Alcohol Addiction: Statistics, Symptoms and Treatment
Alcohol has become so culturally acceptable in various everyday settings that we often forget it’s a drug with potentially dangerous health consequences. While some people have no problem knowing their limits and keeping their substance use in hand, others develop a dependence that can take over their lives. How can you tell if your drinking has crossed the boundary between casual use and an alcohol addiction?
Alcohol Use Statistics
How prevalent is alcohol use in the U.S.? According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 85% of people ages 18 and older said they have tried alcohol at some point in their lives, while nearly 70% reported having alcohol in the past year and more than 54% admitting to drinking within the past month.
Based on statistics from the same survey, binge drinking and high-intensity drinking are also concerning trends to watch regarding alcohol use and abuse. These issues may be more common in social settings such as tailgate parties, where people drink excessively within a short period and bring their blood alcohol concentration to alarmingly high levels.
Symptoms of an Alcohol Use Disorder
It’s not always easy to recognize a drinking problem, especially when it concerns your behavior. Addiction and denial are frequently intertwined, which is why it can be so challenging to admit you’ve become dependent on alcohol, even when health or financial issues arise because of drinking.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help determine whether your drinking has become dangerous.
- Have you ever experienced withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit drinking?
- Do you rely on alcohol to self-medicate stress, anxiety or depression?
- Have friends and family members ever told you they were worried about you?
- When you are sober, do you find yourself eagerly anticipating having a drink?
- Have you continued drinking, despite mounting issues in your life?
- Have you ever done anything dangerous or illegal when drunk, like driving or physically harming someone else?
- Do you feel guilty about how much you drink?
- Have you ever blacked out from drinking too much?
- Does it take increasing amounts of alcohol to help you relax and feel good?
- Have you ever tried to hide your substance use by drinking alone or lying about how much you drink?
- Do you struggle to imagine your life without alcohol?
Treatment for an Alcohol Addiction
When reviewing the list of questions above, be honest with yourself. If you answered “yes” to many or all of them, it’s time to consider what you need to do to change your life for the better.
While stigma characterizes substance abuse as a character flaw, the reality is that it’s a disease that can happen to anyone. Long-term alcohol use changes your brain chemistry, making it increasingly challenging to step away on your own. For this reason, professional therapy and treatment is the best way to learn to manage your illness and get back on a positive path.
What to Expect in Alcohol Addiction Rehab
If you are trying to quit drinking, changing your surroundings can be tremendously beneficial, which is one reason inpatient alcohol rehab at an accredited facility such as Beach House may be the best decision for you and your health. After going through comfortable, medically managed detox, you will be stable enough to begin participating in evidence-based therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing and various mindfulness practices such as meditation and yoga.
At Beach House, we believe love and compassion are the opposite of addiction’s isolation and hopelessness. Our secluded, resort-like beachfront facility provides an ideal environment for recovery, with a full continuum of care that ensures you can seamlessly transition from one level to the next without leaving our community. To learn more about recovering in Juno Beach, Florida, please contact us 24/7 for confidential help.