Alcohol Abuse

alcohol abuse

Alcohol is legal in America, and it seems to be everywhere. You can’t watch a football game without seeing a beer commercial, you can’t go to New Year’s Eve party without champagne and you can’t even watch a sit-com without seeing the characters drinking cocktails, beer or wine.

In spite of the prevalence of this substance, it can still be extremely destructive. Alcohol abuse is caused by irresponsible use of alcohol, which can lead to alcohol addiction.

What Causes Alcohol Abuse?

Alcohol creates pleasant feelings, which makes it easy to abuse for many people. Alcohol abuse involved the consumption of a large amount of alcohol on a regular basis. Often, alcohol abuse will lead to alcohol addiction, which can also be called alcohol use disorder or alcoholism.

What are the Dangers of Alcohol Abuse?

Alcohol abuse can lead to many unwanted consequences, including:

  • Weight gain
  • Liver dysfunction
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Increased risk for certain cancers
  • Weakened immune system
  • Damage to relationships
  • Inability to keep a job
  • Damage to unborn children
  • Domestic violence
  • Depression

What is the Difference Between Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol Addiction?

While there is a strong link between alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction, they are not one in the same. They do not describe the same types of behaviors. Someone who struggles with alcohol addiction also struggles with alcohol abuse, but the person who struggles with alcohol abuse does not necessarily have alcohol addiction. It’s important to know the signs of both alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction.

Signs of alcohol abuse include:

  • Drinking that is excessive often in spite of legal, social or interpersonal problems
  • Alcohol consumption to self-medicate
  • Harmful use of alcohol that leads to physical or mental damage
  • Continuing to drink in spite of alcohol-related illness

Signs of alcohol addiction include:

  • Inability to stop drinking
  • Dependence on alcohol
  • Increased tolerance for alcohol
  • Withdrawal symptoms

Who is at Risk for Alcohol Abuse/Addiction?

Alcoholism is a disease that can affect anyone, without regard to age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, education level or sexual orientation. The following characteristics may increase a person’s risk for alcohol addiction:

  • Mental illness such as anxiety or depression
  • Family history of alcohol abuse
  • Low self-esteem
  • Pressure from peer groups
  • Early exposure to alcohol abuse
  • Regular participation in binge drinking

How Can You Get Alcohol Abuse Help?

Alcohol abuse can be helped in many ways.

Alcoholics Anonymous is the most popular recovery group in the world with regular meetings held in over 170 countries throughout the world. Millions of people have been helped by this 12-step program. AA encourages its members to follow the 12 steps, work with a sponsor or experienced member of AA and read AA literature like The Big Book. However, the only requirement to become a member of AA is the desire to stop drinking.
Some patients find medications like naltrexone to be helpful. Naltrexone blocks the effects of alcohol as well as decreasing a person’s desire to drink. Other medications like Antabuse cause the body to have a bad reaction to alcohol.
Treatment programs provided by alcohol addiction treatment centers are often the most effective way to treat alcohol addiction. In these programs, patients participate in group therapy and individual therapy as well as other healing and recreational activities.

Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Abuse

If you are regularly abusing alcohol, you need to seek treatment. It’s never too late to take back control of your life. Like millions before you, you can conquer addiction and begin a path to long-term recovery.

The Recovery Village Ridgefield offers medically-assisted detox, inpatient and outpatient treatment programs and aftercare programs for the treatment of alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. Our addiction specialists and healthcare professionals are dedicated to providing you with a pathway to recovery.

The Recovery Village Ridgefield is tucked away in the Cascade Mountains, offering the beautiful and serene backdrop of the Pacific Northwest. Convenient to the cities of Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Vancouver, Washington; Tacoma, Washington and Eugene, Oregon, our facility provides an ideal environment for you to focus on your healing so that you can start a recovery journey that can last a lifetime. If you are considering treatment for alcohol abuse, give us a call today. We are here to speak with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Every recovery begins with a call.

Contact The Recovery Village today.