Simcoe Addiction and Mental Health

Simcoe Addiction & Mental Health

Holistic Alcohol Addiction Treatment in Ontario

Alcohol Addiction Treatment In Ontario

Simcoe Addiction and Mental Health is here to help those looking for alcohol addiction treatment in Ontario. Our inpatient alcohol treatment centre is located just outside of Toronto and serves those living in Toronto, the GTA and across Ontario.

J. Connor
Read More
My family and I are so grateful for SAMH. This was the 3rd rehab my husband has attended, and we were hopeful this would be different. They exceeded all our expectations. The admission process was simple, and we were able to get him in quickly. From the moment we stepped foot in the door, we felt a sense of relief. The staff was attentive and absolutely amazing!! They made us feel welcome and spent time with us explaining everything. Me and my kids had weekly family therapy, which helped us so much. My husband has been sober for 2 months and is still doing great! My experience with Simcoe Rehab was excellent from the moment we dropped him off to the moment we picked him up. Thank you for giving us our life back and for continuing to support him!

Table of contents

Play Video

Overview of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

As society has become more secular and individualistic, alcohol has come to be seen as a pleasurable indulgence. It isn’t easy to pinpoint a specific time or event when it became socially acceptable to drink all the time. However, some notable factors have contributed to this change. Several factors have contributed to drinking becoming more socially acceptable over time. Some of these factors include changing cultural attitudes, marketing and advertising, legalization and deregulation, media representation and stressful lifestyles. Excessive drinking can seriously impact one’s health, family, and society.

If left untreated, alcoholism can lead to serious health problems, including liver disease, heart disease, neurological damage, and social and financial problems. It can also be fatal.

What is Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism?

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder, is a condition characterized by a person’s inability to control their consumption of alcohol despite adverse consequences. It can begin in different ways and at different times in a person’s life. Some people may start drinking heavily in their teenage years, while others may develop the disorder later in life.

Risk factors for alcoholism include genetics, mental health conditions, stress, and a history of alcohol abuse in the family. In some people, alcoholism may develop as a way to cope with emotional pain or trauma.

The onset of alcoholism is a gradual process, and it is often difficult for individuals to recognize when they have crossed the line from social drinking to alcoholism. As the disorder progresses, the person may prioritize drinking over other responsibilities and experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop drinking.

Persons hand holding a glass of alcohol while they're sitting on the floor, Alcohol Rehab Toronto, Alcohol Treatment Toronto, Alcohol Rehab Ontario, Alcohol Treatment Ontario

Alcohol Addiction Symptoms

Alcohol addiction ranges in severity from person to person. Some people can drink heavily all day, while others dabble with alcohol abuse and then stay sober for a while. People typically have an addiction if they heavily rely on drinking and can’t stay sober for an extended period. This is similar to alcohol abuse. Although alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction share similar symptoms, there are some essential differences to recognize.

Symptoms of alcohol addiction include:

  • An intense craving for alcohol
  • Difficulty in controlling the amount of alcohol consumed
  • The physical dependence on alcohol is characterized by withdrawal symptoms when not drinking
  • Tolerance, which means needing to drink more to achieve the same effects
  • Neglecting essential activities and responsibilities to drink
  • Continuing to drink despite knowing it is causing problems
  • Losing interest in hobbies or activities that were once enjoyed
  • Developing a physical or psychological dependence on alcohol

Symptoms of alcohol abuse include:

  • Frequently drinking more than intended
  • Drinking for more extended periods than intended
  • Drinking despite knowing it is causing problems in relationships, at work or school or with the law
  • Drinking and driving or operating heavy machinery
  • Having blackouts or memory loss
  • Having legal issues related to alcohol, such as DUI
  • Continuing to drink despite physical or psychological problems that are made worse by alcohol
  • Neglecting responsibilities at home, work or school
  • Experiencing relationship problems
  • Drinking in hazardous situations
An empty alcohol bottle beside a glass with some alcohol in it, Alcohol Treatment Toronto, Alcohol Treatment Ontario

How Does Alcohol Affect The Body?

When alcohol is taken, its bulk is absorbed into the bloodstream. This implies that the alcohol may swiftly circulate throughout your body and influence your brain. Gamma-aminobutyric acid, an inhibitory neurotransmitter, is increased by alcohol. The results of these effects will last until your liver fully metabolizes the alcohol out of your system. While these effects may be handled in modest quantities, severe alcohol misuse can significantly influence your physical health.

Here’s a short rundown of the negative consequences of alcohol, from liver disease to heart disease.

What Happens When Alcohol Is Mixed With Other Drugs?

The effects of alcohol and other drugs may be compounded when used together, increasing the risk of impairment and even death. Increased sleepiness, dizziness, and disorientation are all symptoms of polydrug usage. Interactions between the two can sometimes be fatal, leading to respiratory depression or cardiac issues. Combining alcohol with medicines like opioids or benzodiazepines may increase the chance of an overdose. When drugs, including alcohol, are combined, the results may be unexpected and even lethal.

For more information on this section, read the blog post: Understanding What Happens When You Combine Venlafaxine (Effexor) and Alcohol. 

Is Alcohol a Stimulant or Depressant?

Despite its ability to masquerade as a stimulant at times, alcohol is a depressant. Alcohol fundamentally inhibits your nervous system and impairs brain function. While this may provide momentary respite, it seriously impacts your physical and emotional health.

For more information on this section, read the blog post: Is Alcohol a Stimulant or Depressant?

When to Go to Rehab For Alcohol?

We recommend going to rehab for alcohol addiction treatment when an individual’s drinking has become problematic and is causing negative consequences in their life. This may include issues with relationships, work, health, legal trouble, or financial problems. Optimally, choosing to go to rehab would be a preventative measure to overdose. Unfortunately, sometimes that may not be the case. It can also be an excellent time to seek treatment when an individual has tried to cut back or stop drinking on their own but has been unable to do so.

Two people shaking hands in agreement

Alcohol Medical Detox

An important first step in recovering from drug or alcohol addiction is medical detoxification, sometimes known as medical detox. Medical alcohol detox is absolutely necessary because, in some cases, alcohol withdrawal can be fatal. All people who have displayed symptoms of both physical and psychological reliance on a substance should undergo medical drug detox.

The duration of alcohol withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the individual’s level of alcohol dependence. For most people, withdrawal symptoms peak within the first 24 to 48 hours after their last drink and subside within a week. However, some individuals may experience more prolonged or severe symptoms.

The acute phase of alcohol withdrawal can last for several days and typically includes symptoms such as tremors, insomnia, anxiety, and agitation. These symptoms generally peak within the first day or two and then slowly improve over the next several days.

How Long Can Withdrawal Last?

For some individuals, the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can persist for several weeks or even months; this is known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). PAWS symptoms can include anxiety, depression, insomnia, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.

It’s important to note that everyone’s experiences with withdrawal are different, and the duration and severity of symptoms can vary. Individuals with a severe alcohol addiction, who have been drinking heavily for an extended period, may experience more severe and prolonged withdrawal symptoms and should seek professional help.


Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can occur when an individual who has been drinking heavily for an extended period suddenly stops or significantly reduces their alcohol consumption. The severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the individual’s level of alcohol dependence.

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can include:

  • Tremors (shakes): One of the most typical signs of alcohol withdrawal, this may affect your whole body or just your hands, arms, and legs. This condition may have serious consequences caused by an overactive sympathetic nervous system.

  • Insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep is common during alcohol withdrawal.

  • Anxiety: An individual may experience restlessness, agitation, and nervousness during alcohol withdrawal.

  • Agitation: An individual may feel irritable, angry, or on edge during alcohol withdrawal.
  • Nausea and vomiting: These symptoms can occur due to the body adjusting to the absence of alcohol.

  • Headaches: An individual may experience headaches during alcohol withdrawal.

  • Delirium tremens (DTs): This is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal that can occur in individuals who have been drinking heavily for an extended period. It is characterized by confusion, agitation, hallucinations, and seizures. It can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.

  • Elevated blood pressure: Withdrawal from alcohol can cause an increase in blood pressure which can be dangerous for people with hypertension or other cardiac conditions.
It’s important to note that not everyone who stops drinking will experience withdrawal symptoms, and for those who do, the severity can vary. It’s also important to mention that alcohol withdrawal should be supervised by a medical professional because of the potential for severe complications, such as seizures or delirium tremens.
Woman looking out a window, depicts the topic of Recovering Alcoholics and Healthy Relationships,

How to Cope with Alcohol Addiction and Concurrent Disorders

Two or more mental health problems or drug use disorders coexisting in the same person is called a concurrent disorder, often known as comorbidity. These conditions are not mutually exclusive; rather, they may coexist and, in some cases, even feed off of one another to worsen both. This may refer to the co-occurring of two mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, or two substance use disorders, such as depression and alcoholism. The symptoms and therapy for a single condition might be complicated by those of a second, coexisting disorder. If you want the greatest possible results for a person, you need to be aware of the existence of concurrent illnesses and work to treat them concurrently. Because we use a complete and evidence-based approach to therapy, we don’t just treat alcoholism but also the mental health problems that can lead to it. The main objective of our transitioning and aftercare program is to help you stay sober over time.

Avoiding Alcohol Use At Social Events

To avoid drinking at social events as a recovering alcoholic: plan ahead, communicate with friends and family, attend sober events, practice mindfulness and self-care, have a support system, and be honest with yourself and others. Remember to reach out for help if needed.

Living With An Alcoholic?

Alcohol use disorder is a disease that can impact your life negatively and often requires help. There are some short-term solutions to help make the relationship with an alcoholic more bearable. Whether you are dating or living with an alcoholic, here are some tips on how to set firm boundaries and avoid becoming an enabling alcoholic.

  1. Have an open and honest conversation with your partner.
  2. Create realistic expectations
  3. Set firm boundaries
  4. Avoid becoming an enabler
Person sitting on the ground drinking out of a large alcohol bottle, Alcohol Rehab Toronto, Alcohol Treatment Toronto, Alcohol Rehab Ontario, Alcohol Treatment Ontario

The more comfortable your partner is being with alcohol, the less likely it is that they will seek help for their addiction.

Getting sober is a daunting task, but starting early by setting firm boundaries is critical. When dealing with a partner who drinks too much, you must follow the tips outlined above. You must be clearer with your expectations and firmer with your boundaries. Avoid enabling your partner’s AUD at the beginning of your relationship. Caring for someone with an alcohol use disorder can significantly affect your mental and physical well-being.

How To Approach An Alcoholic About Rehab?

It might be awkward or even terrifying to approach an alcoholic about going to treatment for themselves. However, having a conversation with a loved one about their addiction is frequently the first step toward that person obtaining assistance for their problem.

Here are some of our best suggestions for how to approach the subject of your partner’s possible need for rehabilitation:

Educate yourself

It is to your advantage to gain as much information as possible on alcoholism and other drug use problems. When the time comes to communicate with your spouse, it will be much less difficult if you already have empathy and understanding for them.

Create a game plan

The next thing you should do before approaching your loved one with the idea of going to treatment. Put in writing what it is that you wish to tell your partner. Also, think about the things you do not want to say, such as attributing the issues in your marriage to the alcoholic tendencies of your partner. Be sure to let your loved one know they are on your mind and that you care about them.

Prepare possible treatment options

It's possible that your loved one isn't quite ready to enter treatment when you bring up the subject. However, be ready with therapy choices if your loved one is ready to seek assistance. Think about choices for therapy that both you and your spouse can participate in at the same time. Your encouragement might make all the difference for the person in your life who is considering medical help.


What To Look Out For When Choosing A Rehab Center

If you’re in the process of seeking a rehab center, there are a couple of details you’ll want to inquire about. Choosing the right rehabilitation center is an important step toward recovery from alcohol addiction. Here are some key factors to look for when making your decision. Do the centres you’re exploring have:

  • Evidence-based treatment
  • Medical support
  • Holistic approaches
  • Individualized treatment plans
  • Continuing care
  • Experienced staff

By ensuring the addiction treatment centres you’re exploring offer these services and program options, you can increase your chances of finding a rehabilitation center that is right for you or your loved one. Doing so can help increase the likelihood of a successful recovery.

wood carvings of apartment buildings and one is coloured green, Alcohol Rehab Toronto, Alcohol Treatment Toronto, Alcohol Rehab Ontario, Alcohol Treatment Ontario

Alcohol Rehab Options

Treatment for alcoholism typically includes:

  • Inpatient Alcohol Addiction Treatment
  • Virtual Outpatient Addiction and Online Alcohol Therapy
  • Counselling
  • Support groups
  • Medication to help manage withdrawal symptoms.
  • Severe cases may require hospitalization for detoxification
  • A 12-step program

Additional Resources

We publish information regularly to help keep you informed about various addiction and mental health concerns, services and treatment options. If you’re in search of specific information we haven’t yet touched on, please email us at [email protected] where we’ll be happy to help.

doctor holding cannabis plant & oil, weed detox

Weed Detox

Explore weed detox—the ins and outs of detoxing from marijuana. Discover effective strategies and insights to help you navigate the process successfully.

Read More »

Alcohol Addiction Aftercare

Alcohol Addiction Aftercare One of the essential components of rehabilitation after being treated for alcohol addiction is the recovery process. At Simcoe Addiction and Mental Health, we can guarantee lifelong support to all of our graduates.

Alcohol Treatment Ontario

Alcohol Withdrawal & Detox 

At Simcoe Addiction & Mental Health, treatment will include individual therapy sessions with a master’s level psychotherapist and plenty of psycho-educational skill groups that teach the following:

  • How and why addiction happens
  • Prevention of lapsing or relapsing
  • Learning to regulate your emotions without alcohol
  • Support systems
  • Understanding your triggers
  • Addressing guilt and shame
  • Addressing feelings of resentment
  • And many more…

Treatment for alcohol addiction commences after the withdrawal management portion is addressed.

Once you have detoxed, you may see immediate changes in sleep patterns and overall energy levels. Early on, people may still feel foggy, tired, restless, agitated, nauseous and may have a challenging time concentration on basic tasks. This often is dependant on the length of time drinking and the quality consumed leading up to treatment.

At SAMH, we understand and are transparent with our clients that the beginning of recovery may be challenging, but there are brighter horizons ahead. Eating nutritious balanced meals and avoiding alcohol will eventually lead to better cognition and functioning. Our compassionate staff understands that it is not just a physical process to get better, but a psychological process as well.  Staff will assist you throughout the process of addressing barriers that may arise.

We understand that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work when it comes to alcohol addiction. At SAMH, we form individual treatment plans for all of our clients which will include: 

  • Medically assisted detoxification
  • Evidence-based treatment that will address addiction and/or mental health issues.
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Nutrition
  • Free lifetime Aftercare programs 

Call us today, your recovery starts here.


Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder, is a condition characterized by a person’s inability to control their consumption of alcohol despite adverse consequences. Alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction share similar symptoms, but there are some essential differences to recognize. Alcoholism can lead to serious health problems, including liver disease, heart disease, neurological damage, and social and financial problems. Alcohol misuse can significantly influence your physical health, from liver disease to heart disease. An important first step in recovering from drug or alcohol addiction is medical detoxification, sometimes known as medical detox. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can last for several days and typically includes tremors, insomnia, anxiety, and agitation. Individuals with a severe alcohol addiction, who have been drinking heavily for an extended period, should seek professional help.

Simcoe Addiction and Mental Health provide alcohol addiction treatment in Ontario and across Canada. Our inpatient treatment centre is situated just outside Toronto and serves both Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. We also provide a Virtual Outpatient Program for Alcohol Addiction Treatment in Ontario and throughout Canada for those unable to travel to us.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment Frequently Asked Questions

Alcohol is considered to be a drug because it is a psychoactive molecule that has the potential to alter how the brain functions. A small but growing body of evidence demonstrates that alcohol use may have both immediate and delayed physiological and neurobiological consequences. Abusing a drug, even if it’s legal, might lead to problems with the law owing to reliance.

The length of time that alcohol stays in your system can vary depending on several factors, including your weight, sex, and overall health. On average, it takes about one hour for the body to metabolize one standard drink. However, the effects of alcohol can last for several hours and take up to several days for the alcohol to altogether leave your system.

It is generally not recommended to drink alcohol while taking antibiotics. Alcohol can interfere with the effectiveness of antibiotics and increase the risk of side effects. The potential for liver damage from alcohol use is another factor that may cause worry for those who are already taking medication.

It is best to consult with a healthcare provider for specific advice, as the interaction between alcohol and antibiotics may vary depending on the type of antibiotic and the individual’s medical history. Doctors may recommend avoiding alcohol completely in certain patients, while in others, moderate use is OK.

Alcoholism has a genetic component, but it is not solely determined by genetics. Environmental factors, such as family dynamics and access to alcohol, also play a role in the development of alcoholism. The interaction of genetic and environmental factors can increase the risk of developing alcoholism.

Alcohol is not classified as a stimulant. Stimulants affect the central nervous system, motivation and make people feel more awake, energized, and hungry. Alcohol, on the other hand, is a depressant. Thus, it has the opposite effect and slows down the central nervous system.

Tequila, like most alcoholic beverages, is considered a depressant. Depressants act on the central nervous system to generate calming, sleepy, and less anxious feelings. Large amounts of tequila, however, might impair one’s mental faculties, leading to difficulties with judgment and communication.

COVID-19 has been linked to serious sickness in some people. Taking care of yourself if you have COVID-19 will aid your body in fighting off the virus and allowing you to become well. Consumption of alcoholic beverages may reduce the immune system’s effectiveness. Possible impairment of the immune system’s ability to fend off disease as a result of alcohol use. Persons infected with the COVID-19 virus should abstain from consuming alcoholic beverages.

Additional Resources

woman drinking alcohol alone looking out her window, behaviours of an alcoholic

Behaviours Of An Alcoholic

Are you wondering if your loved one is suffering from alcoholism? Click here to find out about some of the most common behaviors of an alcoholic.

Read More »