Treatment for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
What Is Alcoholism?
Alcohol dependence is also known as alcoholism; however, health professionals tend not to use this term because of its potential to increase stigma and discrimination of the condition. Alcohol dependency is the most common substance use disorder in United States. Individuals who are alcohol dependent tend to prioritize drinking alcohol over other activities (including seeing friends and going to work). However, alcohol dependency is not an all or nothing condition. It occurs on a continuum ranging from mild to severe. Individuals with a mild dependence on alcohol may crave an alcoholic drink when it is not available and find it difficult to stop drinking after a couple of drinks. Individuals with severe alcohol dependence suffer physical and/or psychological withdrawal symptoms (e.g. vomiting, anxiety) when they do not consume alcohol.
Those with severe alcohol dependence regularly drink well above the limits recommended by Guidelines for healthy consumption of alcohol, while those with moderate alcohol dependence regularly drink slightly more than the recommended intake.
There is no one definition of moderate drinking, but generally the term is used to describe a lower risk pattern of drinking. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans: drinking in moderation is defined as having no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. This definition is referring to the amount consumed on any single day and is not intended as an average over several days.
Risk Factors for Alcoholism
Some individuals have a higher risk of developing alcohol dependency than others. Individuals who drink frequently or in large quantities are more likely to become dependent on alcohol than those who don’t drink as much. People also have a higher risk of developing alcohol dependence if they:
- Have a relative that suffers from alcohol dependency
- Suffer from a mental health disorder (e.g. depression, stress and anxiety)
- Were brought up in a house where consuming large amounts of alcohol was normal
Progression of Alcoholism
Alcohol dependency occurs on a continuum. Many Americans are only moderately or mildly dependent on alcohol (e.g. they may find it difficult to stop drinking once they start). They do not exhibit physical withdrawals like those with severe alcohol dependence, and do not consider their drinking patterns problematic. This may be because the major health and social consequences of alcohol dependence (with the exclusion of violence) do not begin when an individual first becomes alcohol dependent. For example, it may take years for an individual who is alcohol dependent to have financial or relationship problems as a result of drinking. In many cases chronic excessive drinking may have no immediate health and social consequences.
Even if a mild to moderate drinker is not feeling the effects right now, they may be dependent on alcohol if they:
- Consume alcohol in quantities greater than those recommended in the US guidelines for average or daily consumption
- Need to drink every day or drink first thing in the morning to settle their nerves and recover from the effects of drinking the previous night
- Experience physical and/or psychological withdrawal symptoms, including shaking in the morning, nausea and vomiting
- Need to take days off work to recover from the effects of drinking too much
- Miss going to social events or seeing friends so that they can drink alcohol; and/or need to drink more alcohol to get drunk
There is a tendency for some people with mild alcohol dependence to become more severely dependent.
Cove Center for Recovery Provides Alcoholism Treatment for the following States:
Drug Rehab Northeast Region – New England Division: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont; Middle Atlantic Division: New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania.
Drug Rehab Midwest Region – East North Central Division: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin; West North Central Division: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota.
Drug Rehab South Region – South Atlantic Division: Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia; East South Central Division: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee; West South Central Division: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas.
Drug Rehab West Region – Mountain Division: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming; Pacific Division: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington.