Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction has been quietly killing thousands of Americans each year for centuries. Alcohol abuse, alcohol-related car accidents, and the medical problems from long-term alcohol use continue to be a constant health concern.

Alcoholism is a chronic disease, that is treatable. People can and do recover with help.

Alcohol Addiction - Florida Rehab

WHAT IS ALCOHOLISM?

Alcoholism or alcohol addiction is a term used to refer to chemical dependency on alcohol. It’s a problem that has been around since alcohol has existed in the world. It’s one the most heavily used addictive substances. Studies show that more than half of all Americans consume alcohol. While not everyone who drinks becomes addicted, the fact that it’s so common contributes to high numbers of people with alcohol abuse problems.

Alcoholism is a chronic disease that affects the pleasure center of your brain. It occurs after a period of heavy drinking when a person become physically or psychologically dependent. Some can use and even abuse alcohol for a period without developing dependence.

LEGAL IS NOT SAFER?

It’s commonly presumed that alcohol is a safe recreational drug to consume because it is legal and other drugs aren’t. The truth is that drinking it in excess has its own share of risks. It can also have other effects on your physical health. Alcohol abuse has been linked to many health issues including cancer, heart disease, stroke, cirrhosis, dementia, depression, and more.

Binge drinking has become a standard practice on college campuses and it’s seen as something of a common thing for teens and young adults. However, Research has shown that prolonged use of extreme amount of alcohol can significantly slow or stop a process of brain development called myelination. In this process, nerve cells are surrounded by a fatty white substance called myelin. This substance helps surge the speed of brain functioning. Stopping the growth of myelin with alcohol can forever affect cognition and lead to slower thinking and mental functions.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are risky.  Central nervous system depressants like alcohol, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates can cause seizures when people are undertaking withdrawal. Seizures aren’t typically fatal, but they can cause injuries, accidents, and medical complications. Alcohol and other sedatives can cause delirium tremens (DT). Occurrences of DT can cause hallucinations, hypertension, confusion, nightmares, and increased heart rate. Delirium tremens can result in death if not treated medically.

Alcohol abuse is as dangerous as the addiction of some prescription and illegal drugs. Even though it’s legal and highly accessible, it should be taken seriously as an addictive substance.

Alcohol Abuse - Florida Treatment Center

The long-term medical consequences of alcohol addiction may include:

  • Brain damage
  • Liver disease
  • High-blood pressure and stroke
  • Sexual Function problems
  • Declining immune system

Common signs of alcohol abuse include:

  • Recurrent or severe hangovers
  • Abandonment of personal responsibilities
  • Buildup of legal or financial issues related to drinking
  • Inability to stop or reduce drinking
  • Insomnia
  • Moodiness

Florida Alcohol Addiction Treatment Programs

There are many types of alcohol treatment programs available. These include:

  • Medical Detox – During the detox stage, the body must rid itself of alcohol and other toxins through a medically-supervised program that addresses the dangers and symptoms of withdrawal associated with detox.
  • Partial Hospitalization Program – This program is intensive addiction treatment, but clients reside in off-site housing that is monitored by recovery staff.
  • Intensive Outpatient Treatment – This level of care is for patients who want the flexibility of outpatient care but must continue to undergo all-day treatment during the week.
  • Outpatient Treatment – Instead of living at an alcohol treatment center, clients live at home. They may continue to work, as alcohol treatment sessions can be scheduled around everyone’s scheduling needs.