Alcoholism is one of the most common afflictions in the United States. Most drinking addicts will not get the help that they need due to shame or denial. Understanding when it is time to get help can save your life or the life of someone you love. All it takes is the first step of reaching out.
If you are interested in getting help finding recovery centers for yourself or someone you care about, call Drug Treatment Centers Henderson at (270) 844-4075.
Alcoholism is a type of alcohol use disorder, also known as alcohol dependence syndrome. It is an addictive illness that describes the compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Alcoholism treatment is available to manage both substance abuse and dependence, with residential and out-patient programs available for patients to use. Substance abuse treatment centers play an important role in modern society, helping people to get sober and giving them the skills they need to avoid relapse.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 16.6 million people in the United States had an alcohol use disorder (AUD) in 2013. This number consists of 10.8 million men and 5.8 million women, accounting for 9.4 percent of the male population and 4.7 percent of the female population. Overall, 7.0 percent of all Americans aged 18 and over had an AUD at some time in 2013.
Drinking statistics are also high across the United States, with 86.8 percent of the population having drunk alcohol at some point in their lifetime. Binge drinking patterns are also worrying, with 24.6 percent of people aged 18 and over having engaged in binge drinking sessions during the past month.
Despite these big numbers, however, engagement with rehab clinics is still comparatively low. About 1.3 million Americans received treatment for an AUD at a specialized center in 2013, accounting for just 7.8 percent of adults that needed treatment.
Millions of Americans who suffer from a drinking problem never receive adequate levels of support, with abusive drinking and dependence often going untreated for years before it degenerates into a range of related physical and psychological diseases. The overall toll of alcohol abuse on American society is also worth noting, with drinking problems costing the United States over $200 billion each year.
Alcohol’s addictive properties are mediated through neurons in the mesolimbic reward pathway, with dopamine playing an important role in how alcohol interacts with the brain. Drinking causes dopamine to release in the synapses of the mesolimbic pathway, heightening the activation of postsynaptic D1 receptors and triggering a number of signaling events in the brain.
Like all substance addictions, alcoholism is a learned behavior that alters neuroplasticity as the brain responds to increased exposure. Effective treatment depends on correct evaluation, physical stabilization and ongoing therapy programs to support new connections.
Medical detoxification often involves the experience of a withdrawal syndrome, with typical effects including sweating, anxiety, depression, agitation and seizures. Depending on the length and extent of addiction, medications may be used to alleviate symptoms and speed up the withdrawal process. Benzodiazepines such as Valium and Serax may be used in alcohol treatment, with other drugs also used to manage the recovery process.
There are four medications currently approved for alcoholism in the United States: disulfiram, two forms of naltrexone, and acamprosate. Naltrexone is taken as a competitive antagonist for opioid receptors, with this drug commonly used to decrease alcohol cravings and encourage long-term recovery through abstinence.