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Alcohol Abuse: How Do I Know If I’ve Crossed the Line?

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Alcohol abuse is not always clearly understood by many clients. Many assume only the most extreme habits of alcohol consumption are to be considered alcohol abuse. As such, heavy drinking and other unhealthy drinking habits like binge drinking are often cloaked as “social drinking”. Find out what alcohol abuse is and learn about how we, at Destination Hope, treat it.

What is Alcohol Abuse?

 Alcohol abuse may be confusing to many people since a) alcohol is a legal drug, b) there’s not much stigma associated with alcohol consumption and c) the effects of alcohol use in excess may not be as obvious as those of drug use and abuse. Alcohol abuse includes overindulging, drinking often, binge drinking and drinking to escape from one’s problems (self-medicating).

Alcohol abuse is unfortunately very common and worse, many may not even be aware that their drinking habits would be considered as such. Alcohol abuse, can be treated so you can be free from the associated dangers of substance abuse and bring your life back to a place of greater health and productivity.

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is when someone consumes a large amount of alcohol over of a short period of time. It may seem harmless to many people engaging in such behavior because others may also be drinking just as much as they are or even more, but that could not be further from the truth. Binge drinking is not only dangerous and unhealthy – it’s also a slippery slope to alcohol dependence.

Some of the signs that you are drinking too much include vomiting after drinking, experiencing blackouts, drinking more than you said you would, drinking more than you wanted to or planned to consume, engaging in risky behavior and neglecting responsibilities as a result of drinking (i.e. due to a hangover).

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Are You Abusing Alcohol?

The following actions and behaviors are some examples of alcohol abuse.

  • Drinking to escape from your problems
  • Drinking to “change” your personality (i.e., to feel more confident)
  • Drinking copious alcohol
  • Drinking alcohol has negatively impacted your life in some way (i.e., missing work or school, creating relationship problems, etc.)
  • Becoming aggressive or fighting when under the influence of alcohol
  • Experiencing blackouts of memory loss when consuming alcohol
  • Getting in trouble with the law due to alcohol consumption

Alcohol abuse is unsafe for your physical health and it puts your relationships, mental health, career, finances and other areas of your life in jeopardy. Alcohol abuse may quickly lead to dependence as rising tolerance levels require that alcohol becomes a regular part of your life.

Treatment for Alcohol Abuse & Dependence

A common misconception is that the alcoholic can go at it themselves. Some are successful, but many fail over the longer term because they haven’t addressed the underlying issues causing their alcoholism with a trained professional. Further, the detoxification process from alcohol can be much more dangerous than that of detoxing from drugs. Alcoholics often suffer from delirium tremens, which depending on the quantity and length of usage, can be fatal if not monitored by a medical professional in a proper setting.

Alcohol dependence is treated using many of the same tried-and-true methods including detox, cognitive behavioral therapy, traditional psychotherapy, lifestyle counseling, stress management and support group meetings. Ultimately, while alcoholism is a lifelong struggle, treatment helps clients discover underlying reasons behind their problem and offers coping mechanisms to avoid relapse. This provides clients with a solid foundation upon which they can rebuild their lives. The treatment process includes one-on-one therapy, group therapy, family therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.

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If you or someone you love is suffering from the effects of alcohol abuse, substance addiction or any other type of addiction, please call us today and speak to one of our admissions experts. Once in our care, our addiction treatment counselors can help you deal with physical, emotional and psychological consequences of alcohol abuse and dependence.

Destination Hope is a full-service drug, alcohol and dual diagnosis treatment facility in Florida for people suffering from substance abuse and mental health issues. A comprehensive, clinically focused substance abuse treatment program like ours is effective and safe, and has helped thousands of men and women reclaim their lives from alcoholism.

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