Alcohol Rehab Winnipeg – Demystifying Alcohol Use Disorder and Alcoholism

Alcohol Rehab Winnipeg – Demystifying Alcohol Use Disorder and Alcoholism

The terms used to define drinking-related problems have changed over time, making it confusing for people to know what to call their specific condition when seeking alcohol detox and alcohol rehab in Winnipeg.

Alcoholism, alcohol dependence, alcohol abuse, alcohol use disorder, are just some of the many terms used to describe an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

When you visit a treatment facility or AA meetings in Winnipeg, you’ll come across two terms that are used most often by medical professionals and individuals in recovery when referring to drinking-related problems and that alcohol use disorder (AUD) and alcoholism.

What is AUD and How Does it Differ From Alcoholism?

Let’s take a closer look at those two terms to reduce confusion and help individuals find the right private alcohol rehab and treatment for you.

What is Alcoholism?

You’ll also encounter the term alcoholism a lot when attending AA meetings in Winnipeg. In fact, you’ll rarely hear someone use alcohol use disorder to describe a drinking-related problem. Many medical professionals refer to alcoholism and alcohol use disorder as being the same condition.

However, there are medical professionals in Canada who also prefer to use the term alcohol use disorder (AUD) over alcoholism because the latter is commonly used by people in their everyday vocabulary, and it is more of a catch-all term to describe someone with an unhealthy relationship with alcohol even if they are not in full-blown alcoholism or alcoholic.

This means someone suffering from alcoholism may also be referred to as someone with AUD so long as they have at least two of the symptoms listed in the following criteria. 

What is Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)?

11 criteria can be used to identify a person with AUD in Winnipeg and indicate whether it’s mild, moderate, or severe. An individual with at least two of the symptoms listed below can indicate that there is an alcohol use disorder. Having two to three symptoms is considered a mild case while four to five symptoms indicate a moderate case of AUD. Severe cases of alcohol use disorder manifest six or more symptoms. Keep in mind you can seek treatment at any stage. Our interventionists and addiction specialists in Winnipeg are here to help you determine the right individualized treatment path for you and your family no matter how mild or severe your problem with alcohol is. Call to chat with us today at 1-888-491-8589.

  1. The individual drinks in larger amounts or over a longer period than intended.
  2. Inability to cut down or control alcohol consumption even when desired.
  3. Spending a great deal of time searching for, recovering from, or drinking alcohol.
  4. Inability to fulfill major obligations at work, at home, or in school.
  5. Reducing or giving up time on important and recreational activities.
  6. Strained relationships with friends or family members due to alcohol use.
  7. Inability to focus or concentrate due to alcohol cravings.
  8. Increased exposure to dangerous situations, often as a result of drinking.
  9. Continuing to drink even when it has likely caused physical or psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, or recurrent blackouts.
  10. A need to drink more as a result of tolerance to alcohol.
  11. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms or drinking more alcohol to relieve symptoms of withdrawal.

Is There a Difference Between Alcohol Addiction and Alcohol Dependence?

Addiction is a serious mental disorder that has relapsing properties. In the world of a substance use disorder, addiction and dependence are often used interchangeably. Information is power when it comes to substance use disorder; therefore, we will explore the difference between addiction and dependence so that you understand what each term means.

Definition of Dependence

To start with the difference between addiction and dependence, we will examine the definition of substance dependence. Dependence forms only to substances that alter body and brain chemistry, such as opioids or alcohol. When these types of substances are frequently abused, a person’s body and brain undergo changes as tolerance develops.

For example, opioids cause an increase in the number of opioid receptors in the brain. These receptors and systems in the brain are responsible for feelings of euphoria and reward. When the number of receptors is increased due to frequent abuse, the person is eventually unable to produce enough dopamine and endorphins to utilize the system naturally. As a result, the person feels that without more opioid abuse, there is no way for them to feel normal. This is what dependence looks like; a state where the new balance created from substance abuse requires continuous abuse to maintain.

Furthermore, with dependence comes withdrawal symptoms, which is what happens when the use of the substance stops and the altered state the body is in tries to return to normal function.

Definition of Addiction

The term substance use disorder is used to describe drug dependence, abuse and addiction. However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t a difference between addiction and dependence.

The definition of addiction focuses more on the person than the drug that they abuse. The definition of addiction is when a person does or uses something like a drug to such an excess that many areas of their life start to become affected. It may start off with fairly low use of a substance but then escalates to such high levels of use that it becomes all-consuming for the individual. The acquisition and abuse of the substance take precedence over all aspects of the person’s life. Addiction describes the behaviour of the person, which is often referred to as addictive behaviour. Various studies have revealed that an addict’s or alcoholic’s brain functions differently from a normal brain. 

Addiction or alcoholism can also be somewhat passed down from parent to child; if there is addiction or alcoholism in the family, then their offspring have a much higher chance of becoming afflicted too. Other risk factors for developing addiction or an alcohol use disorder include the following.

  • The earlier substance abuse occurs, the more likely it is that addiction will eventually form. This is mainly due to the effects that substances have on a developing brain.
  • Environmental factors are another risk factor for addiction. These include things such as peer pressure, how available drugs are, and trauma among others.
  • Genders also play a role in addiction. While men tend to be more prone to addiction, women develop an addiction faster than men do.

The Main Difference Between Alcohol Addiction and Alcohol Dependence

There are several differences between alcohol addiction and alcohol dependence. By understanding these differences, the right types of treatments in Winnipeg can be employed to properly treat someone with either alcohol or drug dependence or alcohol or drug addiction or even a combination of both.

In summary, the main differences between an alcohol addiction versus alcohol dependence are as follows.

  • Alcohol Addiction – Addiction can happen even when there is no physically addictive aspect to the substance or activity. A person may become addicted to a particular behaviour such as sexual intercourse, computer games, or a substance, even if there is nothing about the activity or substances that alter brain chemistry.
  • Alcohol Dependence – In the case of dependence versus addiction, dependence happens when a substance is taken that alters the way a person’s brain works. This usually happens after repeated use, but some people may become dependent on a substance such as heroin after just a couple of doses. Dependence is also associated with tolerance and withdrawal symptoms whereas an addiction doesn’t necessarily have any connection to withdrawal and tolerance.


Various situations may occur that ultimately link addiction and dependence. For example, a person may use alcohol too frequently, which then eventually leads to dependence. This dependence may eventually lead to an addiction where their behaviour changes and drinking is put above everything else in their life.

Getting Help for Someone With Alcoholism or AUD in Winnipeg

If you’re worried that you or someone you love in Winnipeg has several of the symptoms listed above, know that you are not alone. Help is available to you and recovery is indeed possible.

You can consult with our interventionists and addiction specialists or contact your doctor and consider going to a treatment facility where professionals can help you recover in a private, safe, and controlled environment in Winnipeg or elsewhere.Often alcoholism is not an official diagnosis, it’s best to consult with a medical professional to see whether your alcohol consumption has indeed become or is becoming a problem. If you are a family member who is concerned about a loved one, then consulting an interventionist about the best ways at approaching the individual suffering is a good idea.

Medically Assisted Private Detox in Winnipeg

Withdrawing from alcohol on your own can be difficult and even dangerous due to cravings and symptoms that can include heart palpitations, seizures, anxiety, severe nausea and delirium tremens (DTs). Medical detox is a safer, effective and more comfortable way to withdraw from drugs or alcohol with a reduced risk for complications.

The private rehab centres we work within Winnipeg and elsewhere offer individualized medical detox services with international standards of care provided by our team of doctors and on-site nurses to help our clients at the start of their journey to safely overcome drug and alcohol dependence. Our addiction specialists will discuss whether or not you will likely require a medical detox prior to admission into the centre you choose. Once you arrive you will undergo a medical assessment from our experienced and highly qualified doctors who specialize in addiction treatment. All our private facilities offer onsite 24 hours a day to directly oversee the health, well-being and comfort of all our clients.

Residential Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Winnipeg

The private residential treatment centres we work with are accredited. We’re not here to deliver a quick fix to your problems. Quick fixes sound nice in theory, but in our experience, they rarely work. What we’ll be doing is working with you to discover the root cause of your alcohol use disorder then work with you to help you to realize your full potential. Unlike other public drug and alcohol treatment centres, we’re not offering a one-size-fits-all solution to alcoholism or alcohol dependence. We recognize that each client possesses his or her own set of unique qualifications that led them to the bottle in the first place. This is why the treatment centres we work with have personalized plans to meet individual client needs. Our goal is to get to the root cause of why you or your loved one developed an alcohol dependency and to then treat the associated issues. Our team will develop a treatment plan that incorporates a unique combination of evidence-based therapies. These will be based on your own individual needs and background and will include things like private counselling, group therapy, trauma therapy, yoga, Ayurveda, acupuncture, psychotherapy sessions, and other programs tailored to your needs to make your stay comfortable and sober.

Outpatient Alcohol Treatment in Winnipeg

In this form of treatment, clients are expected to attend programs for 9 to 10 hours a week (sometimes more sometimes less): go to work, live at home, and attend safe social events. Most rehabilitation in this option focuses on group therapy, although some individual therapy may be available.

After-Care Alcohol Treatment Program in Winnipeg

When you work with Andy Bhatti Interventions and Addiction Services, you’ll have access to ongoing support after you leave your centre, along with the tools you need to sustain your recovery over the long term as you integrate back into your home and work life. Our team in Winnipeg will work together to develop a tailored recovery plan that meets your individual needs. This plan is one that you can carry with you and incorporate into your daily life, moving forward and throughout your recovery. Returning to normal life can feel daunting after experiencing the facilities and care at a private rehab facility, so we are there to help make the transition easier.

Recovery Is Possible for Individuals with Alcohol Use Disorder and Alcoholism in Winnipeg

A drinking-related problem is not a life sentence. You can start the journey towards personal healing for yourself or a loved one who is suffering from alcoholism, AUD, or whatever label is used to describe someone with an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. 

It can be difficult, or even dangerous, to attempt to quit alcohol use on one’s own. Withdrawal symptoms can trigger an onset of seizures, tremors, and more. This is why it’s best to seek out advice from a medical professional or approach a treatment facility for better information and resources on how to deal with alcoholism or alcohol use disorder. Let our team of interventionists and addiction specialists in Winnipeg help find the right private detox and rehab options for you. Contact us today at 1-888-960-3209.

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