AlcoholSigns of Alcohol Abuse | Effects | Alcohol Treatment Options | SunCloud Health
Alcohol abuse treatment & long-term recovery involves first spotting the signs, symptoms and effects & treating these issues concurrently. We can help. Learn about the causes and treatment options available at SunCloud Health—one of the premier outpatient treatment centers in the Midwest
You may think of alcohol, prescription pain killers or another street drug as your “drug of choice.” But at SunCloud, we consider it your “drug of no choice” or “drug of addiction.” As addiction takes over, your ability to actually make choices is swiftly taken away. With the drug in command, you may feel totally powerless to regain control of your life. In helping you start on a path to wellness, we won’t ask, “Why the addiction?” Instead, we’ll encourage you to ask yourself, “Why the pain?”
In our experience, addiction is driven by deeper causes that typically involve physical, spiritual or emotional pain. By dealing with the underlying pain, we will help you exchange unhealthy addictive behaviors for healthier ones – leading to a balanced and abundant life.
At SunCloud Health, we approach addiction treatment in a holistic, integrated and medically informed way. We meet you where you are. As one wise teacher has said, “Only when compassion is present will people allow themselves to see the truth.” We will help you learn to allow pain to be your teacher, so you can expand far beyond it rather than seeing pain as the enemy.
Alcohol Abuse: Did you know?
Alcohol is the most-abused substance in the world. The World Health Organization estimates that 1 in 3 Americans will suffer from some degree of alcohol disorder in their lifetime (Source: Northpointrecovery.com).
Alcohol abuse is any use of alcohol beyond moderate drinking. Moderate drinking is defined as having two or fewer drinks per day if you are a man and one or fewer drinks per day if you are a woman. Someone who drinks more than this is considered a heavy drinker. Those who abuse alcohol are at an increased risk of developing an addiction to alcohol.
- There are roughly 80,000 deaths that are related to alcohol abuse every year, making it the 3rd highest cause of death in the U.S.
- More than 15 million people struggle with an alcohol use disorder, but less than 8% receive treatment. (1)
- Men are consistently more likely than women to drink in excess and are 2 times more likely to be involved in a fatal alcohol-related car accident.
- Teen alcohol use kills 4,700 people each year. That’s more than all illegal drugs combined. (2)
- Drunk driving costs the United States $199 billion every year.
- Approximately 17% of men and 8% of women will be dependent on alcohol in their lifetime.
- The effects of alcohol abuse can lead to long-term health issues like cardiovascular disease, cancer of the throat, liver, or mouth, anxiety and depression, dementia, liver disease and much more.
Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse
When alcohol abuse begins to negatively impact a person’s life and causes harm, it is diagnosed as alcohol use disorder (AUD). Recognizing the warning signs of alcohol abuse can make a significant difference in the early detection of addiction and success of the recovery process.
There are various warning signs to help. While many are observable, others may be more difficult to identify. For example, some people try to cover their alcohol abuse by drinking in private and isolating themselves from others. This makes it challenging for family members or friends to intervene and help their loved one.
- Experiencing temporary blackouts or short-term memory loss
- Hiding alcohol in the home to cover up their drinking from others
- Feeling the inability to control the amount or number of drinks
- Exhibiting signs of irritability and extreme mood swings
- Making excuses for drinking such as to relax, deal with stress or feel normal
- Choosing drinking over other responsibilities and obligations
- Becoming isolated and distant from friends and family members
- Drinking alone or in secrecy
- Feeling hungover when not drinking
- Continuing to drink in spite of health problems that are made worse by alcohol
These early warning signs should not be ignored. Seeking treatment sooner rather than later will allow you to get back to the things you enjoy most in life.
Effects of Alcohol Abuse
The effects of alcohol abuse vary between individuals, but they can touch on all aspects of a person’s life. Heavy drinking can affect your health, career, family, and more.
WHAT ARE THE SHORT-TERM EFFECTS?
The short-term effects of alcohol abuse are often the result of binge drinking. Someone who is heavily intoxicated may put himself or herself at greater risk of accidental injury or death and is more likely to become involved in violence and risky sexual activity. Another potential danger of alcohol abuse is the possibility of alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning can occur when the level of alcohol in the bloodstream becomes too high, causing a dangerous drop in blood pressure, body temperature, and the cessation of breathing. The person can go into a coma and die from alcohol poisoning.
Common Long-Term Effects of Chronic Alcohol Abuse
Someone who repeatedly engages in heavy or binge drinking may cause permanent neurological damage that can lead to dementia, stroke, or neuropathy. A chronic alcohol abuser may also develop cardiovascular disease, liver disease, or gastrointestinal problems over time. Some people also develop mental illnesses such as depression or experience bouts of anxiety. People who drink heavily over a long period of time may develop alcoholism. Alcoholism often begins when the person builds up tolerance, a condition in which more alcohol is required to get the same effect because the brain has adapted to the frequent use of alcohol.
In addition to the health effects of alcohol abuse, alcohol use can also impact a person’s home, school, or work life. Someone who has an alcohol problem may struggle with unemployment. Alcohol abuse can make it difficult to get or keep a job. An alcoholic or alcohol abuser is also more likely to live in poverty than someone who is not an alcoholic.
Treatment for Alcohol Abuse Disorder
At SunCloud Health, we work with people who are suffering from just about every form of substance use. We are an outpatient center, which means that you will live at home while taking part in treatment. Depending on your needs, you may be treated through a partial hospitalization plan (PHP) or an intensive outpatient plan (IOP).
If you or a loved one is struggling with the devastating effects of substance abuse disorder, the team at SunCloud Health can be a healing resource for you. Led by Kimberly Dennis, MD, one of the nation’s top experts in substance use treatment, SunCloud Health provides caring, effective treatment for men and women facing drug and alcohol addiction. We are an outpatient treatment center located in Northbrook, Illinois, and we have helped hundreds of men and women like you to reclaim their lives from alcohol and drugs.
Dealing with alcohol or drug addiction? We can help you get your life back on track.
The good news is that no matter how severe the problem may seem, most people with an alcohol use disorder can benefit from some form of treatment. Research shows that about one-third of people who are treated for alcohol problems have no further symptoms 1 year later. Many others substantially reduce their drinking and report fewer alcohol-related problems.
When asked how problems with alcohol are treated, people commonly think of 12-step programs or 28-day inpatient rehab but many have difficulty naming other options. In fact, there are a variety of treatment methods currently available, thanks to significant advances in the field over the past 60 years.
Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and what may work for one person may not be a good fit for someone else. Simply understanding the different options can be an important first step.
The experienced team at SunCloud understands that treating alcohol and drug addiction requires a blend of compassion with advanced medical and psychotherapeutic skill. From our experience in successfully treating hundreds of patients, we’ve learned that addiction is often paired with other self-destructive or addictive behaviors. People who face a cluster of issues are often described as having co-occurring conditions. They may also be described as having a dual diagnosis.
In caring for those facing drug or alcohol addiction, we dig deep on all fronts. We understand that other sources of emotional pain, and even other addictive behaviors, may have led to your problems with drugs or alcohol. Therefore, we will help you address all of these related factors as you enter treatment.
We also realize that psychiatric conditions such as depression, trauma or anxiety may have played a role in leading to your drug or alcohol use. You may even be abusing other substances to cope with the side effects of your addiction.
The SunCloud Health team offers a full range of effective treatment options for men and women who are struggling with alcohol and drugs. The therapy that will work best for you will be determined after we’ve talked with you and learned more about your unique needs.
The following are types of therapy we provide for the treatment of alcohol abuse disorder:
- Expressive and experiential therapy
- Skills-based therapy such as DBT, ACT and CBT
- 12-step recovery programs and facilitation
- Education about the disease, its effects on you, your mind, your soul and your body
- Group sessions to teach and practice healthy interpersonal and relationship management
- Regular psychiatric consultations
- Family therapy, including family participation if appropriate
- Yoga and body image therapy, when appropriate
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), if appropriate
Get Help Now
Thinking about seeking help or know someone who does? Click below to have one of our professional team members contact you.
Treatment at SCH is really different. I have been to several so I know… Most treatment centers are focused on normalizing eating behaviors, weight restoration (or loss) and that is pretty much it. At SunCloud this stuff all matters but treatment is much deeper and so much more! I have been encouraged to look at what drive me to the disordered eating behaviors in the first place. I have looked at early childhood trauma, I have looked at dysfunctional and unhealthy relationships in my family, I have learned skills to help me respond differently to my thoughts and feelings and most importantly I have learned that I am not alone in my journey. Dr. Kim and her team genuinely care. This place is special. Thank you TK for suggesting I seek treatment at SunCloud!!!!~ SCH patient