Alcohol is a major problem in the United States and elsewhere. According to the Centers for Disease Control, alcohol is the fourth leading cause of preventable death in America. Alcohol abuse causes the death of some 75,000 Americans every year, shortening their lives by an average of 30 years, according to the CDC in 2005. And this number doesn’t include the thousands, perhaps millions, who are affected in some way by alcohol—the children of alcoholic and abusive parents, individuals who were injured or maimed in drunk driving accidents, or people born with FAS (fetal alcohol syndrome). As the most populous state in America and the home of numerous universities and “party towns,” California is a hotbed of alcohol-related problems: the CDC estimated that, in 2006, alcohol cost the state of California as much as $32 billion.
One of the difficulties in fighting the alcoholic trend is that large numbers of Americans (particularly the young) believe that alcohol, widely available and legal, is somehow more “safe” than street drugs, club drugs, or hard substances like cocaine or heroin. Drinking is also a part of American culture and is indelibly associated with holidays and special occasions. All of this combines to make alcohol a tough habit to break. To break the chains of alcohol addiction, competent medical care and qualified therapists are required. A well-equipped rehab facility and its trained therapeutic staff have the expertise and knowledge necessary to put anyone suffering from alcoholism back on track.
Alcoholism, like other addictions, is characterized by the medical community as a chronic mental disorder. It manifests itself as a powerful, irresistible desire to drink alcohol, even despite the knowledge that negative consequences will result. In many cases, there are underlying reasons for a person’s destructive drinking habits: stress, loneliness, anger, past trauma, PTSD, and even genetic predisposition. One of the defining characteristics of alcoholism is its progressive nature—it gets worse over time, inevitably leading to the alcoholic’s death or permanent impairment if left untreated. As with many other drugs, alcohol creates tolerance in an individual’s body, leading them to drink more and more to feel the same physiological effects. This is a recipe for overdose, alcohol poisoning, and death. A person doesn’t need to drink every day to be considered an alcoholic, either—binge drinking (consuming more than five drinks per sitting) is also thought to be an alcoholic behavior.
Alcoholism: Tell-Tale Signs
- Tolerance (alcohol begins to lose its potency as the body becomes accustomed to its presence)
- Loss of muscular coordination and control
- Amnesia, memory loss, and blackouts
- Incoherent speech patterns
- Neuropathy (permanent nerve damage)
- Poor academic or work performance
- Long nights spent out on the town
- Neglect of friendships or beloved pastimes
- Drinking in unusual places or inappropriate situations
- Financial or legal difficulties
- Anxiousness or paranoia
- Irritability and mood swings
- Social or psychological isolation
- Sadness and depression
- Obsessive behavior
- Dementia or delirium, especially when not drinking
Treatment Solutions for Alcoholism
Alcohol withdrawal is one of the most dangerous types of withdrawal, and may prove fatal if attempted alone. It’s much safer to seek the help of a detox center, which can medically mitigate the severest effects of withdrawal and rid the body of all alcohol-related residue. Detox alone is not sufficient to help someone rid themselves of the specter of addiction; the chance of relapse skyrockets if a person decides to leave treatment without entering a 45- to 90-day treatment program. While detox purifies the body, therapy and counseling purge the mind of cravings, negative impulses, psychological trauma, and other demons which facilitate dependency.
CA Drug Rehab Los Angeles provides a longer treatment program than the standard 28-day rehabilitation plans available elsewhere, for one simple reason: we believe that the longer a treatment episode lasts, the better chance a person stands of making a permanent recovery. Los Angeles residents may take advantage of gender-specific rehab options as well as programs specially tailored to address co-occurring disorders like schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. Such personalized treatment plans allow clients to learn and build the skills they need to reject cravings and arm themselves against relapse after their stay in rehab concludes.