Alcohol abuse is a continuing problem in the United States. Experts estimate that about 18 million people currently have an alcohol use disorder, which is defined as compulsive alcohol use that leads to negative life consequences. People who have an alcohol use disorder will have strong cravings for alcohol, be unable to stop drinking once they’ve started, have withdrawal symptoms if they go too long without a drink (dependence), and will have to drink more than when they first started to achieve the same effects (tolerance).
Left untreated, alcohol abuse can destroy a person’s health and well-being.
Alcohol Abuse Statistics
- Around 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each year, meaning alcohol is the third highest preventable cause of death.
- People who misuse alcohol cost the United States $249 billion in 2010.
- In 2015, 26.9 percent of people over the age of 18 reported an episode of binge drinking (defined as four or more drinks for women and five or more for men within a few hours) in the past month. An additional 7% reported heavy alcohol use (defined as binge drinking for five or more days a month) in the past month.
- Only about 6.7% of adults who suffered from alcohol use disorder in 2015 enrolled in alcohol rehab for their problem.
Alcohol Abuse Withdrawal Symptoms
Another big sign of alcohol abuse is having withdrawal symptoms when you try to cut back. Typically, these will begin eight hours after your last drink and will peak 24 to 72 hours later. Some of the most common symptoms are irritability, mood swings, anxiety, fatigue, and jumpiness. You may also display clammy skin, nausea, headache, and a rapid heart rate.
One of the most severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms is delirium tremens. This is a dangerous health condition that causes a number of side effects, including the following:
If you don’t get treatment for delirium tremens, you could even face death. That’s why alcohol detox and rehab is so essential, as it ensures you’re in a safe environment while weaning yourself off drinking.
Alcohol Rehab at America’s Rehab Campuses
Alcohol rehab is a safe way to cure your addiction to alcohol. But before you can begin treatment in an alcohol and drug rehab facility, you’ll first need to enter alcohol detox.
Alcohol detox is similar to drug detox in that you’ll get care from a team of medical professionals who are monitoring your condition for severe withdrawal complications, like delirium tremens. That way, if anything goes wrong, you’ll get immediate medical attention. You may also receive medications to ease your withdrawal symptoms.
After detox, you’ll enter alcohol rehab. While there, you’ll receive a combination of treatments to help you overcome the mental and emotional problems associated with addiction. These might include behavioral treatments to change the thoughts behind your negative behaviors, medications to prevent you from relapsing, and support groups to provide peer guidance while struggling with recovery.
Keep in mind that completing alcohol rehab is not the end of your journey. You’ll be struggling with temptation for the rest of your life. However, with the skills you learn in rehab, you’ll be able to overcome these hurdles for long-term sobriety.