Alcoholism treatment is designed to help alcoholics stop drinking and support them through the recovery process. Depending on the extent and length of addiction, alcoholism treatment may require a detox period followed by ongoing psychotherapy programs and aftercare regimes.
From occasional alcohol abuse and binge drinking through to full-blown alcohol addiction, alcoholism treatment centers can deal with the full range of alcohol abuse and addiction problems. Learn more when you call Arlington Drug Treatment Centers at (703) 463-2418.
Alcoholism is the informal name given to alcohol use disorder, a broad term used to define a wide range of substance abuse and dependence problems related to drinking. Abuse and dependence on drinking were defined as their own psychiatric disorders until 2013, when they were combined under the banner of “alcohol use disorder.”
Alcoholism describes a wide array of problematic drinking behaviors, with alcoholism treatment often required to help people stop drinking and support them during the recovery process. Abusive alcohol consumption causes adverse health and social problems, with problem drinkers causing harm to themselves, their families and wider society.
Alcohol abuse and addiction are now defined as a single condition, known as alcohol use disorder or alcohol dependence syndrome. Despite this new medical status, however, there are numerous differences between abuse and addiction from a treatment point of view.
Alcohol abuse involves ongoing drinking despite negative consequences, with binge drinking being a specific form of abuse. Binge drinking is defined by excessive drinking over a short time period, with more than five drinks for men and more than four drinks for women enough to satisfy the USA binge drinking guidelines.
Addiction is generally accompanied by tolerance and the existence of a physical withdrawal syndrome, with at least three of the following seven symptoms needing to manifest over a 12-month period according to the DSM-IV criteria for alcohol dependence:
While substance abuse and dependence are both potentially dangerous disorders, physical addiction is generally believed to be more serious and often requires more extensive treatment.
The causes of alcoholism are complex and misunderstood, with a range of genetic and environmental factors influencing the development of alcohol use disorder.
Particular genes and their expression have been found to influence the risk of substance dependence, with individuals at risk more likely to engage with risky drinking behaviors from an early age. Severe childhood trauma also influences dependency rates, as well as lack of peer and family support.
The younger a person starts to drink the more at risk they are, with roughly 40 percent of alcoholics involved in excessive drinking by their late adolescence.
The signs of alcoholism depend greatly on the length and extent of addiction, with some problem drinkers able to hide their drinking from friends and family members.
Common signs of alcohol abuse include drinking despite adverse consequences, drinking in potentially dangerous situations, experiencing legal problems because of drinking, experiencing social problems because of drinking, and relying on drinking as a way to de-stress and relax.
Common signs of addiction include tolerance, withdrawal symptoms when intake is stopped or reduced, uncontrolled drinking habits, an inability to quit drinking, and giving up activities because of drinking.
Common symptoms of problematic drinking include feeling ashamed about your drinking, hiding your drinking, having friends or family members worried about your drinking, and regularly drinking more than you intend to.