Alcohol Rehab: What You Need to Know
Questions About Alcohol
The most frequent questions and answers
What Is Alcohol Rehab?
“Alcohol rehab” can mean different things, but when we refer to it we mean residential, or inpatient, treatment facilities. Alcohol rehab isn’t a vacation– it’s the beginning of the end of alcohol dependence. It’s much more than getting away from society and individual problems. It’s the place where the foundation for a new life is created. If the alcohol rehab facility is chosen correctly, it can mean the end of the drinking problem.
Why Listen to Us?
Our owner and employees have been to alcohol rehab, and we built this company for people like us– people suffering the consequences of alcoholism in our jobs, homes, and relationships. It was created by alcoholics, for alcoholics. When we refer patients to programs, we do it solely in the interest of the person who needs help. That’s why we do not accept marketing contracts or money from any other external sources.
What Is Alcohol?
Alcohol is the most prevalent, socially acceptable drug of abuse in the world. Classified as a depressant, alcohol slows down the body’s vital functions. Ethyl alcohol is the only type of alcohol used in beverages and consumed by humans. This type of alcohol is typically created by the fermentation and distillation of fruits and grains. Alcohol is served in a variety of ways, each containing different amounts of alcohol.
How Does It Affect the Brain?
As the most recognizable depressant, alcohol slows down the central nervous system. It affects the mind’s ability to reason and clouds judgment. Intoxicated people often exhibit slurred speech, reduced inhibitions, a sense of euphoria, and loss of coordination. Like most drugs, alcohol’s effects vary from person to person and depend on the amount consumed. Larger amounts usually result in more dangerous consequences.
Short-Term and Long-Term Effects
Alcohol is the most commonly used drug on the planet– it’s everywhere. However, just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s safe. Its short-term and long-term effects can be life-threatening.
The short-term effects of alcohol include a dulled sense of perception and lack of awareness. Alcohol can also cause euphoria, along with unconsciousness, vomiting, fights, car accidents, and dehydration. “Blackouts” are a possible result of heavy alcohol intake and can be a sign of alcoholism, if frequent. Causing harm to others is another short term risk with alcohol use. More people have been harmed by alcohol than any other drug.
Long-term effects of alcohol can result in a damaged liver, cancer, high blood pressure, strokes, and extreme behavioral changes. Alcoholism is the most common form of addiction and usually means the alcoholic is physically dependent on alcohol. Withdrawal is possible from long-term alcohol use but can cause seizures, sweating, confusion, hallucinations, sickness, and even death.
According to the NIAAA, in 2014 alone, 16.3 million Americans had an alcohol use disorder. In that same year only 1.5 million adults received treatment for their alcoholism. This leaves almost 15 million Americans left alone, without help. We hope to change that number, and allow for a portion of the 15 million still struggling to find the best private treatment available. Nearly 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually. This makes alcohol the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the U.S.
According the to the Mayo Clinic, alcoholism can include problems controlling your drinking, thinking about alcohol frequently, continuing to drink even when it is causing problems in your life, needing more drinks to get the same effect as before, or experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking. Attempting to hide your drinking from others is another sign of alcoholism.
Alcoholics Anonymous, a popular support fellowship for alcoholism, identifies two components: a mental obsession, where the alcoholic thinks about alcohol often, and a physical craving, where the alcoholic experiences a compulsion to drink more after having a drink.
Today, most sources identify alcoholism as a lifelong, chronic disease or illness, with some form of treatment required and relapse a possibility if that treatment fails.
Like other diseases, alcoholism is progressive. Many future alcoholics do not drink alcoholically at first. Instead, they may have drinks with friends, finding that they enjoy the effects. Over time, their drinking becomes heavier and more frequent and they begin to display the warning signs and consequences of alcoholism.
Consequences of Alcohol
The short-term effects of alcohol are well-known to most people: increase in mood and sociability, euphoric feeling and decrease in anxiety, flushed face, and impaired judgment and coordination. Sedation, vomiting, and amnesia are possible with heavier use.
In the long term, alcohol can have more serious effects, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, and stroke. Heavy drinkers have a reduced life expectancy and are at a higher risk for liver and pancreas disease, dementia, ulcers, sexual dysfunction, and some types of cancer. Alcoholism can even cause damage to the brain and nervous system.
Alcoholism can cause more than just health problems, however. Changes in the brain from drinking over time as well as simply being drunk can cause people to drive drunk, get in fights, commit crimes, lose jobs, or cause injury to themselves or others.
Alcoholism can also cause serious consequences to families. Households with an alcoholic experience increased rates of conflict, divorce, and domestic violence. It can cause child neglect, with serious long-term consequences for the children involved.
If you or a loved have had experience with an alcoholic in the household, you will know firsthand the pain and suffering that can come as a result. Fortunately, there are a number of effective treatment options available today.
Signs of Alcoholism
Changes In Behavior
You may catch this person lying or engaging in risky behavior, like promiscuous sex or breaking the law. Activities that used to be important, like spending time with family or on hobbies, might now be spent using drugs or alcohol. Performance in school or at work may deteriorate. It may seem like they are trying to keep a secret or hide something from you or others. The person may begin drinking or using drugs alone and experiencing withdrawal when they can’t get their substance of choice. They may seem to be losing control, and continue using even when they experience negative consequences.
Changes in Appearance
Substance use usually goes along with a change in appearance. As addiction develops, self-care takes the backseat to drinking or getting high. A person might lose or gain weight, have red eyes or bags under their eyes, and stop taking care of their hygiene—not shaving, showering, or brushing their teeth, and wearing dirty clothes.
Drunk driving, often called driving under the influence, or DUI, is operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated from alcohol or drug use. It is illegal in every state in America as well as in most other countries. It is one of the most common and serious consequences of drinking and drug use.
While drug addicts and alcoholics may think their substance abuse problem is only hurting them, the reality is that other people are almost always affected. Drunk driving is one of the many ways that being intoxicated puts other people in danger.Some of the statistics, taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, may shock you.
- In 2014, nearly ten thousand people were killed in drunk driving crashes in the United States, causing 31% of traffic-related deaths.
- The same year, 1.1 million people were arrested for driving under the influence, making up less than 1% of the 121 million who admitted to doing so.
- 13% of drivers at night and on weekends have marijuana in their systems, and these people are 25% more likely to be involved in an accident.
Consequences of Drunk Driving
Because of the serious impact drunk driving has on our nation, laws are strictly enforced. Anyone caught driving with a blood-alcohol level (BAC) of over .08% or under the influence of drugs is subject to penalties including ticket, court, and attorney costs. Additional consequences include jail time, mandatory participation in classes or programs about substance abuse and drunk driving, the installation of an ignition interlock or breathalyzer system in the convicted person’s vehicle, and driver’s license limitation or revocation. Convicted drunk drivers may be required to put special license plates on their vehicles, pay higher insurance costs, be banned from entering Canada, and, in some states, even have their car impounded by the police and forfeit ownership.
Drunk Driving and Alcoholism
Driving drunk and other risky behaviors are a major red flag for alcoholism and drug addiction. If you or a loved one has been driving under the influence, it is important to seek treatment before legal consequences or a serious accident occur..
Alcohol Rehab Before Sober Living
Typically, we recommend those struggling attend inpatient rehab before coming to sober living. Although it is not necessary, we see better results when people attend rehab before coming to us. You can learn more about our program to see if we are a good fit for you after alcohol rehab.