The Dangers of Alcoholism
Alcohol is by far the most frequently abused substance in the United States. It’s estimated that one in eight adults meets the qualifications for alcohol dependence, and alcohol-related deaths are the third leading preventable cause of death in the country. Since alcohol is legal and socially accepted, it is more difficult for those who suffer from alcohol dependence to overcome their addiction. Cultural and social settings often encourage the consumption of alcohol, putting people at an increased risk for addiction through the ease of accessibility. However, just like with any other drug, alcohol alters brain function and can affect physical performance with heavy use.
Although a moderate amount of alcohol consumption has no proven adverse effects, excessive drinking can lead to a large number of physical ailments in the short-term and long-term. Drinking alcohol has been proven to increase the risk of cancers of the mouth, esophagus, pharynx, larynx, liver, and breast. In 2015, liver disease deaths were caused by alcohol in 47 percent of cases. Other physical consequences include alcoholic hepatitis, liver fibrosis, high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, and stroke. Heavy drinking can also lead to decreased mental performance such as trouble learning, memory loss, and loss of attention span due to diminished gray matter and white matter in the brain.
Symptoms & Signs That You Need Help
Since alcohol can be consumed legally and at an acceptable level, it can be more difficult to determine where healthy levels stop and addiction begins. To assess whether you or a loved one may have an alcohol use disorder, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you repeatedly had times when you ended up drinking more than you intended?
- Have you tried to cut down or stop drinking in the past, but couldn’t?
- Have you experienced a strong need or urge to drink?
- Have you found that drinking often interferes with taking care of yourself, your home, or your family?
- Have you given up activities that were important to you in order to drink?
- Have you repeatedly gotten into situations while drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt or hurting others?
- Have you found that you experience withdrawal symptoms when not under the influence of alcohol, such as trouble sleeping, irritability, anxiety, depression, nausea, or sweating?
If you found yourself answering yes to more than one of these questions, it’s advised that you speak to a health professional about possible symptoms so that AUD can be formally diagnosed. No matter how moderate or severe your symptoms seem, the vast majority of people with alcohol dependence can benefit from treatment if they choose to accept it.
How Twin Town Can Help
Alcoholism occurs on a spectrum, and each person’s needs are unique. If you or someone you know is ready to discuss treatment, Twin Town Treatment Center is here to help you. Here at Twin Town, we encourage the patient to develop helpful and trusting relationships while practicing new ideas and behaviors which promote sobriety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and social practices help the sufferer cope with the emotional distress and withdrawals that are common in new sobriety. We encourage them to practice recreational, avocational, social, and spiritual activities that can replace alcohol-related pastimes. Twin Town provides each patient with the tools needed to restructure and reprioritize their lives in a healthier way, increasing their chances of long-term sobriety and success.