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Alcohol Addiction

 

Alcohol is the most commonly abused drug in the United States. And while certain groups of people, such as Native Americans, are at a greater risk, people from all backgrounds and walks of life are susceptible.

The state of Tennessee has long struggled with problems related to alcoholism. Alcohol addiction in Tennessee is at an all-time high, and rates of addiction are rising every year.

What can you do to stop alcoholism from growing? What can you do if you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol abuse? Fortunately, a vast variety of drug treatment centers have popped up, most specializing in alcohol addiction in Tennessee.

Below we look at how these drug treatment centers work in more detail. The following is an explanation of what alcohol addiction is, how you can spot it in its early stages, and how alcohol rehab and therapy help. Even a basic understanding of these factors will help you get started on your path to lifelong sobriety.

Definition of Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction, or alcoholism, is an addiction to alcohol. That much is readily apparent. What is not readily apparent, is the way that it affects the body. It is a slow process that sneaks up on you before you know it.

In a scientific sense, alcohol addiction is a chronic progressive disease. It gets worse over time and never goes away. Your body develops a mental and physical dependence to the substance. Your body also develops an increased tolerance to the substance, requiring increased amounts of it to achieve the same effects.

The complicated part about alcohol addiction is that, unlike illegal drugs like heroin or cocaine, alcohol is actually legal. This makes it easily accessible. The consumption of alcohol is also socially acceptable, and it is even encouraged in many circles.

What this means, is that a lot of people consume alcohol on a regular basis that do not have an alcohol addiction. However, drinking can easily cross the line from moderate use to a drinking problem. If you are drinking alcohol to cope with negative feelings or difficulties, you are at a higher risk than most for alcoholism.

A number of additional factors increase the risk of alcoholism. These are all interconnected in some way. They include genetics, upbringing, social environment, and emotional health. It is important to understand these risk factors, so that you can take steps to prevent alcohol abuse if needed.

Finally, alcohol addiction should be treated in a medical environment. While some individuals are successful at personal home attempts to quit or cut back on drinking, most people are not. In addition, long-term heavy drinkers are at a high risk to develop withdrawal symptoms if they attempt to go without alcohol.

This is where alcohol treatment and rehab comes into play. These treatment facilities offer programs tailored to all types and levels of alcohol abuse and addiction. Long-term drinkers are first placed in medical detox to minimize the pain of withdrawals. Still, even moderate drinkers who are worried about alcohol abuse should look into such facilities.

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse

Experts in the field of substance abuse can make a distinction between alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. Those who abuse alcohol still have the ability to set some limits on their drinking. However, this is not to say that it is not a problem. Alcohol abuse is still self-destructive and dangerous. It can also easily transition into full-blown alcoholism.

It is important to seek treatment for alcohol abuse early. A few of the most common signs and symptoms to look for, are state in the following.

Neglecting home, work, and life responsibilities because of drinking is a sure sign of alcohol abuse. The same goes for using alcohol in dangerous situations, such as drinking while driving, mixing alcohol and prescription medications, or engaging in unsafe sex. Experiencing legal problems associated with drinking is also a common sign.

On top of this, those who abuse alcohol will continue to drink, even though it causes these problems. They also continue to drink despite the fact that their drinking has ruined their relationships with those around them. Finally, another sign of alcohol abuse is drinking to relieve stress or relax.

As we mentioned above, these are all signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse, not of alcohol addiction itself. Yet, heavy drinkers who do experience these are at a much higher risk than others to develop alcoholism. An addiction to alcohol not only consists of the signs and symptoms above, but also a mental and physical dependence. If you are compelled to drink in order to function properly, there is a very strong chance you are an alcoholic.

Alcohol Treatment and Rehab

No matter the specifics of your problem with the substance, alcohol treatment and rehab can help. There are numerous facilities that offer these programs for those who have an alcohol addiction in Tennessee.

The best way to find out if a treatment center is for you, is to call the facility for more information. You can also consult your doctor for information regarding the best centers in the state.

With that being said, most treatment centers provide similar programs for alcohol addiction treatment. There are minor differences between each center, but they all boil down to the same basic process.

Alcohol rehab and therapy starts with medical detox. This is the process of removing alcohol from the addict’s system. They stop drinking as soon as they enter detox, and are monitored throughout the withdrawal process. Special medications can be administered as needed, to ease the effects of withdrawal.

Inpatient treatment follows detox. The recovering addict is encouraged to live in a residential treatment center for at least one month during this stage. This step of the program not only addresses the drinking problem, but the cause of it. Therapy includes working on the emotional pain and life problems behind alcoholism.

The final step of alcohol treatment is aftercare. While it is the final step, it never really ends. Recovering addicts are encouraged to attend weekly meetings and therapy sessions for the help and support they offer. The goal is to continue to give them the tools they need to prevent relapse in the future.

Call to Action

Tennessee is home to dozens of great drug treatment centers. Call a facility today to speak with an addiction specialist to find out more about the alcohol rehab services.

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