Find a Way Out of Alcoholism
Alcohol is the most easily accessed and commonly abused substance. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates alcohol abuse cost $223.5 billion dollars in 2006, making it the highest costing substance of abuse in the United States. This liquid drug causes serious health complications, accidental injury or death resulting from poor judgement on and off the roads.
Everyone’s tolerance level is different. Generally, a safe amount is higher for men than women, however the responsibility lies with the individual to determine what amount is healthy for him or her. The more alcohol a person consumes, the greater the danger of developing serious health problems as a consequence.
With greater and more frequent consumption of alcohol, the greater the risk of developing an addiction to alcohol. According to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) and the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), 41% of the 1.8 million people were primarily or solely admitted to a treatment facility for alcohol in 2002. Excessive alcohol consumption has numerous and varied negative physical and mental consequences.
The amount ingested, frequency of use and genetic factors all play a part in understanding personal risk. However, alcohol consumption in any amount can lead to alcoholism and it may not take as long as you think.
What Are the Physical Complications of Alcoholism?
Once consumed, alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream and distributed throughout the body. Even the smallest of amounts can have a large impact.
Dangers associated with drinking on a short-term basis focus more on the possibility of accidental injury or death. Unfortunately, many high school and college students have been suffered serious harm or even death as a result of poor judgement. Those drinking sporadically or first time drinkers still risk overdose, blackouts and death.
The long-term effects of excessive alcohol consumption span a wide range of serious health issues. Liver failure, brain damage, chronic pancreatitis, heart problems, reproductive issues, and many other life-threatening illnesses have been proven to result from alcoholism. Jaundice is one of the more famous health consequences. Characterized by yellowing of the skin and eyes, which comes as a direct result of liver damage and possible failure.
Another potential health complication that results from excessive drinking is Alcohol Related Dementia or ARD. Characterized by damage to cognitive abilities, such as short-term memory loss and impaired executive functioning, this permanent and debilitating condition results directly from long-term alcoholism. Suffers have problems with judgement, planning, find themselves lost or confused often and are generally unable to live without assistance.
Impact on the Brain
As a depressant, alcohol can have a major impact even in small amounts. It crosses the blood-brain barrier and therefore has the potential to disrupt normal brain functioning. A person’s psychological processes are disturbed in a variety of ways, causing such issues as depression, anxiety and other mental disorders. Anxiety levels, which lower while under the influence, can become excessive when the alcohol wears off.
Alcohol may exacerbate symptoms for people already suffering from mental disorders. Anyone who suffers from depression, for instance, should avoid alcohol altogether as symptoms could become much more severe.
What Are My Treatment Options?
Inpatient rehab has widely been accepted as the most effective way to treat addiction. Inpatient rehabs are residential facilities that provide medical attention and care 24/7. It has the added benefit of removing the individual from people and places that might tempt him or her to relapse. Inpatient centers are equipped with a variety of treatment modalities allowing each person to benefit from the different approaches.
Outpatient care allows people to participate in intensive, non-residential, part-time program. These intensive programs, or IOP, facilitate group and individual therapies and aim at arming people with the necessary skills without requiring a leave of absence. They are generally less of a strain on the bank account and permit more personal freedom.
Inpatient and outpatient programs both aim to arm people with life skills critical to successfully recovering from the disease of addiction. A variety of therapies are utilized, including individual, group and family therapy. The different approaches provide each individual with exposure to what works best for him or her, allowing for the best possible outcomes.
Three Pillars of Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is one of the most proven and effective approaches for the treatment of addiction. This therapeutic approach allows the addicted person to understand how his or her addiction has negatively affected the self and others. CBT helps people see how and why some thought processes arise and how to change them into healthier patterns of thought.
Another proven treatment method for addiction is group therapy. This approach allows individuals to connect to others recovering from the disease of addiction in a supportive and safe environment. Peer support and feedback helps the person grow both individually and to form strong bonds with group members.
Family therapy is another vital ingredient for recovery. Families attend classes to learn about addiction and group sessions to work through past wreckage. All family members are given techniques and coping skills to communicate better and stop the dynamic that allowed the addicted person to use. The family as a whole works to heal and move forward toward a brighter and more productive future.
Get Help Now!
No one dreams of becoming an alcoholic, but addiction happens to many people. Unfortunately, the stigma of alcoholism stops far too many for getting the help they so desperately need. If you or some you love has been abusing alcohol, get help. Call 1-318-402-4900 now.
If you have decided that alcohol is taking over your life, we have professionals ready to walk you through the treatment process. They can answer any questions you might have and explain different programs and treatment protocols.
Don’t waste another minute! Get help today.