The use of alcohol is on the rise, especially among young people. It is often considered safe by many, because it is legal. Further, the consumption of alcohol is “socially acceptable” in popular media, which has given rise to the frequent notion that it is not as dangerous as illegal drugs. Factually, alcohol is one of the oldest and most dangerous drugs known to man. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- 88,000 deaths are annually attributed to excessive alcohol use
- Alcoholism is the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the nation
- Excessive alcohol use is responsible for 2.5 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) annually, or an average of about 30 years of potential life lost for each death
- Up to 40% of all hospital beds in the United States (except for those being used by maternity and intensive care patients) are being used to treat health conditions that are related to alcohol consumption
- Alcohol is often the cause of automobile accidents, legal issues, domestic violence, and missed work and school.
People drink alcohol because they like the effects produced by the drug. The person who becomes alcoholic and dependent on alcohol, finds that it makes some life situations easier to cope with. It may give them the confidence they have been searching for, or a sense of ease and comfort, in a normally uncomfortable situation. With this dysfunctional coping mechanism, they continue to partake in alcohol consumption and after a brief time, discover that it takes more and more alcohol to achieve the results they seek, this is the phenomenon of “tolerance.”
When someone abusing alcohol attempts to stop drinking after a period they often experience some physical symptoms such as trembling, nausea or even overwhelming fear. These symptom and others indicate that they have developed a dependence on alcohol. They may briefly stop drinking for some serious reason or “wake-up call” in their life that was a direct result of their alcohol consumption, and the few who can quit are considered “problem drinkers.”
Those that continue attempting to control their alcohol use despite the continuation of problems from alcohol abuse that they blame on everything else in their life EXCEPT alcohol (this is called denial), are most likely going to be diagnosed as an alcoholic one day. A description of alcoholism is the inability to stop drinking, or cut down on drinking, despite negative consequences (loss of job or loved ones, arrest, DUIs). At this point alcohol will be the number one priority in their life. They may start hiding how much or how often they drink. When the person tries to quit they often experience withdrawal and require alcohol detox. Withdrawal from alcohol can be dangerous, sometimes involving DT’s (delirium tremors), seizures, even coma and death. Becoming shaky, sweating, and flushed are frequent side effects.
Entering treatment for alcohol addiction requires first that the client be medically stable and detoxified. After this process we address the addiction with an eclectic program. At our Riverside, CA clients experience an intimate treatment setting as we are small by design. We provide a minimum of two one hour private counseling sessions per week for each client. Everyone attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings six nights a week, in addition to the educational classes, group therapy, process groups, relapse prevention, and other groups designed to assist and prepare the alcoholic in coping to life without alcohol while in treatment and after they leave 10 Acre Ranch and start to re-navigate life.