Alcohol Addiction: What is the Cost?

Alcohol Addiction: What is the Cost?

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As an addiction treatment facility, we are well aware of the alarming statistics surrounding alcohol addiction in the United States. Alcohol addiction, also known as alcoholism, is a chronic disease characterized by a compulsive need to drink despite negative consequences

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, an estimated 14.5 million adults aged 18 and older had alcohol use disorder (AUD) in 2019.

Signs of Alcohol Addiction

  • Tolerance: The need to drink increasing amounts of alcohol to feel the desired effects.
  • Withdrawal: Symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, tremors, and sweating when trying to stop drinking or reduce consumption.
  • Loss of control: Difficulty limiting the amount of alcohol consumed once drinking has started.
  • Drinking despite negative consequences: Continuing to drink despite problems at work, school, or home, or experiencing physical, emotional, or social problems related to drinking.
  • Neglecting responsibilities: Failure to fulfill obligations at home, work, or school due to alcohol consumption.
  • Time spent drinking: Spending a lot of time drinking or recovering from its effects.
  • Giving up activities: Giving up previously enjoyed activities, hobbies, or socializing in favor of drinking.
  • Continued use despite health problems: Continuing to drink despite physical or mental health problems caused or worsened by alcohol consumption.

One of the key challenges with alcohol addiction is that it can be difficult to identify, as individuals may not realize they have a problem until it has already progressed significantly. Some common signs of alcohol addiction include drinking in secret, drinking to cope with stress or emotions, experiencing blackouts or memory loss, and continuing to drink despite negative consequences.

Consequences of Alcoholism

One of the most concerning consequences of alcohol addiction is drunk driving. In 2020, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 30% of all traffic-related deaths in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This underscores the importance of effective prevention and treatment programs for individuals struggling with alcohol addiction.

Alcohol-related deaths are also a significant concern, with approximately 140,000 deaths in the United States each year attributed to alcohol use, making it the third leading preventable cause of death in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Men are more likely than women to die from alcohol-related causes, with a rate of 22.5 deaths per 100,000 men, compared to 8.9 deaths per 100,000 women.

At Embark Recovery, we offer comprehensive treatment programs designed to help individuals overcome alcohol addiction and prevent the negative consequences associated with it, such as drunk driving. We provide a range of evidence-based therapies, including individual counseling, group therapy, and family therapy. We also offer medical detoxification services to help individuals safely withdraw from alcohol and manage withdrawal symptoms.

When an individual who has been drinking heavily or chronically stops or significantly reduces their alcohol intake, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal occurs when an individual who has been drinking heavily or chronically stops or significantly reduces their alcohol intake. Alcohol withdrawal can be very uncomfortable and even life-threatening in severe cases.

Common Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

  • Tremors: Addiction to alcohol as well as alcohol withdrawal can cause shaking of the hands, arms, or other parts of the body.
  • Sweating: People experiencing alcohol withdrawal often experience increased sweating, even in cool temperatures.
  • Anxiety: During withdrawal, people will often experience feelings of nervousness, unease, or panic.
  • Insomnia: Withdrawal from alcohol often causes difficulty sleeping or staying asleep.
  • Nausea or vomiting: Most commonly, people withdrawing from alcohol experience an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Headache: Pain in the head that can range from mild to severe, alcohol withdrawal can cause headaches.
  • Rapid heartbeat: Many people who have experienced alcohol withdrawal report experiencing a fast or irregular heart rate.
  • High blood pressure: Clinically, an increase in blood pressure is common in people who are withdrawing from alcohol.
  • Irritability: You may notice you or your family member are easily angered or frustrated during the early days of withdrawal.
  • Confusion: Difficulty thinking or concentrating is commonly reported as one of the more frustrating symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, as the person is often so hyper-focused on not drinking that this is all they think about.
  • Seizures: Uncontrolled shaking or convulsions is one of the most severe potential symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and requires immediate medical attention.

It is important to note that not everyone who stops drinking alcohol will experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and the severity of symptoms can vary depending on factors such as the duration and amount of alcohol consumed, age, and overall health

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, it is important to seek medical attention immediately, as severe symptoms can be life-threatening. To learn more about how to help someone detox from alcohol, read our recent blog post here.

At Embark Recovery, we offer both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs designed to help individuals overcome alcohol addiction and manage withdrawal symptoms. Not sure which program is right for you or your family member? Read on for the details of Inpatient versus Outpatient treatment programs.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment for alcohol addiction is a method of treatment where people suffering from addiction live onsite at a medical facility while they go through withdrawal. Embark Recovery offers a variety of services during inpatient treatment, including medically supervised withdrawal, counseling, group therepy sessions, and more.

Inpatient treatment is especially beneficial for people without the social support needed to get sober at home. On the whole, inpatient treatment is often more likely to lead to long-term sobriety as it provides a network of both professionals and peers who can empathize with their experiences and challenges.

You can learn more about the benefits of inpatient treatment on our blog here.

Outpatient Treatment

Embark Recovery also offers outpatient treatment for alcohol addiction. During outpatient treatment, a person is able to come and go to set meetings for treatment, sleeping and eating at home. These programs are best suited to people who have other obligations and commitments they cannot easily step away from for a long period of time, such as parenting, work, or caring for a family member.

Outpatient treatment requires much more discipline and commitment in many ways, so it is important to consider if this is the right fit for you or your family member. We recently discussed outpatient treatment in detail on our blog

As an addiction treatment facility, we have seen firsthand the devastating effects that alcohol addiction can have on individuals and their families. It is important to remember alcoholism is a chronic disease that can cause physical, emotional, and social harm, and it can be difficult to overcome without professional help.

At Embark Recovery, we understand that alcohol addiction can be a complex and challenging disease, and we provide personalized treatment plans tailored to each individual's unique needs. Our goal is to help individuals develop the skills and strategies they need to maintain long-term recovery and prevent relapse.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, we encourage you to reach out to Embark Recovery for help. We are here to support you every step of the way on your journey to recovery. Together, we can overcome alcohol addiction and create a brighter future for ourselves and our loved ones.

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