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Alcohol Addiction: Rethinking Drinking

Nursealcohol_desgracia Rona and Lisa Frederiksen will address alcohol addiction as a chronic and treatable brain disease that requires medical intervention, not moral judgment.

Alcoholism is not a switch that can be turned off and on. It and other alcohol use disorders develop over time, and usually involve certain preexisting risk factors that make the individual more susceptible to developing it if they drink alcohol. The substance abuse treatment can help individuals identify whether their levels of alcohol consumption put them at risk of developing alcohol dependence and help such persons develop a plan to change their drinking habits. The NIAAA defines low-risk drinking as no more than 4 drinks on any single day or 14 drinks per week for men, and no more than 3 drinks on any single day or 7 drinks per week for women. About one-quarter of those who exceed such limits already has an alcohol use disorder, and the rest are at increased risk of developing such a condition which will be fixed easier at an Alcohol detox center.

According to the intensive outpatient program alcohol addiction is often a divisive topic, separating those who follow the “addiction as a disease” model, as opposed to those favouring the purely environment and behaviour belief-set. Most will understand it somewhat as a combination of the two. Early experiences can lead to modelling the addictive behaviors of parents or family members, and teenagers can be influenced heavily by social peers using alcohol to fit in. In this way, the behaviour of drinking becomes normalized, and easier to rationalise for those who turn to it when life stressors occur. Since alcohol acts to degenerate the body more slowly, and less obviously than other substances such as illegal street drugs. Alcohol can often carry a much more permissable reputation in our society simply due to its wide availability, and corporate sponsorship which is widely promoted commercially.

Public healthcare services tend to look negatively on those affected, as it’s seen almost as voluntary behaviour or self-harm, while the private insurance industry deals with most acute alcohol treatment in the US; Due that and the life threating consequences from alcohol abuse health and life insurance companies are requesting for higher monthly payments or cancelling policy contracts. On cases like that treatment costs may leave you only with unpaid debts, most of the affected people end up looking for a viatical settlement deal before private insurance companies decides to cut off the agreement.

Ironically, those affected most by alcoholism, that is not very advanced, are typically the family of the alcoholic. They will be on the receiving end of the negative fallout of the addiction, the consequences and impacts upon family life, work, relationships, and children, while the alcoholic her(him)self remains in denial. Nevertheless, help and hope are available and the view of alcoholism as a disease helps open to the doors to further future healthcare options and helps outsiders and third parties see that the alcoholic her(him)self carries no real negative intentions, they are simply helpless to the substance itself.

Viewing and treating alcoholism as a brain disease means understanding the impact of genetics, medicine, and mental health precursors to developing addiction. Whilst an alcoholic’s external behaviour may appear unforgivable, there are elements which can be explained or understood better when accounting for (e.g.) low neurotransmitter levels, a family history of depression, and poor healthcare support. There is a growing body of evidence linking alcoholism to deficiencies in certain neurotransmitter and amino acids in the brain and central nervous system, resulting in a skewed pre-disposition to developing the disease.

Indeed, many detox protocols in Abbeycare alcohol clinic now include, vitamin, mineral, and amino acid supplementation as a key component of the overall detox regimen administered. Combined with environmental factors like ready availability and low cost of the substance, those affected by these physical issues are at much greater risk and vulnerability to developing ongoing an ongoing addiction to alcohol. Join us as we discuss these issues and more. Call ins with experiences of alcohol use, abuse, or addiction.

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