What Is Alcohol Abuse?
While there is no concrete definition, alcohol abuse is often defined as the excessive consumption of alcohol. This can be in the form of binge drinking, where a person drinks a significant amount in one sitting, or through constant heavy drinking throughout the day. The numbers can vary, but common benchmarks for alcohol abuse can include:
- Binge drinking - Drinking more than four to five drinks over two hours.
- Alcohol misuse - Drinking more than three or four drinks per day.
Experts recommend that people do not exceed fourteen units of alcohol per week, which is the equivalent of around six beers. However, those struggling with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) may drink much more than this.
Drinking in excess of four drinks a day is classed as excessive alcohol consumption, which has the potential to develop into an addiction. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, lists indicators of excessive or dangerous drinking as:
- Being unable to cut down on drinking
- Spending a lot of time thinking about drinking
- Continuing to drink even if doing so has adverse physical or mental effects
- Needing to drink more to get the effect that you want
Completing a rehab program may be beneficial if you recognize any of these signs in yourself or a loved one.
Excessive drinking can be hazardous. SAMHSA states that there was an average of 88,000 alcohol-related deaths from 2006-2010, and there are many alcohol-related health issues that can impact people's lives. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that these can include:
- A weakened immune system
- Memory issues
- An increased risk of cancer
- A higher risk of heart disease
- High blood pressure
Young adults can also struggle heavily with alcohol abuse. In 2016, 12.1% of twelve to twenty-year-olds were classed as binge drinkers. Young adults may attempt to hide alcohol abuse, especially if they are under the legal drinking age, making the signs and symptoms harder to spot.
Confronting alcohol abuse in yourself or a loved one can be scary, but there is always hope. Empowered Recovery Center is ready to help you take the next steps to sobriety.
Signs of Alcohol Abuse
The signs of an AUD can be hard to spot. If a person covers up their alcohol abuse by drinking alone, it is difficult for friends and family members to intervene and find appropriate treatment.
However, there are several common symptoms of alcohol abuse to look out for. These include:
- Mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression
- Appearing intoxicated regularly
- Drinking heavily alone or in secret
- Changes in mood, including irritability and mood swings
- Choosing to drink alcohol over other activities or hobbies
Alcohol abuse looks different for everyone, but no matter the symptoms, it is a severe condition that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Sometimes, people use drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with severe mental illness. This is sometimes known as ‘self-medicating’. In contrast, abusing drugs or alcohol can make mental health conditions much worse. This is known as a dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorder, and requires specialized treatment to address.
Symptoms of a dual diagnosis look different for each person but can include:
- Erratic behavior
- Sudden mood swings
- Missing work, school, and other commitments
- Withdrawing from friends and family members
- Difficulty completing everyday tasks
- Suicidal thoughts or impulses
- Financial or legal issues
At Empowered Recovery Center, we have several treatment programs to help our clients address their alcohol abuse and promote long-term recovery. Our treatment options include:
- Partial hospitalization - This option allows clients to spend days in residential treatment before returning home at night. This is a suitable option for those who require more intensive treatment or are stepping down from residential rehab.
- Intensive outpatient - Our intensive outpatient treatment program allows clients to continue fulfilling everyday obligations, such as work, without having to leave their entire lives behind. Intensive outpatient treatment is particularly fitting for those looking for a robust support system to aid long-term recovery.
- Outpatient programming - Although outpatient programming might seem the same as intensive outpatient treatment, this treatment program is less time-consuming and includes a reduced contact time with therapists and counselors.
Recovery doesn’t end with a program or treatment. In fact, a rehab program is the first step in your journey. To help you maintain your recovery, we offer a free year of recovery coaching here at Empowered Recovery Center. This helps our clients develop life skills and reduce the risk of relapse.
Empowered Recovery Center knows that not everyone has time to commit to intensive therapy in person each week, which is why we offer teletherapy options to suit every schedule.
These treatment options may be suitable for you if:
- You are exiting a residential substance abuse treatment center and need continuing support to reduce the chance of a relapse.
- You need additional mental health support in the case of a dual diagnosis.
- You are living or returning to a high-risk environment where relapse may occur and want extra support.
What To Expect in Alcohol Rehab
When you contact our admissions team, they will be able to make an informed estimate of the pricing of your treatment.
It is also helpful to note that our Partial Hospitalization Programming (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient Programming (IOP) make treatment less expensive than residential rehabilitation without sacrificing effectiveness.
Don’t let financial worries stand in the way of your recovery journey. There are many ways for you to pay for treatment. Our team is highly experienced and will explore each possibility with you to find the approach that works for you.
Alcohol rehab is different from residential or inpatient treatment. Where those programs focus on medical detox, outpatient programs take a therapy-based approach to help clients into long-term recovery. Each of our treatment programs at Empowered Recovery Center includes:
- Family therapy
- Individual therapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Support groups
- Medical evaluation with weekly checkups
We hold our staff and medical professionals to the highest standards to ensure the best quality of care for each client. We champion integrity, honesty, and compassion to help each person heal and develop the skills to grow and develop as people.
After going through substance abuse treatment, it can be daunting to reenter the world with no support. However, we strive to equip each client with the skills they need to minimize the chances of relapse. As noted above, we additionally provide a comprehensive one-year aftercare program for free.
We know that family is a vital support unit for many people during recovery. Research has shown that rehab outcomes can improve significantly by including family and friends in the recovery process and educating them on addiction. Empowered Recovery Clinic aims to strengthen those important familial relationships that help so many people through difficult times by offering family therapy involving those close to the person receiving treatment.
Alcohol abuse is a severe problem that can impact everyone, especially young adults. Empowered Recovery Center utilizes intensive therapy to combat alcohol addiction and offers many treatment programs to address the issue head-on. Our team of highly skilled professionals is on hand to help you towards a healthier, happier life without alcohol. Call us now to see how we can help you.
Alcohol rehab support area:
- Tom, Parent of Former Client