Today, just about everyone knows that alcohol is addictive. However, alcohol is a legal substance. Many people don’t realize how quickly alcohol addiction can take over their lives and leave a trail of damage in its wake. There’s a thin line between drinking heavily every once in a while and a dangerous path that leads to alcoholism. Keep reading to find out more about alcohol addiction and treatment today.

How Casual Drinking Leads to Alcohol Addiction

There are many myths surrounding alcoholism. For example, many people think that they can’t become alcoholics if they exclusively drink beer. Others think an occasional glass of wine won’t lead to addiction. It’s important to understand that hard liquor isn’t the only substance that can lead to alcoholism.

Beer Addiction

middle-aged man on the beach has alcohol addiction

Beer seems safe when you compare it to other types of alcohol. Beer is a social drink, one people often consume during sports events and while listening to live music. This makes it seem harmless under the shadow of hard liquor.

It’s true that beer has low alcohol content when you compare it to other types of alcoholic beverages. Its alcohol by volume (ABV) is two to twelve percent for most brands. The vast majority of beer labels only have four to six percent alcohol. But beer still can lead to alcohol addiction, especially when someone is drinking for a longer duration. 

Other problematic behaviors that can lead to beer addiction include drinking as a social crutch and to avoid boredom, regardless of time of day or present company.

Wine Addiction

Wine alcoholism can be confusing. On one hand, health-oriented articles call wine “good for you.” On the other hand, the substance can dangerously lead to alcoholism. The key to wine, like any alcohol, is drinking in moderation.

The alcohol in one average glass of wine equals a full pint of beer. Like beer, people often drink wine in social settings. Doing so, however, can lead to alcohol addiction. This is especially true if you drink to calm your nerves or boost your mood. Additionally, If you find yourself drinking excessively while alone it may also be time to seek help.

“Hard Alcohol” Liquor Addiction

Hard alcohol, known as liquor, including vodka, gin, whiskey, rum, and tequila. When you compare liquor to beer and wine, liquor is the most potent form of alcohol. Most people mix liquor with soda, water, or juice. By doing so, they don’t realize how much they’re drinking per serving unless they’re taking “shots.” Drinking liquor early in the day, at the end of each day, or in large volumes several times per week increases the likelihood of alcoholism.

How Binge Drinking Leads to Alcohol Addiction

Although people drink this way to feel like they’re having more fun, binge drinking is actually alcohol abuse in one of its most dangerous forms. Binge drinking is a common activity in certain social groups. College students, sports fans, nightclub goers and others may drink five or more alcoholic drinks within a short period of time. This is considered binge drinking. Unfortunately, drinking in excess like this can lead to alcoholism, or worse, death.

Seeking Help For An Alcohol Addiction

No matter your age, lifestyle or community, you can develop an addiction to alcohol or drugs. Your life may spin out of control while you struggle with the damaging impacts of substance abuse. If you look around yourself now, you may see this damage for what it really is: alcohol or drug addiction.

Damage caused by alcohol or drug addiction includes:

  • Poor health
  • Bodily injury
  • Damaged relationships
  • Work problems
  • Money problems

If you see these problems in your life and know that alcohol is the source, you may need alcohol addiction  treatment. With the help of a quality rehab facility offering dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders, you have the power to put your life back together.

Treatment for an Alcohol Addiction 

Seeking help for alcohol addiction is the first step. There are many types of alcohol treatment programs available. 

These include:

  • Medical Detox 

Our drug detox center safely helps someone suffering from substance abuse. This is done through the unpleasant experience of withdrawal from routine use of drugs and alcohol. Drug and alcohol detoxification (informally referred to as drug and alcohol detox) is an intervention in the case of physical dependence to alcohol (in this case), as well as  the practice of various medical treatments for symptoms of withdrawal. 

Individuals who have been habitually using alcohol or drugs for a period of time will develop a chemical dependency, and it can be dangerous to try detox without medical assistance. The body and brain build up compensating measures when using certain drugs and alcohol, and just stopping “cold turkey” can even cause seizures, respiratory depression and stroke.

  • Inpatient Treatment 

Our inpatient treatment program for substance abuse is part of a continuum of care offered through our treatment center. The step-down of levels of care available for individuals who are in the midst of overcoming addiction and substance abuse, and provide transitions made to progress with steps taken in recovery toward a long-term independent sobriety. 

People struggling with chemical dependency and addiction issues, as well as those with co-occurring mental health problems, can reap lots of benefits from this type of model as it provides the structure and support necessary to make impactful life changes. If you or someone you care about is showing signs of a substance abuse problem, don’t hesitate to reach out today with your questions for information and support. We’re here to guide you through the entire process.

  • Partial Hospitalization Program

Here at 1st Step, those who participate in our partial hospitalization program typically live in our community housing, which is a beautiful apartment style, semi-private residence. Generally, clients who have been in an inpatient or residential program step down to this level of care, as it continues to hold a high amount of structure and support while allowing more flexibility within the community. Access to medical management, nurse practitioners, doctors, and psychiatrists is still available to clients throughout the program. Patients also partake in therapy groups, structured activities, and aftercare planning while in our partial hospitalization program.

Interaction with family, peers, and other members of the patient’s community is highly encouraged throughout the recovery process. We even organize various activities and provide transportation to meetings and events that can help those in treatment to successfully overcome substance abuse. Being given the ability to maintain meaningful relationships with loved ones, and creating relationships with others who are in recovery are both important aspects of lasting sobriety and well-being.

  • Intensive Outpatient Treatment

An intensive outpatient program or IOP consists of consistently scheduled sessions of structured addiction treatment and mental health counseling. Addiction and co-occurring mental health problems have differentiating levels of care available, to work with the gradual ability to navigate life without the desire for drugs and alcohol abuse. The intensive outpatient program for substance abuse is a middle ground between Residential Treatment and Aftercare.

IOP is a step-down level of care for individuals who have completed detox and residential, so they can continue to receive the support of treatment programming while residing without the necessity of 24-hour supervision. Addiction recovery is a process of change and patience. The levels of care and support available in treatment allow a person who is struggling to begin to transform themselves from the inside out, encouraging them along the way.

  • Outpatient Treatment 

Outpatient programs offer a number of benefits to those in alcohol and drug addiction treatment. Quality facilities still provide evidence-based therapies. However, it can have a more flexible setting for patients. It can also make it easier to adjust to independent living.

Not all patients are able to take off a significant amount of time from everyday life. After spending weeks detoxing and undergoing inpatient rehab, they may need to return to life’s responsibilities. This could include anything from caring for children, to working. Fortunately, patients don’t have to give up their responsibilities in order to continue their sobriety journey. Outpatient programs allow plenty of time for work or family obligations while undergoing alcohol addiction treatment.

Alcoholism Detox

As part of your initial alcohol addiction treatment program, you’ll most likely go through a medical detox program. Our attentive staff will assist you in becoming free from alcohol and other toxins so you can begin your road to recovery as smoothly as possible.

Alcoholism Treatment Medications

Some of the medications used in alcohol treatment programs can include medication that helps reduce alcohol cravings, reduce withdrawal symptoms, or create negative effects when alcohol is consumed. Medications can be used as a supplement to an alcohol addiction treatment program.

These medications include:

  • Acamprosate – Reduces alcohol cravings and withdrawal symptoms
  • Naltrexone – Reduces cravings for alcohol
  • Disulfiram – Produces undesirable effects such as headaches, nausea or vomiting when alcohol is consumed

We are here to help you through the process of obtaining alcohol addiction treatment. Call us today at 866-319-6123 or contact us here to begin your path to sobriety.

References

https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/treatment-alcohol-problems-finding-and-getting-help

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/alcohol-withdrawal-symptoms-treatments#1

About the Author: Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.