Alcoholism: with treatment there is hope
Treatment Alternatives has successfully been helping men and women suffering from alcoholism recover from addiction and return to daily living as healthy, productive human beings.
According to the government’s National Institute of Health (NIH), 18 million Americans are alcoholics or suffer from alcohol abuse. This staggering number reflects lives that are spinning out of control. Since drinking is heavily marketed as part of the American culture, many people are in denial about their alcoholic problem. Some people do not know what defines alcoholism. Still others do not know what to do once they begin to understand that alcohol is part of their problem.
The National Institute of Health has developed guidelines to help explain excessive drinking habits. These include:
- Men who have 15 or more drinks a week
- Women who have 12 or more drinks a week
- Anyone who has five or more drinks per occasion at least once a week
According to the NIH, one drink is defined as a 12-ounce bottle of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a 1 1/2-ounce shot of liquor.
Definition of Alcoholism
Alcoholism is defined as a person’s continued need to drink regardless of the adverse consequences: physically, emotionally, or financially. According to The American Medical Association, alcoholism is a disease of the body and the brain.
The government’s NIH has categorized four essential aspects of alcoholism:
- Cravings – A strong emotional and physical need to drink
- Loss of control – an inability to stop drinking once the 1st drink has been consumed
- Physical dependence – Physical withdrawal symptoms occur when the drink is not taken
- Tolerance – An increase of alcohol is needed to achieve a particular feeling — sometimes the increase occurs rapidly sometimes slowly. The more alcohol consumed the greater the tolerance
The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has determined the following factors impact alcohol’s affect on a person’s body:
- How much a person drinks
- How often a person drinks
- The Age of a person
- The physical health of a person
- The weight of the person
- The Family history of the person
Effects of Alcoholism
Studies show severe degenerative diseases associated with alcoholism that include a variety of cancers, as well as brain, kidney, liver and heart diseases. One’s entire immune system (or the ability of the body to protect itself against disease) is significantly weakened by the regular consumption of alcohol. Thus, the alcoholic grows susceptible to other diseases such as pneumonia and/or tuberculosis. These are just a few of the devastating diseases spurred on by alcoholic drinking.
Alcoholism is considered a family disease. Others associated with the alcoholic can also experience the adverse consequences. Loss of a job or loss of emotional and physical health have profound ramifications for everyone connected to the alcoholic—friends and family alike. Parents, children, siblings, friends, and co-workers all suffer mentally, physically or emotionally when someone in their circle drinks alcoholically. Social research studies indicate that alcoholics significantly increase their risk of death from car accidents, homicides and suicides. Premature death or incarceration due to alcoholic drinking cannot be divorced from the impact on the family.
Treatment for Alcoholism; A Way Back to Life
For the alcoholic and the alcoholic’s family, Treatment Alternatives provides hope and a sound foundation to overcome the disease of alcoholism. Those who suffer from diseases such as diabetes accept the need for ongoing vigilance. Alcoholism, like diabetes, requires constant attention. With the proper foundation,the disease of alcoholism can be arrested, and the alcoholic can return to the community with the tools to rebuild his/her life as a healthy, productive human being.
Treatment Alternatives offers men and women a path to long term recovery. A combination of therapies, including alternative treatments, as well as 12 Step principles and meetings allows the alcoholic to address core issues creating chaos in his/her life (such as dual diagnosis and co-occurring disorders). Treatment of alcoholism at Treatment Alternative provides clients with a scientifically based method to address difficult issues as clients learn about alcoholism, relapse prevention, healthy living patterns and life skills. Every aspect of an alcoholic’s life must be addressed to break alcoholic behavior.
A client’s journey through recovery is supported by our multidisciplinary team of highly skilled, licensed addiction physicians, therapists, clinicians and alternative therapy practitioners. With support, a sound foundation and the tools of recovery, the staff at Treatment Alternatives has seen hundreds of people successfully rebuild their lives.
We take pride in helping alcoholics find and keep their recovery from alcoholism.