Substance abuse is a widespread problem in the world. The leading type of substance abuse in many countries worldwide, including the United States, is alcohol abuse. Consuming alcohol in moderation is not a cause for alarm. Therefore, one or two drinks a day is not bad for your health. However, the limit for drinking is different based on your gender.
For women, they are considered an alcoholic when they consume more than seven drinks of alcohol weekly. On the other hand, men are considered alcoholics when they consume more than 14 drinks weekly. However, alcoholism is not necessarily determined by the amount of alcohol you consume. It is determined by the effects of alcohol in your body, the frequency of drinking, and the symptoms you experience when you abruptly stop drinking alcohol. When you continuously overindulge in alcohol consumption, it can lead to addiction.
With alcohol addiction, you cannot perform your normal daily activities when you are sober. You are an alcoholic if you experience alcohol dependence symptoms such as irritability, agitation, shaking, insomnia, anxiety, and the abrupt withdrawal of alcohol. Alcohol also causes a behavior change, and the effects of alcoholism can be felt across the family. As an alcoholic, you spend all your money on alcohol, forgetting the responsibility you have to your family. Alcoholism can also make you steal from your family so that you can buy a bottle or two. It leads to domestic violence and is a leading cause of divorce in the United States. Therefore, dealing with alcoholism as soon as symptoms start presenting is important to avoid severe consequences.
Treatment of alcoholism.
Treatment is available for alcohol addiction. There are alcohol abuse programs in rehabilitation centers that aim at improving the quality of life of alcoholics. When you or your loved one starts noticing alcohol addiction symptoms, you should visit an alcohol abuse center. The clinician will first evaluate your history and perform a physical examination when you walk into the center.
The history evaluation involves questions of your drinking habits, such as how much you drink in a day. Where necessary, your physician may request to speak with some of your family members and friends. After the evaluation, the physician performs medical tests to check for alcohol levels in your body.
Several medical tests can achieve this; they include:
- Blood tests.
- Urine tests.
- Liver function tests.
Blood tests are the most common medical tests performed in alcohol abuse centers. This is because the tests can tell the levels of alcohol in the body and check for any issues present with your blood level and quality. This is because alcohol depletes vitamin B12, which is important in blood formation. Urine tests are similar to blood tests. They aim at checking for the levels of alcohol in your body. They will be done before treatment is initiated and can also be done during treatment to check for any increase in your body’s alcohol levels in case you relapse before treatment ends.
These tests investigate the proper functioning of the liver. Liver function tests are important because the liver is responsible for metabolizing alcohol in the body. Alcohol damages the liver to cause conditions like liver cirrhosis. This is an imaging technique that can be done on your liver in addition to liver function tests. The ultrasound checks for alcohol-related liver damage such as cirrhosis, fibrosis, or hepatocellular carcinoma. Ultrasound is an important test in the early detection of liver-related conditions associated with heavy drinking to help plan proper treatment.
The ultrasound estimates the size of the liver and checks for any abnormalities. Once all the tests are performed, and the findings are conclusive, you and your doctor will create a treatment plan. Most alcohol treatment plans have similar stages. The first stage is the withdrawal or detoxing stage. In this stage, you will withdraw from alcohol use. The process is intense but manageable using medications like benzodiazepines, which reduce the detox symptoms.
There is a mental health stage in which your physician treats any underlying mental disorders for a more effective treatment. Finally, you will undergo behavioral therapy and join support groups. Our alcohol abuse center in Florida provides an effective alcohol treatment plan to prevent future relapse. We ensure you are happy with the results of the treatment before you leave our facility.
A large percentage of our patients are from the eastern half of the United States, but we welcome any patient from all over the country in need of alcohol abuse treatment. Visit or call us today on 833-820-2922 to book your appointment.