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Alcohol Addiction in Texas
Drug Treatment Centers Texas

The use of alcohol in western culture is very common, leading many people to forget that can it can cause serious health and social consequences. Many people binge drink or drink excessively without realizing that this behavior that signal the beginning of an addiction to alcohol. Professional treatment can help individuals with alcohol addiction in Texas to overcome their dependence and live productive, satisfying lives.

What Is Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol addiction in Texas is a common problem. It occurs when individuals who drink casually begin to consume alcohol compulsively to deal with stress and other emotional issues. In some cases, people use alcohol to “self-treat” symptoms of mental illness. Research indicates that heavy alcohol use shows measurable changes in brain structure over time. In addition, alcohol affects the production of dopamine, an important neurotransmitter chemical that is associated with feelings of pleasure. Alcohol increases

When Alcohol Abuse Turns to Addiction

Casual drinking can turn to an addiction when individuals begin drinking throughout the day or constantly seek out situations where drinking is part of the occasion.  Some people feel they are not addicted if they only drink to excess on occasions, but this can also be a sign that alcohol use is out of control. Other individuals think that just drinking beer makes continuous drinking acceptable. However, these behaviors can be a disguise for a serious addiction.

Statistics on Alcohol Abuse

A recent report done by the U.S. government found that alcohol was the primary drug of abuse in Texas. In 2012, 48.2 percent of all Texans over the age of 12 had used alcohol in the previous month. About 6.5 percent of these residents were estimated to be alcohol dependent or had abused alcohol in the period 2011 to 2012. They also found that 28 percent of those entering publicly funded treatment were admitted for alcohol problems. Treatment is essential to the health of the residents of the state, to help these individuals overcome their dependence on alcohol and return to lives of full productivity.

Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction

Most people are familiar with the short-term symptoms of alcohol use, such as slurred speech, uncoordinated movement and poor decision-making. However, addiction to alcohol has more insidious symptoms.  Individuals who are addicted begin to hide their excessive drinking. They may drink throughout the day. They may be arrested for driving while under the influence or get into fights due to inebriation. They may experience accidents from poor coordination. Experts determine someone is addicted when specific signs are present:

  • Increasing tolerance – the individual drinks increasing amounts to maintain the same comfort level.
  • Desire to stop, but can’t – the individual is unable to gain control over drinking.
  • Withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop drinking – physical symptoms of withdrawal occur when they individual stops drinking.
  • Continued drinking even with negative consequences – the individual may be arrested for DUI, lose relationships because of alcohol use or loses a job, but still continues to drink.

 

Amounts of Alcohol in Common Drinks

Knowing how much alcohol is in drinks that are commonly consumed can help individuals to determine the amount they drink on a regular basis:

  • Beer – one 12-ounce bottle of beer contains around 5 percent alcohol
  • Malt Liquor- one 8 to 9-ounce glass of malt liquor contains about 7 percent alcohol.
  • Wine – – one 5-ounce glass of wine contains about 12 percent alcohol
  • Spirits – one 1.5-ounce glass of hard liquor contains about 40 percent alcohol.

 

Health Effects of Alcohol Addiction

Over the short-term alcohol abuse can cause stomach problems, accidents, and sexually transmitted diseases or HIV infection from risky behavior.  Long-term alcohol use can lead to liver disease, kidney disease, cardiovascular problems and impairment of memory and cognitive function. Heavy alcohol use has also been linked to certain types of cancer.

 

How Treatment Can Help

Professional treatment can help to reverse the changes in brain chemistry caused by alcohol and can help individuals learn new behaviors that help them to resist cravings. Detoxification removes alcohol from the body and helps to restore normal brain chemistry. Assessment and evaluation can determine underlying mental health problems that may be contributed to excessive alcohol use. Individual and group counseling encourages patients to explore the motivations behind their drinking and how it affects their lives. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps patients recognize their negative thinking patterns and helps them develop behaviors that produce positive outcomes. Individuals must also learn the “triggers” for their drinking and how to apply proactive measures to prevent a relapse. In addition, patients are encouraged to develop aftercare strategies that provide support after the treatment program has ended.

Options for Treatment of Alcohol Addiction in Texas

Individuals who have made the decision to get treatment for their alcohol problem can choose from a number of program options:

  • Inpatient programs – these programs require entry into a facility for a period of time to concentrate on therapy for addiction. The program may be for a short period, such as 28 to 30 days, or it may be for a number of months.
  • Partial hospitalization – these programs require individuals to be at a facility for a full day, but they are allowed to return home in the evening and on weekends.
  • Intensive outpatient programs – these programs are held for several hours each day and are often arranged around work schedules.
  • Continuing care – these programs help patients who have attended an inpatient program to transition to normal life while still getting therapy for addiction.

 

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

One of the primary obstacles to overcoming addiction to alcohol is fear of the withdrawal symptoms that cause severe discomfort to individuals. They may experience headache, fatigue, tremors, nausea, anxiety, irritability, seizures and hallucinations. These symptoms can become extreme and life threatening. Inpatient treatment can provide medical support to decrease the severity of symptoms and monitoring of patients around the clock to ensure safety during the detoxification process.

If you or a loved one struggles with alcohol use, contact an addiction specialist today to discuss the therapies that can restore your health and overall happiness.