Alcoholism warrants its own separate page, because it is so prevalent and can be so destructive. It’s the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States, causing thousands of deaths in America every year. Due to alcohol’s legality and widespread availability, it is one of the most commonly abused substances in the United States. It is also one of the most addictive and deadly drugs in the country. Due to these factors, rehabilitation treatment is essential for anyone attempting to get sober and end their addiction to alcohol.
If you or a loved one is hooked on alcohol and needs help, contact Baltimore Addiction Rehab‘s caring staff at (410) 352-4440 .
Alcohol Abuse vs. Alcohol Addiction
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) draws a line between alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. Alcohol abuse, or problem drinking, is what happens when a person drinks to excess and suffers problems in their personal life as a result. They still are able to stop drinking whenever they want, however—control is not an issue. Addiction sets in when the individual totally loses control of their drinking habit and can’t stop.
Some examples of problem drinking include heavy drinking (more than eight drinks per week for women and 15 drinks per week for men); binge drinking (any single instance of drinking which drives the individual’s blood alcohol content, or BAC, above 0.08%); blackouts; amnesia; risky behavior; and/or aggression.
Some indicators of alcoholism are:
- Consuming more alcohol than originally intended
- Being unable to control how much you drink
- Self-consciousness or guilt about your drinking habits
- Blackouts on a regular basis
- Being dishonest about your drinking habits
- Tolerance (needing to drink more and more to get drunk)
- Physical cravings when drinking stops
- Problems or complaints at school or work
- Getting arrested for DUI/DWI
- Thinking obsessively about alcohol
Two or more of the above symptoms indicates that the individual has a problem with alcohol. An intervention may be necessary to get that person into treatment. If a person is reticent or defensive about their drinking, an intervention can help to gently remind them of the cost of their alcoholism and persuade them to seek help. Baltimore Addiction Rehab can direct you to a network of qualified interventionists who will take control of the discussion between the addicted individual and his or her loved ones, guiding it to a successful conclusion. Call (410) 352-4440 to learn more.
Detoxing from Alcohol
Detox should immediately follow the intervention. Depending on the intensity of the person’s drinking and the duration of their addiction, it may be necessary for them to undergo a one- to two-week interval of detoxification. This process is overseen around the clock by experienced clinical staff to ensure the patient’s safety. Drugs such as Antabuse may be used to forestall cravings. The goal of detox is to purify the patient’s body of all alcoholic residues while keeping them safe from rigorous or uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms such as DTs, or delirium tremens. Cardiovascular problems, convulsions, and hallucinations are all potential side effects of alcohol withdrawal. Medical detox mitigates these symptoms and safeguards the patient during this fragile time.
Baltimore Addiction Rehab offers a complete regimen of alcoholism treatment, from detox to aftercare. Therapy, counseling, supervised activities, yoga, art, music, and even dietary and nutritional changes may be prescribed to break the individual out of their negative patterns of thought and behavior. Detox alone isn’t sufficient to help a person recover fully from alcohol addiction, as it only treats a person’s physical dependence on liquor. To address the mental and psychological issues underpinning alcoholism, therapy and counseling is required for a lengthy and intense period of time.
The consequences of protracted alcohol abuse and alcoholism may include mouth, esophageal, throat, breast, or liver cancers, arrhythmia, high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, hepatitis, liver disease, stroke, or heart attack.
Alcoholism is a real problem…with real solutions. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by. Get the help you need with Baltimore Addiction Rehab’s competent experts. To learn more about what they can do for you or your loved one, and to end the cycle of alcohol addiction forever, dial (410) 352-4440 now.