Table of Contents
What is Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)? A Guide to Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction, often referred to as alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, or Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), represents a complex and chronic brain disease. This disorder extends its impact beyond the individual sufferer, affecting family members and friends as well. Manifesting in various aspects of life, including home, work, and school, AUD creates significant challenges and can make cessation a daunting task.
The 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) revealed that 29.5 million people ages 12 and older (10.6% in this age group) had Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) in the past year. Among youth aged 12 to 17, the figure was 894,000 (3.4% in this age group).
Alcohol abuse disorder’s impact is further emphasized by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, showing an average of 88,000 deaths each year attributed to the condition. It’s a staggering statistic that includes 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults resulting from excessive drinking, causing 240 American deaths daily from liquor poisoning or alcohol-related diseases.
The CDC defines excessive drinking as having 5 or more drinks in one sitting for men, or 4 or more for women, known as binge drinking. Consuming 15 or more servings of alcohol per week for men, or 8 or more for women, labels you a heavy drinker. Though not necessarily requiring immediate addiction treatment, recognizing and monitoring these drinking habits is crucial to prevent losing control.
Struggling with alcohol addiction is a serious and complex issue, but help is available. Iris Wellness Group is here to support and provide the care needed for yourself or a loved one.
Warning Signs of Alcoholism: A Guide to Recognizing and Addressing Alcohol Addiction
Alcoholism, a chronic disease characterized by uncontrolled drinking and obsession with alcohol, can manifest in subtle or overt ways. The signs may vary among individuals, but understanding them is key to identifying a problem that requires attention.
Recognizing the Signs:
- Uncontrolled Alcohol Consumption: One of the early indicators of alcoholism is an inability to control the amount of alcohol consumed. This lack of control often leads to excessive drinking.
- Craving Alcohol: Constant cravings for alcohol, especially when not drinking, can be a sign of dependence.
- Neglecting Personal Responsibilities: Prioritizing alcohol over work, family, or other responsibilities may indicate a problem.
- Feeling the Need to Drink More: Developing a tolerance to alcohol, leading to the need to consume more to achieve the desired effect, can signal addiction.
- Overspending on Alcohol: Spending excessive money on alcohol, even when it strains your finances, reveals a potential issue.
- Behavioral Changes After Drinking: Drastic changes in behavior or personality when under the influence can be concerning.
If you or a loved one exhibits any of these signs, it’s essential to act quickly. Iris Wellness Group offers specialized alcohol addiction treatment in Tennessee to help individuals reclaim control over their lives, call us today.
- Professional Medical Assistance: Our qualified and compassionate team will create a tailored treatment plan to address the unique needs and challenges of each individual.
- Comprehensive Treatment Options: Iris Wellness Group provides a range of therapies, from one-on-one counseling to group sessions, focusing on holistic healing and long-term recovery.
- Support and Guidance: We understand that the journey to sobriety can be challenging. Our committed professionals are here to guide and support you every step of the way.
Recognizing the Symptoms of Alcoholism
Alcoholism is not always easy to identify, especially when drinking is a common social activity. Here’s what to look for if you suspect someone might have an alcohol addiction:
- Increased Quantity or Frequency of Use: Regularly consuming alcohol in larger amounts or more often.
- High Tolerance for Alcohol: Lack of “hangover” symptoms or needing more alcohol to achieve the desired effect.
- Drinking at Inappropriate Times and Places: Consuming alcohol in unlikely places like work or church or at odd times like early mornings.
- Preference for Alcohol-Centric Environments: Avoiding situations where alcohol isn’t present and gravitating towards those where it is.
- Changes in Friendships: Choosing friends who also drink heavily and neglecting former relationships.
- Avoiding Contact with Loved Ones: Withdrawing from family and close friends.
- Hiding Alcohol Consumption: Concealing alcohol or drinking in secrecy.
- Dependence on Alcohol: Relying on alcohol to function in daily life.
- Emotional Changes: Experiencing increased lethargy, depression, or emotional instability.
- Legal or Professional Consequences: Encountering issues like an arrest or job loss due to drinking behavior.
Understanding the subtle signs of alcohol addiction and knowing how to respond can make all the difference in someone’s journey towards recovery. We are available to help individuals and their families navigate the challenges of alcohol addiction in Chattanooga, TN, and surrounding areas.
How Many Drinks is Considered Alcoholism?
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism sets forth guidelines on permissible drink quantities by gender.
For men, it’s advised to have no more than four drinks daily and a maximum of 14 drinks weekly. Exceeding these limits increases the risk of alcohol misuse. For women, consuming one drink daily and between three to seven drinks weekly is seen as low-risk.
However, the definition of an alcoholic drink can vary by state. Generally, it embodies 14 grams of pure alcohol, which equals 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, 8 to 9 ounces of malt liquor, or 1.5 ounces (a shot) of 80-proof spirits or hard liquor.
If you or a loved one is consistently consuming beyond these guidelines, reach out to our trusted alcohol rehab and alcohol treatment center. Let us help guide your journey to sobriety.
Understanding Health Complications from Alcohol Abuse: Alcohol Rehab in TN
Alcohol abuse, whether occasional or chronic, carries serious risks to your health. Here are the short-term and long-term effects of alcohol abuse:
Short-term Effects of Alcohol Abuse:
Drinking impacts reaction time and coordination, leading to slow reflexes, making activities like driving perilous. Some short-term effects of alcohol abuse include:
- Slow Reaction Time and Poor Reflexes: Compromising safety on the road.
- Reduced Brain Activity: Impairing judgment.
- Lowered Inhibitions: Leading to risky behavior.
- Visual and Respiratory Problems: Such as blurry vision and difficulty breathing.
- Restlessness: : Affecting mental well-being.
Long-term Health Conditions of Alcohol Abuse:
Alcohol’s long-term effects can be severe, lying dormant for years. Some of the long-term effects of alcohol abuse include:
- Brain Defects: : Including Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.
- Liver Disease: : Alcohol was involved in 45.8% of liver disease deaths among Americans ages 12 and older in 2013.
- Diabetes Complications: : Aggravating blood sugar control.
- Heart Problems: : Contributing to heart disease, a leading cause of death for alcoholics.
- Increased Risk of Cancer: : Especially in the mouth, esophagus, liver, and breast.
- Vision Damage and Bone Loss: : Affecting overall health and wellness.
With an estimated 88,000 annual deaths from alcohol-related causes in the U.S., alcohol abuse is the fourth leading preventable cause of death. It’s essential to recognize that alcohol abuse is treatable.
Our Alcohol addiction treatment center in Tennessee is tailored to address both the short-term and long-term health complications from alcohol abuse, offering hope for those seeking a healthier life away from alcohol.
If you or someone close to you is struggling with the impact of alcohol addiction and abuse, reach out to us today. We’re here to help you begin the path to a rejuvenated life.
Call Us Today to Start Healing From Your Alcohol Addiction.
How Addictive is Alcohol?
Alcohol’s widely accepted social presence and enjoyable effects can lead to regular consumption and binge drinking. However, the path from social drinking to addiction can be a slippery slope.
Quitting alcohol cold turkey can be dangerous and lead to severe withdrawal symptoms; it’s essential to consult a medical professional before making abrupt changes to alcohol consumption.
Here’s a breakdown of the stages that chronic heavy drinkers may experience, leading to addiction.
Alcohol tolerance develops when an individual requires more alcohol to achieve the same pleasurable effects. As the body becomes accustomed to alcohol, changes in the brain’s chemical balance occur. This adjustment means that moderate amounts of alcohol no longer produce the same level of intoxication, leading to an increase in consumption.
Alcohol dependence signifies that the body has adapted to alcohol to a point where it becomes essential to maintain chemical balance. The absence of alcohol or reduction in drinking triggers withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, discomfort, heart palpitations, confusion, and other dangerous symptoms.
Alcohol Addiction in Tennessee
Alcohol addiction is recognized as an alcohol use disorder (AUD). It goes beyond dependence, affecting the brain’s reward center by influencing natural chemicals like dopamine. Chronic alcohol use conditions the brain to treat alcohol as essential for sustaining life, leading to compulsive drinking even when it causes severe problems.
Unlike some drugs, where withdrawal is merely uncomfortable, alcohol withdrawal can be fatal. The abrupt lack of alcohol in a dependent brain leads to severe withdrawal symptoms. Alongside physical symptoms, cravings intensify, exacerbating addiction.
Alcohol Abuse Statistics
What Types of Alcohol Addiction Treatment Do You Offer?
Alcohol addiction treatment is more than just a medical process; it’s a transformative journey. Its role in aiding individuals to grasp the underlying issues of addiction, and providing them with the tools to control and manage these challenges, is vital. It serves as the backbone for achieving and maintaining long-term sobriety, supporting individuals in reclaiming their lives.
Types of Alcohol Addiction Treatment we treat at our Alcohol Rehab in Chattanooga, TN, include the following:
Generally recommended for a minimum of 90 days, inpatient or residential treatment offers a controlled environment that fosters focus and healing. It is best suited for individuals with severe addiction, where constant medical supervision and a structured environment are necessary. This program includes daily therapy sessions, group activities, and medical oversight to ensure a holistic healing process.
Outpatient Treatment (PHP or IOP)
Outpatient treatment is a more flexible option, allowing individuals to live at home while receiving addiction treatment services. It includes:
- Partial Hospitalization (PHP): For those needing intensive treatment but not 24-hour care, PHP involves 20 or more hours of treatment per week.
- Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP): This less intensive option requires at least nine hours of treatment per week, suitable for those transitioning from inpatient treatment or with less severe addiction.
Customized Treatment Modalities
No two addiction cases are alike; thus, a patient’s treatment program must be tailored. This ensures that the approach aligns with individual needs, focusing on what will be most beneficial. Treatment elements include:
- Individual Therapy: One-on-one sessions with a mental health professional allow deep exploration of personal addiction triggers and the development of coping strategies.
- Group Therapy: This fosters a sense of community and empathy, enabling individuals to grow together and learn from shared experiences.
- Family Therapy: Addiction affects the entire family; involving them in therapy can strengthen relationships and support systems.
- Educational Workshops: Empowering through knowledge, these workshops teach essential life skills and coping mechanisms.
- Holistic Therapy: Integrating mindfulness practices, yoga, and meditation enhances mental well-being and physical health.
- Stress Management: Essential in preventing relapse, individuals learn techniques to deal with stress without turning to alcohol.
- Medication-assisted Treatment: Medications are used to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, aiding in the recovery process.
- Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Addressing co-occurring mental health conditions is essential for comprehensive recovery.
Recovery continues after treatment; aftercare programs for alcohol addiction ensures ongoing success. This includes joining support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or engaging in treatment center alumni programs. These networks foster a sense of belonging and continuous encouragement.
Before the treatment process begins, detoxification is often necessary to cleanse the body of alcohol and toxins. Given the potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms, professional detox centers provide safe and controlled environments for this critical phase.
This phase prepares the body for further treatment, with gradual tapering of alcohol and medical supervision. It’s an essential step towards leaving alcohol behind, allowing the mind to focus on recovery without physical distraction.
Medications in Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Several medications are used to facilitate the treatment process:
- Naltrexone: Reducing alcohol’s rewarding effects, it’s also used in opioid treatment.
- Disulfiram (Antabuse): Deterring alcohol consumption, it triggers unpleasant reactions if alcohol is ingested.
- Topiramate: An anti-epileptic medication showing promise in alcohol treatment.
Residential or Inpatient Treatment
Residential care, following detox, provides 24-hour medical monitoring. It is often necessary for individuals who have gone through intense alcohol withdrawal or face ongoing post-acute withdrawal symptoms.
Outpatient treatment, either partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient, offers flexibility and continuity. It supports those who have achieved initial recovery but still need support and therapy.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment in Chattanooga, TN
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, it’s essential to seek professional help. Withdrawal from alcohol can be life-threatening, and proper medical care is vital. If you or someone you care about might be suffering from alcoholism, don’t wait for recovery to start. Iris Wellness Group’s drug rehab & alcoholism treatment center in Chattanooga, TN, can help today.
We’ll meet with you and your family members to honestly assess the situation and develop a personalized path to sobriety. Iris Wellness Group is one of the best alcohol rehab centers in Chattanooga specializing in Alcohol Use Disorder and can work with you immediately.
Alcohol addiction doesn’t have to be a lifelong burden. Recognizing the signs and seeking help early with Iris Wellness Group can significantly enhance your chance of successful recovery. Our expert team is dedicated to helping you kick alcohol addiction to the curb and return to a healthy, fulfilling life. Contact us today to learn more about our alcohol rehab programs in Chattanooga, TN tailored to your needs.