Alcoholism is one of the most common forms of addiction in the United States, affecting over 18 million people across the country, and alcoholism treatment is one of the most common forms of rehab. Alcoholism is simply another name for addiction to alcohol, which occurs when the brain and body rewire themselves so that they are no longer able to function without alcohol.
Cultural attitudes towards alcoholism have shifted greatly in the past few decade, and still vary wildly between cultures, but in modern medical understanding, alcoholism is defined as a chronic and progressive addiction, an obsession with alcohol and an inability to stop using it. Addiction to alcohol is not completely curable, but it can be treated so that the sufferer can regain control of his life.
For more information on treating alcohol addiction, call Drug Treatment Shreveport at (318) 550-3059.
In the state of Louisiana, over 1 billion dollars in taxpayer money is spent healing damages from drunk driving accidents alone. Fewer state residents regularly consume alcohol compared to the national average, but those that do drink far more. Binge drinking is not uncommon in and around Shreveport.
This is hardly a heartening piece of information, though it should be said there is a difference between chronic alcoholism and mere alcohol abuse. Alcoholism is a pervasive disease that affects all aspects of someone's life, whereas alcohol abuse can more of an occasional thing. The key difference is dependency: an alcoholic cannot function without drink, they get shakes, sweats, and reduced cognitive function when deprived of alcohol because they're bodies and brains have built up a dependency.
Alcohol abuse is more general, and can include activities such as binge drinking (drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short amount of time to induce intoxication), blackouts (passing out from alcohol consumption), and drunk driving. Young adults are especially prone to binge drinking at parties or social gatherings, though the behavior is hardly uncommon amongst adults.
Signs of alcoholism include weight fluctuations, pervasive sweating, poor sleep patterns, shakes, anxiety, and nausea. Alcoholics often drink alone, and when they do drink they are unwilling or unable to limit the amount they consume. Alcoholics also build up a tolerance to alcohol as the body tries to readjust to the new chemicals it's being inundated with, leading to intoxication becoming less and less pleasurable each time.
Alcoholics often drink more in order to feel "normal" again. It's important to treat anyone you know who might be an alcoholic with sympathy and patience. Addicts often deny they have a problem, or will react with hostility when confronted. If you have a loved one who appears to be losing a battle with alcohol, it may be time to suggest they get help.
Alcoholism rehab begins with detoxification. In order to begin the healing process, you must first purge the alcohol in your body by quitting cold turkey. Detoxification is not a pleasant process. Alcoholics frequently find themselves unable to control their urge to drink, so checking into a residential drug rehab program, wherein you would live at the facility while undergoing detox, can be a good decision. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, vomiting, tremors, night sweats, paranoia, temper tantrums, and panic attacks. Detoxification can last from a few days to more than a week. It is a difficult part of the recovery process, but it is essential.
Shreveport has several facilities that can treat alcoholism, such as the Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse (CADA) and the local Alcoholics Anonymous chapter which meets at the Celt Center. All of these facilities feature plenty of information from sympathetic experts who are eager to help. Most of these programs involve therapy sessions, both group and private ones, and regular checkups from doctors who specialize in addiction. Remember, alcoholism can be beaten, and any steps you can take towards a healthier life will be worth it in the long run.