Many people think that alcohol will make you the life of the party, but the truth is that alcohol is, literally, a depressant. In the United States alone, approximately 17 million people suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence. Each year, approximately 88,000 people die from alcohol-related complications. Deaths from alcohol are the third leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S. Alcohol use disorder has many short-term and long-term health consequences, including liver disease, anemia, cardiovascular disease, seizures, nerve damage, gout, high blood pressure, depression, and pancreatitis. An alcohol rehab center will help someone stop abusing alcohol and receive the treatment they need.
What is Alcohol Abuse?
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 7% of American adults 18 years or older suffer from a diagnosable alcohol use disorder. Alcoholism is twice as prevalent amongst men.
The DSM-5 defines alcoholism based on a set of behaviors that measures a diagnosis from mild to severe. If two or three behaviors are exhibited, it’s considered mild. Four or five and it’s closer to the severe end. Here are a couple examples of behavior that may indicate a sign of alcoholism:
- Found that drinking—or being sick from drinking—often interfered with taking care of your home or family? Or caused job troubles? Or school problems?
- More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?
- Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want? Or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?
- Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, restlessness, nausea, sweating, a racing heart, or a seizure? Or sensed things that were not there?
If you or a loved one has exhibited any of these behaviors as a result of their alcohol use it may be time to consider visiting an alcohol detox center.
Signs of Alcohol Dependence
Withdrawals are known for being associated with harder drugs such as heroin and methamphetamines, however, alcohol can take a very physical stranglehold on the body too. People who abuse alcohol build up a tolerance to the effects, prompting them to consume higher quantities in order to feel the effects. This not only augments the damage to the body, but it creates a physiological dependence, and that’s when withdrawal symptoms begin to manifest. The body is so used to having alcohol in its system that it struggles to function when its absent, and the user will experience depression, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, accelerated heart rate, tremors, and confusion. Users will often fall into a vicious cycle by drinking just to alleviate theses symptoms.
What Causes Alcohol Abuse
Long-term Effects of Alcohol Abuse
Persistent use of high quantities of alcohol can cause major damage to the body. Long-term effects include severe liver damage, depression, nerve damage, pancreatitis, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (neurological disease leading to confusion, visual problems and memory loss), GI tract infections, cancers, dementia, high blood pressure and extensive brain cell degeneration.
While some of the damage is irreparable, many effects are reversible with detoxification, extended sobriety, and a healthy regimen.
How Can Alcoholism be Treated?
The first step to recovery is detoxification. Depending on the severity of the addiction, this can be a very unpleasant experience, but having the care and expertise of an alcohol treatment center makes the journey much smoother and more effective. Rehabilitation is carried out by practicing new coping skills, making adjustments to problematic behavior and identifying emotional risks and personal triggers. These are just some of the ways our alcohol rehab center in los angeles battles addiction. We recognize that overcoming addiction is a lifelong journey. Our treatment programs provide the support and tools that you need to maintain sobriety long after your initial visit.
Alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous, even deadly, if not done properly, and for those looking to quit their dependence and addiction to alcohol, doing so under a alcohol detox center and residential treatment program is the best course of action for better long-term success.
At Haven House, an alcohol rehab in Los Angeles, you will have your own primary therapist, as well as sessions with a psychiatrist, and group sessions with our clinical team. They all work together to formulate the best treatment plan for your specific needs and will address underlying mental health concerns that play a role in abusing alcohol.
More Resources About Alcoholism
1 in 12 adults in the US is dependent on alcohol. That’s approximately 16 million Americans overall. We put together this infographic to shed light