Recent data from the World Health Organization notes that while nearly half of the people on the planet have never drank alcohol — at 48 percent — another 14 percent of lifetime drinkers have abstained over the past year. For some, the occasional drink is all they partake in, but for others, the path they’re on is far more dangerous.
There is a difference between alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence, the latter being more commonly recognized as alcoholism. Someone who abuses alcohol may drink more frequently than they should or consume too much alcohol when drinking, and their habits might even cause them problems, but they aren’t considered an alcoholic, according to WebMD. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 51.3 percent of adult Americans are considered to be regular alcohol drinkers. The symptoms of alcoholism, as noted by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., include:
- A developed tolerance to alcohol that requires the drinker to consume more alcohol to feel the same effect that a less amount once delivered
- Withdrawal symptoms
- An inability to control how much or how often one drinks
- An urge to stop drinking but a failure to do so
- A growing trend of avoiding responsibilities or disengaging from people and activities you once enjoyed being involved with
- Alcohol starts to become the focus of your life
- Persistent drinking despite the negative consequences alcohol consumption has brought into your life
The first step to overcoming alcoholism, detox, is tough for every alcohol-dependent person. This period of time generally lasts anywhere from a week to 10 days and can put the drinker through an intense myriad of side effects, from shifts in mood, like anxiousness and depression, to more severe side effects, such as delirium tremens and seizures, according to MedlinePlus.
In years past, detox was the only method of treatment at many facilities. Today, modern facilities offer much more comprehensive treatment. Nearly every treatment facility now offers medicated detoxification programs to ease the withdrawal symptoms patients have to face. One of the primary reasons many alcoholics and problem drinkers fail to be successful at giving up their habit is due to the symptoms that ensue when they try stop drinking. For these reasons, detox is often not successful without the help of a fully qualified treatment center.
While there are options in today’s modern world to detox at home with medication prescribed by a qualified physician, this form of detoxification often comes with a high price tag and far less supervision in the event that anything goes wrong. In case any of any serious side effects taking place, being in the presence of nurses and doctors is your best bet at a safe and comfortable detox experience.
Among US citizens, 17.6 million are struggling with alcohol abuse or dependence, according to the NCADD.
While it is not always impossible for these people help themselves and quit drinking on their own, long-term sobriety is a tough thing to manage without a good support system behind you.
Unfortunately, many alcoholics spend years with the bottle damaging relationships with family and friends and may have few people to fall back on in their time of need. A good rehabilitation facility will teach an alcoholic how to cope with cravings in addition to setting them up with a great network of people they can lean on when need be.
Support group meetings like those offered by Alcoholics Anonymous are still as popular as ever among the recovering alcoholic community. When you’re considering throwing it all away and jumping off the wagon, the people you meet at these groups can hold your hand until you feel like you’re confident to move forward. A key feature many programs now offer is a support system not only for addiction, but also for mental illness since many addicts have underlying mental health disorders.
The majority of people who suffer from alcoholism never receive the treatment they so desperately need. In fact, the NIAAA states that over 700,000 people in the US receive treatment for alcohol every day, but they also account for the many who are not getting treatment who need it. In the United States, alcohol is the third-leading cause of preventable fatalities, killing about 88,000 people every year, per the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
We’re here to help those who struggle with alcohol abuse and alcoholism. We know that your best chance at giving up alcohol starts with us putting you in touch with the facility that will help you get it right the first time. We want to hear your story, get to know you, and connect you with the best services in the sobriety business. Call us today and let us help you get to where you need to be.