Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Alcohol abuse is on the rise and it’s important to know the various aspects of alcoholism and the treatment options available. Addiction Angel offers alcohol addiction treatment on Staten Island via interventions, drug and alcohol rehabs, and placement in drug and alcohol treatment centers.
Alcohol consumption is accepted in society and as it is a legal substance, anybody who has attained the legal age of drinking is free to buy and consume alcohol. Different types of alcoholic beverages are easily available and popular at parties, sporting events and other social gatherings. Though it is legal, it still remains highly addictive and people often suffer from serious problems due to alcohol addiction.
The following stats offer insights into the extent of alcoholism:
- More than two million people sought treatment for alcoholism in 2011
- Underage alcohol users account for about 50% of drug-related emergency room visits
- Teens who take to alcohol are more likely to become alcoholics compared to people who start drinking at the legal age of 21
Insights into Alcohol
Alcohol is a product of fermentation where bacteria and yeast break down sugar in fermenting substance. The longer the fermenting process, the stronger the alcohol is (or simply put, the higher the alcohol content by volume). It acts as a depressant directly hitting the central nervous system. In terms of metabolism the person consuming would show lower respiration and blood pressure and a feeling of relaxation. Since it lowers inhibitions, it is consumed by many to deal with stress and allow people to socialize. Consuming a high quantity of alcohol can lead one to lose his/her senses with most reporting euphoria, drowsiness and sleepiness.
It is an addictive substance and drinkers slowly start developing a tolerance. This leads people to have to increase their alcohol consumption to achieve that same alcohol “high” that they use to experience when they first started to drink. Soon, regular alcohol consumption can turn into addiction where the body starts showing withdrawal symptoms when the person doesn’t drink on a daily, possibly even an hourly, basis.
There is a myth that social drinking doesn’t lead to addiction and one needs to drink every day to be termed as an alcoholic. However, when alcohol is consumed in excess or to relieve stress, it turns into a serious problem. Binge drinking or five alcoholic beverages in a span of two hours for men or woman can result in addiction. Apart from addiction there are many short-term side effects associated with alcohol. These are –
- Loss of Consciousness
- Slurring of Speech
- Fast Mood Swings
- Outburst of Violence
- Slow Reaction Time
- Inability to Coordinate
- Death or Coma (in extreme cases)
Hangovers are common with people the day after heavy drinking. The symptoms of a hangover include headache, nausea and sensitivity to loud or high pitched sounds.
Popular Alcoholic Beverages
By definition, alcohol is present in all substances that have undergone fermentation. However generally they are classified into three distinct categories:
- Beer – This drink is made from barley, yeast, wheat and hops which are fermented with sugar and other ingredients to achieve distinct flavors. This creates a distinct range of products in the market. Compared to other drinks, beer contains low to moderate amounts of alcohol ranging between 2 and 12 % by volume. 10-12 ounces are served in an average serving though this also varies on the type of brew. Budweiser, Coors etc. are among the most popular brands though we see niche names that enjoy huge patronage among elite sections of the society. It is often seen as a social drink popular at parties, sporting arenas or when people prefer to hang out at home with their friends.
- Wine – This beverage is made by fermenting grapes. It enjoys maximum social acceptability and is often used to mark special occasions and events. Wine has a slightly higher alcohol content by volume compared to beer but the average serving is around 4-6 ounces and contains the same amount of alcohol as 10 ounces of beer.
- Liquor – Alcoholic drinks that are neither beer nor wine are termed as liquor. This is an extensive term that is used to describe all types of hard alcoholic drinks. Liquor is made by fermenting different ingredients depending on their type and these include grains, fruits and grapes. They are served solo or in combination with fruit juices and cocktails with an average serving being one and a half ounces.
All alcoholic drinks, irrespective of the percentage of alcohol by volume, can be addictive.
Who Are Likely To Become Alcoholics?
As alcohol is widely acceptable in society, different types of alcoholic beverages are widely consumed and often it is difficult for a person to realize that he/she has become addicted till it’s too late. Friends and family also fail to see the first signs of addiction given the acceptability of these drinks. Most alcoholics start off as social drinkers and slowly take to binge drinking. Some people turn to regular drinking to deal with stress in their lives and this is often the first step to addiction. Also stats show that certain groups are more likely to turn into alcoholics than others and we take a look at some of these groups.
- Teens and College Students – College students and teenagers are increasingly turning into alcoholics. Most take to drinking at parties, especially college students, and become addicted before they are finished with their courses. Parties that aren’t monitored by responsible adults often serve as the ideal platform towards addiction.
- Veterans – Veterans, especially those that have seen active combat, often turn to alcohol to deal with negative feelings and post-traumatic stress. In fact, the percentage of alcohol drinkers among active military members is much higher than the percentage of drinkers in the country.
- Professionals – Working professionals are also increasingly falling victim to addiction as many wait for ‘happy hours’ every day. Most of them refuse to admit that they have a problem and carry on with their professional engagements without bothering to realize the implications this can have both on their personal and professional lives.
Fighting Alcohol Addiction
Feeling sick without a daily glass of booze or finding it difficult to manage even the smallest of chores without a drink can be termed as addiction. If you or one of your loved ones is suffering from this problem, you should contact Addiction Angel immediately. Alcohol addiction treatment facilities are ideal places to come out of addiction and lead a normal life thereafter. They prepare a tailored recovery plan based on the patient’s physical and mental condition and treat the alcoholic using medicine, counseling, peer support and other therapies for effective results.