Alcoholism is characterized by the inability to stop drinking alcohol without experiencing withdrawal symptoms, drinking even though it’s having detrimental effects on one’s life, and losing control over the amount and frequency of one’s drinking.
You can abuse alcohol without becoming addicted to it, although abusing it increases the risk of alcoholism. Abuse is characterized by drinking too much at times, resulting in social, physical, emotional and financial problems.
Blackouts and binge drinking are two indications that someone may be abusing alcohol. Binge drinking is defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism as drinking enough in two hours to bring your blood alcohol content (BAC) to .08 percent. For women, this means about four drinks, and for men, it means about five drinks.
Blackouts are caused by drinking a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time, causing the drinker to forget all details of events that took place. If you or someone you love is abusing alcohol or has already become addicted, now is the time to seek help. At Drug Treatment Centers Pensacola, we can help you get your life back on track. Call today to speak to one of our addiction specialists at (850) 332-0874.
Signs and symptoms that you or someone you know may be addicted to alcohol include:
• Building up a tolerance so that more of the substance is needed to feel the same effects
• Withdrawal symptoms that occur after not drinking for a period of time
• The inability to control how much or how often you drink
• Wanting to stop, but finding it impossible to do so
• Neglecting activities you once enjoyed
• Spending a great deal of time and energy thinking about drinking, drinking, and recovering from drinking
• Using alcohol even though it’s causing serious problems
If someone you love has a problem with alcohol, an intervention may be effective at convincing him or her to seek help. An intervention is a process of educating yourself about alcoholism and then staging a meeting with the alcohol abuser, during which close friends and family point out the ways in which the abuse is affecting them. Professional interventionists can make a huge difference in the success of the meeting. Over 90 percent of professionally-staged interventions result in the person getting help.
Alcohol detox takes place in our medically-equipped addiction treatment center. It is a medically supervised process during which the body withdraws from the substance. Medications can be administered to help control intense cravings and other symptoms, some of which can be highly dangerous or even fatal.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms occur in a pattern, but not everyone experiences all of the symptoms of withdrawal, which may include:
• Sweats and tremors
• Nausea and vomiting
• Anxiety, agitation, and paranoia
Alcohol treatment can take place at a residential, or inpatient, treatment facility or as part of an outpatient program. After the detox process is complete, a number of group and individual therapies combine to bring about self-awareness regarding the addiction, teach strategies for addressing and coping with stress and triggers, and help change patients’ attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors surrounding alcohol use. Therapies include cognitive-behavioral therapy, contingency management therapy, motivational interviewing, and family therapy.
Alcohol abuse in Escambia County, including the city of Pensacola, affects 15.9 percent of the adults who reside there, compared to an abuse rate of 14.1 percent for Florida as a whole. Additionally, the Community Drug and Alcohol Council of Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties report that 32 percent of all fatal vehicle accidents involve alcohol.
Every year, 334 people out of every 100,000 in Pensacola and Escambia County receive treatment in an alcohol addiction facility, but this represents only a small percentage of those who need treatment. Getting help for alcoholism is essential for a successful recovery and for preventing relapse of the disease.
Alcoholism is a chronic and often progressive and relapsing disease that’s marked by the inability to control one’s drinking, using alcohol even though it’s causing major problems at home and at work, and finding it impossible to stop drinking even though you’ve tried.
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