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Alcohol is a controlled legal substance that is served to adults ages 21 and older in the United States. When alcohol is consumed, it lowers the user’s inhibition and may even help calm their anxiety. Other side effects include slurred speech and loss of coordination. Although not everyone who drinks is addicted to the substance, many men and women experience problem drinking. Binge drinking, for example, is one of the most common alcohol abuse issues. Male binge drinkers consume five or more alcoholic drinks in a span of two hours and female binge drinkers consume four or more drinks in that same period of time.
People who regularly abuse this substance and experience the negative effects are considered to have an alcohol use disorder. It is typically consumed as a drink in different forms, including wine, hard liquor and beer.
When someone consumes alcohol, they may experience a release of built-up stress or a decrease in anxiety. Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, which means it reduced the speed of a person’s mental and bodily processes. Since it is socially acceptable to drink, it allows people to be more carefree and also makes it harder to tell when someone is just casually drinking or abusing the substance.
Some of the immediate effects of alcohol consumption include:
- Slurred Speech
- Emotional changes
- Trouble sleeping
- Decrease in body temperature
Any form of drinking that causes negative consequences is typically considered to be alcohol abuse.
Some of the negative effects associated with alcohol abuse include:
When alcohol abuse becomes a frequent occurrence, it can quickly lead to dependence, and eventually, addiction.
When mixed with other drugs such as benzodiazepines and some prescription painkillers the risk for serious health consequences increases. Unfortunately, the combination of alcohol with prescription drugs is all too common in today’s culture. Alcohol alone can be very dangerous, but when combined with other addictive substances, it can prove to be deadly.
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As a central nervous system depressant, alcohol affects mental and physical body functions. After repeated abuse, the body becomes tolerant to the effects of the drug, requiring more to achieve the original feelings of euphoria. Alcoholism develops quickly after dependence and can have serious detrimental health effects.
Alcoholism is characterized by incessant cravings for the substance and the inability to quit drinking even when it causes harm to the person and others. Other signs of alcoholism include:
- Drinking more than originally intended
- Wanting to quit, but being unable to
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when consumption is stopped
- Developing a tolerance to alcohol
- Neglecting personal hygiene
- Neglecting personal and family responsibilities in favor of drinking
- Spending large amounts of time thinking about and trying to obtain alcohol
Detoxing from alcohol can be extremely dangerous, especially for people who have a long history of alcoholism or have been through rehab multiple times. Withdrawal symptoms like seizures, hallucinations and elevated heart rate can all lead to serious medical emergencies. Undergoing supervised medical detoxification allows patients to be in a safe and comfortable environment where they receive 24/7 supervision from board certified doctors and resident nurses. Several medications are used to help alcoholics manage the symptoms of withdrawal and reduce cravings. Depending on the patient’s history with drug abuse, the medical professionals on staff will decide what medical interventions are necessary for a safe detox process.
Behavioral therapy treatment sessions are designed to help recovering addicts change their negative thought process and behaviors. Our licensed psychologists and mental health counselors can help you learn new coping skills to manage temptations and cravings. By changing your thought process, you will be able to control your impulses and manage your triggers in a more effective manner.
Adjunct treatment therapies like yoga, art therapy, biofeedback, equine therapy, exercise therapy and nutritional therapy can all help compliment the traditional treatment protocols received during rehab. It has been proven that incorporating a range of these alternative treatment options with traditional treatment methods can largely improve the success rate of the addiction recovery process.
Relapse Prevention and Aftercare
During rehab, individuals are given the tools and learn the skills they’ll need to avoid relapse and live a life free of drugs and alcohol. Once they complete the rehab program, aftercare services are provided, including resources for continued recovery, as well as local support groups in their area so they can maintain their sobriety.
You don’t have to walk alone in the journey toward recovery. Let us help you find the rehab center that’s right for you. We provide comprehensive and customized treatment programs to help you live a drug-free life.
Behavioral Health Trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health [PDF]. (2015, September). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Overview of Alcohol Consumption. (n.d.). Retrieved August 30, 2016, from http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption
Alcohol’s Effects on the Body. (n.d.). Retrieved August 30, 2016, from http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/alcohols-effects-body
Last updated on April 7th, 2017 at 03:56 pm