Signs, Symptoms & Treatment
An Overview of
Alcohol Abuse in the U.S.
Alcohol is a legal, controlled substance that lowers anxiety and inhibitions. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and has a broad range of side effects, from loss of coordination to slurred speech. Not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic, but anyone whose life is negatively affected by alcohol on a consistent basis is considered to have an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).
Alcohol Use Disorder (often referred to as alcoholism) is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences. It can range from mild to severe, fortunately, recovery is possible regardless of severity.
How Alcohol Impacts Our Society
Alcohol Facts & Statistics
According to a 2018 study reported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:
- 26% of people ages 18 or older reported binge drinking in the past month.
- Adults (ages 18+): 14.4 million adults (5.8 percent of this age group) had AUD. That is 7.6 percent of men and 4.1 percent of women in this age group.
- About 7.9 percent of adults who had AUD in the past year received treatment.
- Youth (ages 12 to 17): An estimated 401,000 adolescents (1.6 percent of this age group) had AUD.
- About 5.0 percent of youth who had AUD in the past year received treatment.
- An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The first is tobacco, and the second is poor diet and physical inactivity.
- In 2014, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 9,967 deaths (31 percent of overall driving fatalities).
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How to Know if Someone is an alcoholic?
Signs & Symptoms of Alcoholism
Because alcohol is legal and widely accepted in society, it can be hard to tell the difference between casual use and abuse. In general, any usage of alcohol that results in negative consequences is considered abuse.
When abuse becomes more frequent, it can escalate into an addiction.
Alcohol addiction, also known as AUD or alcoholism, is marked by a craving for alcohol and the inability to stop drinking—even when it causes extreme personal or social harm.
Signs of an alcohol addiction include:
- Frequently drinking more than intended
- Wanting to stop drinking but being unable to
- Developing a tolerance to alcohol
- Feeling symptoms of withdrawals when stopping
- Letting personal and professional responsibilities flounder in favor of drinking
- Spending an extreme amount of time trying to get and drink alcohol
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How to Quit Drinking Alcohol for Good
Alcoholism Rehab Center in Los Angeles
The treatment option that’s right for you depends on your situation and your goals. Most people find that a combination of treatments works best. You can access all these options through a qualified treatment program. Some of these are inpatient or residential programs, where you stay at a treatment center for a while. Others are outpatient programs, where you live at home and go to the center for treatment.
For people who have severe alcohol use disorder, this is a crucial step. The goal is to stop drinking and give your body time to get the alcohol out of your system. That usually takes a few days to a week.
Most people go to a hospital or treatment center because of withdrawal symptoms like:
- Shaking (tremors)
- Seeing or feeling things that aren’t really there (hallucinations)
Individualized Therapy & Counseling
With alcohol use disorder, stopping your drinking is only part of the answer. You also need to learn new skills and strategies to practice adjusting to everyday life in sobriety. Psychologists, social workers, or alcohol counselors can teach you how to:
- Change the behaviors that make you want to drink
- Deal with stress and other triggers
- Build a strong support system
- Set goals and reach them
Join a Support Group
Support groups are an excellent way to maintain sobriety, and many people choose to remain in a support group for years after their initial treatment program. Support groups provide people with a network of others who have gone through the same thing as you, and they help each other deal with stressors in life, resulting in a greater chance of avoiding relapse. Benefits of a support group include:
- Feeling less lonely or isolated
- Reducing stress, depression, anxiety
- Talking openly and honestly about your feelings
- Improving skills to cope with challenges
- Staying motivated to stick to treatment plans
- Gaining a sense of empowerment or hope
- Improving understanding of your disease and your own experience with it
- Getting practical feedback about treatment options
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Your Journey to a Sober Life Begins Today
Learn How to Get Sober & Stay Sober atOur Alcohol Rehab Program in LA
You don’t have to go through recovery alone. Many people who struggle with alcohol addiction find it difficult or impossible to quit without the help or support of others. Increase your chance of a full recovery with the help of our dedicated inpatient alcohol treatment center.
It’s important to recover from alcoholism under the supervision of medical professionals and at Starbridge Recovery, you or your loved one will be provided with all of the tools necessary to get you the help you need. Call our alcohol treatment center in Los Angeles today to begin your journey to lasting recovery.
Your Path to Lasting Recovery
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