Alcohol may be an addictive substance, but most people are able to consume it in moderate amounts with no damaging consequences. In fact, research by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) indicates that at least 86 percent of adults in the United States have had an alcoholic drink at some point.
Unfortunately, a number of these people will end up misusing alcohol or developing an addiction. For those who are seeking help, Alcohol Treatment, Mesquite is there to offer free advice at 214-414-1108.
Alcoholism is a widespread problem in the United States, but alcohol abuse is actually more common. A study by NCADD reveals that one in every 12 adults in the United States exhibits signs of alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse is defined as the continued harmful use of alcohol: the point where a person’s drinking behavior begins to cause problems. Individuals who abuse alcohol often engage in “binge drinking” and consume an excessive amount of alcohol in one session.
Alcohol abusers tend to have blackouts where they have no recollection of what happened while they were drinking; they may feel ashamed of their behavior and try to hide their drinking from others. Problem drinking isn’t a lifelong condition, and most people who binge drink can cut back on their own. Any destructive drinking behavior can cause problems in a person’s relationships and professional life, and it can put them at risk for a host of physical consequences.
Individuals with alcoholism exhibit the same behaviors as alcohol abusers, but they will also experience some telltale symptoms of addiction. Increased tolerance is a hallmark of addiction. With continued use, addicted individuals find that they need to drink larger and larger amounts to experience the same effects.
The presence of withdrawal symptoms is another classic indicator of addiction. Alcoholics suffer intense cravings and unpleasant symptoms when they make an attempt to go without a drink. Other signs of a drinking addiction include: abandoning social activities, ignoring responsibilities, experiencing performance problems at work and losing control of one’s drinking.
Before rehabilitation can begin, an individual with an alcohol addiction must go through detox. Difficult and dangerous symptoms accompany the process of alcohol withdrawal, so detox is usually completed at an inpatient facility. A medically supervised detox program provides round-the-clock supervision and care, and patients can receive medications to lessen withdrawal symptoms and ease their cravings for alcohol.
The next phase of a typical rehab plan involves a mix of group counseling and individual therapy sessions. This treatment can take place on an inpatient or outpatient basis. During therapy sessions, participants learn about the nature of their disease and develop coping skills that will help them avoid a relapse after they leave rehab.
Relapse is an ongoing risk for recovering addicts, especially in the first two years of sobriety. Aftercare services can help recovering individuals reduce this risk and stay sober. Many individuals choose to continue counseling; attending support groups and 12-step meetings also provide motivation and guidance.
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