America’s problem with alcohol remains among the top public health issues in the country, and the data show why. People across the nation are drinking more and their risky drinking habits are taking a destructive toll on their bodies, minds, and the health and safety of others, including their families, friends, colleagues, and even strangers.
Consider these alcohol abuse statistics:
- One in eight American adults, or 12.7 percent of the U.S. population, has an alcohol use disorder, according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry in 2017.
- According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, early 90,000 deaths a year are attributed to people who drink excessively.
Federal data released in 2015 showed that alcohol was killing U.S. adults at a rate not seen in more than three decades.
Millions of people struggle with problematic drinking, and as a result, their lives are changed forever when they can’t stop habits that have developed into alcoholism. This struggle can begin at early ages during the preteen and teen years or take root when young people are away at college, trying to fit in socially and manage the pressures of becoming a young adult while pursuing a degree. Alcohol rehab can help.
Poor alcohol habits formed during the early years of one’s life can set the stage for a lifetime of strained relationships, health, finances, and more all because of a failure to stop drinking. The negative consequences, especially after prolonged use, are seemingly endless.
There are several signs that show clear and present alcohol abuse, such as the following:
- Memory lapses and blackouts
- Concealing or hiding drinking
- Drinking in the morning
- Drinking while driving
- Drinking involved in all social activities
- Alcohol interfering with work
- Injuries involved when drinking alcohol
- A significant amount of time spent recovering from drinking
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Alcohol Abuse and Its Risks
Frequent, heavy and prolonged alcohol abuse does not come without its share of effects and risks that are far-reaching, damaging, and in some cases, destructive.
In the short-term, excessive alcohol use can lead to:
- Car accidents, drowning, falls, burns, and other injuries or fatalities that result from intoxication
- Alcohol poisoning
- Violence, including domestic violence as well as physical or sexual assault
- Sexually transmitted diseases or unintended or unwanted pregnancy due to risky sexual behavior
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and alcohol-related birth defects caused by drinking while pregnant.
Long-term alcohol abuse can cause:
- Increased risk of esophageal, liver, breast, throat, colon, and mouth cancers
- Learning and memory problems
- Increased mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts
- Serious liver damage from cirrhosis, fibrosis, and alcoholic hepatitis
- High blood pressure, heart disease, arrhythmia, and stroke
- Social problems, familial instability, and unemployment
- A weakened immune system that’s more susceptible to infections as well as tuberculosis and pneumonia
It is often difficult to determine when drinking has become excessive, abusive, and crossed the line into addiction. High-risk drinking, which includes binge-drinking, can turn into alcohol use disorder (AUD), a condition that affects about 17 million U.S. adults age 18 and older, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
As advised by the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5), AUD is a medical condition characterized by when an established, repeated pattern of problematic drinking of alcohol that causes distress or injury within a one-year period. AUDs range from mild to severe.
Do You Have an Alcohol Use Disorder?
Not everyone will become an alcoholic because they drink alcoholic beverages. But for many people, drinking will turn into an alcohol use disorder. There are ways to tell if you or someone you know has an AUD. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, anyone who meets any two of the 11 criteria during a one-year period (12 months) receives a diagnosis of AUD.
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Below are questions that can help assess whether an AUD is present. In the past year, have you or a loved one:
- Had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer, than you intended?
- More than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?
- More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?
- Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want? Or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?
- Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem? Or after having had a memory blackout?
- Spent a lot of time drinking? Or being sick or getting over other after effects?
- Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends?
- Found that drinking—or being sick from drinking—often interfered with taking care of your home or family? Or caused job or school problems?
- Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink?
- More than once gotten arrested, been held at a police station, or had other legal problems because of your drinking?
- Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, restlessness, nausea, sweating, a racing heart, or a seizure? Or sensed things that were not there?
If any of these symptoms are present, then drinking is more than a recreational habit. The more symptoms that are present, the more severe the disorder is. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the vast majority of people suffering from alcohol use disorder remain untreated. It is important; however, to seek help for an alcohol problem sooner rather than later. One place to do that is in an alcohol rehab center.
Alcohol Rehab Treatment for AUDs
Some people might be able to stop drinking on their own without professional treatment. But many others will find it difficult to end their dependence on it, and these are the people who may seriously want to consider going to alcohol rehab at a facility that specializes in helping people end their alcohol abuse.
Fortunately, recovery from an alcohol problem is possible.
Before alcohol rehab for an AUD can begin, it is important to get the proper diagnosis for it. Questions that may come up at an evaluation include treatment for alcohol use disorder depends on the individual and their situation. If it is determined after an evaluation that an AUD is present and treatment at a facility is needed, the person may:
- Complete a medical detoxification process that rids the body of alcohol and other toxins
- Medical care that addresses alcohol use disorder, including medications that help control substance addiction
- Counseling to help address emotional, behavioral problems that lead to alcohol abuse
- Therapy sessions that teach life strategies and healthy coping skills
- Support groups for alcohol addiction recovery, such as 12-step fellowships like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
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An AUD evaluation can reveal other things that are going on with the individual, particularly when it involves their mental health. If it is discovered that an AUD is present along with a mental health disorder, such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among others, dual diagnosis treatment may then be recommended.
In some cases, people abuse substances to self-medicate symptoms of their disorder, which in actuality, worsens their condition. In others, people who abuse alcohol and other substances may actually develop a mental health condition as a result of their drinking and drug use and abuse.
Such treatment addresses AUD and the mental health disorder at the same time to give the person the best shot at achieving sobriety. This is found to be the most effective form of treatment for people who have both disorders.
Alcohol addiction treatment at a rehabilitation center offers many options to people who need alcohol treatment. There are many options available for recovery from problematic alcohol use. Among them are inpatient, outpatient, and residential.
Inpatient treatment, which is also called residential treatment at some facilities, is widely accepted to be an effective addiction treatment for clients with severe conditions. In this arrangement, people live on-site at a facility for 24-hours for at least 30 days or longer so they can have the time and space to focus on the underlying causes of their addiction and learn strategies to help them improve their lives.
Outpatient treatment provides the most flexibility to clients. They can design their recovery treatment around their schedules so they can still take of personal responsibilities, such as for a job, school or household.
Both kinds of care should take the needs of the person into account as the recovery program is being designed.
Treatment for alcoholism often involves various types of therapy, including behavioral therapy, 12-step facilitation, motivation therapy, trauma therapy, and many others. Addiction treatment can be customized to fit your specific needs and preferences. You can even add holistic therapy or attend family therapy sessions as you work your way back to sobriety.
Why Choose an Alcohol Addiction Treatment Program?
- By seeking help from alcohol addiction through treatment, you can gain control of your life again. Restore the broken bonds that alcohol left behind and start life again in control.
- The goal of an alcohol treatment program is not only to heal you and your soul from alcoholism but also to overcome and overpower addiction in general.
- Gain the clear-headed and sober bliss that could have seemed impossible to reach. By reaching sobriety, this allows your body to recover from damage caused by alcohol.
Detox from Alcohol
- Detox your body, soul, and mind while in an alcohol treatment program. Restoring yourself will help in treatment by finally reaching a blissful clarity that’s commonly reported.
No More Hangovers
- Avoid those long mornings of waking up and hurting from the drinking of the night before. Through treatment, you can take your mornings back and be who you once were.
- Break the chains of addiction by liberating and freeing yourself from the terribly destructive grip of alcohol addiction. Don’t let alcohol control your life anymore.
Seeking help in treatment is important for those struggling with alcohol addiction and can be their best choice in bettering themselves.
Start Alcohol Treatment at Pathway to Hope Today
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism or an alcohol use disorder, call Pathway to Hope at 844-557-8575 now so we can get started on helping you or your loved one’s dependence on alcohol. We can help you find the right treatment program for you at our center. Don’t delay. If you need alcohol addiction treatment, now is the time to get it.
Bridget F. Grant, PhD; S. Patricia Chou, PhD; Tulshi D. Saha, PhD. Prevalence of 12-Month Alcohol Use, High-Risk Drinking, and DSM-IV Alcohol Use Disorder in the United States, 2001-2002 to 2012-2013. (2017, September). Retrieved March, 2018 from
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. Facts About Alcohol. (2018). Retrieved March, 2018 from
Ingraham, Christopher. (2015, December 22). Americans are drinking themselves to death at record rates. Retrieved March, 2018 from
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol Use Disorder. Retrieved March, 2018 from