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Alcohol Addiction in Arkansas
detoxification or detox

Alcohol Addiction in Arkansas

Since the earliest peoples first understood how to ferment honey and ancient grains into alcoholic drinks, alcoholism has been a problem. Health and social problems have been associated with alcohol since the very beginning, and alcohol addiction in Arkansas looks surprisingly similar to the alcoholism that plagued ancient civilizations like Egypt and Sumer. Fortunately, however, alcohol addiction in Arkansas can be successfully managed with modern treatments available at regional addiction rehab centers. Understanding the disease of alcoholism and its various health risks is important as is getting treatment to end one’s cycle of alcohol abuse.

 

What Is Addiction to Alcohol?

Typically referred to as alcoholism, addiction to alcohol is a chronic disorder that is invariably progressive. Someone who drinks excessive amounts of alcohol but is able to stop drinking for long periods of time is not regarded as an alcoholic, someone suffering from the disease of alcoholism. A person addicted to alcohol, on the other hand, shows a demonstrated inability to refrain from drinking. When attempting to stop drinking, the addiction sufferer will experience intense cravings for alcohol as well as withdrawal symptoms, which can be severe and even life threatening.

Unfortunately, alcoholism is something people can hide for a lengthy period of time—even from themselves. Drinking is a socially acceptable practice, so many sufferers can remain in denial for some time as the addiction deepens. It’s important for people who abuse alcohol to understand addiction signs and to know how the effects of alcohol can take a toll on their relationships, career or education.

 

How Does Alcohol Addiction Develop?

According to research, some people may be at increased risk for alcoholism, but generally anyone can become addicted. Alcohol has properties that trigger “feel good” endorphins in the brain. It quite literally can boost dopamine production so that the drinker feels good while under the influence. These sensations can induce someone to continue a behavior that feels pleasurable. For some, however, turning to alcohol to experience this pleasure too frequently leads down the path of alcohol abuse and addiction.

When a person turns regularly to alcohol for its pleasurable sensations, they begin to develop a tolerance. What they discover is that the former amount they used to drink to feel pleasure is no longer enough to generate those positive sensations. So, they begin to consume more alcohol in order to generate that feel-good buzz they’ve come to know. In essence, this is how alcoholism develops and turns into a life-long disorder that requires effective management.

 

What Are the Signs of Alcoholism?

A person should suspect alcoholism if they drink regularly, drink excessive quantities of alcohol, and are unable to stop consuming alcohol. Many people suffering from alcoholism feel irritable when they aren’t drinking, and this irritability typically will not subside until they do drink. Many people who are alcoholics think about drinking throughout the day; they may even store alcohol in usual places like at work. Blackouts and tremors are associated with alcoholism, as are signs like lying about a drinking habit and losing interest in food or activities that were previously enjoyable. Drinking alone and drinking in order to alleviate stress on a daily basis are also indicative of alcoholism. If you attempt to stop drinking but suffer from alcohol withdrawal symptoms, you definitely are in need of alcohol addiction help.

 

Effects of Alcoholism

Alcoholism is associated with both short and long-term effects on mental and physical health. In the short-term, problems like foggy memory, blackouts, reduced cognitive function, and decreased reaction time are common. Alcoholism can also produce long-term alterations in the brain that lead to mental disorders like depression or acute anxiety. Studies have shown that alcoholism can permanently damage gray and white matter in the brain. This damage can result in reduced cognitive function and even dementia in severe cases. Chronic alcoholism is also associated with physical health problems like liver and kidney failure. At any time, however, binge drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning, which can be life threatening.

 

Alcohol Addiction in Arkansas

According to the Arkansas Department of Human Resources, “alcohol-related crash fatality rate for adults is higher than the national average (11 per 100,000 vs. 7 per 100,000), as well as for underage drinkers (4 per 100,000 vs. 3 per 100,000).” This trend underscores the other risk factors of alcoholism; people tend to make poor decisions when under the influence of alcohol, decisions that can affect their life or the lives of others in permanent ways. Arkansasdec.org reported that “alcohol is involved in 30 percent of homicides, 23 percent of sexual assaults, 30 percent of other assaults, 5 percent of child abuse (sexual and physical) and 3 percent of property crime,” which underscores the social havoc that alcohol abuse wreak on Arkansas communities.

While underage drinking and consuming alcohol at the college level have decreased in the last decade, binge drinking has actually increased. According to reports, addiction treatment centers in Arkansas say that 30 percent of their patients suffer from alcoholism as opposed to other types of substance abuse disorders.

 

Treatment for Alcoholism

Alcohol addiction in Arkansas can be managed through credible treatments at an alcohol rehab. A person suffering from alcohol dependency should never attempt to quit cold turkey as withdrawal symptoms have been known to lead to suicidal thoughts and other severe withdrawal symptoms. In fact, seizures and other life-threatening complications can result during withdrawal. It’s extremely important to undergo medical detox where you can safely be weaned off alcohol and treated for withdrawal symptoms before they become so severe they lead to other health problems.

After detox, other treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy are helpful for combating the psychological and behavioral dependencies on alcohol. Intensive treatment typically lasts longer than thirty days, but many recovering alcoholics benefit from aftercare programs like Alcoholics Anonymous even beyond that first year of treatment in order to reduce their risk of relapse and to obtain support for their commitment to live soberly.

Remember, you can turn your life around today simply by getting the help you need to manage your alcohol addiction effectively and for good. Protect your health from further deterioration and secure your well-being by seeking help at an Arkansas alcohol rehab today.