Alcoholism - What is it?
Also referred to as alcohol addiction or alcohol dependence, alcoholism is a chronic disease involving a destructive pattern of alcohol use. If someone has an alcohol addiction, they are unable to stop drinking despite any negative social, psychological, or physical consequences.
More than 14 million people in the U.S, suffer from alcohol addiction. Approximately four percent of women and ten percent of men are afflicted with the condition. Alcohol addiction is the third most common mental illness. If you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction to alcohol call Drug Treatment Centers Harrison today 914-829-5816 for help finding treatment centers. The sooner you seek out expert help, the better your chances are of not only achieving sobriety, but maintaining it.
Alcohol Abuse vs. Alcohol Addiction
Many people use the terms interchangeably, but alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction are not the same condition. Alcohol abuse is defined as any harmful use of alcohol, that is, alcohol use which results in mental or physical damage. Abusers of alcohol will continue to drink despite negative social, interpersonal, or legal consequences that arise from their alcohol usage.
Alcoholics display the same behaviours as alcohol abusers, but will also exhibit signs of alcohol dependence:
Signs of Alcoholism
Signs you or a loved one may be suffering from an addiction to alcohol include:
Symptoms of Alcoholism
Because alcohol addiction is a chronic and often progressive disease, early physical symptoms may not be noticeable. As the condition worsens, the alcoholic may experience severe physical symptoms. These symptoms include:
People struggling with alcoholism may be in denial about their problem and the negative effects their drinking has on others. An intervention can be very effective in helping an alcoholic understand they need help. In order for an intervention to be successful, it needs to be planned carefully. Consulting with an addiction professional can help you develop the best strategy for approaching a loved one about their problem.
Detox for alcohol addiction is a medically-supervised treatment program for alcohol withdrawal. Medications such as naltrexone and acamprostate are administered during detox to help reduce alcohol cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms.
Alcoholism Treatment Programs
Alcohol treatment programs generally consist of medical detox followed by an inpatient or outpatient therapy program.
Hospital- and clinic- based programs are offered on an inpatient basis. These programs provide alcohol detox and alcohol rehabilitation in one facility.
Group therapy is an essential part of successful recovery. To stay sober and prevent relapse after treatment has ended, alcoholics must continue to attend one-on-one or group counselling sessions. Group therapy and individual counselling helps alcoholics develop coping mechanisms for dealing with the stress of daily life.
Rates of Relapse
It's estimated that 90 percent of alcoholics will experience one or more relapses in the four years following treatment for alcohol addiction. Group therapy, individual counselling, and ongoing aftercare are necessary if the recovering alcoholic wishes to maintain a clean and sober lifestyle.