Alcohol Addiction Stats and Treatment Facts
Alcohol abuse is perhaps the oldest type of addiction. Even though newer types of drugs and addictions are making headlines, alcohol continues to be the most commonly abused substance. However, with the long history of abuse comes a long track record of successful treatment practices.
Is Alcoholism Still Serious Issue in the U.S.?
As with all types of chemical dependencies, excessive alcohol use changes the body’s chemistry and adversely affects the user’s life and relationships. Even alcoholics who manage to maintain a job and other aspects of a “normal” life are not able to fully enjoy life due to their dependence on this substance.
Long-term alcohol abuse often results in early and unnecessary deaths. The CDC reported that in 2014 there were more than 19,000 deaths from alcoholic liver disease, and more than 30,000 alcohol-induced deaths total.
Innocent people can be affected as well. In 2014, nearly 10,000 deaths in the U.S. were caused by alcohol-impaired driving. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the fourth-leading preventable cause of death in the U.S.
Arizona Alcohol Stats
In Arizona, one survey found that more than a million residents over the age of 18 reported binge drinking at least once in a single month. More than 400,000 admitted to having experienced alcohol dependence or abuse in the past year. In that same survey, nearly 500,000 respondents reported abusing both alcohol and illicit drugs, a deadly combination.
Although admissions to rehab centers for alcohol addiction treatment has declined slightly in recent years, it continues to be the No. 1 reason for substance abuse treatment admissions.
How Do I Tell the Difference Between Binge Drinking and Alcohol Addiction?
Binge drinking is defined as consuming an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period of time, typically in excess of four or five drinks in two hours. In our culture, it’s not unusual for people to engage in binge drinking every now and then, or even weekly in some cases. But when does binge drinking go too far and turn into addiction?
The line between heavy drinking and alcohol addiction can sometimes be hard to discern, but the most important factor is how it’s affecting one’s life. If drinking is hurting a person’s relationships, performance at work and quality of life – and especially if it is putting them or others in physical danger – then it’s a problem that needs to be addressed.
Here are the most common signs that excessive drinking has become an addiction:
- Feeling guilty and trying to hide one’s drinking
- Higher tolerance for alcohol
- Suffering withdrawal symptoms when not under the influence
- Emotional dependence on alcohol
- Blacking out often
- Can’t limit drinking once started:
- Drinking in situations where it’s physically dangerous to do so (such as driving)
- Unable to stop or cut back on drinking
In short, when drinking starts to take over one’s life but the person can’t stop, even though he or she sees the problems it’s causing and wants to make a change, then it’s time to get professional help – the sooner, the better.
Some alcohol abusers are still in denial and it takes friends and family to see the problem for what it is: addiction. In these situations, it is highly recommended that the loved ones seek out professional intervention services.
What’s the Best Way to Treat Alcohol Addiction?
An effective treatment program is going to include concentrated up-front treatment as well as long-term support to prevent relapse. It may also begin with intervention services to help the alcoholic see the need for, and commit to, entering treatment.
With high-quality treatment and long-term support, overcoming alcohol addiction is a very real possibility. For anyone whose life has been impacted by alcoholism, the key to hope is reaching out to get professional help. No one should have to struggle with addiction alone, especially when there are tried-and-true practices that make recovery a real possibility.
About Our Alcohol Rehab Program in Arizona
Reflections Recovery Center is a male-only alcohol and drug rehab center that offers an active program designed to help men rebuild their lives and reconnect with themselves and others without the use of substances.
Our tranquil facilities are located in the rustic, yet modern, town of Prescott, Arizona, nestled in the beautiful Bradshaw Mountains and less than a 2-hour drive from the city of Phoenix. We offer a comfortable, home-like setting where clients can enjoy plenty of camaraderie and peer support as they go through treatment.
Reflections’ accredited alcohol rehabilitation program utilizes a combination of clinical and holistic treatment methods, including a vast array of group-building activities. We have become a trusted destination for men who are committed to achieving sobriety and building a better future for themselves.