Table of Contents
- What Is Alcoholism?
- What is Defined as Excessive Drinking?
- Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism
- What Causes Alcohol Use Disorder?
- Receive Treatment at Our Alcohol Rehab in Los Angeles Today
- FAQs About Alcohol Use Disorder and Treatment
What Is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a chronic substance use disorder characterized by compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages. Alcoholism also causes several physical and mental problems that can be fatal if left untreated. Those who suffer from alcoholism should seek professional help right away.
The neurological effects of alcoholism include confusion and memory loss. Alcoholism also causes many social problems, such as job loss, divorce, and financial difficulties.
A person with alcoholism can be treated in various ways, including psychotherapy and medications to help control the craving for alcohol. If left untreated, alcoholism can lead to a myriad of physical ailments, damaged organs, and even premature death. This means alcohol rehab and detox are incredibly necessary.
Although it is a legal substance, alcohol is a depressant and can be abused. Its use, especially at high levels, can lead to health problems including liver and kidney disease, heart problems, high blood pressure, stroke, and cancer. Alcohol abuse has become an epidemic and a global public health issue.
What is Defined as Excessive Drinking?
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines “excessive drinking” as binge drinking, heavy drinking, or any alcohol use by pregnant women or people younger than age 21. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans define binge drinking as consuming four or more drinks in a sitting.
Binge drinking is a pattern of high-risk alcohol use that brings the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. Binge drinking is associated with a wide range of health and social problems, including injuries and deaths from car crashes and other accidents, sexual assaults, violence, and suicide.
Also, binge drinking is associated with many health problems such as cardiovascular disease, liver disease, mental health conditions (particularly depression), and even cancer. This type of problematic drinking is most common among young adults aged 18 to 34 years. Young adults are more likely than older adults to binge drink because they are the least experienced drinkers and tend to be less aware of the risks associated with heavy drinking.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration to 0.08 g/dL or above, a number generally referred to as “legally drunk” by the vast majority of states for DUIs. For women, this typically corresponds to consuming four or more drinks in about 2 hours; for men, it typically corresponds to five or more drinks in about 2 hours.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), moderate drinking is defined as no more than one drink per day for women of any age and men older than 65, and no more than two drinks per day for men aged 65 and younger.
The short-term effects of alcohol abuse include the following:
- Upset stomach
- Loss of coordination
- Difficulty breathing
- Impaired judgment
Individuals who drink excessive amounts of alcohol may engage in risky activities after consuming this substance. They may drive or operate other types of machinery under the influence of alcohol. This can lead to drunk driving accidents, injuries at work, dangerous falls, drowning, and more life-threatening occurrences.
Below are some of the long-term effects of alcohol addiction:
- Liver damage
- Nerve damage
- Sexual issues
- Alcohol poisoning
- Vitamin deficiency
- Various types of cancer
Long-term alcohol abuse can cause people’s behaviors and personalities to change in negative ways. This can lead to issues in the home, such as broken relationships, domestic abuse, and other types of violence. People who suffer from alcohol addiction for a long time may find themselves in financial problems, suffering job loss, and losing their homes.
The symptoms of alcohol use disorder vary from person to person, depending on the amount of alcohol consumed and how long a person has had an alcohol problem. Symptoms may include:
- Tolerance: The need to drink more alcohol to feel the same effect
- Withdrawal: Feeling shaky, sick, or irritable when not drinking
- Drinking more than intended: Drinking in risky situations, such as while driving or drinking first thing in the morning to stave off withdrawal symptoms
- Skipping work or school: Drinking so much that it interferes with daily responsibilities
- Continuing to drink despite consequences: Relationship troubles, arguments with a family member, trouble at work, etc.
- Lying about drinking: Hiding alcohol use from others and lying about how much was consumed
- Physical dependence: Withdrawal symptoms, such as sweating and shaking
- Reckless behavior: Engaging in risky sexual behavior or driving while intoxicated
The exact cause of alcohol use disorder is not known. Several factors play a role in the development of this substance use disorder, including:
- Genetics – People with an alcoholic family member are more likely to become alcoholics.
- Environment – People who are around heavy drinkers or people who live in places where alcohol is easily available may be more likely to develop a substance use disorder.
- Stress – Alcohol can temporarily relieve stress, but it usually causes more problems in the long run.
- Depression – People who are depressed may be more likely to drink alcohol as a way of coping with their feelings.
The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for alcohol (e.g., nausea, vomiting, tremor, sweating). Alcohol (or a closely related substance, such as a benzodiazepine) is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms. “The more of these criteria are present, the more likely it is that a person has an alcohol use disorder” (NIAAA).
Receive Treatment at Our Alcohol Rehab in Los Angeles Today
Here at West Valley Detox, we understand the need for drug and alcohol rehab in Los Angeles. Individuals who are seeking treatment in Los Angeles county can receive the help they need here at our rehab facility. We are committed to helping our patients begin and continue the recovery journey. Each person who comes to us will receive an individualized treatment plan, involving the resources and guidance they need to overcome alcohol and drug abuse.
At our treatment center, we offer a safe detoxification service. We also provide various treatment options, including residential treatment and outpatient services.
Medically Assisted Alcohol Detox
We offer medically assisted detox for those who are suffering from substance abuse issues. This detox process allows people to safely end alcohol and drug use with medical supervision.
Alcohol detox and withdrawal is the process that takes place in your body when you stop drinking alcohol. The effects of alcohol on the brain are caused by its active ingredient, ethanol (alcohol). When you drink alcohol, it is absorbed into your bloodstream through the lining of your stomach and small intestine. From there, it travels to all parts of your body including the brain.
The effects you experience when you drink alcohol are caused by the ethanol in your blood. The amount of time it takes for the ethanol to reach your brain and affect how you feel depends on several factors, including:
- How much and how fast you have consumed alcohol
- Your body weight.
- Drinking on an empty stomach will cause the alcohol to reach your brain more quickly than if you have food in your stomach. Drinking on an empty stomach will also cause the alcohol to enter your bloodstream faster.
- The type of alcoholic beverage you consume will also affect how quickly the alcohol reaches your brain. Liquor, beer, and wine all contain different amounts of ethanol.
- The type of food in your stomach will slow down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream.
- If you are a woman, your body weight and the amount of fat on your body will also affect how quickly alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream. Women tend to have less water in their bodies than men, which means the alcohol will be absorbed into their bloodstream faster.
- If you are taking any medications or other drugs, these can also slow down how quickly the alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream.
An alcohol detox program is often followed by further treatment, including counseling, to help the person manage their addiction.
Our inpatient alcohol rehab in Los Angeles county offers you a substance-free setting where you’ll have 24/7 access to treatment services. The outpatient program offers treatment on an outpatient basis, allowing you to live elsewhere while still getting the help you need.
We offer dual diagnosis treatment in Los Angeles for those who are suffering from substance abuse and co-occurring mental health issues. Individuals who need mental health services for conditions such as anxiety, depression, or OCD can receive the help they need here.
More About Treatment at Our Alcohol Rehab in Los Angeles
Our treatment programs include therapeutic approaches to assist those in recovery. Family therapy, group therapy, individual counseling, and more can help people overcome addiction issues. We believe in addressing the mental, physical, and emotional needs of our clients. This is why our addiction rehab facility offers a comprehensive approach to treatment in Los Angeles.
If you’ve been searching for drug and alcohol addiction rehab centers in Los Angeles, look no further. West Valley Detox is one of the best rehab centers in Los Angeles and we are here for you!
Your struggle with substance abuse and mental health challenges can end today. Our addiction treatment programs and clinical services can help jumpstart your addiction recovery journey and begin the healing process in your life.
You deserve to break free from the bondage of addiction. Whether you are suffering from alcoholism or drug use problems, our west Los Angeles addiction treatment center is here to help you. Reach out to our alcohol rehab in Los Angeles today. Let our Southern California substance abuse treatment center give you the guidance and support you need.
Do I have an alcohol use problem?
If you are wondering if you have an alcohol use disorder, the following questions may help you determine whether or not you need help:
- Have you ever tried to control your drinking and been unsuccessful?
- Do you have a strong desire, urge to drink, or craving that you find hard to control?
- Have there been times when you felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
- Have there been times when you needed a drink so badly that you couldn’t think of anything else?
- Have there been times when you felt that you should cut down on your drinking?
- Have you or someone else been injured as a result of your drinking?
- Have you ever been arrested or taken into custody for being drunk, disorderly, or disturbing the peace when drinking?
- How often does someone else have to take care of you or watch over you when drinking?
- Have your friends and family members ever told you that you drink too much?
- Have you ever considered getting treatment?
If you answered ‘yes’ to most of these questions, it is time to reach out for help.
Should I quit on my own or enroll in a professional addiction treatment program?
Quitting drug or alcohol abuse cold turkey is never advisable. Individuals who abuse illicit drugs, alcohol, or prescription drugs can experience severe withdrawal symptoms when they quit using these substances. These symptoms can often lead to relapse or even cause people to suffer life-threatening consequences. This is why professional treatment centers and detox facilities are necessary.
People who are suffering from alcohol or drug addiction should seek help from professional addiction treatment centers and drug rehabs. In such settings, individuals can overcome substance use problems safely.
Should I travel for rehab?
Everyone has different needs when it comes to getting addiction treatment. Some people feel more comfortable getting rehab in a familiar neighborhood. But, others may benefit more from relocating for rehab purposes.
If you’re considering traveling to receive treatment in the west Los Angeles area, you may find it the best option. After all, Los Angeles, CA is a beautiful city filled with life. There is a wonderful recovery community here that can help you remain free from addiction.
How do you pay for alcohol and drug addiction treatment?
Paying for alcohol and drug rehab can be a very simple process! If you are looking for drug rehab in Los Angeles county, there are many payment options you can consider. You may think about getting payment assistance through private funding. Many drug and alcohol rehab facilities also accept health insurance coverage for addiction treatment programs.
How many months does it take to rehab?
On average, our full continuum of care lasts for 30-45 days. However, every person who comes to our facility has specific and unique needs. So, most facilities like ours will strive to make sure people receive the help they need for as long as necessary.
What happens after you come out of rehab?
After completing alcohol and drug rehab, it is important to continue getting support and guidance as you recover. Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can help you stay on track.
In addition to Alcoholics Anonymous, you might consider sober living or other transitional housing services. Living in a place where there are no drugs or alcohol can serve as a great substance abuse prevention method.
You can also opt to enter an alumni program, like the one we offer here at West Valley Detox.