Challenges Addiction Treatment Center has vast experience treating Alcoholism and an excellent record with recovery and relapse prevention. Alcohol Addiction and abuse, is an addictive dependency on alcohol typified by a strong craving to drink, inability to cease drinking on one’s own, physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms, and increasing tolerance of alcohol or requirement for greater amounts in order to get drunk.
The origins of alcohol abuse and dependence are varied and not always easily explained. We know that children of alcoholics or drug abusers have an extraordinarily greater chance of becoming alcoholics than those coming from drug free homes. Some cultures have had a greater tendency toward alcoholism, indicating a likely genetic predisposition. A predisposition, however, does not guarantee that alcoholism will occur, and it does not preclude other factors such as environmental or coexisting conditions including bipolar psychotic disorders. When such factors occur, they are known as a dual diagnosis.
Alcohol abuse, like drug abuse, and alcoholism cost $170 billion annually in North America, from associations with medical problems, injuries and death. Two thirds of North Americans consume alcohol to some degree, but more than half of the alcohol consumed is by only 6% of those who drink. An estimated 10% of those who consume alcohol are alcoholics. Medical Problems from Alcoholism Long-term medical effects of alcohol dependency include:
- Pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas
- Heart Disease, including Coronary Artery Disease
- Neuropathy, or damage to the nerves
- Bleeding Esophageal Varices, or enlarged veins in the tube that connects the esophagus to the stomach
- Brain Degeneration and Alcoholic Neuropathy
- Cirrhosis of the Liver, a chronic disease that causes destruction of liver cells and loss of liver function
- Depression, Insomnia, Anxiety, and Suicide
- High Blood Pressure
- Increased incidence of many types of Cancer, including breast cancer
- Nutritional Deficiencies due to poor eating habits as well as inability to absorb key nutrients
- Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, a neuropsychiatric disorder caused by thiamine deficiency that results from poor nutrition in alcoholics
- Significant damage to occupational, social, and interpersonal areas, including sexual dysfunction
Treatment for alcoholism, like drug treatment, can have a profound effect on the alcoholic as well as society as a whole. Immediate effects of ending the alcohol abuse are improved social and psychological function and often include a decrease in criminality and violence.
Understanding the nature of alcoholism is the key to the prevention of a return to the addiction to alcohol. Without adequate alcoholism treatment such as relapse prevention, alcoholics often find themselves in an endless cycle of detox, rehab, treatment center, and sustained abstinence, only to begin the cycle all over again when their lives improve. At Challenges we take all this into consideration while individuals are with us. We are certified in relapse prevention and from day one look to connect the individual with the principles of a 12 Step Program. Those principles are carried out during the entire treatment experience, with milestones along the way to reinforce the 12 steps.