Help for Alcoholism, FL: Nearly 14 million Americans abuse alcohol. Three out of every 10 adults live in a home that has, in some way, been negatively affected by the use of alcohol.
At Transformations By The Gulf, we understand how alcohol addiction can affect your life. We tailor individual, innovative treatment that will address your needs – body, mind and spirit – so you can get your life back on track. Your individualized drug treatment program might include outpatient detox, individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy and a wide array of adjunct treatment services designed to ensure you receive world class addiction treatment and achieve sustained recovery.
How Alcoholism Can Happen
Although alcohol is considered a legal substance, it is the primary drug of choice in our society because of its widespread availability. Alcoholism has no social, economic or cultural boundaries. Nearly 14 million Americans abuse alcohol and 3 out of every 10 adults live in a home that has, in some way, been negatively affected by alcohol.
The pervasive effects of alcohol abuse can manifest to varying degrees on a physical, psychological, and behavioral level. While often used initially as a means of coping with stress or the emotionally challenges in one’s life, over time alcohol can cause the reverse effect as the ability to function becomes more and more impaired.
Alcoholism is usually predicated by a pattern of drinking in excess to the point of intoxication. Compulsive drinking on a regular basis eventually creates a chemical dependency, causing the body to crave alcohol. The individual then becomes unable to control the desire or need to drink, despite the consequences.
Harmful Effects of Alcoholism
Physically, alcoholism can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, or severe liver damage, high blood pressure, inflammation of the digestive system, impotence, and malnutrition. It increases the risk of cancer of the larynx, liver, esophagus, or colon. Alcohol also alters the transmission of nerve impulses, so users can experience a loss of balance, numbness of the hands and feet, and tremors.
Although initially used as a stimulant, alcohol can actually depress the activity of the control center of the brain. The prolonged use of alcohol disrupts the brain’s chemistry to such a degree that the person’s cognitive abilities are severely impaired, resulting in a loss of judgment, slowed reaction time, and unpredictable or erratic behavior.
The vicious cycle of consumption and craving also includes the physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. One can experience anxiety, irritability, palpitations, tremors, insomnia and depression, all of which can lead to the desire for more alcohol to relieve these symptoms.
Over-consumption of alcohol over a short period of time can lead to blackouts. This condition, called Anterograde Amnesia, is the inability to recall recent events. When the blood alcohol concentration increases rapidly over a short period of time, it blocks the brain’s ability to retain short-term memory during that time.
Such impairments are generally the cause of alcohol-related deaths, whether it’s drunk driving, or other accidents or injuries to oneself or others. Statistically, alcoholism is the cause of nearly 40% of all unnatural deaths.
The impact of alcoholism is not only disabling to one’s health, it also affects personal relationships with loved ones, professional performance, social interactions, and the ability to manage the responsibilities of daily life. Because many people who are dependent on alcohol are unable to recognize that they have a serious problem; the initial, and probably the most important, step in treating alcoholism is admitting that the problem exists.