Many people abuse alcohol and don’t even realize they have a problem. Since alcohol is legal for Americans over 21 years old, many of them drink alcohol at least occasionally. But, drinking can become problematic if people abuse alcohol. When this happens, it’s essential for drinkers to seek professional help to get their lives under control again.
Alcohol Abuse Disorders
There are two alcohol abuse disorders. The first is alcohol abuse: people abuse alcohol when they drink more than is healthy for them, sometimes in the form of binge drinking, and continue to drink heavily despite problematic results. As the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) explains, the other alcohol abuse disorder is called alcoholism; people have this issue when they exude the following symptoms:
- Loss of control when drinking
- Physical dependence to alcohol and withdrawal symptoms when they go long enough without a drink
- Strong cravings for alcohol
- Tolerance, or having to drink increasingly larger amounts of alcohol to obtain a certain effect
A 2006 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates that 7.66% of Americans aged 12 and older either abused alcohol or were dependent upon it in the previous year. This number indicates that many Americans struggle with alcohol abuse even though they need professional treatment.
Treatment Options for Alcohol Abuse Disorders
Once people realize they have alcohol abuse disorders, they have several options for recovery. First, they must decide if they can manage the disorders on their own, or if they need professional help. Many people with alcohol abuse disorders first try to handle their disorder alone, so the NIAAA recommends the following steps to getting sober:
- Avoid triggers that increase your desire to drink
- Find healthier ways to occupy your time and to manage social anxieties that led you to abuse alcohol in the first place
- Know when to stop drinking
- Make a plan to deal with alcohol cravings
- Talk to family and friends about your plan and tell them how they can help
While some people can manage an alcohol abuse disorder alone, others find it impossible. If you need help addressing an alcohol abuse disorder, then seek treatment that offers the following services:
- Detox: Treatment centers usually begin with this step so drinkers can purge alcohol from their bodies. If drinkers are alcoholics, they will likely experience withdrawal symptoms, so the process will be monitored by healthcare professionals to ensure it goes smoothly.
- Counseling: Rehab patients will likely engage in both individual and group therapy sessions to address their disorders and their related issues
- Long-term planning: Drinkers will work with mental healthcare professionals to plan for living sober and controlling the disorder after treatment ends
With help, you can stay sober.
Find Help for Alcohol Abuse Disorders
Without professional help, people with alcohol abuse disorders endanger themselves and their loved ones. If you or someone you know struggles with an alcohol abuse disorder, give us a call at 615-490-9376.
You May Want to Know:
- FRN Research Report June/July 2012: One Year Post-Treatment Outcomes Among Women After Integrated Rehab at Michael’s House
- FRN Research Report August 2011: Patient Outcomes and Relapse Prevention Up to One Year Post-Treatment at La Paloma Treatment Center
- FRN Research Report March/April 2014: Benefits of Dual Diagnosis Treatment: 2013 Patient Outcomes for Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders