Alcohol Abuse Centers
Many people can drink socially without ever thinking about alcohol interrupting their lives or causing serious problems. But if you drink alcohol on a regular basis, or if you drink for the wrong reasons such as to cope with emotional problems, distress or pain, you may be suffering from a condition called alcohol abuse. Although alcohol abuse isn’t as severe as alcoholism, abusing alcohol can, and often does, lead to alcohol dependence which can be both difficult to treat and equally difficult to cope with.
Signs of a Drinking Problem
Recognizing the signs that you may have a problem with your drinking can be difficult—most people reach a state of denial long before they ever admit to or are willing to accept that they have a drinking problem. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism, various tools and identification measures can be used to determine whether an individual has a drinking problem or not.
Harvard Health Publications outlines certain signs and symptoms of a drinking problem and states that it is completely possible to have a drinking problem without actually being considered an alcoholic. One of the signs that drinking has become problematic occurs when an individual finds him or herself in trouble as a result of their behaviors while under the influence. Such trouble often causes the drinker to make a decision to quit drinking, and if the drinking ceases, alcohol abuse is no longer a significant problem but if the drinking continues despite the consequences that have occurred, alcohol addiction may be to blame.
The following behaviors or actions signify a deeper problem with alcohol—people who show these signs could be suffering from a case of alcohol abuse:
- Neglecting responsibilities. This includes neglecting school work, not caring for kids or family, avoiding household chores, missing work or performing poorly at work or skipping or slacking on priorities because you are under the influence of alcohol or you are suffering the repercussions of having drank too much alcohol previously.
- Drinking in situations when you know that you shouldn’t be drinking. This includes drinking while you are at work, drinking at school, drinking while you are operating heavy machinery or when you have to drive, or drinking when you are sick.
- Getting into trouble as a result of drinking. This includes being arrested for DUI, disorderly intoxication, or public intoxication.
- Drinking to cope with emotions. This includes drinking to cover up emotional upset, to cope with sadness or depression, to overcome anxiety or to relax. If you need to drink alcohol in order to feel comfortable then you could be suffering from alcohol dependence.
Alcohol Abuse vs. Alcohol Dependence
Alcohol abuse is not the same thing as alcoholism—but it is the first step that you will take toward becoming addicted to alcohol and it should be monitored very closely to ensure your safety. Alcohol abusers often continue to drink excessively and, despite the consequences that occur as a result of their actions, they continue to drink and develop an increased tolerance to the alcohol making them prone to alcohol addiction. Drinking on a regular basis, more than 3 days per week, or binge drinking for long periods of time places the user at an increased risk of becoming addicted to alcohol and requiring professional treatment in order to get sober.
Unlike alcohol abuse, which can be immediately quit without any major repercussions or withdrawal symptoms, alcohol dependence is difficult to overcome and often requires professional help. Alcohol abuse can lead to the most severe form of alcohol use – alcoholism. When an individual is dependent on alcohol, he or she will not be able to easily quit drinking, may feel sick or otherwise uncomfortable when alcohol consumption is slowed or completely stopped and will often feel strong cravings for alcohol long after the drinking has been discontinued.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism, an estimated 30% of people who drink alcohol and do not suffer from alcohol dependence make the decision to quit drinking following advice that they receive from their primary care physician. As such, it is important for patients to be open and honest with their physicians about their drinking and it’s equally important for physicians to recognize the early signs of alcohol abuse and alcoholism in order to provide their patients with the best possible advice and care.
Symptoms of Alcoholism
Alcoholism occurs when a drinking problem escalates to a point in which the individual can no longer control their drinking. One of the earliest signs of alcoholism is tolerance; the development of an increased need for more alcohol in order to produce the same effects. As tolerance continues to grow, the individual will drink more and more in an effort to feel the effects of the alcohol, but ultimately, most of the good effects of alcohol will be lost to the array of consequences that come with being an alcoholic.
The following symptoms of alcoholism signify a need to seek alcohol rehab right away:
- Lack of control over drinking and an inability to quit drinking when you make the commitment to do so.
- Desire to quit drinking but you can’t because you feel sick or have persistent cravings when you don’t drink.
- Avoiding time with family or friends who don’t drink so that you can drink.
- Avoiding activities that you enjoy or that you once enjoyed so that you can drink.
- Focusing your time on drinking, getting more alcohol, being drunk or recovering from drinking.
- Drinking even after the alcohol has caused significant problems in your life such as health problems, relationship problems, job loss, financial problems or legal troubles.
- Feeling sick or suffering withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit drinking.
Effects of Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence and alcoholism can affect nearly every aspect of your life causing an array of complications, consequences, problems and pain. Sustained alcohol abuse, with or without the presence of alcohol addiction, can result in damage to vital organs in the body including liver damage, kidney damage and even brain damage. Drinking also effects the psychological well-being of an individual often leading to anxiety, depression, sadness and other problems. The effects of alcohol abuse don’t stop with physical burden and psychological mishap, sustained drinking can cause problems in your relationships, your career, your finances and other important areas of your life.
Not only does alcohol cause an impact on your own life, alcohol abuse has a negative impact on society too! NIAA proclaims that alcohol abuse causes an economic impact of more than $52 Billion per year resulting from DUI related crashes, violent crimes, alcohol related injuries and the need for alcoholism treatment. Alcohol costs society more than the use of tobacco and results in productivity loss that causes an additional $70 billion in lost operating costs for employers annually.
Alcohol Rehab & Treatment for Alcohol Abuse
Many different options are available to help those who are addicted to alcohol. Alcohol abuse treatment often takes place in an alcohol rehab center which provides around-the-clock care for the individual while offering medical intervention and supportive care. If you’re ready to take the steps toward getting help for an alcohol abuse or alcoholism related problem, your first steps toward recovery will likely take place in an alcohol rehab center.
Detox will play a key role in your recovery and may take place in a medical facility, inpatient alcohol rehab or at home. How detox progresses, where you are most comfortable for detox and what happens next will depend on the severity of your alcohol addiction, your individual health and various other factors.
Whether you choose to get help in a residential alcohol rehab facility or you decide to take a self-directed approach to getting sober that includes attendance at local AA meetings and community support groups, the foundation of your recovery will be built upon supportive care. Recovering from alcohol addiction may be challenging but it’s not impossible – with the right support and your continued commitment to getting sober, recovery will begin to appear more easily attainable and eventually you’ll realize that you’re on the fast track to sobriety success.
Underlying problems such as depression, mental illness, health conditions, traumatic experiences or similar lifestyle factors may come into play during alcohol addiction treatment. Most alcohol rehab centers provide treatment for dual diagnosis and focus heavily on getting to the root of the alcohol addiction and determining why the addiction occurred so that they can provide effective treatment for the addiction that will help to prevent future relapse.
Don’t be afraid to talk with your counselor, therapist or another professional about any underlying conditions or worries that you may have. Throughout alcohol addiction recovery you will learn new ways to cope with the problems in your life and to avoid using alcohol as a coping mechanism. As you grow stronger in recovery, you will realize that alcohol is not the answer to everything and that you can enjoy life while coping with any hurdles along the way, without drinking.
Alcohol Rehab Centers
Alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances for any individual to be addiction to or to abuse. Alcohol abuse is marked by long term effects on the liver, kidneys and other organs in the human body. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse can prevent individuals from fulfilling obligations at work, home and school.
Alcohol rehab centers treat alcoholism and the related effects of alcohol abuse. Alcohol rehab is part of a recovery process that alcoholics and those suffering from alcoholism must go through in order to recover from the disease of alcoholism. Most drug rehab centers will also provide treatment for alcohol abuse but there are also rehab centers that focus solely on the treatment of alcoholism.
Drug and alcohol rehab centers help alcoholics and those suffering from alcoholism to understand alcoholism, recovery from alcohol abuse and ultimately – sobriety. The type of alcohol treatment received will largely depend on the type of services offered at the alcohol rehab center, the severity of the alcoholism, and of course the individual needs of the addict. Support of friends and family members is a large part of the alcoholism and alcohol abuse recovery process.
Depending on the severity of the addiction to alcohol, the addict may have to stay in an inpatient alcohol rehab center for more than a month in order to safely and effectively detox from the substance. Alcoholism is marked by withdrawal symptoms that can be fatal to the addict if the proper medical assistance and professional care is not administered immediately and throughout the recovery process. Alcohol rehab centers are prepared to deal with such withdrawal symptoms that alcoholics may have during the detoxification phases of treatment.
There are all types of alcohol rehab centers including religious alcohol rehab centers, holistic treatment centers, and even luxury rehab centers. All alcohol rehab centers have a common goal which is to safely and effectively treat alcoholism and to prevent future alcohol abuse. For many who suffer from alcoholism or who regularly abuse alcohol, alcohol rehab centers are a last chance.