Alcohol is the allergen, and if we are to recover, we must abstain entirely from alcohol in any form.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment Programs
As a chronic disease, alcohol addiction requires professional support to heal from. Simply stopping from drinking can cause serious mental health issues to arise and lead to physical health issues. For many, the process of alcohol addiction treatment begins with detox. Once alcohol is flushed out of an individual’s system and has overcome the more severe and immediate withdrawal symptoms, they can focus on their therapeutic needs. Some of the therapies we offer at Oceanfront Recovery include:
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Program
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program
- EMDR Therapy Program
- Family Therapy Program
These therapies are available to individuals in our residential treatment program or our intensive outpatient program.
Reach Out to Oceanfront Recovery Today
Recovery can be the next great chapter in the story of your life. You begin building a future of hope, faith, and courage by deciding to seek help now. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in beautiful Laguna Beach, offers individualized treatment options to meet your specific needs and help you begin the recovery journey. For more information about treatment programs, please call today at (877) 279-1777.