With so much attention on the opioid addiction crisis, it is easy for us to lose focus on other important issues plaguing our nation. Rates of cocaine and meth addiction have risen in the past several years, along with the addiction to synthetic drugs, such as synthetic marijuana. It is imperative that in this time of growing trends, we not forget about one of the longest standing addiction issues our society falls victim to every day.
Alcoholism is one of the oldest forms of substance abuse, and one which still affects millions of Americans each year. Seeing as April is Alcohol Awareness Month, we believe it is necessary to take the time to recognize alcohol addiction as the fatal disease it is.
Just because alcohol is legal for purchase and consumption in America, does not make the chemical any less dangerous. With that said, if you or a loved one is currently struggling with a drinking problem, there are some things you need to know.
Most importantly, if you suffer from an addiction to alcohol, help is available to you. Please do not hesitate to reach out for help.
Alcohol Awareness Month
Alcohol Awareness Month was established in 1987 to help reduce the stigma so often associated with alcoholism by encouraging communities to reach out to the American public each April with information about alcohol, alcoholism and recovery.
Founded and sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), Alcohol Awareness Month provides a focused opportunity across America to increase the understanding of alcoholism, it causes, effective treatment and recovery.
In honor of Alcohol Awareness Month and as a leader in providing effective addiction treatment to those suffering from chemical dependency, we at Clearbrook would like to offer some insight into alcohol addiction, signs and symptoms, and what to do if you or a loved one is in need of help.
What Is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is an addiction to the consumption of alcohol or the mental illness and compulsive behavior resulting from alcohol dependency. As alcohol addiction is a progressive disease, if gone untreated, it will not only cause much difficulty in the abuser’s life, but it can, and will become fatal.
Not everyone who drinks alcohol becomes an alcoholic, but there are various forms of drinking behaviors that can become problematic. For instance, binge drinking has become a very prominent issue for both men and women.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. This happens when men consume 5 or more drinks and women consume 4 or more drinks in a 2 hour period. According to the CDC, one in six American adults binge drink about four times a month each year.
There are also problem drinkers to be aware of. According to the NIAAA, 72% of people have a single period of heavy drinking in their lifetime, which usually lasts for 3 to 4 years. Often times, this occurs during college, peaking between the ages of 18-24, and eventually phasing out. When a problem drinker is met with a consequence or reason to cut back on their drinking, they are able to change their behaviors. Some varying reasons can include employment issues, relationship troubles, or starting a family.
The difference between a problem drinker and an alcoholic is the fact that an alcoholic cannot stop their compulsive drinking, despite adverse consequences or even the desire to want to stop. Once they have crossed the line from recreational use to addiction, all bets are off. Without intervention and proper treatment, an alcoholic will have much difficulty stopping on their own.
Signs & Symptoms of Alcoholism
If you or a loved one questions the possibility of having a drinking problem, there are several warning signs to consider. Here are some of the various indications that alcoholism may be present in your life.
- Neglecting responsibilities
- Financial problems due to drinking
- Blacking out; not remembering what you did the night before
- Drinking more than you intended
- Hiding alcohol and alcohol use from family and friends
- Employment and/or educational problems due to drinking
- Conflicts with family & friends due to drinking
- Legal consequences i.e. DUIs
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
- Anxiety & Depression
If any of these signs or symptoms are present in your life, or the life of someone you love, please seek the advice of an addictions professional today. Attempting to quit drinking on your own can be very risky, and in some cases, even fatal.
Getting Help for an Alcohol Addiction
If you or someone you know has been able to relate to the information we have provided today, it may be time to seek help from a qualified addiction treatment center. While this may be a scary thought, getting help will surely be the best decision you ever make.
For 45 years, Clearbrook Treatment Centers has been treating the disease of alcoholism, and giving thousands of individuals the opportunity to experience life free from the chains of addiction. From the first moment you call us, your wellbeing and future become our priority.
Our Admissions Specialists will work closely with our Medical and Clinical Teams to provide you with the most effective and comprehensive treatment solutions. By customizing our programming to fit your individual needs, we are able to provide you with the necessary tools for lasting recovery.
Please remember, while alcoholism is a progressive and fatal disease, millions of Americans have found recovery. You can do the same!
Contact Clearbrook Today
Are you or a loved one struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction? If so, we can help.
For 45 years, Clearbrook Treatment Centers has been treating the effects that alcohol and drugs have on the individual, as well as on the family. Based upon the belief that chemical dependency is a disease that needs to be handled with the utmost care, we are able provide our patients with the highest quality of services.
If you are tired of being a hostage to your addiction, please contact our Admissions Specialists today.
Recovery is possible…and it begins here!