Los Angeles, California –
Los Angeles, California – Alcoholism is often viewed as a clearly defined disease; many people think of themselves as moderate or addicted drinkers, with no gray area in between. But experts say many Americans actually occupy a risky middle ground between the two types of drinking. Muse Treatment warns that it’s surprisingly easy to move from the moderate group to full-fledged alcoholism.
More than any other drug, alcohol is very well accepted socially in the United States. For most Americans, drinking is part of evenings, weekends, celebrations and special events. But Muse warns that many people who think they drink in moderation will be surprised to learn that they actually fall into a potentially problematic gray area somewhere between moderation and alcoholism.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) has defined different levels of alcohol consumption to help people understand where they are on the spectrum of alcohol consumption.
According to the NIAA, moderate drinking is defined as 2 drinks or less per day for men and 1 drink or less per day for women.
Excessive alcohol consumption is defined as more than 4 drinks per day or more than 14 drinks per week for men and more than 3 drinks per day or 7 drinks per week for women.
Heavy drinking is any alcohol consumption that brings the blood alcohol level (BAC) to 0.08% or higher. For most men, that translates to 5 or more drinks at a time. For women, this usually means 4 or more drinks at a time.
Both binge drinking and binge drinking are considered forms of alcohol abuse. These drinking habits can significantly increase the risk of developing an alcohol use disorder (alcoholism).
Alcoholism is a colloquial term for the medical diagnosis of an alcohol use disorder, or Alcohol addiction. It is defined as a chronic disease characterized by the inability to control alcohol consumption due to physical and emotional dependence on alcohol. Physical dependence sets in when the chemical balance of the brain adjusts to the presence of alcohol. When this happens, a person experiences withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop drinking.
For anyone who suspects they or a loved one has an alcohol problem, there are signs that the problem may have progressed to the level of alcoholism. Symptoms of alcoholism include the desire to reduce one’s alcohol intake and failure, continuing to drink even after alcohol has caused negative consequences in a person’s life, spending a lot of time thinking or planning for the next drinking occasion, experiencing financial problems such as due to alcohol, engaging in high-risk behaviors such as drunk driving, difficulty with work or school, loss employment or strained relationships with loved ones and social circles due to alcohol.
For people who recognize that their drinking has turned into a problem and want to do something about it, there are many options for therapeutic support. Making the right choice will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of current alcohol use.
People who are in the early stages of problematic drinking and want to address it before it gets worse may want to seek help from an addiction therapist. Therapy can help clarify what impacted a person’s ability to stay sober and replace drinking with healthier ways to cope with stress.
Someone who has been drinking heavily for an extended period of time is likely to have developed some physical dependence on alcohol. In these cases, it may be necessary to undergo a medical detox program to safely manage the withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping alcohol use. Medical detox involves the support of clinical staff who monitor withdrawal symptoms and provide medication, therapeutic support, and holistic therapies as needed to relieve discomfort.
Detox addresses the physical aspect of alcohol addiction, while rehabilitation explores the underlying mental and emotional aspects of alcohol abuse. Alcohol detox programs are available on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Both options offer multiple forms of therapy designed to heal the root causes of addiction, promote healthy emotional regulation, and prevent relapse.
Anyone concerned about their or a loved one’s drinking habits can learn more by calling 800-426-1818 or visiting Muse treatment in line. Treatment specialists can help discern what the next appropriate step is.
For more information about Muse Treatment, contact the company here:
1251 Westwood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90024