Alcohol Abuse in the United States
Millions of Americans suffer from the disease of alcohol addiction. Alcohol is a drug, and can prove deadly when abused. Some people aren’t aware of the effects alcohol has on them. Whether they are functioning alcoholics, binge drinkers or severe alcoholics, it’s a crippling disease that takes its toll on the mind and body.
The Toll of Alcohol on the Body
The most well-known detriment of alcoholism on the body are liver complications. These include steatosis (fat in the liver), fibrosis (growth of excess tissue in the liver), hepatitis (alcohol induced irritation in the liver), and cirrhosis (hardening of the liver.)
liver is the organ that cleanses most toxins from the body, so when the liver is damaged and fails, it can often lead to death. The pancreas is also adversely affected by alcohol. Alcohol creates a poison in the pancreas that leads to pancreatic cancer. Alcohol can cause an irregular heartbeat, stretching of the heart, and strokes. Alcohol can also create many forms of cancer, including cancer of the liver, throat, esophagus, mouth and breast. Even a moderate amount of drinking can put the immune system at risk, inviting diseases like tuberculosis and influenza.
Alcohol’s Impact On the Mind
Alcohol also damages the brain, and the resulting effects can result in permanent damage and even death. Side effects on the brain include confusion, breathing complications, coma, motor impairment, reduced inhibitions, and death. Alcohol abuse can result in the following fatalities: suicide, car injuries and homicide.
Treatment for Alcohol Abuse
The treatment methods for alcohol abuse mirror the methods for drug abuse (inpatient/outpatient care, individual and group therapy, CBT, family therapy, equine, yoga, music and art therapies.)
One of the major differences between alcohol rehab and most drug rehab methods is in the detox phase. Alcohol abusers have to be especially careful when detoxing as the withdrawals can create seizures, leading to shock and in severe cases, death.
While inpatient treatment is the most proven method, some recovering alcoholics prefer group therapy. Group therapy grants them the opportunity to open up and share about their struggles with alcoholism, and how it has affected the relationships with their family, friends and coworkers. This spirit of sharing and openness enables them to dig deep into the causes of their addiction, which leads to healing and growth.
Rehab treatment programs are typically 45, 60 or 90 days (for inpatient care). The psychological approach is similar to drug rehab. For the additional forms of therapy, like equine therapy, recovering addicts care for horses- they feed, walk, clean up, and groom them. They have set schedules with the horses, and the horses depend on them. They also re-acclimate their life to taking care of responsibilities and being punctual. In addition, they see the behavior of the horses, and how their behavior impacts the horses. This can have an effect of making the recovering addict aware of their own behavior, and how their behavior impacts other people.
If you are struggling with alcohol abuse, give us a call. We have trained experts standing by to answer your questions and help you get the help you need! Call today and start your sobriety now! (956) 267-1907