Alcoholism or Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is a progressive condition in which a person’s level of alcohol consumption in terms of volume and frequency of use creates a dependency. A person with an alcohol dependency will find it difficult to get through daily tasks and responsibilities without the use of alcohol. A dependency untreated and left to progress becomes an addiction, which is significantly more difficult for the individual to deal with.
Alcohol addiction can have a devastating impact on the lives of those affected, directly or indirectly. For the addicted person, alcohol consumption takes priority over responsibilities and commitments. This can result in poor professional or academic performance and strained relationships with friends and family. Furthermore, the impact of excessive alcohol intake on one’s physical and psychological health is severe and can be fatal.
Others can be indirectly affected by alcoholism. If a parent, spouse, or sibling is struggling with alcoholism, a person may find it difficult to cope. They might feel a sense of loneliness or isolation as their loved one seems lost to their addiction, or betrayed when their loved one is dishonest about their frequency of use or financial issues relating to their addiction.
In recovering from alcoholism, the essential first step is recognizing the condition in the first place. Many may even be in denial or feel too ashamed to admit that they need help, but it’s important for an ashamed individual to consider if it’s better to avoid shame and spiral further into their addiction, or to potentially feel some shame with the end goal being a successful recovery, a return to normality, balance, and sobriety.
If you have been directly or indirectly affected by alcoholism, don’t hesitate to contact us at Brazos Recovery Services. For men struggling with addiction, we offer a full consultation and health assessment, which helps our professional therapists, counselors, nurses, and psychologists get to know the addicted individual better and collaborate in planning an individually tailored treatment program, involving detox and withdrawal management, and individual and group therapy based on the traditional 12-step program for addiction treatment.
Physical Health Effects of Alcoholism
Over time, excessive consumption of alcohol results in a range of physical and psychological health issues.
Liver and pancreas problems, digestive and central nervous system (CNS) issues, and bone, reproductive, and cardiovascular complications can all arise as physical health problems following chronic alcohol use.
Alcohol abuse can cause inflammation or scarring of the liver, which can lead to the development of fatty liver, cirrhosis, fibrosis, or alcoholic hepatitis. In the pancreas, alcohol can promote the production of substances that harm the body and cause pancreatitis.
Alcohol abuse also causes ulcers in the stomach, as it wears away at the stomach’s protective lining and increases stomach acid production.
Abuse of alcohol can lead to severe impairment of the central nervous system, such as impaired motor skills and coordination, problems with memory and learning, and changes in sleep patterns and behavior.
Cardiovascular health is greatly impacted. Excessive alcohol consumption is linked to blood clots, stroke, high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, and heart attack.
Chronic use can lead to erectile dysfunction in men and reduced fertility.
Bone health is also negatively affected by alcohol abuse. It can cause the development of calcium intolerance, a mineral that is essential for the maintenance of healthy bones. Vitamin D production is also compromised, which results in osteoporosis due to Vitamin D’s role in promoting calcium absorption.
Psychological Health Effects of Alcoholism
Beyond the adverse physical health effects of alcohol abuse, there is a range of psychological health effects that can cause just as many problems. Long-term excessive consumption of alcohol can cause changes in mood and personality, reduced inhibition, impaired judgment, and problems with concentration, sleep, and memory.
Psychiatric conditions like alcohol-induced depression, bipolar, and sleep disorder can occur following chronic use. Underlying conditions like major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and some anxiety disorders are linked to alcohol abuse, in that they can be provoked or exacerbated by chronic use and abuse.
Comprehensive Assessment for Alcoholism
The path to recovery can seem daunting at the beginning, but with the right help, it doesn’t have to be so intimidating. At Brazos Recovery Services, we provide potential patients with a free alcohol addiction assessment, which allows our team of professionals to gain an understanding of the individual’s relationship with alcohol, their personal background, and the presence of any underlying conditions that will inform the right approach to treatment, and provides them with realistic expectations about how the treatment process works, reducing feelings of uncertainty about treatment.
Diligent and Dedicated Treatment Professionals
Knowing about treatment methods and how they work is one thing, but knowing when and when not to use certain types of treatment is just as important. Following assessment, patients will have access to a highly skilled team of psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, therapists, and medical staff who are specially trained in addiction treatment on an individual needs basis.
Support is confidential and non-judgmental, so patients can rest assured knowing that their care is in the right hands at Brazos Recovery Services.
We aim to place patients as the central focus of treatment, with uniquely tailored programs to suit a wide variety of needs. Trust is vital in allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to heal and recover, so we focus on creating personal relationships with our patients. Throughout the different therapies available during treatment, we work closely and collaboratively with patients to move towards a greater understanding of the self and develop effective tools for self-management and care, which can be applied long after initial treatment.
Treatment for Alcohol Addiction
At Brazos Recovery Services we provide both residential and outpatient treatment for men directly affected by alcoholism. We understand the devastating effects that this disorder can have on all aspects of a person’s life, so we employ evidence-based treatment modalities in promoting full recovery. Needs vary greatly between individuals. Some may benefit from outpatient treatment, which also allows for the continuation of external responsibilities or professional/familial commitments. Others may benefit more from a residential program, whereby the individual takes residence in our rehabilitation facility and participates in one-to-one therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and can avail of post-primary treatment transitional sober living services before full reintegration into society.
Seek Professional Help
Alcoholism is a progressive condition that can be fatal if left untreated. There are genetic and environmental factors involved in its development, like a history of alcoholism in the family or exposure to alcohol and alcohol abuse from a young age, as well as undiagnosed, underlying psychological health conditions that perpetuate addictive behaviors or are exacerbated by chronic alcohol use.
For treatment to be effective, all of these factors must be considered, which is why we offer a full health assessment prior to treatment.
As it is a progressive condition, alcoholism is best treated sooner rather than later. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, don’t hesitate to contact us. Effective treatment is entirely possible at Brazos Recovery Services, where we aim to return patients to a place of normality and sobriety, guiding them with care and compassion on the journey to recovery.