alcohol recovery and recovery from alcohol
 

Alcohol Recovery Info For Problem Drinkers

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A message to alcoholics: Don't just sit there and think things are going to get better. Alcohol addiction doesn't get better. It gets worse until somebody dies. You need to take appropriate action by getting professional treatment and you need to take action now!

Until you get quality treatment, alcohol recovery will be next to impossible. And please understand the following: chances are very good that your alcoholism is destroying the lives of people who love you.

Just Telling It Like It Is

Hello Valued Visitor,

If you expected to arrive at a page designed to "sell you something," rest assured that all of the information on this website is free, important, AND relevant. Please take a good look at the information contained on this page.

You will see facts and statistics that reflect the damaging, destructive, unhealthy, and the fatal consequences of alcoholism. You will also read about some of the "good news" that is associated with the alcohol treatment and with the alcohol recovery process.

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And finally, if you need more information than the alcohol-related topics presented on this website, you will be able to review the extensive educational and informational topics that can be found on our alcohol-related "sister" websites that are listed below.

Alcohol Abuse, Alcoholism, and the Teens of the World

Alcoholism and alcohol abuse have become major social problems for all of the industrialized countries in the world.

Regrettably, these societal problems are getting increasingly worse, partly because the youth of the world are starting to drink more frequently AND at an earlier age.

Why is this a problem? A major study was conducted in 1998 by American researchers to determine the total cost attributable to the consequences of underage drinking. The cost was more than $58 billion per year!

To make such a huge number more comprehensible, consider this: $58 billion is equivalent to the net worth of 58,000 millionaires!

This is so important that it needs to be repeated: $58 billion is equal to the net worth of fifty-eight thousand millionaires! And this is the amount of money that is "lost" each year in our country due to underage drinking.

In a sense, then, we are creating multiple generations of adolescents who "hit the road running" when it comes to alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

Let us state the obvious: this is NOT progress, this is NOT healthy, and this is NOT in any conceivable way making a positive contribution to society.

As the industrialized world becomes more complex, people everywhere feel more stress, tension, and a sense of generalized anxiety.

Since alcohol blocks emotional pain, it is commonly turned to as a "cover up" during times of temporary or ongoing stress or grief during situations such as relationship problems, serious issues at work, unresolved family tensions, or the loss of a loved one.

From a slightly different perspective, whether it is from depression, alcohol, unemployment, gambling, drugs, or relationship problems, people experiencing chronic stress or turmoil more often than not exhibit poor coping skills.

Sadly, these poor coping skills almost always make a major negative impact on the distraught individual himself or herself as well as on those who are the most concerned: his or her family and friends.

The bottom line is that "alcohol is a problem" if it causes difficulties in any part of your life. This includes your health, your work, your relationships, and your life at home.

Indeed, you may have a problem with alcohol if you think about drinking most of the time, if you keep trying to quit drinking on your own but can't, or if you regularly drink more per sitting and more frequently than planned.

Having said this, let's put together a list of some of the truly appalling and devastating consequences of alcoholism.

Alcoholism: The Bad News

  • 95% of alcoholics die from their disease and die approximately 26 years earlier than their normal life expectancy.

  • Alcohol problems cluster in and destroy families. More than 50% of current drinkers have a family history of alcoholism.

  • Absenteeism among alcoholics or problem drinkers is 3.8 to 8.3 times greater than absenteeism among non-alcoholics or among those who are not problem drinkers.

  • The average 18-year-old has seen 100,000 television commercials encouraging him or her to drink.

  • In the United States, 500 million work days are lost each year to alcoholism.

  • Fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol effects are the leading causes of mental retardation in the United States.

  • As much as 50 percent of police work is spent addressing alcohol-related problems in our nation. This would mean that the annual cost to law enforcement agencies is at least $7.5 billion dollars.

  • About 43% of U.S. adults -- 76 million people -- have been exposed to alcoholism in the family -- they grew up with or married an alcoholic or a problem drinker or had a blood relative who was an alcoholic or problem drinker.

  • Lost productivity from alcohol-related absenteeism, illness and premature exiting of the workplace, due to death and forced retirement, amounts to more than $70 billion each year.

  • Alcohol kills 6½ times more youth than all other illicit drugs combined.

  • 20% of alcoholics who try to quit drinking on their own without medical management die of alcohol withdrawal delirium.

  • It is estimated that more than 3 million teenagers in the U.S. between the ages of 14 to 17 are problem drinkers.

  • It is estimated that 30% of all Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related motor vehicle accident sometime during their lives.

  • 6.6 million American children under the age of 18 live in homes with at least one alcoholic parent.

  • In addition to alcohol-related pancreatitis, heart disease, cancer, and liver disease, excessive drinking over time is also associated with the following health conditions: infertility, irritated stomach lining and bleeding from stomach ulcers, obesity, nerve damage, vitamin deficiency, skin problems, muscle disease, sexual problems, epilepsy, and loss of brain cells.

  • Currently, approximately 14 million Americans, 1 in every 13 adults, abuse alcohol or are alcoholic.

  • Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are the third leading cause of the preventable deaths in the United States.

  • Approximately 43% of American adults have had a child, parent, sibling or spouse who is or was an alcoholic.

  • Research has shown that U.S. teens who drink alcohol are 50 times more likely to use cocaine than teens who never consume alcohol.

  • An alcoholic will negatively impact the lives of 4 or 5 other Americans (such as associates, family, and friends) while under the influence of alcohol.

  • About half of state prison inmates and 40% of federal prisoners incarcerated for committing violent crimes report they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of their offense.

  • Alcohol impaired drivers get behind the wheel 123 million times a year in the United States.

  • United States alcoholism statistics show that people who start using alcohol before the age of 15 are 4 times more likely to become alcoholic at some time in their lives, compared to those who start drinking at the legal age of 21.

  • 25% of all emergency room admissions, 33% of all suicides, and more than 50% of all homicides and incidents of domestic violence are alcohol-related.

The Bad News About Alcoholism: Summary

In simple economic terms, alcohol-related problems in the United States cost society almost $200 billion per year. In human terms, the cost of the following alcohol-related issues cannot be calculated: child abuse, injuries, wife battering, illnesses, broken homes, failed health, traffic fatalities, and destroyed lives.

Isn't It Time For Some Positive News?

In spite of all of the negatives outlined above, there is good news: As serious as alcoholism is, it can be effectively treated. And with professional treatment, alcohol recovery can become a reality.

Alcoholism treatment programs typically use a combination of counseling and medications to help a person stop drinking.

Although most alcoholics need help to recover from their disease, research has shown that with support and treatment, many people are able to stop drinking, become sober, and restore their lives.

Having said this, let's put together a list of some of the reassuring and positive aspects about alcohol treatment and alcohol recovery.

Alcohol Treatment and Alcohol Recovery: The Good News

  • Risk is not destiny. Just because alcoholism tends to run in families doesn't mean that a child of an alcoholic parent will automatically become an alcoholic too. Some people develop alcoholism even though no one in their family has a drinking problem. By the same token, not all children of alcoholic families get into trouble with alcohol. Knowing you are at risk is important, though, because then you can take steps to protect yourself from developing problems with alcohol.

  • The family and friends should express their affection for the alcoholic and their intentions for supporting the patient through recovery, but they must strongly and consistently demand that the patient seek treatment. Children may even be involved in this process, depending on their level of maturity and ability to handle the situation.

  • Prevention of alcoholism is best accomplished by abstinence. You must first have access to alcohol before becoming an alcoholic.

  • Accepting the fact that help is needed for an alcohol problem may not be easy. But keep in mind that the sooner you get help, the better are your chances for a successful recovery.

  • Once a person quits drinking and after the alcohol withdrawal symptoms go away, it is important for the individual to join a treatment or sobriety program such as Alcoholics Anonymous to help him or her maintain sobriety.

  • Even individuals who are determined to stay sober may suffer one or several "slips," or relapses, before achieving long-term sobriety. Relapses are very common and do not mean that a person has failed or cannot recover from alcoholism.

  • A clearer understanding of the biological underpinnings of alcoholism is opening the way to better drugs.

  • Interventional group meetings are one of the best approaches for motivating a patient to seek treatment. Interventional group meetings are meetings between people with alcoholism and their friends and family members who have been affected by the alcoholic behavior. Using this approach, each person affected offers a compassionate but direct and honest report describing specifically how he or she has been hurt by their loved one's or friend's alcoholism.

  • According to some research studies, for every dollar spent on recovery, the U.S. economy saves seven dollars in health care and cost to society.

  • A number of family-oriented interventions have been used to help prevent alcohol abuse. These interventions include the following: family preservation programs, family services, family therapy, family skills training programs, in-home family crisis services, and family education programs.

  • When experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms, ALWAYS see your doctor or your healthcare provider immediately so that he or she can assess the severity of your situation and suggest the best option for treatment.

  • Treatment for alcoholism has been shown to reduce criminal activity up to 80% among chronic offenders, has increased their rate of employment, decreases homelessness and reduces all health care costs.

  • If you want to avoid the long-term effects of alcohol abuse and alcoholism such as unnecessary alcohol-related health problems later in life, drink in moderation or not at all.

  • People who are experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms should not treat these symptoms at home. Instead, they need to seek medical assistance immediately so that their doctor, urgent care center personnel, healthcare provider, or emergency room personnel can assess the severity of their withdrawal symptoms and initiate the best option for treatment.

Good News About Alcohol Treatment and Alcohol Recovery

If you think you are addicted to alcohol, realizing that you have a problem is the first step in getting meaningful help. Let's face facts: most alcoholics would prefer to stop drinking, but this proves to be very difficult--indeed, almost impossible--without effective treatment.

The alcoholic patient and everyone involved needs to fully understand that alcoholism is a disease and that the responses to this disease (such as need, craving, denial, fear of withdrawal) are not character flaws but symptoms, just as pain or discomfort are symptoms of other illnesses.

Similar to people suffering from other life-threatening diseases such as cancer, everyone involved with the alcoholic also needs to realize that treatment, though difficult and painful, is the only realistic hope for alcoholism recovery.

Once a person quits drinking and after the alcohol withdrawal symptoms subside, the individual is on the road to alcohol recovery.

It is, however, important for the individual to join a treatment or sobriety program such as Alcoholics Anonymous to help him or her maintain sobriety and to stay on the path to alcohol recovery and sobriety.

Keep in mind, however, that the Alcoholics Anonymous recovery program may not be for everyone. As a result, other recovery approaches are available, including Jewish, Christian, and many professional secular programs.

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It is interesting to point out, however, that people who have gained benefits from Alcoholics Anonymous frequently find other programs that, in combination with Alcoholics Anonymous, work best for them. Some of these programs include individual and group counseling and/or medical care.

Until a better and more efficient approach is discovered, the safest, most healthy, and most productive path to alcohol recovery is sobriety.

The bottom line: with all of the destructive and devastating consequences associated with alcoholism and all of the hope, renewal, and healthy lifestyle changes that are possible with alcohol treatment and alcohol recovery, don't you owe it to yourself and to your loved ones to get professional treatment and give alcohol recovery and sobriety a chance?

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