Alcohol Rehab in Birmingham, Alabama

Alcohol Rehab in Birmingham

Alcoholism is the most severe form of alcohol use disorder and this condition can also be understood as an addiction to alcohol. Drinking alcohol plays a significant role in many aspects of American society. However, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, over 14 million adults aged 18 and older experience what is known as alcohol use disorder. There exists a wide spectrum of severity in regards to alcohol use disorders (from mild to severe), meaning there are some individuals who experience problems related to alcohol use and are able to maintain their jobs or social aspects of their lives while there are those who face severe consequences, such as divorce, job loss, and legal problems. Trained treatment professionals are able to assess individuals to determine the specific severity of alcohol use disorder. No matter the situation, it’s important to know that treatment for this condition is available and at Birmingham Recovery Center, our alcohol rehab in Alabama provides effective, comprehensive services to support a person’s transition to recovery.

What is Alcoholism and Alcohol Use Disorder?

Alcoholism is the most Alcohol use disorder, which is the clinical term for alcoholism, is the most severe form of alcohol use disorder and can also be understood as an addiction to alcohol. This condition exists when an individual can no longer control their alcohol consumption despite negative consequences. Alcoholism is a chronic and progressive disease that is diagnosed as alcohol use disorder under specific criteria highlighted by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). 

The behavior referred to as “binge drinking” would also be considered an alcohol use disorder. The CDC equates binge drinking to an individual who consumes four or more drinks in one sitting for women, and five or more drinks in one sitting for men. Alcohol use disorder and alcoholism are serious conditions and often help from trained, licensed professionals is needed to stay alcohol-free for the long-term.

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Alcoholism Risk Factors

The development of alcohol use disorder is not limited to one single factor. Research indicates that a complex interaction of biological, emotional, and genetic factors increases a person’s susceptibility to problematic substance use. From a brain perspective, alcohol’s euphoric effects include increased dopamine levels, or feelings of pleasure, which encourages the individual to repeat the behavior. Repeated alcohol use can create more vulnerability towards developing alcoholism. Other factors that increase the risk to develop alcohol use disorder include:

  • Family history of substance abuse
  • Untreated mental health issues
  • Social factors
  • Cultural factors
  • Binge drinking starting at an early age
  • History of trauma
  • High levels of stress

Alcoholism Statistics

Most Americans consume alcohol at least once during their lifetimes. Of those who drink alcohol, 6.7% of them will develop an Alcohol Use Disorder.

  • About 25.8 percent of adults ages 18 and older reported binge drinking in the last month.
  • Every day, 261 people die from excessive drinking.
  • More than 80% of these deaths occur among adults aged 35 or older, according to the CDC.
  • Alcohol kills 10 percent of people between the ages of 15 and 49.
  • Globally, an estimated 3.3 million people died from alcohol abuse.
  • Alcohol-related deaths occur every year, accounting for between 5.3% and 6.0% of the world’ s deaths.
  • Alcohol causes about 14 percent of deaths among young adults aged 20 to 39 years.
  • Men are three times more likely than women to die from alcohol abuse.
  • According to the World Health Organization, excessive alcohol use is responsible of 7.1% of diseases among men and 2.2% of diseases among women.
  • Americans collectively lose over two and a half million years of potential life from excessive alcohol consumption.

Alcohol Use vs Misuse

The difference between alcohol use and misuse is the level of harm. Misuse can be defined as the repeated or regular consumption of alcohol in excess of what is considered socially acceptable, resulting in negative consequences for the user’s health, social life, family life, work or finances.

Alcoholism is defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) as “a pattern of alcohol use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress.”

Alcohol use is defined as the amount of alcohol consumed over time. It does not matter whether the individual is having fun, getting drunk, or feeling bad; if he/she is using alcohol, then it is considered alcohol use.

Misuse is defined as “the non-medical use of drugs or alcohol” and includes behaviors such as binge drinking, heavy drinking, and driving under the influence.

Am I An Alcoholic?

Often times, individuals and their families are aware there is a problem with alcohol. However, to be diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder requires a professional evaluation. This diagnosis is based upon criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) which requires a person to meet any two (2) of the following criteria within the same 12-month period:

  • Being unable to cut down on alcohol use despite a desire to do so
  • Using alcohol in higher amounts than originally intended
  • Experiencing cravings and a strong desire to use alcohol
  • Spending much time obtaining alcohol, using alcohol, and recovering from the after effects of alcohol
  • Continuing to use alcohol despite negative consequences 
  • Giving up social responsibilities, family responsibilities, or hobbies and activities due to alcohol use
  • Using alcohol in potentially dangerous situations including operating a motor vehicle or heavy machinery
  • Continuing alcohol use despite presence of mental and physical problems from its use
  • Developing a tolerance, meaning an individual will need to consume more alcohol to feel the same desired effects
  • Developing physical withdrawal symptoms when an individual stops using alcohol

Effects of Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol abuse affects every organ system in the body. It causes physical damage to the liver, brain, heart, pancreas, kidneys, stomach, intestines, lungs, and muscles. Some of these organs require regular maintenance to prevent further damage.

Alcohol abuse can cause serious medical conditions such as cirrhosis of the liver, pancreatitis, and cancer. Alcohol abuse can also lead to depression, anxiety, violence, and suicide.

Short-term effects of alcohol abuse can include:

  • Sleepiness
  • Upset stomach
  • Respiratory issues
  • Changes in vision and hearing
  • Memory loss
  • Coma

Long-term effects of alcohol abuse can include:

  • Poor mental health
  • Hearth problems
  • Brain damage
  • Stroke
  • Strained financial and personal relationships
  • High blood pressure
  • Premature death

What Happens During Alcohol Rehab in Alabama?

Treatment for alcoholism should always be based on a person’s individual needs, although commonly, it is important to begin this process by engaging in a medically supervised detox. This is critical because abruptly stopping alcohol use can have dangerous physical consequences that can even be fatal. Receiving detox services generally involves a brief stay at a safe and comfortable facility while being under the 24-hour care of a specially trained medical doctor. This process allows medical staff to quickly address any severe withdrawal complications while ensuring the individual is physically prepared to continue their treatment. After an individual is medically stable following the detox process, they then have the option to continue treatment at either a residential or outpatient level of care. There are significant differences in these distinct levels of care and it is important to understand how these programs can meet an individual’s specific needs.

For those who need more structure and support, receiving services in a residential setting is a good choice. At this level of care, the person lives away from home in a safe, controlled environment where they can focus on addressing challenging issues, free from the stressors of everyday life.

For those who have completed residential treatment or those who cannot spend time away from home or work, then an outpatient program is an excellent choice. Most outpatient programs offer levels of care that involve clients attending treatment 3-5 days per week, either during the daytime or the evening. This allows individuals to receive crucial treatment services while being able to address important work or family responsibilities.

It’s important to remember that recovery from alcoholism is a long-term prospect with life-long benefits and various levels of professional treatment is required to help limit that chances of relapse.

Alcohol Rehab in Alabama

Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive illness that doesn’t just affect the person drinking. For many, it takes hard work, a support system, and a dedicated team of professionals to recover from such a challenging disorder. At Birmingham Recovery Center, our multidisciplinary staff have decades of experience treating alcoholism and seeing the lives of our clients get better. If you or a loved are concerned alcoholism or alcohol use disorder, help is only one phone call away at our alcohol rehab in Alabama. Learn more about our admissions process now.

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