Do You Have Alcohol Dependency?
Alcohol dependency ranges from mild to severe and is diagnosed when a patient answers “yes” to two or more of the following questions.
In the past year, have you:
- Had times when you ended up drinking more and longer than you had intended?
- Tried to cut down or stop drinking, but couldn’t?
- Being sick or over the aftereffects?
- Having a strong urge to drink?
- Has Alcohol interfered with taking care of your home or family and caused job and/or school problems?
- Continued to drink while causing trouble with your family or friends?
- Decided to drink versus pursuing activities that were important or interesting to you?
- Getting into situations while or after drinking that increases your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming or having unsafe sex)?
- Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or after having had a memory blackout?
- Had to drink much more than before?
- Found that you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating?
The Effects of Alcohol Dependency
Among the most significant public health issues in the United States are alcohol problems that result from drinking too much, too fast, and too often.
About 7% of American adults have an alcohol use disorder.
Alcohol is the most common recreational substance. Chronic alcohol dependence negatively impacts work and family relationships, and it can jeopardize the safety of you and everyone around you.
Due to the small size of its molecules, it invades the blood and brain and can reach almost every cell in the body. The glia in nerve cells engages thoughts, emotions, and movement. Excessive consumption can damage or even destroy these support structures.
This can cause lasting effects on decision-making, behavior, and mood. The degree of change varies per person, but often includes aggression, self-destructive behavior, and impeded movement.
Chronic alcohol dependence and use causes extensive brain damage.
Short-term, these effects do not last long. Long-term dependence also breaks down the body, including extensive liver damage (cirrhosis), pancreatitis, and destroyed brain cells.
Our Alcohol Rehab Program
Alcohol is a neurotoxin, and as such it destroys neurons in the brain. No matter how severe an alcohol problem may seem, recovery is possible.
Our alcoholism rehab program utilizes a multitude of treatment and detoxification, pharmacotherapy, vitamin therapy, counseling, education, and information.
Behavioral treatment is aimed at changing drinking behaviors through counseling.
When asked how you treat alcohol dependence problems, people commonly think of 12-step programs and alcohol dependence counseling. Counseling is led by health professionals and supported by studies showing they can be beneficial. Behavioral treatments include:
1. Helping you to stop or reduce drinking.
2. Building a strong social support system.
3. Setting reachable goals.
4. Helping you to avoid relapse.
Intensive Outpatient Alcohol Treatment
Intensive outpatient treatment usually separates the drinker from alcohol-related social and environmental situations that cause a relapse.
One of the safest settings to overcome alcoholism is intensive outpatient alcohol treatment. This ensures that recovering alcoholics are carefully monitored and supported, providing better care for patients who begin treatment in a detox center.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step programs provide peer support for people quitting or cutting back on their drinking. Combined with treatment led by health professionals, mutual-support groups can offer an added valuable layer of support.
Anyone thinking about treatment should talk to a primary care physician as an important first step — he or she can be a good source for treatment referrals and medications.