Sunday, February 25, 2024

Who Is An Alcohol Addict

Treatment Options For Alcoholism

Alcohol Addiction: My Alcohol Story

Various treatment options exist for alcohol addiction and alcohol use disorders. People should always seek out a professional evaluation since not all levels of treatment are appropriate for all people.

Inpatient/residential treatments are generally more intensive for people with more severe symptoms of addiction and dependence. These treatments offer around-the-clock care administered by a team of professionals. To maintain a safe environment for the individual, they will live at the treatment facility and have limited contact with people outside of the center initially.

Outpatient care involves treatments that allow the person to live at home, work and maintain other routines while attending care. Rather than living at the treatment center, the person will attend their appointment and then return home. Intensive outpatient care could involve several hours of treatment several times per week to offer more support to people in need.

According to a recent survey by The Recovery Village, out of the people initiating treatment:

  • 34.9% started rehab in inpatient or residential treatment
  • 24.2% started in intensive outpatient treatment
  • 26.1% started in outpatient care
  • 14.8% started rehab in teletherapy

People with fewer symptoms or additional responsibilities at home or work may opt for outpatient or telehealth offerings to limit the life disruption. These programs offer tremendous flexibility to assess and address each persons addiction.

Final Thoughts On Overcoming Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol may be an ongoing battle, but it can be won. You can overcome alcohol addiction with the help of loved ones, rehabilitation, and ongoing support.

Katelyn Redfoot

Katelyn Redfoot is an independent content writer based in North Carolina who offers ghostwriting, copywriting, blogging, and social media services. As a health and wellness advocate, she loves learning from and helping clients across the world share creative, relatable, and helpful content. Her goal is soon to take her writing on the road, traveling in a van with her fiance, Jason, and their dogs, Max and Summit.

The Recovery Village 2020 Alcohol Survey Results

We surveyed 2,136 American adults who either wanted to stop drinking alcohol or had already tried to . We asked them about their alcohol use, reasons for drinking, alcohol-related outcomes, health and more. A subset of the studys respondents qualified as heavy alcohol users. Research shows that people who drink before the age of 15 are four times more likely to become addicted to alcohol later in life.

Among those surveyed:

  • 10.1% had their first alcoholic drink at 11 years old or younger
  • 37.5% had their first alcoholic drink between 1217 years old
  • 39.7% had their first alcoholic drink between 1825 years old
  • 12.6% had their first alcoholic drink at 26 years old or older

Alcohol use disorder can involve feeling like you need to drink to keep going, but it doesnt start that way. Multiple different reasons can spur someone to drink until theyve become dependent on alcohol. Among those surveyed:

  • 64.9% used alcohol to cope with stress
  • 43.5% used alcohol to cope with mental health symptoms like anxiety or depression
  • 61.9% used alcohol recreationally or socially
  • 38.1% used alcohol out of boredom
  • 16.6% reported being physically dependent on alcohol
  • 17.8% used alcohol as part of their daily routine

Only 7.2% of people with an alcohol use disorder received treatment.

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What Is Alcohol Use Disorder

For most adults, moderate alcohol use is probably not harmful. However, about 18 million adult Americans have an alcohol use disorder . This means that their drinking causes distress and harm. AUD can range from mild to severe, depending on the symptoms. Severe AUD is sometimes called alcoholism or alcohol dependence.

AUD is a disease that causes:

  • Craving – a strong need to drink
  • Loss of control – not being able to stop drinking once you’ve started
  • Negative emotional state – feeling anxious and irritable when you are not drinking

Types Of Alcohol Recovery Programs

FAQ on Alcohol Addiction Los Angeles

There are several types of alcohol recovery programs:

Inpatient Programs

Inpatient treatmentprograms are intensive residential treatment options. They usually last for about 30, 60, or 90 days. However, they can be longer in some cases.

In inpatient programs, you live in a treatment facility. You have access to 24/7 support from your care team.

If you have severe alcohol addiction and are seeking treatment that is very hands-on, inpatient programs are ideal.7

Outpatient Programs

An outpatient program is similar but with one key difference: While you still have total access to a care team, you do not live in the rehab facility. Instead, you visit for scheduled appointments.

With an outpatient program, you will likely have more flexibility with your schedule. This is ideal for anyone who does not have a severe alcohol addiction.7 Sometimes, people who have already received care at an inpatient program will then enter an outpatient program.

Intensive Outpatient Programs

An intensive outpatient program works differently, as they fall somewhere in between inpatient and outpatient programs.

Intensive outpatient programs require you to spend more time in the rehab center. For example, an outpatient program may require visits for about 4 hours per week. But an intensive outpatient program may require visits for about 12 hours per week.

Partial Hospitalization Programs

Medication-Assisted Treatment


  • Cognitive behavioral therapy

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What Are The Symptoms Of Aud

Healthcare professionals use criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition , to assess whether a person has AUD and to determine the severity if the disorder is present. Severity is based on the number of criteria a person meets based on their symptomsmild , moderate , or severe .

A healthcare provider might ask the following questions to assess a persons symptoms.

In the past year, have you:

Any of these symptoms may be cause for concern. The more symptoms, the more urgent the need for change.

Who Can I Call For Help With Alcoholism

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a hotline, 24/7, 365 days a year. Call 1-800-662-HELP .

Alcoholics Anonymous is available almost everywhere and provides a place to openly and non-judgmentally discuss alcohol problems with others who have suffered from alcohol.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

No matter how hopeless alcohol use disorder may seem, treatment can help. If you think you might have a problem with alcohol, call SAMHSA or talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you cope, make a treatment plan, prescribe medications and refer you to support programs.

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Alcoholism Short & Long

Short- and long-term physical effects associated with alcohol addiction can include:10

  • Heart problems like cardiomyopathy , arrhythmias , high blood pressure, and stroke.
  • Liver disease, including steatosis , alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma.
  • Pancreatic problems like pancreatitis, an acutely painful inflammatory condition that can progress to a chronic disease. Pancreatitis can affect a range of pancreatic functions, including the normal release of digestive enzymes.
  • Certain types of cancer, including head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer.
  • A weakened immune system, which can increase your risk of infection and contraction of diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis.

Potential short- and long-term psychological and cognitive effects associated with alcoholism include:10, 11

  • Cognitive problems, such as memory loss or problems thinking clearly.
  • Blackouts .
  • Serious brain damage and disorders like WernickeKorsakoff Syndrome, which leads to confusion, impaired optic nerve function, profound movement deficits, and problems with memory recall and consolidation.
  • Mood disorders, like major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder.
  • Anxiety disorders, especially panic disorder and social phobia.

The short- and long-term social impact of alcoholism can include:2, 13

  • Bluish skin color.
  • Paleness.

Alcoholism: List Of Symptoms And Signs Of Alcohol Abuse

Treating Alcohol Addiction (Advice from David Smallwood)

Alcohol is a legal drug, but one that carries a significant risk of addiction.

Some of the most common physical, psychological, and behavioral signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse are:

  • Poor coordination
  • Wanting to stop drinking but not managing to do so
  • Diverting energy from work, family, and social life in order to drink
  • Being secretive about the extent of the alcohol abuse in order to protect it
  • Engaging in risky behavior, such as drunk driving
  • Being in denial about the extent of the alcohol abuse problem
  • Becoming distressed at the prospect of not having access to alcohol

When a person who regularly abuses alcohol stops drinking or significantly reduces the amount of intake, withdrawal symptoms will emerge. Such symptoms can begin as soon as two hours after the last drink and continue for weeks. Symptoms can include shaking, anxiety, and the desire for a drink. Delirium tremens , a severe withdrawal symptom, can include confusion, fever, and rapid heartbeat. There is a general advisement that alcohol withdrawal should occur under the care of a doctor specialized in addiction treatment, as some withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening.

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Analyze Where You Are

Its coming down to the wire. If all previous attempts have failed, our number one solution will be the last ditch effort to getting your loved one off of drugs, and giving them the health and attention they need to recover. By taking a step back and looking at the last few weeks or months of events, youll be able to better determine if your efforts are proving useful or if you need to take one more stab at this.

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You dont fit the stereotype. Maybe youve never been homeless, stolen money to buy alcohol or gotten a DUI. Maybe you have a job and a family you cant actually be addicted to alcohol, right?

Alcoholism and alcohol use disorder take many forms, and the stereotype doesnt always hold true. So when do a few drinks with friends become a full-blown alcohol addiction? How do you know if you are an alcoholic?

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Questions To Ask Your Doctor

  • Can alcohol abuse begin when you are elderly?
  • Will prescription medicines used for alcohol abuse interact with other medicines I take for my health?
  • Can I take antidepressant medicine while being treated for alcohol abuse?
  • Can I drink occasionally if I am suffering from alcohol abuse and can stop after one drink?
  • What are the signs and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal?

How Do I Stop Drinking

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Overcoming an addiction to alcohol can be a long and bumpy road. At times, it may even feel impossible. But its not. If youre ready to stop drinking and willing to get the support you need, you can recover from alcoholism and alcohol abuseno matter how heavy your drinking or how powerless you feel. And you dont have to wait until you hit rock bottom you can make a change at any time. Whether you want to quit drinking altogether or cut down to healthier levels, these guidelines can help you get started on the road to recovery today.

Most people with alcohol problems do not decide to make a big change out of the blue or transform their drinking habits overnight. Recovery is usually a more gradual process. In the early stages of change, denial is a huge obstacle. Even after admitting you have a drinking problem, you may make excuses and drag your feet. Its important to acknowledge your ambivalence about stopping drinking. If youre not sure if youre ready to change or youre struggling with the decision, it can help to think about the costs and benefits of each choice.

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When Should Someone Seek Help

Individuals often hide their drinking or deny they have a problem. How can you tell if you or someone you know is in trouble? Signs of a possible problem include having friends or relatives express concern, being annoyed when people criticize your drinking, feeling guilty about your drinking and thinking that you should cut down but finding yourself unable to do so, or needing a morning drink to steady your nerves or relieve a hangover.

Some people with drinking problems work hard to resolve them. With the support of family members or friends, these individuals are often able to recover on their own. However, those with alcohol dependence usually can’t stop drinking through willpower alone. Many need outside help. They may need medically supervised detoxification to avoid potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures. Once people are stabilized, they may need help resolving psychological issues associated with problem drinking.

There are several approaches available for treating alcohol problems. No one approach is best for all individuals.

Harmful Use Of Alcohol In The Western Pacific

The harmful use of alcohol is a global problem which compromises both individual and social development. Alcohol is the world’s third largest risk factor for premature mortality, disability and loss of health, resulting in 3.3 million deaths each year. Alcohol is associated with many serious social and developmental issues, including violence, child neglect and abuse, and absenteeism in the workplace. It also causes harm far beyond the physical and psychological health of the drinker by affecting the well-being and health of people around the drinker. An intoxicated person can harm others or put them at risk of traffic accidents or violent behaviour, or negatively affect co-workers, relatives, friends or strangers.

Technical links

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What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline

SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.

Also visit the online treatment locator.

Are The Effects Of Alcoholism Reversible

Why Do People With Addictions Choose Drugs/Alcohol Over Their Families?

Alcoholism is a disease that can affect both children and adults, but it doesnt affect everyone the same way. For some people, just one drink can result in intoxication, while for others, many more drinks are necessary to create the same effect. A drink is classified as 12 oz. of beer, 5 oz. of wine or 1.5 oz. of distilled spirits, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism . In terms of the effects on the body and brain, excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of various health issues for any user.

Despite the harm associated with alcohol consumption, the effects are reversible most of the time. Identifying problematic drinking early and getting into treatment can reverse many of the mental, emotional and physical side effects of heavy drinking. However, at a certain point, the damage is too severe. For example, liver failure and cirrhosis are complications of heavy drinking that are permanent. Permanent health damage should not deter a person from seeking treatment since SUD treatment can still improve a persons quality of life.

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Set Goals And Prepare For Change

Once youve made the decision to change, the next step is establishing clear drinking goals. The more specific, realistic, and clear your goals, the better.

Example #1: My drinking goal

  • I will stop drinking alcohol.
  • My quit date is __________.

Example #2: My drinking goal

  • I will stop drinking on weekdays, starting as of __________.
  • I will limit my Saturday and Sunday drinking to no more than three drinks per day or five drinks per weekend.
  • After three months, I will cut back my weekend drinking even more to a maximum of two drinks per day and three drinks per weekend.

Do you want to stop drinking altogether or just cut back? If your goal is to reduce your drinking, decide which days you will drink alcohol and how many drinks you will allow yourself per day. Try to commit to at least two days each week when you wont drink at all.

When do you want to stop drinking or start drinking less? Tomorrow? In a week? Next month? Within six months? If youre trying to stop drinking, set a specific quit date.

Symptoms Of Alcohol Addiction

To be diagnosed with an alcohol addiction or AUD, an individual must meet certain criteria as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . When someone experiences two of the following criteria for one year or longer, they are considered to have an alcohol addiction or AUD.

  • Trying to cut down on how much you drink or how often but unable to do so
  • Drinking more than intended or longer than planned
  • Being sick from drinking
  • Craving or needing a drink
  • Negating family, work, or school responsibilities to drink or because you were sick from prior drinking
  • Continuing to drink despite negative consequences with family, friends, work, or having legal issues
  • Having to drink more to get the relief or effect you had from less alcohol before
  • Giving up or cutting back on hobbies or other activities you enjoyed before to make more time to drink
  • Continuing to drink after experiencing a memory loss or blackout during drinking
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when the effects of alcohol were wearing off anxiety, shakiness, irritability, depression, nausea, sweating, restlessness, etc.

At Pinnacle Treatment Centers we know that battling an alcohol addiction can be tough. But you dont have to do it on your own. Our compassionate staff is here to support you every step of the way. If you think you or someone you love needs help for alcohol addiction, visit us online or call today at 1-800-782-1520.

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