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While the population percentage has not significantly changed, the amounts of alcohol being consumed on a regular basis are rising, perhaps a reflection of increased economic and environmental stress. As many as 50 percent of Americans state that they have one or more relatives with a serious drinking problem that interferes with their family life and work.
Alcohol addiction and abuse are both serious problems in the United States. Consider the findings of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): of the 63 percent of the adult U.S. population who drink alcohol, 18 million are dealing with addictive behaviors and misuse issues.
Risks of Alcohol AbuseThe immediate effects of alcohol abuse and addiction are pretty sobering in themselves. The NIAAA also reports that as many as 40 percent of hospital beds are given to patients needing treatment for alcohol-related illnesses. Alcohol is now the third leading cause of preventable deaths in this country.
Types of Alcoholics
While alcohol may be the oldest and most commonly used psychoactive drug in the entire world, it is also the most abused. Most users engage socially for the enjoyment of the drink and its mild side effects. Then there are those who abuse by binge drinking but do not actually become physically addicted.
Lastly, there are those who develop both a physical and psychological compulsion to drink. For them, this becomes a downward spiral leading to broken relationships, loss of control of finances, and increasing risk of accident or related health issues. For most, the solution is complete abstinence, getting sober, and staying sober.
Steps to Prevent Addiction“Drying out” or sobering up, is definitely not as difficult as the next crucial part, staying clean. Living alcohol-free is possible, and there are steps you can take to ensure your success. It may be necessary to walk through a drug rehabilitation treatment program that may be in-house or on an outpatient level to strengthen yourself through those first days of physical withdrawal. Individual and group therapy can impart important tools and strategies for remaining drug-free when you return to your daily life.Twelve-step programs provide you with regular support and encouragement from other recovering addicts. They understand what you are going through better than anyone else. Having a personal sponsor who stays closely involved and holds you accountable can make a huge difference too.
Helping Psychology is brought to you by Argosy University. Argosy University offers a wide selection of bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs in a variety of psychology concentrations at 19 locations across the nation.
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