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Alcoholism: Symptoms, Causes, Effects, and Treatments

According to peer-reviewed studies, alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States: 17.6 million Americans, one in every 12 people, have an alcoholic diagnosis, and millions more engage in dangerous and unhealthy behaviors such as binge drinking, which can lead to an alcohol use disorder.

Unfortunately, alcohol abuse negatively affects not only the person who is abusing alcohol but also their friends, family, and even children. The mainstream media typically downplays the risks associated with alcohol abuse and instead promotes it as socially acceptable behavior, which can skew the definition of alcoholism.

Although there is a clear line between having a drinking problem and an alcohol addiction, both are unhealthy behaviors that cause problems in personal relationships and emotional well-being, work, finances, family, and other aspects of an individual’s life.

Treatment Services

Are you looking for alcoholism treatment for yourself or a loved one who is battling alcoholism? Do you suspect that your spouse, child, relative, or close friend is an alcoholic? People who are ready to address their substance use disorder might benefit from alcohol treatment.

When researching the many alcoholism treatment options, you’ll discover that there are multiple levels of care available. A medical doctor, substance abuse therapist, or counselor should assist you and your loved one to choose the right treatment for you.

An alcohol addiction treatment facility usually offers the following alcoholism treatment services:

  • Partial hospitalization program
  • Intensive outpatient program
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Inpatient treatment
  • Medical detox
  • Therapies
The five stages of alcohol addiction

Symptoms of Alcoholism

If you think that you or any of your family members are abusing alcohol, keep an eye out for warning signs. Some symptoms of alcoholism are obvious, while others are subtle. Take a look at common signs and consider whether any of those signs relate to your loved one. If that’s the case, it may be a time to have a conversation about alcohol addiction treatment options.

When to Seek Treatment…

There are several ways to identify if you or a loved one has a drinking problem. If you notice any of the following signs, you should get help from medical professionals.

  • You have developed a tolerance to alcohol.
  • You drink alcohol to cope with anxiety and stress.
  • You both, mentally and physically, declining,
  • Your withdrawal symptoms make you drink again and again.
  • You have tried to quit drinking but failed,
  • Your relationship with family, friends, children, and coworkers are negatively impacted.
  • You are secretive about your alcohol usage.
  • You are noticing distinct mood swings.
  • You are no longer interested in the activities that you once enjoyed doing.

If you are not sure about what to do, then an important first step may be to get in touch with health care providers at The Haven. Contact us at (561) 328-8627.

If a Loved One Needs Help…

It’s difficult to talk to a loved one about their drinking. You may be worried that bringing up your concerns would cause the individual to become angry, defensive, lash out, or just deny that they have a problem. In fact, all of these are common reactions. However, this is not an excuse to remain silent. Your loved one’s drinking is unlikely to get better on its own; rather, it is likely to worsen until you intervene.

Here are a few essential steps that you can take to help your loved one recognize their drinking problem and seek professional addiction treatment.

  • Learn about alcoholism
  • Engage in careful conversation
  • Do not criticize or blame
  • Offer your support
  • Avoid enablement
  • Find the alcohol addiction treatment program

After your loved one seeks professional help, they would require additional help to stay sober after leaving the rehab center. Here is what you can do to keep them on track to recovery:

  • Encourage a healthy routine
  • Avoid bringing alcoholic drinks into the home
  • Be mindful of relapse
  • Attend therapy sessions and support group meetings
  • Help them discover healthier ways to cope with anxiety and stress

If your loved one has accepted that they have a drinking problem and are ready to enroll in an addiction treatment program, then The Haven can help. We offer a comprehensive range of alcohol addiction treatment services and aim for our patients to get and stay sober. Contact us at (561) 328-8627.

Causes of Alcoholism

While there is no specific formula for depicting a person’s drinking habits, studies show that a number of factors impact alcohol addiction. Alcoholism is a disease that has no bounds and may affect anybody, regardless of age, gender, race, physical shape, or personal convictions.

There are a variety of potential causes of alcoholism. These include:

Risk Factors of Alcoholism

Learning about some of the most common risk factors might help you find out whether you or a family member has a drinking problem and needs help. Some of the most well-known risk factors for alcoholism are as follows:

Effects of Alcoholism

Alcohol is the most commonly used drug in the United States. Heavy drinking can take a toll on a person’s physical and mental health, as well as social life.

Get Help

If you’re suffering from alcoholism, getting help as early as possible is essential. Alcoholism is a severe illness that can lead to many problems. Getting help as early as possible can significantly improve your chances of recovery. Call us to get started with treatment.

Our resources are available to help you overcome your drinking habits, including Alcoholics Anonymous, among other evidence-based therapies and innovative treatments proven by medical science to effectively manage AUD (alcohol use disorder). Our admissions counselors can help you learn more about the disease and how to keep it out of your life. Contact us confidentially today.

Treatment of Alcoholism

Although there is no cure for alcohol use disorders at the moment, AUDs can be successfully controlled and treated. Professional treatment at an alcohol treatment center like The Haven can help people suffering from AUDs to recover from their alcohol abuse issues and stay sober. If you or someone you care about is suffering from an AUD, you will most likely benefit from treatment.

If you’re seeking professional treatment for problematic alcohol use, you have several options available, including detoxification, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, behavioral therapies, medication, and peer support groups.

Medical Detox

Detox is an important initial step toward recovery from an AUD, but it is rarely sufficient to help a person achieve long-term sobriety. Detoxification is a collection of helpful interventions aimed to assist someone in withdrawing from alcohol safely and pleasantly, allowing them to transition into a formal and often longer-term treatment program.

A primary care physician will need to perform a comprehensive medical assessment of a patient’s experience with alcohol abuse, previous withdrawal experiences (if any), and medical history before admitting them to a detoxification clinic in order to determine their withdrawal risk. As a part of this assessment, patients may also undergo blood testing and screening for the existence of any co-occurring physical or mental health issues.

During the detox process, patients may be given medications to help them withdraw from alcohol safely throughout the detox procedure. Among these medications may include:

  • Benzodiazepines (like diazepam, chlordiazepoxide, oxazepam, or lorazepam)
  • Anticonvulsants (like carbamazepine, gabapentin, or topiramate)
  • Antipsychotics (like haloperidol)

After detox, a patient may enter a suitable substance abuse treatment program. Following detoxification and withdrawal management, a patient may undergo inpatient or outpatient treatment for an AUD, depending on the level of their addiction, their level of social support at home, and other factors. However, inpatient care is considered the most effective form of treatment.

Inpatient or Residential Rehab

Inpatient or residential AUD treatment involves patients living and residing in the rehabilitation center 24/7. The duration of inpatient alcohol treatment can vary, often consisting of brief stays of 3-6 weeks that may or may not be followed by attendance at an outpatient rehab. Some patients require extended stays of 6-12 months at therapeutic communities (TCs), which provide highly structured programming and aid with community reintegration.

Inpatient and residential rehab stays are advantageous because they remove a person from environments and distractions where they may be surrounded by such people, places, or events that can easily trigger an alcoholic relapse. It allows recovering addicts to focus solely on their recovery and develop the necessary coping skills to live a sober life. Here, patients are also given round-the-clock care and monitoring, which aids in the treatment of any post-acute withdrawal symptoms and provides essential support.

Behavioral Therapies

Behavioral therapies provide a regulated, nonjudgmental setting in which the patient may share their challenges and concerns. The essence of behavioral therapies is discussing these issues. Even if a patient is able to overcome their physical reliance on alcohol, they may still have a psychological void that alcohol fills.

These underlying issues must be addressed before the patient may be reintegrated into society. It may be accomplished through individual sessions between a therapist and the patient, group therapy, or both.

A therapist can use a range of psychotherapies to help patients in alcohol addiction recovery. The most commonly used therapies are as follows:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
  • Motivational enhancement therapy (MET)
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)

The Haven Detox Can Help You Get and Stay Sober

If you are having a difficult time overcoming your alcohol addiction despite your best efforts, it is necessary to seek medical help from the best treatment center, such as The Haven Detox. Our medical detox and inpatient treatment options are available to you. Our medical specialists want to help those who are battling substance abuse or mental health concerns.

Contact our team of health care experts at (561) 328-8627 for additional information on how we can assist you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does alcohol addiction affect family life?

Abuse is one of the most significant ways that alcohol addiction affects the entire family. No matter whether the abuse is emotional, physical, or sexual, the risk increases. There is a good chance that family members will encounter violence at the hands of an alcoholic.
An addict’s relationships with family members are usually strained. This results in damaged relationships and broken families.
Another effect of alcoholism on the family unit is the potential of another family member developing alcohol addiction. Children who grow up in a substance-abusing family are more likely to experiment with drugs.

Is there any way to truly help a family member who has an addiction?

Here are a few useful tips you can follow to help a family member who is struggling with an addiction problem:

Educate Yourself about alcohol addiction

Get Support

Get Counseling

Seek Specialists Help

Don’t Enable

Have Realistic Expectations

Take care of yourself

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