Alcohol abuse is common among the global population. In the United States, an estimated 26.4% of adults participate in binge drinking frequently. Alcoholism statistics show that heavy alcohol usage is found in about 6.7% of US adults.
While having a drink now-and-then is unlikely to cause harm, the effects of alcoholism can be devastating. People need to understand what alcohol can do to their bodies and realize that there are treatment programs that can help them through recovery.
At A Sober Way Home, the medical experts understand how severe impact alcohol can have on a person’s life. This is why care will always be compassionate while also taking the needs of the patient into account.
What Is Alcoholism?
While there is no specific alcoholism definition that is used as a definite criterion for diagnosing the condition, alcohol abuse is generally defined as a situation where a person is unable to be in charge when it comes to drinking.
Alcohol abuse disorder is generally defined as a condition where the person would experience cravings for the substance consistently. The person would also not be able to stop drinking by themselves once they start – often continuing until no alcohol is left or they are unable to continue drinking due to reasons such as passing out.
Many people ask if alcoholism is a disease. Due to the psychological effects, the condition is most often defined as a disorder.
There are multiple stages of alcoholism. During the initial stages, recovering from the addiction is considered an easier goal to reach for the individual. When the condition advances, such as to the point of end-stage alcoholism, the person would be at risk of suffering severe consequences – which can be life-threatening in some cases.
Signs And Symptoms Of Alcoholism
Recognizing the symptoms of alcoholism is important, especially when the condition only starts to develop. The signs of alcohol abuse may differ from one individual to the next, which is why a treatment program at a facility like A Sober Way Home would involve personalized planning.
Alcoholism symptoms would generally include the individual’s inability to keep themselves under control when drinking. There are some physical signs of alcoholism, such as the person consistently having a “drunk” appearance.
The psychological alcoholism signs are also concerning. Symptoms of alcohol abuse related to the psychological well-being of the individual would usually include mood problems when the person is unable to gain access to alcoholic drinks. These mood-related alcohol abuse symptoms will most likely include feelings of anxiety and anger when the person hasn’t been able to drink for a period of time.
Causes Of Alcoholism
There are several potential causes of alcoholism that people need to be aware of. Individuals who are at an increased risk of alcoholism should be particularly careful and ensure they are able to recognize signs of an addiction developing at an early stage.
Potential causes and risk factors that have been associated with alcohol use disorder include:
- There is a possibility that a family history of alcoholism may increase a person’s risk of suffering from this disorder themselves.
- High-stress levels have also been found to act as a risk factor when looking at how likely a particular person would be to develop an addiction to alcohol.
- Since younger individuals are more susceptible to developing an addiction, those individuals who start to use alcohol at a young age are also more likely to start abusing this substance.
- Mental health also plays a role in the development of alcoholism. Individuals who suffer from mental health issues that would be classified as “unstable” are at a higher risk of developing this disorder.
- The use of certain pharmaceutical drugs combined with alcohol can cause intoxication effects to become elevated. Continued combination with these two can lead to an increased risk of alcoholism.
Dangers Of Alcohol Abuse
People at risk of alcoholism need to understand the effects of alcohol abuse on their bodies. Alcohol can cause many harmful effects to develop in the body – which can sometimes even be life-threatening and lead to death.
Possible dangers associated with the abuse of alcohol include:
- Damage to the liver, which may lead to the development of fatty liver disease. Cirrhosis, a term that refers to scarring that develops in liver tissue, can also occur.
- The heart may also suffer in people with alcohol abuse disorder. Alcoholism causes cholesterol and fats to accumulate in the blood and leads to an increased risk of blood clots.Thus, heart disease becomes a more serious concern among heavy drinkers.
- Nervous system problems may develop, along with issues affecting the brain. This can cause dementia, depression, and other problems.
Other potential dangers that should not go unnoticed would include certain types of cancer, as well as the increased risk of suffering from anemia.
Treatment Of Alcoholism
Personalized treatment for alcoholism is usually offered to people who come to a facility like A Sober Way Home. There are various forms of alcoholism treatment that may be used to help the person overcome an addiction to alcohol.
A person in need of alcohol addiction help will usually start treatment with a detox program. As part of alcohol addiction treatment, detox helps to get rid of any chemicals related to the alcohol that may still be present in the person’s body.
This treatment may be followed by medication for alcoholism, group therapy sessions, and access to a counselor.
Fighting Against Alcoholism
Chronic alcoholism is a serious problem in the population that can lead to life-threatening events. People with this problem need to be informed of the risks that they are facing through alcoholism and also realize that there is help available for them.
Accessing Asoberwayhome.org, the official homepage for A Sober Way Home, offer a person access to the personalized treatment that they would need to recover. Services will depend on the symptoms experienced by the person since the needs tend to differ between patients.