Alcohol Abuse Symptoms, Signs and Addiction Treatment
- Table of ContentsPrint
- Signs and Symptoms
- Effects of Alcohol Abuse
- Mixing Alcohol
- Alcohol Abuse Treatment
- Alcohol Statistics
- Teen Alcohol Abuse
According to the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, substance abuse refers to a pattern of drug or alcohol use that typically leads to issues at work, home and school. Alcohol can be an addictive substance. Not everyone who consumes alcohol will become addicted. However, certain people may be more susceptible to addiction.
It should be noted that alcohol addiction and abuse are not the same. Alcohol addiction refers to a psychological and physical dependency on alcohol. Individuals who suffer from alcohol addiction may build up a tolerance to the substance, as well as continue drinking even when a problem is evident.
Alcohol abusers are not necessarily addicted to alcohol. Abusers are typically heavy drinkers who continue drinking regardless of the results. Abusers of alcohol may not drink on a consistent basis. For example, an individual who abuses alcohol may only drink once a week. However, when that individual drinks, he puts himself into risky situations or drinks enough to cause problems, such as alcohol poisoning. Certain individuals who abuse alcohol may eventually become dependent on it, which results in alcohol addiction.
Alcohol Abuse question 1
Signs and Symptoms
Individuals who suffer from alcohol abuse do not always exhibit the same symptoms. The type of symptoms experienced by an individual will depend on a number of factors, such as the individual's background and medical history. While alcohol abuse symptoms do vary, there are signs and symptoms that can indicate a problem. Signs of alcohol abuse include:
- Decreased involvement in extracurricular activities
- Loss of interest in work or school
- Lack of interest in family or friends
- Preoccupation with drinking
- Inability to control drinking
- Erratic behavior
- Violent behavior
Alcohol Abuse question 2
Effects of Alcohol Abuse
Sufferers of substance abuse do not often think of the harm they are doing to their lives and their body. Many people who have issues with alcohol abuse may experience both the effects of alcohol use as a result. Short-term substance abuse effects include:
- Slurred speech
- Impaired judgment
While the short-term effects of alcohol abuse do not last, long-term effects of abuse can have a major impact on an individual's quality of life, even after recovery. Long-term effects of alcohol abuse include:
- Memory loss
- Liver disease
- Thiamine deficiency
An individual who ends up with an alcohol addiction as a result of abusing alcohol is also at risk for medical issues, such as certain cancers, brain damage and immune system obstruction.
If you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms or effects of alcohol abuse, consider calling our helpline today at 1-800-943-0566 to discuss treatment options.
Mixing Alcohol & Drugs – Concurrent Alcohol & Substance Abuse
The signs and symptoms of alcohol use, as well as the short- and long-term effects of alcohol abuse don’t always occur in isolation. In fact, an alarming number of people purposely combine their alcohol with drugs. This is frequently done with the intention of compounding the effects of both to achieve a greater state of intoxication. What these individuals aren’t accounting for is the fact that not only the intoxication potentiated, but there can also be a synergistic, or additive influence on the numerous negative side effects of both. To be sure, the health consequences of mixing alcohol and drugs can be deadly.
Alcohol and Illicit Drugs
Alcohol and Prescription Drugs
Alcohol Abuse Treatment
Individuals who wish to overcome an alcohol abuse problem have a number of options. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, more than 700,000 people are treated for alcoholism every day. Many of the individuals who are treated for alcoholism and alcohol abuse often seek outside help from treatment centers and therapy sessions.
Alcohol treatment centers are designed to help individuals who are addicted or who abuse alcohol in a number of ways. Typically, treatment centers require an individual to stay at the center for a specific amount of time. Many centers offer both long- and short-term treatment options. During treatment, individuals go through detoxification. Detoxification is the process of removing alcohol from the body and getting rid of any physical dependency to the substance. While all alcoholics must detox from alcohol, alcohol abusers may not need to go through detox if they do not drink on a regular basis.
For an alcohol abuser to successfully complete a treatment program, he or she must leave the center with a full understanding of his or her abuse problem. Treatment centers are designed to provide support in the form of individual therapy, as well as group therapy. During therapy sessions, alcohol abusers can explore their reasons for abusing the substance, as well as what they can do to overcome their abusive behavior. Counselors and therapists at treatment centers are trained to provide alcohol abusers with constructive ideas and alternatives to drinking. During treatment, alcohol abusers are also provided with the tools needed to move on from abusing alcohol and into a more productive lifestyle.
Outpatient treatment is also an option for many alcohol abusers. Outpatient treatment centers are designed to provide abusers with a place to explore their destructive behavior. Many outpatient treatment centers provide anonymous group meetings, as well as other programs to help alcohol abusers overcome their issues. With outpatient treatment, individuals are not placed in a controlled environment and may be vulnerable to outside temptation during treatment. Typically, this type of treatment is ideal for individuals who have successfully completed an inpatient treatment program.
Treatment centers can help those who suffer from alcohol abuse. If you feel you or a loved one suffers from alcohol abuse, contact a treatment center today to start the recovery process. Alternatively, call our helpline at 1-800-943-0566 for assistance at any time of the day or night.
Alcohol Abuse question 4
Many people are unaware of the impact alcohol has on society. More people in the United States drink on a regular basis than people who do not drink or who drink infrequently. A survey conducted in 2010 showed that over 50 percent of people aged 18 and older consumed alcohol on a regular basis. The same survey determined that only 13.6 percent of individuals over 18 years of age did not consume alcohol on a regular basis.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there were over 24,500 alcohol-induced deaths in 2009.
Other alcohol facts indicate a startling problem with alcohol abuse in the United States:
- Teenagers make up 15 percent of all alcohol sales in the United States.
- Alcohol-related issues, such as lost days of work and underage drinking, typically cost taxpayers around $60 million a year.
- More violence occurs in areas that have liquor stores or where alcohol is easily attained.
- Around 17 million adults can be classified as having an alcohol problem.
- Only 8 percent of adults with an alcohol problem seek help for the problem.
- Forty percent of people in treatment programs are being treated for alcohol-related issues.
- Alcoholics and alcohol abusers have a greater recovery rate if they enter a treatment program that lasts for a period of at least 90 days.
If you feel that you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol abuse, consider contacting a treatment center today to discuss your treatment options.
Alcohol Abuse question 5
Teen Alcohol Abuse
Adults are not the only ones who can suffer from alcohol abuse. Many teenagers are at risk of developing an alcohol abuse problem due to the accessibility of the substance and peer pressure. Out of all drugs used by teenagers, alcohol is used the most frequently.
Many teenagers who choose to drink can easily develop an abuse problem due to binge drinking. Binge drinking is defined as drinking at least five drinks in a row.
Teenagers who have an alcohol abuse problem may exhibit signs and symptoms to indicate there is a problem. Teen alcohol abuse symptoms include:
- Having alcohol paraphernalia
- Becoming violent or abusive toward others
- Staying away from family
- Mood swings
- Changing social circles
- Breaking curfew or other rules
- Smelling of alcohol
Teen alcohol abuse may not seem like a huge issue; however, alcohol is considered a drug and must be treated as one. Alcohol has the ability to alter moods. Most teenagers cannot handle the effects of alcohol and are not responsible enough to deal with it. While many parents and guardians assume other drugs, such as marijuana, are worse than alcohol, they must realize how easily accessible alcohol is, and how much damage it can do to a teen. If you have a teen that needs help, call us at 1-800-943-0566.
Teens who abuse alcohol are at an increased risk in a number of ways. As studies have shown, teens that drink are more sexually active and participate in unprotected sex more often than teens who do not consume alcohol. These teens are also at an increased risk of becoming a victim of rape, robbery or assault.
According to the National Institute of Health, teens who abuse alcohol at a young age are much more likely to develop a dependency on alcohol when they get older. Teen alcohol abuse can also result in poor grades and troubled behavior.
Not only can alcohol abuse alter how a teen acts, it can also have adverse effects on the brain. Studies show that brain development continues past the teenage years. Alcohol abuse during the brain's formative years can negatively impact how the brain develops and can also lead to learning problems.
While it may seem difficult to get teenage alcohol abuse under control, it is not impossible. Parents or guardians of a teen with a potential abuse problem can take steps to help prevent the problem from becoming out of control. In certain situations, simply talking to the teen will help; however, many situations involving teenage alcohol abusers require professional treatment. Depending on the severity of the alcohol abuse, a teenager may benefit from therapy sessions, group sessions and family therapy. In severe cases, the help of an inpatient alcohol treatment facility may be required.
During treatment, it is vital that teens work with a professional to discover the cause of their abusive behavior. For many teens, peer pressure is a driving force in alcohol abuse. It may help for these teens to discuss why they feel the need to give in to pressure and what they can do to stand up to it. Teens may find it helpful to discuss positive ways they can overcome peer pressure and create healthy friendships.
Another reason why teens may abuse alcohol is stress. Excelling in school, at home and in extracurricular activities can cause immense stress for a teen. If alcohol abuse is due to stress, it can be helpful to discuss positive ways stress can be relieved without the use of alcohol. Many teens also abuse alcohol as a way of finding independence. Through family counseling, parents and teens can reach healthy solutions regarding independence that does not involve alcohol abuse.
Alcohol Abuse question 6
Teen alcohol abuse is a very serious issue facing youth today. Whether it is due to peer pressure or another reason, it is vital to handle the issue as seriously as possible.
Teens who overcome alcohol abuse may benefit from staying in treatment through an outpatient facility. Family members may also opt to get involved in ongoing treatment to ensure the teen does not stray from his sober path.
According to the United States National Library of Medicine, it is important for a teen to have the support of his or her family following treatment. The goal of alcohol abuse treatment is abstinence. Teens that have the support of friends and family members are more willing to abstain from alcohol consumption than teens who do not have the same support.