In the United States, alcohol is almost an omnipresent force in our culture. It is used to celebrate at parties, regularly paired with most meals and even present in religious ceremonies. Although people drink for different reasons, the widespread use of alcohol makes problematic drinking hard to identify and puts some individuals at risk of becoming dependent.
The effects of alcohol addiction and abuse are devastating, jeopardizing the health and wellness of not just the individual struggling with alcoholism but those around them as well. Despite this, alcohol use continues to be a problem. It remains the third leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., with more than 88,000 people dying per year from alcohol-related causes, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.
At True Recovery in Orange County, we recognize the far-reaching effects of alcohol abuse and know how crucial immediate intervention is for those struggling with alcoholism. Our goal is to provide the information and care you or your loved one needs to heal from addiction with various therapeutic treatments that address the physical, mental and emotional effects of long-term alcohol use.
Alcoholism is a complex disease, but with support and guidance from our professional addiction specialists, you can achieve sobriety and rediscover a happy, healthy life free from alcohol dependency.
What Is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a chronic disease that causes people to engage in uncontrolled drinking practices. Since alcohol is one of the most common and widely used substances globally, alcoholism is also one of the most common addictions.
Many people are able to drink alcohol socially, but the powerful and addictive substance often turns social drinkers into people who struggle with alcoholism. In fact, more than 140 million people in the U.S. consume alcohol. While drinking habits vary from daily to occasional social use, problematic drinking is often defined by heavy and binge drinking, especially when it begins to have adverse effects on your life or health.
Consuming five or more drinks in a single session is considered binge drinking, and doing this five or more times a month constitutes heavy drinking. If your drinking reflects these behaviors, it may be a sign that you have a problem with alcohol.
What Are the Signs of Alcoholism?
Because alcohol is a socially acceptable drug that is legal for adults over 21, it is frequently offered at parties and social gatherings with few consequences. Since it is part of the fabric of so many different cultures, it can be more challenging to spot alcohol abuse than other types of addictions like narcotics. A casual or social drinker might look very similar to someone who is experiencing an addiction.
But some signs can help you spot if you or your loved ones are struggling with alcoholism:
- Drinking alone or at odd hours
- Drinking more than intended
- Inability to have a good time without drinking
- Isolation from friends or family to spend more time drinking
- Unable to manage everyday activities due to drinking
- Neglecting personal and familial responsibilities
- Legal troubles such as DUIs or other alcohol-related crimes
- Health problems due to alcohol use (pancreatitis, liver damage, etc.)
- Frequent intoxication at inappropriate times
- Unable to control the consumption of alcohol
- Hiding your drinking from others
- Drinking to avoid or cope with problems
- Intense cravings for alcohol
- Withdrawal symptoms when not drinking
Excessive and chronic alcohol use is hard on the body, so deteriorating health, mental capacities or physical appearance are also cause for concern. The combination of short and long-term effects can lead to irreversible damage, but as alcohol use continues, it becomes harder to function without it.
What Are the Harmful Effects of Alcoholism?
Here is a list of many other common long- and short-term side effects alcoholism can cause:
- Liver disease
- Compulsive behavior
- Self-destructive behavior
- Lack of restraint
- Slurred speech
- Loss of motor skills
- Nausea and vomiting
When a person has a problem with alcohol abuse, they may drink it so frequently that it also affects the brain’s function by suppressing certain neurotransmitters.
One of these neurotransmitters normally causes one to feel calm and relaxed. As a result of its suppression, a person may develop a tolerance for alcohol that requires them to drink more heavily to achieve the sense of relaxation they would typically feel when drinking.
Another neurotransmitter’s effects, one that is responsible for one’s sense of excitability, are also suppressed by chronic and heavy drinking. At this point, professional help is often needed to decrease alcohol use safely and successfully complete the detox process.
Because of the severity of alcoholism symptoms, people must detox from alcohol. Without a detox, alcohol withdrawal can be extremely dangerous or even fatal. Successful withdrawal treatment starts with finding a safe and fully licensed treatment center, such as True Recovery’s detox program.
What Is Alcohol Detox?
Detoxification, or detox, is the process of overcoming your body and mind’s reliance on a substance — in this case, that substance is alcohol. During this process, the body’s production of chemicals and its tolerance for alcohol are reset. While the physical aspect of detox will subside within a matter of weeks, the mental part of addiction is something many people who had alcoholism will continue to struggle with for many years.
What Are the Dangers of Alcohol Detox?
As a result of alcoholism, a neurotransmitter known as glutamate is produced at higher levels than someone who does have alcoholism. When a person with an alcohol addiction stops drinking (i.e., goes through detox), these neurotransmitters are no longer suppressed, resulting in a rebound effect and alcohol withdrawal syndrome.
The withdrawal symptoms are generally the opposite of the relaxed sensation associated with alcohol consumption. They may include agitation, anxiety, irritability, seizures, headache, rapid heart rate and tremors.
Delirium tremens, commonly referred to as the DTs, consists of severe withdrawal symptoms that can occur after as many as 10 days following one’s last drink. They may include hallucinations, delirium and other changes in mental function, high blood pressure and seizures.
What Is a Detox Facility?
Alcohol detox centers are facilities that are designed to help individuals get through withdrawal in an environment that is free of alcohol and temptation. There are two types of detox: inpatient and outpatient. With outpatient detox, alcohol withdrawal is treated without the person being admitted into the treatment facility.
This allows clients to come in for their treatment and return home after several hours of observation, but it is only safe when the withdrawal symptoms are mild. For inpatient detox, the client is admitted into the facility for round-the-clock care and supervision. This type of detoxification is considered the preferred method, mainly when withdrawal symptoms are severe.
Treatment typically involves the administration of medications that are meant to alleviate some of the withdrawal symptoms. These medications are given by licensed medical professionals.
At True Recovery, we can help facilitate your treatment in our alcohol detox program and get you on the path to sobriety. Our highly experienced and professional staff will ensure that your detox from alcohol is as pain-free as possible.
What Makes Alcohol Detox at True Recovery Different?
Staying alcohol-free is an ongoing effort, but despite the challenges, overcoming alcoholism can vastly improve or even save one’s life and help salvage both personal and professional relationships.
For this reason, it is essential that recovery starts positively and effectively. To accomplish that, one must choose the right facility and location to undergo alcohol rehab. So, what sets True Recovery apart?
Orange County, California Location
California is known for being one of the most beautiful and relaxing states in the country, and Orange County is considered one of the pinnacles of that beauty. With its sunny skies, warm summers and mild winters, it makes for an ideal environment to receive treatment, remove yourself from thoughts of alcohol and focus on your recovery.
Regardless of whether you live in the northern, southern, or central part of the state, you can seek and obtain the treatment you need at True Recovery in Newport Beach.
But many individuals from other states also enroll in our California alcohol rehab program. Both our treatment facility and sober living environment are safe, comfortable locations where you’ll enjoy the beauty of your surroundings as you work toward your goals.
With us, you’ll benefit from individualized and effective treatment during your time in alcohol rehabilitation. We offer individual support and small group therapy sessions, and our clients are even welcome to bring their pets with them to treatment. Our focus is doing what is best for you and avoiding any cookie-cutter approach to your journey.
At True Recovery, we prepare our clients for long-lasting recovery by providing them with the tools needed to live the alcohol-free life that they want and deserve. We strive to give our clients the highest quality of treatment.
Our staff of highly trained, experienced, and compassionate counselors, doctors, and therapists will help personalize a plan that’s right for you. Counselors and therapists will also help you to develop goals and explore interests that can form the foundation for your alcohol-free life and help you avoid relapses.
What Happens After Treatment?
After a client has completed their detoxification, we ensure a seamless transition into our extended-care rehabilitation programs. We are staffed by highly trained individuals and provide numerous therapies to help our clients.
Our intensive outpatient treatment program (IOP) offers customized treatment that includes addiction counseling to help clients set goals, identify their passions, and build skills that will help them succeed in recovery and beyond.
Alcoholism and Depression
Numerous mental health issues are frequently associated with alcoholism or alcohol use disorder. One of the most common problems is depression.
Depression is a serious and common mood disorder in which a person feels extreme apathy or overwhelming feelings of sadness. These feelings are often intense enough to begin to impact a person’s daily life, and they last more than two weeks at a time.
Alcohol and depression can often go hand in hand. People who are suffering from alcoholism and depression at the same time are in a dangerous situation for themselves and those who care for them.
When dealing with someone who is showing signs of alcoholism and depression, you must understand the relationship between the two, the severity of that relationship, and the type of treatment that is needed.
Which Comes First: Depression or Alcoholism?
A dual-diagnosis involving alcohol and depression is quite common, especially in individuals with a family history of depression or alcoholism. It is a natural assumption that alcohol triggers depression in the people who use it, but that is not always the case.
Often, people with depression drink alcohol as a way to help relieve symptoms of their condition, as alcohol has a sedative effect that may, for a short while, make them feel better or more relaxed. The constant need to feel better can drive them to use alcohol more frequently.
For others, alcoholism can affect the brain and cause changes that increase their risk of major depression.
Why Is the Combination of Alcohol and Depression Dangerous?
One of the many problems with depression and alcoholism is that, ultimately, alcohol is a depressant. As such, even moderate amounts can alter one’s mood so that it is dangerously low, and it can also interfere with their ability to sleep properly, which can make symptoms of depression more intense.
This may lead to neglectful or impulsive behavior and impaired judgment. A serious concern that comes with depression and alcohol abuse is a potential increase in suicidal thoughts and actions.
Depression may also make it more difficult for alcoholics to stop drinking, as it can cause withdrawal symptoms more severe when one attempts to quit.
Alcohol also may interact negatively with antidepressants and other medications that are taken for the treatment of depression. This can cause problems that may include drowsiness, elevated blood pressure and stroke.
Because of the dangers of drinking and depression, one must seek treatment for both conditions as quickly as possible. Professional care in a dual-diagnosis rehab such as True Recovery’s can play an important role in providing the skilled and compassionate care needed for a successful recovery.
Alcoholism Treatment at True Recovery in Orange County
Rehab is designed to help people learn how to cope without turning to alcohol, but at True Recovery, we go above and beyond the standard, cookie-cutter treatments that other facilities offer to help you achieve lasting sobriety.
In fact, we’re one of the most successful alcohol treatment centers in Orange County because of our unconventional thinking and therapies. If you or a loved one is ready to take the first crucial step to a life free of addiction, please fill out our online contact form or call our admissions staff 24/7 at (866) 399-6528.