Does Using Hypnosis To Stop Drinking Really Work?

About 50% of the people in the United States have cognitive damage or impairment because of alcohol abuse.[1] The cognitive damage that these people experience ranges from severe to mild. From amnesia to dementia, the effects can vary widely. Some people that abuse alcohol may experience more than one negative cognitive effect. Many people with alcohol use issues try hypnosis to stop drinking. 

It’s important for people who struggle with alcohol addiction and those who know someone who does to understand the effects of alcohol on the brain. It is also important to understand why alcohol treatment is critical and how hypnosis to stop drinking can help. Although the outcome of any treatment cannot be guaranteed, research shows that hypnosis to stop drinking is effective. Since hypnosis helps people overcome obstacles that commonly hinder long-term recovery, it can be an effective addition to a treatment plan.

How Alcoholism Affects the Brain and Body

The effects of alcohol on the brain and body can be long-term or short-term. In some cases, how long a person abuses alcohol relates to how long the effects may last. Although it is better to get treatment for alcohol abuse as soon as possible, even short-term alcohol abuse can have lasting effects for some people.

alcoholism Short-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse

The severity of short-term effects of alcohol abuse often depends on how much a person drinks.[2] These are some of the short-term effects of alcohol abuse:

  • Slowed or impaired movement and body function
  • Reduced ability to concentrate and reduced attention span
  • Lowered perceptions and sensations
  • Disruption of sleep patterns or excessive sleepiness
  • Reduced body temperature
  • Increased urine production and output
  • Uncontrollable urination or defecation
  • Poor memory function or short-term memory loss

In excessive amounts, alcohol can cause loss of consciousness, vomiting, shortness of breath, coma, and even death.

Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Chronic abuse of alcohol has long-term effects on both the brain and body.[3] These are some common long-term effects of alcohol abuse:

  • Liver disease or damage that may be irreversible
  • Dysfunction of the brain
  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • High blood pressure and an increased risk of stroke
  • Damage to the nervous system
  • Weakened immune system
  • Irregular heart rhythm or weakening of the muscle
  • Mood disorders and psychological dependence

Long-term abuse of alcohol also increases the risks of developing breast, liver, esophagus, mouth, and throat cancer.[3] Women who abuse alcohol while pregnant can experience negative long-term effects on their own bodies. The babies of women who abuse alcohol while pregnant can also develop lifelong behavioral problems and developmental deficiencies.

Studies show that alcohol abuse in adolescents leads to long-term biological development problems on top of negatively affecting their physiological processes. One study showed that teens who abused alcohol had poorer overall brain development as they reached adulthood. Such teens also saw notable negative effects on their bone and endocrine development.[4] Studies reported by the National Cancer Institute even show that people of all ages who smoke and drink have a significantly higher risk of developing multiple types of cancer.[5]

Why Alcohol Addiction Is a Disease

According to the CDC, excessive alcohol use is tied to more than 88,000 deaths every year.[6] It also costs the country over $250 billion annually. People can even develop chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer from long-term abuse of alcohol. Plus, it’s important to remember that alcohol addiction itself is a disease. SAMHSA has a categorized list of resources that fully explain why addiction is a disease and why it is so important for people to understand it.[7]

The reason why health professionals and scientists recognize addiction as a disease today is because of its effects on the brain. Thanks to modern technology, the effects of alcohol on the brain are visible. 

Brain scans of people who binge drink show abnormal white matter, which is the substance that helps transmit important signals.[8] This can lead to impaired judgment and other detrimental effects.[9] 

With signal disruption, reactions in the brain can lead people to excessively seek the reward sensation of the substances they use. Since the bodies and brains of people who excessively drink develop a tolerance to alcohol, such people must use more to achieve the same rewarding feeling.

Alcohol addiction leads people to crave and seek alcohol even after it is cleansed from their bodies. It also often includes cycles of people deciding to get treatment and no longer drink only to relapse again from the alcohol use’s long-term effects.10]

Alcohol Addiction and Co-Occurring Disorders

Another important point to understand with alcohol addiction is that it often stems from or leads to a mental illness. The same is true with other addictive substances. 

In 2020, the CDC reported that at least 7.9 million Americans were living with both a mental illness and a substance use disorder.[11] Treating both issues simultaneously is critical for reducing the risk of relapse and helping the person beat addiction. 

There are several therapeutic tools that treat addiction and several that treat mental health issues. Some, such as hypnotherapy, can treat both.[12] In fact, people can use hypnosis to stop drinking. 

What Is Hypnotherapy?

Man in therapy Hypnotherapy is a tool that therapists use to help people identify triggers of bad behaviors. Once identified, hypnotherapy then helps people change such behaviors. 

Hypnotherapy is a state of waking awareness, in which a person’s mind is detached from the surrounding environment.[13] In this hypnotic state, the individual can freely express imagery, feelings, and thoughts. The brain may also uncover memories during hypnosis. 

In hypnosis, the high level of focus on what the person is thinking causes imagery and feelings to seem real. Clinicians aid people in addressing thoughts, feelings, or memories in this hypnotic reality.

Think of hypnosis as a narrated reality. Although the hypnotized individual is seeing, feeling, and experiencing what she or he sees, the therapist is a guide. The hypnosis therapist makes suggestions that the individuals can accept or reject. 

Hypnotherapy is not an overnight cure to addiction. Hypnotherapists try to help people develop healthier habits as they guide them through sessions, and this can take weeks or months. Even after a person develops a new and healthier habit due to hypnosis, it may take additional therapy to maintain.

How Hypnosis To Stop Drinking Can Help

In a narrated structure, the therapist tries to help the individual face and overcome issues that relate to the addiction. For example, many people with addiction have a history of past abuse or PTSD.[14] When this happens, the past trauma is often what compels a person to drink. 

By addressing the past issues and helping the person heal and cope, a therapist is more likely to see the person stay in recovery. Some emotions and memories are hard to uncover without hypnotherapy.

However, hypnotherapy is not only about uncovering past abuse or repressed memories. Many people who use hypnotherapy for alcohol addiction treatment do not have a history of physical or emotional abuse. 

When hypnotherapists uncover memories or abuse, it is often to identify triggers. People can also use hypnotherapy to uncover other triggers that may be connected to emotions, co-occurring disorders, or something else. Because there are often underlying issues to addictions, they require a multi-faceted treatment approach. 

People may be resistant to a therapist’s suggestions during hypnotherapy at first. Contrary to popular myths though, hypnotherapists do not completely control people’s minds or behaviors. The individual is still in full control and may accept or reject suggestions. 

How people respond to hypnotherapy varies from one person to another. However, as time passes, most people become more receptive or cooperative and accept the therapist’s helpful suggestions.[15] 

Ultimately, hypnotherapy helps individuals develop new habits and behaviors in response to triggers. By replacing alcohol consumption with new and healthier responses, a person can reduce the risk of relapse and work toward beating the cycle of addiction.

Benefits of Hypnotherapy for Alcohol Addiction

In addition to helping people discover triggers and develop healthier habits, hypnosis can provide several supporting benefits.[16] These are some of those benefits:

  • Improved management of chronic pain
  • An agreeable choice for people who prefer natural, alternative, or non-medicated treatment
  • Improved sleep quality and ability to relax

Also, hypnotherapy has very few or no side effects. Some people may feel dizzy or drowsy after therapy. However, these effects typically subside quickly.

Using Hypnotherapy to Stop Drinking At Florida Center for Recovery

Recovery Florida Center for Recovery is located in Fort Pierce, Florida. Our Fort Pierce facility welcomes locals and people from nearby areas in Florida. 

Here at Florida Center for Recovery, we support the use of hypnosis to stop drinking. We also support the use of hypnosis as a therapeutic tool for addiction. By combining other therapies, we treat the entire person and any co-occurring disorders that he or she may suffer from. 

Florida Center for Recovery believes in a customized treatment approach for each person.  Thus, when deciding what addiction treatment programs and therapies that each patient should be a part of, we consider the patient’s lifestyle, health history, family, and all other applicable factors.

Our team of experienced and trained professionals provide compassionate support for addiction treatment with a goal of helping people permanently beat the cycle of alcohol addiction. Living a fuller life free of addiction is a rewarding experience that we want everyone to achieve. 

To learn more about the different forms of treatment and therapy that we use here at Florida Center for Recovery and to learn more about hypnosis to stop drinking contact us today!