Alcohol treatment is becoming increasingly more common as many people are beginning to recognize the severity of the disease. Although consuming alcohol is socially acceptable, many people start to abuse the substance and require treatment at a rehabilitation center. It is common to underestimate the vast range of mental and physical risks associated with the substance, as its legal status leads people to assume that alcohol must not be as dangerous as illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine. However, alcohol causes thousands of deaths every year and can not only be harmful to your physical health, but your mental health as well. Once someone has developed an alcohol dependence, ceasing to use the substance can be as dangerous as it is difficult. Alcohol treatment can save lives and turn the life around of not only the person who requires alcohol treatment, but their loved ones as well.
The amount of alcohol in each type of drink varies in relation to the substance. On average, beers contain around 3-10% alcohol, wine contains 8-14% alcohol, and spirits can contain anything from 20-90% alcohol. For example, vodka is around 40% alcohol while absinthe can contain up to 90%. It is important to know these differing levels in order to drink responsibly.
What Happens to the Mind and Body After Alcohol Exposure?
The extent of a person’s intoxication is influenced by factors such as body size and recent food consumption. Once ingested, alcohol quickly makes its way from the stomach and intestines to the bloodstream. At first, people who have consumed alcohol feel warm, relaxed, and often more sociable. However, higher levels of alcohol will cause poor coordination, impaired judgment, significantly lowered inhibitions, and mood swings. In extreme cases, drinkers may vomit or black out.
What are the Facts about Alcohol Addiction?
Many cases of alcohol addiction begin because the drinker enjoys the feelings of relaxation and social gregariousness that come with intoxication. Over time, this enjoyment develops into a need to drink alcohol on any occasion that permits it, and eventually the drinker will most likely start to lie about their habits and secretly drink even in contexts in which it is viewed as inappropriate. At this point, even if the drinker realizes that they have a serious problem, it can be difficult to stop drinking due to the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms (such as strong cravings, shaking, insomnia and sometimes even hallucinations).
People are classified as being dependent on alcohol when they continuously crave more of it, find it difficult to stop drinking after just a few drinks, and continue to drink in spite of the fact that it is causing negative changes in their lives (for example, to their relationships or work situations). It is suspected that some people have a genetic predisposition to alcohol abuse, but research into the scientific groundings for this claim is ongoing. While it is true that men are more likely to develop an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, women are just as susceptible to the ill health associated with chronic alcohol addiction.
Why is Alcohol Abuse Dangerous?
In the long-term, alcohol abuse can cause extremely serve damage to a person’s body and mind. Excessive alcohol consumption results in chronically high blood pressure that increases the risk heart failure, heart disease and strokes. There is a high likelihood of liver disease, which impairs the liver’s ability to process toxins and may eventually be fatal. For example, the CDC reported that there were 15,990 alcoholic liver disease deaths in the United States in 2010 alone.
Alcohol reduces the effectiveness of the immune system, making alcohol abusers more susceptible to bacterial and viral infections. It boosts a person’s likelihood of developing cancer, especially in the liver, breast and throat. Also, the effects of intoxication make drinkers much more likely to be involved in accidents or to sustain serious injuries.
Alcoholics are at risk of pancreatitis, which sometimes leads to the development of diabetes and is a risk factor for eventually developing pancreatic cancer. Also, pregnant women are putting their babies at great risk when they choose to abuse alcohol; it can damage a growing fetus in catastrophic ways.
Turning now to the mental health issues associated with alcohol, it is important to note that alcohol abuse causes brain damage. This damage can in turn lead to long-term coordination problems, diminished motor control, poor cognitive function, dementia, and impaired problem solving skills. While some of this damage may be reversible, many alcohol addicts are left with long-term mental difficulties long after detox. Alcohol abuse is also associated with the development of clinical depression, increasing the likelihood of suicide. Alcoholics are around six times more likely to commit suicide, when compared to someone who does not suffer from the disease.
In addition, alcohol abuse can ruin relationships, in both a mental and physical sense. It impacts the abuser’s sexual function and responsiveness, often causing sexual impotence in men. Also, drinking can bring out the worst in people. While there are alcoholics who merely become withdrawn or confused, there are also people who are much more likely to become violent or aggressive after excessive drinking. Chronic alcohol abuse makes many people more likely to argue with their partners; the risk of domestic violence is increased when someone suffers from alcoholism. Of course, this risk of violence also applies outside the home, where drinkers are more likely to become involved in violent altercations.
What Treatment is Available for Alcohol Users?
At White Sands Alcohol Rehab Center, we start alcohol treatment with a carefully designed detoxification process. However, our addiction treatment programs also heavily rely on cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps alcoholics to come to terms with why they became dependent on alcohol in the first place. Through both individual and group therapy, patients are also encouraged to develop healthy coping mechanisms that dramatically reduce the probability of future relapses. We develop a customized plan for every individual, focusing on the forms of treatment that are best suited to their unique circumstances. Although alcoholism is chronic, we believe that alcoholics can go on to live full and productive life, while maintaining long-term abstinence.
Life can be much more fulfilling than it is now, let us help you find joy again. The first step in coming to terms with your addiction is by calling us. Our alcoholism and drug addiction specialists can help you begin the path to recovery today. We are here for you 24 hours a day to help. Call us now at (877) 855-3470