outpatient alcohol treatment

outpatient alcohol treatment

outpatient alcohol treatment

outpatient alcohol treatment

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Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Southeast Addiction

Alcohol Addiction is the most common substance addiction only second to tobacco (nicotine) which is not quite in the same class of addiction as short term substances are. For all intents and purposes, when people mention addiction and self-destructive behaviors that arise from addiction, alcohol is often the most common culprit throughout the world.

In the United States alone, approximately 14.4 million adults aged 18 and older has at some point suffered from an AUD (alcohol use disorder) which is about 5 percent of this group. However, addiction happens along a spectrum with dependence starting early and snowballing into fullblown addiction in some individuals.

How Addictive is Alcohol?

There have been many differing studies that draw comparisons of chemical and physical addictiveness of various substances. Alcohol, to the surprise of many, actually hovers near the top alongside other substances such as opiates. These studies weigh the effective harm that a drug does, and when you consider the availability, physical effects, and social acceptability of alcohol consumption, it is easy to see that the risk and damage is quite high.

Many people drink alcohol in moderation with the occasional night of overconsumption by sheer mistake. So it comes as a surprise that it would be classified as such, however when you look at the seriousness of withdrawal symptoms in those who have an AUD, it becomes quite clear that the physical and mental effects of alcohol addiction are drastic.

While alcoholism is not typically an acute addiction which can take your life within months, it is an addiction that can destroy your mental and physical health over the course of years depending on the severity of dependence.

United States Drinking Culture

Alcohol Addiction can start at a young age, and for those predisposed to addiction due to hereditary or social factors this is doubly true. However, alcohol addiction can impact anyone as addiction is not simply limited to predisposition, but also can be founded on dependency.

Because of the social acceptability of alcohol consumption, it is often the first thing many people turn to innocuously when circumstances in life become difficult. These circumstances can be common things such as:

  • Losing one’s job
  • Having relationship difficulties with a significant other
  • Work or school related stress
  • Prior or recent emotional or physical trauma
  • Mental illness (AUD’s have a high rate of comorbidity with depression or generalized anxiety disorder)

Where alcohol dependency begins and ends is difficult to quantify. There are many alcoholics who are very high functioning, they may have a family, a spouse, a demanding job, and other responsibilities they tend to. Yet they still maintain a very strong dependence on alcohol to get through the day, sometimes unbeknownst to their loved ones. Regardless of the expression of it, dependence is dependence.

A large part of the United States social culture is built around socializing with alcohol. Happy hours with coworkers, glorification of binge drinking on college campuses, and lately a newer phenomenon of brewery culture that has taken the hobby of tasting new microbrews into dangerous waters of binge drinking.

Out of the many different substances both legal and illegal, alcohol is the one which most effectively loosens people’s inhibitions through impairing impulse control. This is why it is considered a social lubricant and is so prevalent in adult social gatherings and events.

Alcohol Addiction Warning Signs

The reason we briefly covered the culture of drinking in the United States in the prior passage is to put into context that a healthy balance of drinking is not clear. In truth, for some individuals there is NO healthy balance. Just as certain people have a troubled relationship with unhealthy foods, moderation is not possible for certain individuals.

In a culture of frequent casual drinking, this inevitably poses a problem when those individuals have a difficult path of resistance in trying to remain sober among their alcohol consuming peers.

Because of the prevalence and integration of alcohol into so many social activities and scenes, there are undoubtedly many people who are suffering from an Alcohol Use Disorder to the ignorance of their peers, friends, and family. Physical and emotional symptoms are hard to pinpoint and can be confused for other issues. Behavioral patterns on the other hand are a major sign of alcohol use issues.

Behavioral signs include:

  • Distress at the absence or limited availability of alcohol
  • Desire to stop drinking, but failing to do so
  • Obsessive thoughts over alcohol
  • Negative emotional or physical state when not drinking
  • Not divulging how much alcohol they drink
  • Denial when confronted with the possibility they may have an issue
  • Failing to meet obligations due to drinking

Naturally, there are many physical and emotional signs that run concurrent to this behavior. Headaches, glassy eyes, lack of coordination, headaches, mood swings, depression, irrational or volatile emotional outbursts.

Issues that are a direct result of chronic and sustained alcoholism include:

  • Liver disease
  • Cancer of the mouth, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum, and breast.
  • Ulcers and gastrointestinal problems
  • Brain damage
  • Immune suppression
  • Heart disease and compromised cardiovascular health
  • Vitamin and nutritional deficiencies/reduced bone density

How Does Alcohol Abuse Affect Your Body and Mind?

While we cover the broad spectrum of effects up above, in particular, the most well covered aspect of alcohol abuse is the damage it does to the person’s liver. Liver disease occurs when the liver is experiencing chronic overuse and inflammation through the continual processing of alcohol. Cirrhosis of the liver is the end result of liver damage, in which healthy tissues in the liver are increasingly replaced with scar tissue which does not serve any useful function. As liver function declines, various issues crop up throughout the body as the liver is one of the most essential organs due to its role in processing and storing nutrients and conversion of waste products.

However, what is often not considered as deeply by the public is the effects of even moderate alcohol consumption on the mind.
GABA is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter your brain uses to inhibit nervous system excitation—in other words, it has a calming effect. Alcohol binds to the receptors that GABA does and exhibits a similar effect that when combined with the fact that such receptors are present in the reward system of the brain, this results in an effect of pleasure and inhibition dampening when consuming alcohol.

However, it is a common occurrence that those who drink more within a shorter span of time are more prone to memory impairments or even blackouts, according to a publication by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

However, tolerance to alcohol can begin to climb and thus begins a potentially negative cycle of abuse in “chasing” the buzz. The drinker realizes they need more to achieve the same effect and so they continue to increase the amount of alcohol they consume thus also leading to more frequent memory impairments and potentially blackouts. Prolonged overconsumption of alcohol can effect changes on the brain

Alcohol Treatment and Recovery with Southeast Addiction

If you recognize these signs in a loved one and wish to seek help for them, or you yourself are suffering with an alcohol use disorder, please contact Southeast Addiction Center for help. We recognize it is not easy to reach out and make that first step, but it’s ever the more important that you do so. We have helped many people with the first steps into a life of recovery, and we know it is the best decision you will ever make. For your health, for your family or friends, and most importantly—for yourself.

Call us at (777)-629-0258 to get addiction help today.

Contact Us and Get Help Now

Southeast Addiction Center exists for one purpose: to help addicts establish sustainable recovery.

770-217-7832

3020 Holcomb Bridge Rd
Suite C Norcross GA 30071