ALCOHOL

Alcohol Abuse Stats and Treatment Facts – Arizona and Nationwide

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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 a 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, including poisonings.

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 Abuse Stats


In Arizona, one survey found that more than 1 million residents over the age of 18 reported binge drinking at least once in the month prior to the survey. 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 potentially deadly combination.

Although admissions to rehab centers for alcohol addiction treatment have declined slightly in recent years, it continues to be the No. 1 reason for substance abuse treatment admissions.

 

Is Your Young Adult Child Addicted to Alcohol? Take This Assessment to Find Out.


More than 57 of Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 have drunk alcohol within the last month, and nearly 75 percent of that same demographic has had a least one drink within the last year. Those rates are even higher than those for Americans aged 26 years and older.

Needless to say, alcohol use is pervasive, and if you have a child close to the legal drinking age (either younger or older), then there’s a good chance he or she is open to drinking at least once in a while.

Now, there’s a stark difference between occasional drinking and full-blown alcohol addiction. Do you worry that you child might be in the latter category? We’ve put together a quick 12-question quiz that you can take right now to see if your young adult child needs professional help for a potential drinking problem.

 

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 is turning into 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 users 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.

Other Alcohol Addiction FAQs

People have endless other questions when it comes to the effects of alcohol abuse and the recovery process. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear – plus our responses to them:
 

What are the risks of detoxing from alcohol on your own?

Alcohol is one of the few substances that carries the risk of death during the withdrawal phase. Although not everyone who detoxes from alcohol abuse will reach that point, experts still recommend never trying to detox off alcohol on your own. There are detox facilities all over the country that feature medical professionals who can help you outlast acute withdrawal as comfortably and safely as possible – sometimes with the aid of medication or supplements.

Depending on the frequency and daily levels of alcohol consumption, the withdrawal phase could give rise to very visceral symptoms such as:

  • Nausea
  • Convulsions
  • Seizures
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Hallucinations
  • Heart failure
  • Delirium tremens

Turn to a professional detox center to help you navigate through the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal – and to help you avoid the more severe, life-threatening symptoms.

Explore Our Detox Program

What are some common triggers for alcohol relapse?

Even if you’ve been off alcohol for months, the temptation to drink again is always lurking. Alcohol has one of the highest rates of relapse among all addictive substances, for reasons such as:

  • It’s legal (over 21, of course) and socially acceptable.
  • It’s easy to obtain and relatively inexpensive compared to other substances.
  • Alcohol is present almost everywhere, including stores, restaurants and social gatherings.
  • Avoiding alcohol advertisements and seeing people drinking is next to impossible.

Alcohol relapse “triggers” are people, places, objects or emotions that spark the desire to drink again. However, they’re not a guarantee that the person will relapse. Common alcohol relapse triggers include:

  • Smelling alcohol
  • Seeing other people drinking it
  • Hanging out with friends who are drinking
  • Simply seeing a certain beverage – whether an advertisement or the real thing
  • Certain feelings such as boredom, stress, trauma, anxiety, aimlessness, etc.
  • Grieving a lost family member or loved one
  • Going into or driving/walking by a place once associated with drinking or buying alcohol
  • Certain hobbies you once used to do with a drink by your side

A professional rehab program will help you identify your specific triggers and develop strategies for overcoming them.

See Relapse Prevention Tips

What are the health consequences that stem from long-term alcoholism?

Not only are there immediate side effects that can happen when drinking too much alcohol – such as blacking out, risk of injury, alcohol poisoning, etc. – but prolonged, habitual drinking can damage various organs in the body and give rise to certain diseases.

Long-term alcohol abuse can lead to one or more of the following conditions:

  • Mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety or an eating disorder
  • Learning problems and memory loss
  • High blood pressure, heart disease or stroke
  • Liver disease or digestive problems
  • Cancer of the mouth, throat, colon, liver or breast
  • Uncontrollable, sometimes violent, mood swings
  • Impaired motor function
  • Neuropathy – weakness, numbness and pain of the hands and feet

If you or a loved one is consuming multiple alcoholic beverages every single day – or binge drinking once or more per week – you should start looking for an alcoholism treatment program right away, before one of the conditions above emerges.

What does blacking out from alcohol do to your brain and memory?

Heavy alcohol use within a short time can disrupt or completely block the brain’s ability to form memories of events that happen during what is often referred to as a blackout period. Clinically, blacking out is referred to as acute alcohol-induced memory dysfunction.

Short-term memories still occur during a blackout period, but they will not convert into long-term memories, which is why the person can only recall pieces or absolutely nothing that happened during the blackout. People in the midst of an alcohol-induced blackout can still function and perform mental tasks to a degree, but they will often make risky choices and out-of-character decisions.

For most people, when their blood alcohol content reaches 0.14, they are at risk of blacking out. Drinking on an empty stomach can lead to a blackout much, much quicker. Some heavy drinkers never experience a blackout, but once you’ve blacked out once, your chances are greater of having it happen again and again.

Women tend to black out more easily than men do. Blackout periods can a few hours to as long as three days – depending on the volume and rapidity at which the person was drinking. Excessive, long-term drinking (even if it never results in blackouts) can lead to permanent memory recall and motor function problems, even when the person isn’t under the influence.

How does long-term alcohol abuse effect kidney and organ function?

Long-term alcohol use often leads to kidney damage or failure. You’ve probably heard of kidney transplants, dialysis and people having to get one of their kidneys removed; although these procedures can happen for a number of reasons, prolonged alcohol use is among the many potential causes.

The kidneys and the liver work in tandem to process and remove waste in the body, and you’re probably aware of some of alcohol’s many effects on the liver. If liver function starts to slow down, the kidneys have to work that much harder to make up the deficiency.

Prolonged drinking can have the following effects on the liver:

  • Disease
  • Inflammation (hepatitis)
  • Fibrosis (first stage of scarring)
  • Cirrhosis (permanently damaged cells)
  • Cancer

The good news is that the liver can regenerate itself if the person stops drinking before reaching the fibrosis or cirrhosis stages. Professional alcohol detox and rehabilitation can help put an end to alcohol abuse.

In addition to the kidneys and liver, prolonged alcohol consumption also can damage other bodily organs, such as the:

  • Esophagus
  • Mouth
  • Breast
  • Pancreas
  • Heart
  • Brain
  • Stomach
  • Colon

Several of those organs can develop cancer related to long-term alcohol abuse. Keep in mind alcohol affects every major system in the body as it travels in the person’s blood each time they take a drink.

Alcohol Addiction FAQs

What’s the Best Way to Treat Alcohol Abuse?

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 Center in Arizona

Reflections Recovery Center is a men’s 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 treatment facilities are located in the rustic, yet modern town of Prescott, Arizona, nestled in the beautiful Bradshaw Mountains and less than a two-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 progress 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.

Do You Have a Loved One Who Is Struggling with Alcohol Abuse?

We Offer Numerous Advanced Therapies to Address Alcoholism

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