Alcohol is a very complicated substance. It is something that most of us consume without any real problems, using it socially to enjoy ourselves. The vast majority of people who consume alcohol do so responsibly and never experience any problems. However, some people develop an addiction to alcohol, which means it starts to affect their daily functioning as a productive, contributing member of society.
There is a big difference between alcohol addiction and alcohol abuse. When an addiction is present, the person has a real dependency, both physically and psychologically, to the drug. They also often have a tolerance to alcohol, which means they need to drink ever-increasing amounts in order to notice the effects. An addict will also continue to drink even if they know they have a problem. Alcohol abuse, on the other hand, refers to those people who continue to drink, even if they notice adverse effects. For instance, someone can be classed as abusing alcohol if they only drink once a month, but continue to drink even after they experience effects such as severe hangovers or alcohol related legal troubles. It is not uncommon for an alcoholic, who is addicted to alcohol, to have been an abuser first.
The symptoms of alcohol addiction vary from one person to the next. A number of factors are important, such as their genetics, history and medical background. Furthermore, alcoholics are incredibly good at hiding their behavior. If you are worried about yourself or your loved ones becoming addicted to the substance, there are a number of signs to look out for, however, including:
- Less involvement in social activities
- Loss of interest in everyday things such as work, education, friends or family members
- Psychological Disorders such as depression
- A preoccupation with alcohol
- Erratic or violent behavior
- An inability to stop drinking
Most people who have an alcohol addiction are blinded to the fact that they are harming themselves and their loved ones. There are both short and long term effects of alcohol, and addicts will experience them both. However, as they develop a tolerance to alcohol, the short term effects will be less and less noticeable.
Short term effects include:
- Slurred speech
- Impaired judgment
The long term effects of alcohol addiction can be a lot more serious. Indeed, they can have a serious impact on the quality of life of a person, even after they recover from their addiction. Some of the effects include:
- Memory loss
- Thiamine deficiency
- Liver disease
Someone who has an alcohol addiction is at far greater risk for various other illnesses. These include things such as brain damage, cancer and auto-immune diseases. This is why it is so important to seek help as soon as you think you or your loved one has a problem with alcohol. At Creative Care, we will be more than happy to discuss the different treatment options with you.
If you wish to overcome an alcohol addiction, there are a few options available to you. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) stated that some 700,000 people receive treatment for alcoholism each and every day. Free group community sessions, like those offered by AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or clinical therapy in drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities such as Creative Care are offered with use of medical insurance or private payment. Those who want to address alcohol addiction often use these options.
Our center is designed to help you in a number of different ways. First of all, we will help you to detox from alcohol in a medically supported way. This is very important, as alcohol detox commonly leads to Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, which has the potential to be deadly. At our center, we offer both short and long term care, so that you can first adjust to life without any alcohol in your body, before assisting you to prevent relapses in the future. We know that mental health problems often go hand in hand with addictions, although it is not clear which one came first. This is why we also specialize in treating those with a dual diagnosis.
There is a lot of unawareness about the effects of alcohol on society at large. There are more people in our country, for instance, who drink frequently than those who drink infrequently or who don’t drink at all combined. In 2010, a survey demonstrated that over half of all people over the age of 18 regularly consumed alcohol. Furthermore, only 13.6% of those over the age of 18 did not consume alcohol at all. Furthermore, the Center for Disease Control reported that some 24,500 people died in 2009 as a result of alcohol.
Data tells us that the problem with alcohol abuse and addiction is very large in this country. For instance:
- 15% of all alcohol sales are made to teenagers.
- Taxpayers lose out on around $60 million a year due to issues relating to alcohol, such as underage drinking and lost working days.
- Areas with liquor stores or other stores where alcohol is readily available experience increased incidents of violence.
- Some 17 million adults to date are classed as having an alcohol problem.
- Of these 17 million, only 8% will ever seek help.
- 40% of people currently in rehab facilities are there due to alcohol addiction.
- It is known that the chance of recovering from an alcohol addiction is much larger if the treatment program lasts at least 90 days.
In order to successfully treat alcoholism, you must have a full understanding of the problem at hand. This is why, at Creative Care, we offer group and individual therapy, as well as a number of other holistic and alternative therapies to help you on your journey to recovery. During these sessions, you will be provided with the opportunity to explore why you became an addict in the first place, and what you can do in order to make more appropriate decisions in the future. Our goal is to make sure that you will leave our center as a productive and contributing member of the community. Please contact us today to see how we can help you.