Alcohol, as explained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “is an intoxicating ingredient found in beer, wine, and liquor.” It is a psychoactive, central nervous system depressant that works by slowing down vital functions in one’s body. The half-life, meaning the length of time the substance will remain in one’s system until the concentration in one’s blood has been reduced by half, of alcohol, is four to five hours. However, about five half-lives are required to fully eliminate alcohol from one’s body. Alcoholism, also known as addiction to alcohol or alcohol use disorder (AUD), is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic brain disorder. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) explains that “alcohol use disorder is a medical condition characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences.” Nearly 18 million people in the U.S. have a problem with alcohol. It is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and an estimated 95,000 Americans die from alcohol-related causes each year.
Are Alcohol Treatment Programs Effective?
Yes, alcohol treatment programs can be effective in treating individuals struggling with alcohol abuse and/ or alcohol addiction. Further, there are a variety of different types of alcohol treatment programs available to those in need. It is important to note that treatment success does not necessarily imply a linear recovery trajectory. Clinical treatment studies estimate, for example, that more than two thirds of individuals relapse within weeks to months of initiating treatment. Relapse is defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) as the “recurrence of behavioral or other substantive indicators of active disease after a period of remission.” According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 40% to 60% of people relapse after drug treatment. Relapse, is a hallmark of any chronic condition, including alcohol use disorder; it is not an indication of failure, but rather is simply a typical component of alcoholism. Nevertheless, most former alcoholics who remain sober for five years and longer usually stay that way, and according to Psychology Today the risk of relapse for these people drops to below 15%, rising their chances for long-term sobriety. Empirical evidence confirms that longer an individual spends in substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment directly correlates to an increase in successful recovery outcome.
For Information and Support
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.