It is impossible to turn on the evening news or social media and not hear about the widespread drug abuse that is occurring throughout the United States. In certain parts of the country, the abuse of certain drugs has reached epidemic proportions and is causing great concern and debate among lawmakers and concerned citizens alike. While drugs such as heroin and prescription pills have taken the majority of the spotlight, alcohol still remains the leading drug of abuse in America. Despite the potential of significant health and legal consequences, a significant percentage of Americans continue to abuse alcohol.
For those who are struggling with alcohol addiction, their abuse slowly destroys their life and the lives of family, friends and others who love them the most. Because of severity of its’ effects, it is extremely important for those caught in the vicious cycle of alcohol abuse seek professional help immediately. If you or a loved one need help with your alcohol addiction, Need Rehab can help you find the perfect alcohol rehab that will fit your unique needs. Call us today and speak to our experienced rehab staff.
Alcohol Abuse and Addiction Statistics
While it may not garner the headlines of that other drugs receive, alcohol use (and abuse) is still very prevalent and widespread throughout the United States. According to statistics provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:
- 86.8 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime; 70.7 percent reported that they drank in the past year; 56.4 percent reported that they drank in the past month.
- In 2013, 24.6 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month; 6.8 percent reported that they engaged in heavy drinking in the past month.
It is also estimated that nearly 17 million people (or roughly 1 in 13 American adults) in the United States are experiencing some sort of alcohol use issue, and men are twice as likely to develop these issues when compared to women. Additionally, it is reported that nearly 88,000 people in the United States die from alcohol related causes–which makes it the third leading cause of preventable death in this country.
However, a new study published by JAMA Psychiatry may indicate that America’s drinking problem may be getting worse. This recent study indicates shows that 32 million Americans–nearly one in seven adults–have struggled with a serious alcohol problem in the last year alone. What is startling is the fact that the numbers get worse if you look them across a person’s life span. When viewed in that respect, nearly one-third have suffered some form of alcohol use disorder.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction?
When we look at the signs and symptoms of alcohol dependence and addiction, it can be seen as existing in stages. The first stage of alcohol addiction is the development of tolerance. In simple terms, tolerance means that after continued drinking, consuming a certain amount of alcohol will produce a lesser effect. As a result, those who drink will need to increase the amount they consume in order to achieve the same effect.
A second major sign of alcoholism is the presence of withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol use has significant and pronounced effects of the central nervous system. For those who are chronic heavy drinkers, their bodies will not be able to function without alcohol in their system. As a result, they can experience numerous withdrawal symptoms that can be severe depending on their alcohol intake. These signs and symptoms can include the following:
- Shakiness or trembling
- Nausea and vomiting
There are also other signs of alcohol addiction that you need to be aware of, and these include the following:
- You’ve lost control over your drinking. You often drink more alcohol than you wanted to, for longer than you intended, or despite telling yourself you wouldn’t.
- You want to quit drinking, but are unable to do so. You have the desire to cut down or stop your alcohol use, but any efforts that you have made have been unsuccessful.
- You give up hobbies and other activities. You’re spending less time on activities that used to be important to you (hanging out with family and friends, going to the gym, pursuing your hobbies) because of your alcohol use.
- Alcohol takes up a great deal of your energy and focus. You spend a lot of time drinking or recovering from its effects. As a result, you have few if any interests or social involvements that don’t revolve around drinking.
- You drink even though you know it’s causing problems. You recognize that your alcohol use is severely impacted your life and those you love, but you continue to drink anyway.
The Importance of Treatment
If you are looking to quit alcohol altogether, you need to seek professional help. Quitting alcohol “cold turkey” or attempting self-detox of any kind can result in severe complications. In order to minimize the physical and psychological risks associated with alcohol withdrawal, it is important to undergo medical detoxification is a safe and stable environment. During medical detoxification, you may be given medications in order to make withdrawal more tolerable and you will undergo comprehensive evaluations to detect any co-occurring disorders that may make recovery difficult.
Once you are in a substance free and stable state, you will transition into formal and intensive drug treatment. You will undergo treatment that draws from a wide variety of services including individual and group therapy, life and coping skills training, relapse prevention education and aftercare programs. Recovery isn’t a singular event; it requires a multi-faceted approach in which you receive support and encouragement in every step of that journey.
Don’t put off your recovery for another day. If you are looking for an alcohol rehab center that perfectly fits your needs, the specialists at Need Rehab can help. We work with the best drug and alcohol treatment facilities, and we will take the necessary time and care to find the treatment options that will give you the tools you need to succeed. Make your recovery a reality with help from Need Rehab.