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Illinois Alcohol Addiction
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Illinois Alcohol Addiction

Illinois alcohol addiction is prevalent. Nearly every social event or group activity involves the use of the substance, making it easy to develop an alcohol addiction in Illinois without even realizing you have a problem. For most people, an occasional drink is enough, but for others, the constant availability of alcoholic beverages provides a constant invitation to overindulge. When drinking becomes unmanageable, causes constant problems, and threatens to overtake all other responsibilities, Illinois alcohol addiction has developed. In order to effectively treat and manage this disease, a comprehensive treatment program is required. Illinois alcohol addiction treatment centers have the programs and certified professionals to help you gain back control of your life.

 

Understanding the Addiction

 

Like many addictions, alcohol dependency is characterized by loss of control over the use of the substance and continued use despite negative consequences. As the disease progresses, it causes increasing degrees of difficulty for the individual, disrupting relationships, academic pursuits and career goals.

 

Statistics

 

National agencies estimate that 16.6 million adults aged 18 and over in the United States had an alcohol abuse problem in 2013. In that same year, driving under the influence accounted for 30.8 percent of all driving fatalities.

 

In Illinois alone, 12,000 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2012. Illinois also reports that 37,126 drivers are arrested annually for drunk driving in the state. Although these fatalities have decreased steadily since the late 1980s, it continues to be a problem among younger drivers. The state notes that substance abuse is higher among young male drivers between the ages of 15 to 20 years old than female drivers in that age group.

 

Symptoms of Substance Abuse

 

Substance abuse experts recognize a number of signs and symptoms that indicate someone may suffer from alcoholism. These include:

 

  • Drinking to manage stress – The substance is a sedative that is often used to help manage everyday stress. However, as a person’s tolerance for the substance increases, the person must drink larger quantities, more frequently to produce the same effect.

 

  • Drinking in dangerous situations- Individuals may abuse the substance even when its use can be hazardous to them or those they come in contact with.

 

  • Repeated neglect of responsibilities – Drinking becomes more important than school, work or family obligations. The effects of problem drinking may cause a complete neglect of responsibilities that were once valued to be of high importance. This may include the neglect of children, absence from school, or the loss of a job.

 

  • Continued drinking in spite of its effect on relationships – Drinking begins to take precedence over relationships with family members or friends who notice the negative effects of the substance and ask the person to stop drinking. The drinker may become belligerent and aggressive or prefer spending time with others who drink, so that they can avoid judgement for their actions.

 

  • Growing legal problems due to drinking – The individual may become aggressive because of excessive drinking, cause domestic disputes or be arrested for driving under the influence. Substance abuse may cause people to become involved with the wrong crowd, a crowd which attracts trouble with the law.

 

  • Desire to stop drinking, but can’t – The individual may try to stop repeatedly, but they cannot deal with the withdrawal symptoms or living without alcohol as a psychological crutch. Withdrawing from the substance can be extremely unpleasant, and in severe cases, fatal.

 

If you or someone you care about has exhibited any of these signs or symptoms of substance abuse, seek the help of Illinois alcohol addiction treatment centers.

 

Effects on the Body

 

Alcohol abuse can cause severe effects on the body over time and can produce a number of health problems in the short term, including:

 

  • Blackouts or memory loss
  • Flushed skin, broken capillaries on the face
  • Anxiety, insomnia
  • Nausea, diarrhea, and ulcers
  • Hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Heart disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Cancer of the mouth, esophagus, throat, liver or breast
  • Alcohol poisoning, a potentially fatal condition

 

Effects on the Brain

 

Excessive drinking affects coordination, memory, vision and speech in the short term. It can also leave lasting effects, including poor brain function. Young people are particularly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol on the brain, and problems with memory and learning can persist over the long term.

 

Dangers of Abuse

 

The problems with coordination caused by substance abuse can put the individual at risk of accidents and can also endanger others. Driving under the influence causes thousands of deaths each year. Because of the increased tolerance to the substance, there is always the risk that alcoholics can drink to the point of poisoning themselves. These are the times in which so much of the substance is present in the body that essential functions such as heart rate, breathing and temperature regulation cease to function. The individual may experience seizures, hallucinations, have heart problems, vomit, become unconscious, or experience fatal consequences.

 

Short Term and Long Term Health Effects

 

Alcohol abuse involves both short and long term health problems. In the short term, memory and cognition can be affected. Stomach problems and neurological effects can occur. Over the long term, liver impairment is the primary health concern, as this organ attempts to filter large amounts of alcohol from the bloodstream.

 

In order to avoid permanent long term effects, you should

 

Alcohol Levels

 

Many people disguise their dependence by drinking only a certain type of beverage. They may “only drink beer” or “only have some wine,” thinking that the alcohol content in these beverages protects them from the hazards of alcohol abuse. However, even typical beers can contain up to 10 percent alcohol. Wine coolers can contain up to 7 percent and wine, 10 to 20 percent. Vodka and rum may contain around 40 percent alcohol, and whiskey about 60 percent. This percentage may dramatically increase though, depending on the particular brand. Although, one must remember that consuming more of a less potent substance can be just as dangerous as consuming a drink that contains a higher amount of alcohol.

 

Treatment

Treatment for alcoholism consists of a number of components that help the individual deal with the physical effects of withdraw, as well as learning to deal with potential triggers they may experience once treatment has come to an end. Rehabilitation does more than heal each patient’s physical health, addiction treatment helps patients gain the mental strength necessary to maintain sobriety for a lifetime.

 

  • Detoxification – Withdrawal from alcohol can be agonizing and often requires the assistance of medical professionals in order to go about this process in a safe manner. The proper management of these uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms gives patients the advantage of maintaining recovery early on in its development.  

 

  • Therapies for Management – A number of different therapies can be used to help individuals with an addiction confront the issues that may have caused them to keep drinking and find alternative methods of self-monitoring and dealing with emotions. Behavioral therapy can be especially helpful for these issues. Individual and group counseling can help patients examine the root of their problem and find new ways to deal with everyday pressures.

 

  • Aftercare – Aftercare provides the support systems vital to helping patients maintain sobriety as they change their habits, friendship groups and goals.

 

If you or a loved one is suffering from the negative effects of alcoholism, contact an addiction specialist today to discuss how treatment can restore your sobriety, sanity, and overall happiness.

 

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