What to Know About Alcohol Addiction
Alcoholism affects people across the entire United States. Surveys indicate that around 15 million people in this country meet the criteria for some type of AUD (alcohol use disorder,) and sadly, many of those affected will never seek treatment. In some ways, this is not surprising; alcohol is ever-present in our society, from bars and restaurants, to work and school functions, and even during family events, Americans are expected and encouraged to drink alcohol from the time they are still young. This can make admitting you have a problem extremely difficult.
Yet failing to deal with alcohol addiction can have serious consequences. Approximately 88,000 people die from alcohol-related medical issues each year, and the toll alcoholism takes on families and communities may be incalculable. The good news: it only takes one phone call to make a change. If you are tired of drinking controlling your life, take action, and contact Decision Point Center for Arizona alcohol rehab today.
Immediate Effects of Alcohol Use
If you’ve ever done something embarrassing or regrettable while under the influence of alcohol, you probably have a good idea of the immediate effects of alcohol use, and embarrassment is one of the more minor concerns. While drunk, your judgment is impaired, which can lead to risky behavior and harmful outcomes. One extreme example is when intoxicated people decide to drink and drive and cause car accidents and/or get arrested for a DUI.
Alcohol can also blur your vision and cause your speech to become slurred. Many people drink to cope with social anxiety, but there are better and healthier ways to cope with anxiety.
One of the scariest effects of alcohol use is blacking out. This happens when you continue to interact with people and make decisions, but you are unable to remember or experience any of these events.
Alcohol use can even cause you to lose your ability to function entirely and pass out. Passing out is dangerous because your brain and body effectively “turn off,” which can lead to falls, choking on your own vomit, and/or failure to notice alcohol poisoning.
Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Use
Using alcohol can not only cause a bad night (and a serious hangover), but it can also create a slew of adverse health effects over time. Drinking is extremely hard on your liver and can lead to harmful long-term effects, such as:
- Liver damage and disease
- Damage to the heart (cardiomyopathy)
- Stomach ulcers
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of stroke
- Problems with the immune system
- Brain and nerve damage
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Sexual dysfunction
Additionally, long-term use of alcohol can cause serious mental health concerns, like anxiety and depression.
Alcohol use coupled with a mental health disorder is what is called a co-occurring disorder or a dual diagnosis. Fortunately, Decision Point Center can help.
Physical and Behavioral Signs of Alcohol Addiction
People who struggle with alcoholism can have mild, moderate, or severe symptoms. Some people withdraw from normal life to feed their addiction, but others can function almost normally.
In any case, keep an eye out for the following signs and symptoms of alcoholism:
- Avoiding school, work, or family responsibilities so you have more time to drink
- Losing interest in hobbies and activities that were once important to you
- Drinking despite negative effects on your relationships and career
- Constantly thinking about your next drink
- Engaging in risky behavior after drinking (fighting, driving, having unprotected sex)
- Needing more and more alcohol to feel intoxicated
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking
- Inability to cut back or quit drinking
Many of these symptoms are behavioral, but increased tolerance and withdrawal are largely physical. Someone with alcoholism might be sick or hungover all the time – or experience insomnia, shakiness, nausea, sweating, a racing heart, or even seizures when they stop drinking. Another symptom, in extreme cases, is experiencing hallucination due to alcohol withdrawal.
If you are experiencing 2 or more of the symptoms above, it’s time to get help. Click here to learn more about admissions.
Will My Insurance Cover Alcohol Rehab?
To make the rehabilitation process as stress-free as possible, Decision Point Center accepts a variety of insurance plans. We know this may be a difficult time for you and your loved ones, and we want to be reasonably flexible, so that this process is easier on everyone.
Decision Point Center is proud to accept:
- Humana Insurance (in-network
- TRICARE Insurance (in-network)
- MHN insurance (in-network)
- Blue Cross Blue Shield (in-network)
- Beacon Health Options (in-network)
- HMC Healthworks in Arizona, California, and New Mexico
- AmeriHealth Caritas
Learn More About Intensive Rehab Programs to Help You Overcome Alcohol Addiction
When you leave our Arizona alcohol rehab facility and begin the rest of your life, Decision Point Center is committed to finding you a support system to help you transition back into the world. Being able to turn to others is a vital part of your long-term sobriety, which is why we ensure patients participate in 12-step recovery meetings, in addition to Celebrate Recovery.
Maintain an addiction-free lifestyle and prevent relapse by calling Decision Point Center now. With our Arizona alcohol rehab professionals, hope is always possible.