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.
Refresh Recovery alcohol rehab in San Diego offers a humanistic and non-judgmental approach to alcohol use disorder.
Is drinking alcohol hurting your lifestyle or affecting those you love or work with? Are you wondering if alcohol impacts the quality of your life and not sure if you have a problem or not?
What used to be a clear yes and no answer is currently marked as a spectrum of alcohol abuse. This diagnosis means that abuse of substances such as alcohol may not need to be as intense to harm someone’s life.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol has been promoted through social media channels, and its availability has increased in many countries due to more accessible access to home delivery and online marketing. In addition, bars, nightclubs, and other places which sell alcoholic drinks are attracting crowds who neither practice social distancing nor wear face masks. The most likely to increase their alcohol consumption already drank too much before the pandemic. The SARS-CoV-2 virus only made it worse.
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.
Alcoholism vs. Alcohol Abuse
There are essential differences between alcoholism and alcohol abuse.
If there are significant and recurrent bad outcomes in drinking, you might be abusing alcohol. You may have problems with the law, your family or romantic partners, or trouble working because of your drinking habits.
You might have a drinking problem no matter the frequency of your compulsion if you have experienced adverse consequences. 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 occasionally binge drinker (more than three drinks for women or four for men in less than 110 minutes).
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 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 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 a family suffering from substance use disorders (SUDs), 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 dependence. Alcohol abuse can quickly progress to severe alcohol addiction and other mental health disorders, such as PTSD, if not taken seriously.
Long-term alcoholism can result in cirrhosis, cancer, and even heart strokes. Mental health and the progressive and lengthy deterioration of mental health often including depression, anxiety, and social consequences.
Loved ones are often found in a triangle of wanting to get help for their loved ones before they accept they have a problem which 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.
Are you suffering from other addictions such as fentanyl, opiate prescription, or benzodiazepines? There is no need for alcohol and concomitant drug addiction to become a tragedy. Alcoholism treatment is possible and can be positive and sustainable at Refresh Recovery alcohol addiction rehab. Contact us for more information on starting a journey toward sobriety.
Risks of alcohol for Young Adults
Alcohol is especially harmful as a young adult because:
- Drinking is harmful to developing bodies. Young people who drink are more vulnerable to sexual assaults and other violence.
- Drinking alcohol from a young age can lead to alcohol abuse and alcoholism.
- Young adults 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
Many of us drink alcohol to relax and socialize. Alcohol can be part of a healthy lifestyle if you drink moderately, exercise, and have a good diet. But overdrinking affects our mental and physical health.
Binge drinking can cause death, disease, and injury and is significant 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 ten standard drinks per week and no more than four standard drinks daily.
However, some people need to take more care. You are at greater risk of harm from alcohol if you are engaging in risky activities 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 judgment, loss of coordination, and deliberately harming yourself and others.
Drinking more than two standard drinks a day can seriously affect your health over your lifetime. It can lead to dependence and addiction, especially in people with 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:
- Brain: Drinking too much can affect concentration, judgment, mood, and memory. It increases your risk of having a stroke and developing dementia.
- Heart: Heavy drinking increases blood pressure and can lead to heart damage and heart attacks.
- Liver: Drinking 3 to 4 standard drinks daily increases your risk of developing liver cancer. Long-term heavy drinking also increases your risk of liver cirrhosis (scarring) and death.
- Stomach: Drinking even 1 to 2 standard drinks daily increases your risk of stomach and bowel cancer and ulcers.
- Fertility: Regular heavy drinking reduces men’s testosterone levels, sperm count, and fertility. For women, drinking too much can affect their periods.
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 almost 40% of current consumers are aged 15 or older, with the highest percentages 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). Binge drinking episodes 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 three and a half million) were caused by alcohol consumption).
Alcohol consumption was responsible for an average of 85,000 deaths annually from 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 of 85,000 deaths (almost 1.5% of the 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 contributes to more than 300,000 (more than 5% of the 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). The differences in alcohol content of different alcoholic drinks (spirits, beer, wine) are 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 one liter contains 0.12 liters of pure alcohol. The global average of 6.4 liters of pure alcohol per person per year 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.
Are you using alcohol together with other drugs such as meth, heroin, or benzos and also affected by mental health disorders such as depression or bipolar? Let Refresh Recovery dual diagnosis help you with alcohol addiction and dual diagnosis. If you or someone you care for are going through a vicious cycle of alcohol abuse, learn more about Refresh Recovery alcohol rehab programs and our outpatient services for alcoholism in San Diego.