Alcohol Addiction Treatment in Cumming
Holistic Treatment for Alcoholism in Georgia
Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder (AUD), is one of the most common forms of addiction in the United States, taking the second spot to tobacco addiction. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 14.1 million adults ages 18 or older in the U.S. struggle with AUD. An estimated 95,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each year, making alcohol the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
Addiction to alcohol is typically a gradual process. It often begins with the individual drinking casually and rationalizing reasons to drink more often. However, it is important to note that there isn't “one way” to develop alcoholism, nor is there one definable behavior that marks an alcoholic. If you believe you or a loved one have a drinking problem, it is worth your time to discuss the situation with someone who is experienced in diagnosing and treating addiction.
We don’t charge anything for a consultation with our staff. If you would like to learn more about alcoholism and our addiction treatment centers, call (678) 737-4430 today.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a chronic and often progressive condition characterized by an inability to control or stop drinking despite its negative consequences on a person's life. It's a complex disorder that involves both physical and psychological dependence on alcohol.
Several key components define alcoholism:
- Craving: A strong desire or urge to drink alcohol consistently.
- Loss of Control: Difficulty in limiting the amount of alcohol consumed or an inability to stop drinking once started.
- Physical Dependence: The body becomes accustomed to regular alcohol consumption, leading to withdrawal symptoms when alcohol intake is reduced or stopped.
- Tolerance: Over time, individuals may need to consume larger amounts of alcohol to achieve the same effects they once experienced with smaller amounts.
- Continued Use Despite Consequences: Despite negative effects on health, relationships, work, or other important areas of life, individuals may persist in drinking.
Symptoms of Alcoholism
As mentioned above, there is no symptom that definitively indicates a drinking problem. That said, there are several behaviors that suggest someone has an addiction or is in the early stages of developing one. These include:
- Lying about how much you drink and/or drinking in secret
- Frequently drinking alone
- Feeling irritable or anxious if you cannot drink
- Frequent Binge drinking
- Memory loss or blacking out when drinking
- Damaging relationships or careers as a result of drinking
- Loss of interest in things that once brought you joy in favor of drinking
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define binge drinking as consuming four drinks in two hours for the average woman, and five drinks in a two hour period for the average man. If you find yourself consuming this amount on a regular basis, you should start limiting your intake of alcohol.
Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Addiction
Long-term alcohol addiction can have profound and detrimental effects on a person’s physical and mental well-being, including:
- Liver Damage: Chronic alcohol use can lead to liver diseases like fatty liver, hepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis.
- Cardiovascular Issues: Increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and irregular heartbeat.
- Neurological Problems: Long-term alcohol use can lead to neurological issues such as memory loss, coordination problems, peripheral neuropathy, and brain damage.
- Weakened Immune System: Greater susceptibility to infections due to alcohol's impact on the immune system.
- Cancer Risk: Increased risk of developing various cancers, including mouth, throat, liver, breast, and colon cancer.
- Depression and Anxiety: Alcohol can exacerbate or trigger mental health conditions, leading to increased anxiety, depression, or other mood disorders.
- Cognitive Impairment: Long-term heavy drinking can impair cognitive function, affecting memory, attention, and decision-making abilities.
Other issues caused by alcoholism include:
- Relationship Problems: Alcohol addiction often strains relationships with family, friends, and colleagues due to behavioral changes, unreliability, and conflicts arising from drinking.
- Employment Issues: Difficulty in maintaining employment due to absenteeism, poor performance, or conflicts related to alcohol use.
- Legal Problems: Increased likelihood of legal issues such as DUIs (driving under the influence), public intoxication, or other alcohol-related offenses.
- Financial Strain: Heavy alcohol use can lead to financial difficulties due to spending on alcohol, medical bills, legal fees, or lost income from unemployment.
- Social Isolation: Alcohol addiction may lead to isolation as relationships strain, and individuals withdraw from social activities that don’t involve drinking.
How Does Someone Become Addicted?
There are many things that can drive someone to abuse alcohol. The longer someone abuses alcohol, the more likely they are to develop a dependency.
People may turn to alcohol for many different reasons, including:
- To relieve stress
- To feel happy
- To feel comfortable in social situations
- To cope with loneliness
- To numb symptoms of unresolved trauma
- To dwell in feelings of shame or regret
- To cope with loss
It’s not unusual for most people to drink for these reasons once in a while, but when people continuously rely on alcohol to relive a sensation or feeling, the dependency starts forming.
How is Alcoholism Treated?
Treating alcoholism typically involves a comprehensive approach that addresses both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction.
Here are some key components of alcoholism treatment:
- Medically Supervised Detoxification (Detox): For individuals with severe alcohol dependence, a supervised detoxification process in a medical setting helps manage potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Medications may be prescribed to ease discomfort and prevent complications.
- Behavioral Therapies: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational enhancement therapy (MET), and contingency management are commonly used to help individuals recognize and change behaviors related to alcohol use.
- Family Therapy: Involving family members in therapy sessions can help improve communication, support recovery, and address family dynamics related to alcohol use.
- Support Groups: Programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or SMART Recovery offer peer support and guidance through shared experiences and a structured approach to recovery.
- Medications: Naltrexone, Acamprosate, and Disulfiram can help manage cravings, reduce the desire to drink, or create adverse effects when alcohol is consumed, acting as a deterrent.
- Inpatient Rehabilitation: Residential programs provide intensive, round-the-clock care for severe cases of alcoholism, offering a structured environment away from triggers.
- Outpatient Programs: These allow individuals to attend therapy sessions and treatment while living at home, providing more flexibility for those with milder forms of alcohol use disorder.
- Nutritional Counseling: Addressing nutritional deficiencies common in heavy drinkers can aid in recovery.
- Exercise and Stress-Reduction Techniques: These can help individuals manage stress and improve overall well-being during recovery.
- Continued Counseling: Ongoing therapy or counseling sessions, even after formal treatment, can help maintain sobriety and address relapse triggers.
- Support Networks: Participation in support groups or community programs helps individuals stay connected and supported in their recovery journey.
At The Carter Treatment Center, our effective treatment plans are often tailored to the individual's specific needs and may involve a combination of these approaches. Our goal is not just to help you stop drinking but to address the underlying issues contributing to alcoholism and to support long-term sobriety and improved our clients’ quality of life.
Our centers for alcoholism treatment are located in Cumming, GA. We serve the surrounding communities of Alpharetta, Canton, Dawsonville, Gainesville, Johns Creek, and Roswell, Duluth, Buford, Lawrenceville, Peachtree Corners, and Gwinnett County. Call (678) 737-4430 today to get started.
The American Psychiatric Association has created a series of criteria to help diagnose alcoholism. If an individual has experienced at least three of the following symptoms in the last year, they would be diagnosed with alcoholism in the United States:
- Your tolerance has reached the point where you need excessive quantities of alcohol to “feel” it. It is important to note that damage to the liver or central nervous system may affect this.
- You end up drinking more than you originally intended.
- You experience physical discomfort, also known as withdrawal when you cut down on consumption. This may include insomnia, anxiety, or nausea, among other things.
- You continually use a substance even though you realize it is harming you physically or mentally (substance abuse).
- You have tried to cut down on consumption but failed.
- You spend significant amounts of time obtaining alcohol, using it, or recovering from its effects.
- You find yourself spending less time with friends or engaging in your hobbies since you began drinking.
Before treatment has to begin, the person struggling with alcoholism needs to decide that they want treatment. While this is not something that can be forced, friends and family can help push their loved one into realizing they need help through an intervention.
Alcoholism is not a problem that should be handled alone. Depending on how long someone has been drinking, and how often they do it, detoxification may be required before they can cut themselves off from alcohol. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable, and many people give up at this stage if they don’t receive professional help. In a medical detox center, clients will receive monitoring and treatment to help them manage withdrawal symptoms.
After detox, patients should seek treatment at a rehab center like The Carter Treatment Center. It is recommended that patients begin with an inpatient program followed by outpatient therapy, but for patients who can’t manage this, outpatient treatment should be the next step.
Remember that detoxification alone is not treatment for alcoholism. Patients need to undergo therapy and address the issues that motivate them to drink: depression, anxiety, trauma, etc. In therapy, patients will learn strategies to identify their triggers for drinking and how to handle them in healthy, substance-free ways.
If you or a loved one suffers from alcohol addiction, call (678) 737-4430 today. Our supportive team is here to help.
Our Treatments Are Built Around Your Needs
No matter what you’ve heard about alcoholism recovery, you should know that no two people have the same experience. At The Carter Treatment Center, we offer comprehensive inpatient and outpatient rehab services. Our staff takes the time to learn more about you and the underlying factors that contributed to your addiction in order to build a treatment plan that will address your mental, physical, and emotional needs. We strive to set patients on the path of long-term recovery without fear of relapse.
When you trust your recovery to our team, you can count on us to provide the compassionate care and ongoing support you need. We are committed to helping you develop powerful tools to identify triggers, manage cravings, and maintain lasting sobriety. The Carter Treatment Center is CARF-accredited, and we are members of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP). We are widely recognized as being among the top treatment centers for severe alcohol and drug abuse and addiction and are committed to helping individuals recover their possibility.
What should I do if someone I know has a drinking problem?
It can be incredibly difficult to know what to do or how to help someone who has a drinking problem. First, know that your desire to help is admirable and any hesitancy you may feel in bringing up the issue is completely normal. Also know that, in most cases, individuals must be ready to take the necessary steps before healing is possible. That being said, expressing your concern can not only bring attention to the issue, but it can also help your loved one recognize that they may be headed down a bad path. Remember, while you cannot fix the problem or force your loved one to get help, there are some things you can do to show that you care, and you are there to support them. These include learning everything you can about alcohol’s effects and alcohol abuse/addiction, choosing the right time to talk to your loved one, focusing on your concern for your loved one’s wellbeing, and emphasizing results. It is also important that you expect pushback and even denial, and you should prepare a plan that includes concrete steps to take next. When bringing up your concerns to your loved one, it is important that you avoid lecturing, shaming, or threatening, as these approaches can backfire. As much as possible, you should also avoid enabling your loved one or looking the other way when they engage in destructive behavior. Most importantly, make sure you care for your own mental and emotional health. Don’t let your loved one’s drinking consume your life. It can be extremely beneficial to seek out support for yourself; groups like Al-Anon can allow you to stay connected with others going through similar experiences.
Does alcohol impact everyone the same way?
Alcohol does not impact everyone the same way. Many factors—including an individual’s age, sex, body weight, and tolerance—can all affect how quickly alcohol enters the bloodstream and its overall impact. Other factors, such as whether an individual is taking any medications or using any other substances aside from alcohol, as well as what they recently ate, can alter how they are impacted by alcohol. In the long term, ongoing alcohol consumption also has different effects on different individuals. While one person may be able to responsibly enjoy several drinks a week, another may be prone to binge drinking with or without developing an alcohol dependency. There are many factors that impact an individual’s predisposition to becoming addicted to alcohol, and it is not always possible to accurately predict how alcohol may impact you immediately and/or over time.
Are specific groups of people more likely to be addicted to alcohol?
Yes. Generally speaking, men are more likely to suffer from alcohol dependency, abuse, and addiction than women. Some research shows that as many as half of all men in the United States suffer from some type of alcohol use disorder. Other at-risk groups include college students, victims of abuse (especially victims of childhood abuse), and individuals with mental and/or behavioral health disorders or related conditions. Native Americans, Latinos, and LGBTQA+ individuals also have a higher rate of alcohol abuse and alcoholism in the U.S.
Is alcohol addiction genetic?
There is significant evidence to suggest that alcohol use disorders, including alcohol abuse and alcoholism, can be at least partly attributed to genetics. According to American Addiction Centers, certain genes can increase an individual’s predisposition to misuse or abuse alcohol. Additionally, someone with a close family member or relatives—such as a parent, sibling, or grandparent—who has a history of alcohol abuse or addiction is significantly more likely to struggle with an alcohol use disorder. However, it is important to note that alcohol addiction is a complex and chronic disease. Many factors play a role in a person’s risk of developing an alcohol use disorder, including genetic and hereditary factors, personal history of trauma or abuse, environment, and more.