People abuse alcohol and other substances such as drugs for many personal and varied reasons. Often times, people begin social drinking, where they only drink while they are at a ball game, a party, a nightclub or just enjoying a glass of wine for dinner. The result of alcohol abuse can be seen in our hospitals, as a result of driving while under the influence (DWI) and its consequences. Many ‘First Time Offender’ classes are a slap on the wrist and people with addiction may continue driving while intoxicated regardless of the consequences. Alcoholism affects all ages, races and income levels. Much like other drugs of abuse, alcohol provides a warm relaxed state to many whom abuse it as a result.
Finding the right treatment for alcohol abuse may be outpatient programs, 12 step programs, non 12 step programs, etc. Studies have shown that education is one of the best forms of curbing abuse nationally.
Alcohol Abuse Terms
You may have heard of terms such as, “alcohol abuse,” “alcohol dependence,” or “alcoholism,” or “alcoholic” in describing what doctors now call, “alcohol use disorder.” Alcohol use disorder describes what most people refer to as alcoholism.
Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse
There are many warning signs of alcohol and drug abuse. However, often times, it goes undetected, as the person with Alcohol Use Disorder may be very good at “hiding their disease.”
Alcohol has short term and long lasting effects on the body. These include affecting the brain (slowing speech and reflex), the heart (high blood pressure, abnormal heart rate), the stomach (aspiration, weight gain), the liver (cirrhosis, hepatitis, and even liver cancer), and reproductive systems (painful period, impotence, heavy flow, and raises risk of sexually transmitted diseases). Knowing what to look and listen for in these situations is crucial.
Top 5 warning signs you may have an alcohol use disorder:
- You drink more glasses than you planned on.
- You crave alcohol so bad that you cannot think of anything else.
- Have problems at work, school, with family or friends as a result of your drinking habits
- You keep telling yourself that you need to ‘cut back’ on drinking, often after you went binge drinking with friends.
- You have found yourself in bad situations, like fighting during or after drinking.
Alcohol Abuse Treatment Options
If you believe you or a loved-one has an alcohol abuse problem, get help. Do not wait until it is too late. Often times, people who crashed as a result of a DWI have “known” they have a problem or have been told they have a “drinking problem.” Often family members and friends “enable” an alcoholic brother or sister, son or daughter, father or mother by not Intervening.
Call one of our addiction specialists today to find out how we can help you or a loved one find the right alcohol detox and treatment solution.