Many people are able to use alcohol safely and in moderation. But for many others, even one drink can lead to truly devastating outcomes.
Alcohol use disorder, which is commonly referred to as alcohol addiction or alcoholism, is a behavioral health concern that is characterized by an inability to control how much or how often a person consumes alcohol.
As described by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol use and alcohol addiction can have a profound negative impact on a person’s health and well-being. However, when a person receives effective care at a reputable alcohol addiction treatment place, their life can get much better.
Ascension Saint Thomas Behavioral Health Hospital provides personalized alcohol addiction treatment for adults age 18 and older. Our alcohol addiction treatment services are designed to help adults establish a strong foundation for successful long-term recovery.
The most common signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction relate to overwhelming urges, loss of control and a pattern of self-defeating behaviors.
The many possible signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction include:
- Finding it difficult or impossible to control the amount and frequency of your alcohol use
- Being unable to stop drinking once you start
- Experiencing physical or psychological distress when you can’t drink
- Failing to meet personal or professional responsibilities due to your alcohol use
- Drinking alcohol when it is clearly unsafe to do so, such as when taking medication or driving a car
- Continuing to drink even after experiencing relationship difficulties, job loss, legal problems or other negative outcomes due to previous alcohol use
- Drinking alone or in secret
- Lying to loved ones about the amount or frequency of your drinking
- Trying but failing to end your alcohol use
Anyone who exhibits any alcohol addiction signs and symptoms should consult with a qualified healthcare provider. The only way to definitively determine if you have alcohol use disorder is to complete a thorough assessment and receive an accurate diagnosis.
The following statistics about alcohol use and addiction in the United States were collected by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA):
- More than 69% of adults age 18 and older have had at least one alcoholic drink in the previous 12 months.
- More than 54% of adults have had at least one alcoholic drink in the previous 30 days.
- In 2019, more than 14 million adults (or about 5.6% of the U.S. population age 18 and older) met the clinical criteria for a diagnosis of alcohol use disorder.
- Experts estimate that about 8.9 million adult men and about 5.2 million adult women are currently struggling with alcohol addiction.
- From 2011-2015, an average of 95,000 deaths each year were attributed to alcohol-related causes.
People who struggle with untreated alcohol addiction remain at risk for considerable harm in virtually all areas of their lives. Alcohol addiction can have a profound negative impact on physical, psychological and social well-being.
The many potential effects of alcohol addiction include:
- Damage to the heart, liver, kidneys and other organs
- Elevated risk of stroke
- Increased risk of certain types of cancer
- Physical injuries or death due to slips, falls or other alcohol-related accidents
- Onset or worsening of physical health problems due to poor self-care
- Onset or worsening of certain mental health concerns
- Strained or ruined relationships
- Academic failure, job loss and chronic unemployment
- Being arrested, fined or jailed
- Social withdrawal and isolation
- Thoughts of suicide
One of the first benefits of entering treatment for alcohol addiction at Ascension Saint Thomas Behavioral Health Hospital is that you immediately reduce your risk for further harm. Our alcohol addiction treatment place is a safe and supportive environment where you can learn to manage the symptoms of alcohol addiction and begin to heal from any damage you’ve already experienced.
While you’re taking part in alcohol addiction treatment with us, you will work in active collaboration with a team of experienced and compassionate professionals. You will also have access to 24-hour nursing care. These dedicated experts will work together to keep you safe and help you develop the skills and strategies that will support successful long-term recovery.
Participating in alcohol addiction treatment can also introduce you to the power and promise of the recovery community. In addition to working with the members of your treatment team, you may also have the opportunity to share support with others who are receiving care at our alcohol addiction treatment center.
Personalized service is a hallmark of care at our alcohol addiction treatment center. We understand that each person who needs alcohol addiction treatment is walking a unique path, and we’re committed to offering the focused care that best meets your specific needs.
One of your first activities at Ascension Saint Thomas Behavioral Health Hospital will be to complete a thorough assessment. The information that’s gathered during this assessment will guide the development of your personalized alcohol addiction treatment plan.
Depending on a variety of personal factors, your alcohol addiction treatment plan at Ascension Saint Thomas Behavioral Health Hospital may include medication management; individual, group and experiential therapies; family sessions; dialectical behavior therapy (DBT); cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other interventions as needed.
Prior to transitioning out of our care, you will also receive a detailed discharge plan to support your continued recovery efforts.
The time you spend at our addiction treatment center may be relatively brief, but the customized care you receive here is designed to yield benefits that can truly last a lifetime.
This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at Ascension Saint Thomas Behavioral Health Hospital.