Alcohol addiction is on the rise — at an alarming rate
We hear a lot about the opioid epidemic and we’ve written about it here. But opioid addiction isn’t the only substance use problem facing our nation. Recently, the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry, published a study which found that, between the years 2002 and 2013, alcohol use disorders (alcoholism) rose almost 50%. More startling, among various subgroups, the problem appears to be worse: an 83% increase among women, a nearly 93% increase among Africans Americans, and and 80% increase in individuals 45-65 years old (over 100% in individuals 65 and older).
And the costs associated with this disease are astounding. In 2010, the estimated cost to society for alcohol-related problems was estimated at $250 Billion. Cirrhosis, hypertension, and stroke are among the many health-related issues on the rise, not to mention injuries and deaths from drunk driving.
The news isn’t all bad though. Early intervention — before alcohol use gets to the point of causing severe consequences for individuals and the communities they live in, shows promising signs. But until those programs are fully in place, until they become a regular part of high school curricula for example, untreated alcoholism remains a problem.
Fortunately, treatment centers like Wisdom specialize in helping individuals overcome substance use disorders like alcoholism (in addition to opioid addiction). Treating and recovering from alcoholism presents unique challenges. Notwithstanding the recent statutory changes in some states that allow the legal purchase of marijuana, most people with substance abuse disorders can’t go down to their local market, grocery store or dispensary and get heroin, cocaine or other illegal substances. Alcoholics must learn to overcome their addiction with the knowledge that at any given time they are just minutes, or footsteps away from an establishment or business that sells alcohol — legally.
So what to do? Treatment is a recommended option for starting the journey toward recovery from alcohol use disorders because it provides a safe, structured and monitored environment. After medical detoxification and residential treatment, a sober living environment provides ongoing individual and group therapy, just enough freedom to begin making sound choices without alcohol getting in the way, but also the safety of an enforced drug- and alcohol-free living situation. All this helps clients learn to integrate back into society and live lives to their full potential.
A key component of treatment is also the introduction (or re-introduction for some) into 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous. Any treatment center worth its salt will stress the need for clients to participate in 12-steps program so they can learn to manage their alcoholism on a daily basis, learn relapse prevention techniques, and build a sober network that can be called on anytime for support.
Wisdom Treatment specializes in the treatment and recovery of substance use disorders. We help clients overcome drug and alcohol addiction by combining individual and group therapy, 12-step programs, and sober community living. We also specialize in referrals for detox and residential treatment. If you or someone you know needs our help, contact us today at 1-424-208-9829.