Alcohol Addiction Treatment in San Diego

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Is drinking alcohol hurting your current lifestyle or affecting those you love or work with as a result? Wondering if alcohol has an impact on the quality of your life and not sure if you have a problem or not? What used to be a clear answer of yes and no, is currently marked as a spectrum, meaning that use of substances such as alcohol may not need to be as intense for it to have a negative effect on someone’s life.

At Refresh Recovery, we provide a safe and inspiring place to begin a journey where alcohol can be set aside and decipher someone’s true focus, objectives and behaviors.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol has been promoted through social media channels and its availability has increased in many countries due to easier access to home delivery and online marketing. The people most likely to increase their alcohol consumption were already drinking too much before the pandemic. The SarsCov-2 virus only made it worse.  In addition, bars and nightclubs and other places which sell alcoholic drinks are attracting crowds who neither practice social distancing nor wear face masks.

As we begin to plan a return to a ‘new normal’, the habit of alcohol consumption might continue what used to be a moment of fun, stepping away from reality or simply coping with changes such as isolation, stress and intensified existential paradigms.

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Alcoholism vs. Alcohol Abuse

There are important differences between alcoholism and alcohol abuse. 

If there are significant and recurrent bad outcomes in the way you drink, you might be abusing alcohol. Maybe you have problems problems with the law, with your family or romantic partners, or trouble holding down a job because of your drinking habits. 

Abusers tend to be consistent heavy drinkers (women who consume more than 8 or 9 drinks weekly, or men who take more than 14). You may be an occasional binge drinker (more than 3 drinks for women or more than 4 drinks for men in less than 110 minutes). You might have a drinking problem no matter the frequency of your compulsion if you have experienced terribly negative consequences in your life.

On the other hand, alcoholism is a chronic disease characterized by a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. People with an alcohol addiction need to drink in order to function. You might be struggling with alcohol dependence if:

You started to drink more to get the same effects.  If you cannot stop drinking even when you want to and suffer intense cravings. And or if spending a long time without alcohol makes you feel physically sick, such as having tremors, seizures, hallucinations, nausea, and headaches.

Connection between alcohol abuse and alcoholism

Up to 90% of people who abuse alcohol do not currently fit the diagnostic criteria for severe alcohol use disorder (acute alcoholism). Nevertheless, they are at an increased risk of becoming alcoholics.

If you are genetically predisposed to addiction or have family suffering from substance use disorders (SUD’s), you may be more likely to struggle with alcoholism. But regardless of your genetic makeup, excessive drinking can also lead to a self-perpetuating cycle of alcohol abuse, triggering physiological pathways that cause a dependence. If not taken seriously, alcohol abuse can quickly progress to a severe alcohol addiction.

Long-term alcoholism can result in cirrhosis, cancer and even heart strokes. What many times isn’t spoken about is mental health and the progressive and lengthy deterioration of mental health including depression, anxiety and social consequences. 

Loved ones are many times found in a triangle of wanting to get help for their loved ones before they accept they have a problem and can lead to codependence and family trauma. For resources of loved ones, please look up our community resources to have the tools and skills to support these challenges in San Diego and nationally.

Suffering from other addictions such as opiate prescription or benzodiazepines? Contact us for more information on starting a journey towards sobriety.

Risks of alcohol for teenagers and growing kids

Alcohol is especially harmful to children and teenagers:

  • Drinking is harmful to developing bodies. Young people who drink are more vulnerable to sexual assaults and other kinds of violence.
  • Drinking alcohol from a young age can lead to alcohol abuse and alcoholism later in life.
  • Children and teenagers are more susceptible to alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol also plays a big part in car accidents, aggressive behavior and dropping out of school.

Alcohol Side Effects

Health Effects

Many of us drink alcohol to relax and socialize. Alcohol can be part of a healthy lifestyle if you drink in moderation and exercise and have a good diet. But overdrinking affects our mental and physical health.

Binge drinking can cause death, disease and injury and is a major factor in ill health and social disturbances.

No level of alcohol consumption can be considered safe. To reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury for healthy men and women, people should drink 10 standard drinks per week and no more than 4 standard drinks on any one day at the most.

However, some people need to take more care. You are at greater risk of harm from alcohol if you are engaging in a risky activity such as driving or operating machinery, if you are under 18, if you are older than 65, or if you are taking other medicines or drugs. Drinking heavily can put you at risk of short-term injury or illness. The effects can also accumulate, harming your health over your lifetime.

Short- and long-term effects of Alcoholism

In the short term, drinking too much alcohol can lead to fatal alcohol poisoning, road accidents, hangovers, vomiting, headaches, memory loss, dizziness, lack of judgement, loss of coordination, and deliberately harming yourself and others.

Drinking more than 2 standard drinks a day can seriously affect your health over your lifetime. It can lead to dependence and addiction, especially in people who have depression or anxiety, and can increase your risk of suicide. Even drinking small amounts increases your cancer risk.

Regular heavy drinking can affect your body long term:

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Knowing the Numbers of Alcohol Addiction to Understand its Treatment

Alcohol Addiction Statistics

Alcohol is the substance with the highest levels of use worldwide. The World Health Organization reports that there are almost 40% of current consumers aged 15 or older, with the highest percentages being found in Europe and the Americas (66% and 61%, respectively). Almost 17% of drinkers aged 16 or older engage in risky consumption (more than 60 grams of pure alcohol in the past month). Episodes of binge drinking were recorded in almost 8% of the total population.

In young people aged 15 to 19, consumption rates of this substance amounted to 35%. Binge drinking occurred in 11.7% of teenagers, with Canada and some European countries reporting percentages of over 30% (Harmful use is among the top five risk factors for disease, disability, and death. In 2012, 6% of deaths worldwide (almost 3 and a half million) were caused by alcohol consumption).

Alcohol consumption was responsible for an average 85,000 deaths annually during the period 2013 to 2015 in the Americas, where per capita consumption is 25% higher than the global average.

The newly released analysis of mortality data in 30 countries of the Americas – the largest of its kind conducted in the region – reveals the following key findings:

  • An average 85,000 deaths (almost 1.5% of total) annually were solely attributable to alcohol.
  • The majority of deaths (65%) occurred in people aged less than 60 years
  • The causes of death were mainly due to liver disease (64%) and neuropsychiatric disorders (27%), such as alcohol dependence.
  • Alcohol consumption is a contributing factor in more than 300,000 (more than 5% of total) deaths annually in the Americas.
  • Men accounted for almost 85% of deaths solely attributable to alcohol consumption. 

The annual global average alcohol consumption is 6.4 liters per person older than 15 (in 2016). To account for the differences in alcohol content of different alcoholic drinks (spirits, beer, wine), this is reported in liters of pure alcohol per year.

To make the 6.4 liter average more understandable, let us describe it in bottles of wine. Wine contains around 12% of pure alcohol per volume so that one liter of wine contains 0.12 liters of pure alcohol. The global average of 6.4 liters of pure alcohol per person per year then equals 53 bottles of wine per person older than 15. (Around 1 liter of wine per week).

We at Refresh Recovery want to answer your questions regarding alcoholism treatment.

If you or someone you care for are going through a vicious cycle of alcohol abuse, learn more about our alcohol rehab programs and our outpatient/inpatient treatment options for alcoholism.

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