What is an Alcoholic?
In recent studies, it was determined that currently over 18 million Americans have been diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder. This means that their drinking habits are having a negative impact on their life, and most likely cause them some distress. This could include family problems, difficulties in relationships, financial hardships, or struggles with work or school.
An alcohol abuse problem can range anywhere from mild to severe, depending on what type of signs and symptoms you are experiencing, how often you are drinking and for how long. Severe alcohol use disorder can be classified as alcohol dependence or alcoholism.
Signs You May be an Alcoholic
- Having a strong desire to drink
- Continuing to drink despite the negative effects it causes in your life
- Needing to drink more and more to feel the same effects
- Spending a lot of your time drinking or thinking about drinking
- Failed attempts to quit or cut back on your drinking
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when alcohol has worn off
- Ending up having more to drink or drank longer than intended
- Continuing to drink even when it causes you to have anxiety or depression
- Drinking is causing problems with family, work, or school obligations
The alcohol detox program at Inland Detox offers a different approach to treating alcohol addiction and includes treating the mental health aspects of the disease. Our approach includes group and individual therapy sessions to help to understand the underlying reasons to why you drink and what types of coping strategies can help to reduce the triggers.
Including a dual-diagnosis counseling opportunity in our alcohol detox program helps our clients be better prepared for their transition into residential treatment. It also helps to increase the chances of a long-term success of remaining clean and sober from alcohol.
Average Life Expectancy for Someone with Alcohol Abuse or Addiction
According to a study from The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, chronic drinkers are at-risk of developing illnesses that can cause death or fatal complications, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis. Alcohol use disorder can cause you to have a shorter life expectancy and longevity due to the increased risk of life-threatening illnesses and diseases. People who are abstainers from alcohol will have a lowered risk for it to cause mortality than those who are more moderate drinkers.
“People hospitalized with alcohol use disorder have an average life expectancy of age 47–53 years (men) and age 50–58 years (women) and die ages 24–28 years earlier than people in the general population. Alcohol use disorder is a major public health problem that causes many years of lost life, even in countries with restrictive alcohol consumption policies.” (Westman, J. et. al, 2015)
Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) for moderate to heavy drinkers has a higher rate of deaths and morbidity and if you suffer from alcoholism you have a higher risk of mortality out of all the people who are treated for a mental health disorder. Alcohol consumption has been linked to higher instances of disease, social problems, and accidents.
Medical Health Conditions from Alcohol Use
Some medical conditions and other disease that can be caused by increased alcohol use include:
- Cancer of the liver, head, neck, colon, breast, and esophagus
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- High blood pressure
- Damage to the heart
Getting treatment for your alcohol addiction can decrease the risk of mortality and morbidity. Inland Detox’s alcohol detox and treatment program helps you go through withdrawals from alcohol in a comfortable, supportive environment, allowing you to move into a full recovery.
Alcohol, Your Health, and Immune System
There has been a long-term discussion among clinicians around excessive alcohol consumption and the adverse effects it causes on your immune system. Specifically, there have been immune-related health effects such as a higher likelihood of pneumonia.
“In recent decades, this association has been expanded to a greater likelihood of acute respiratory stress syndromes (ARDS), sepsis, alcoholic liver disease (ALD), and certain cancers; a higher incidence of postoperative complications; and slower and less complete recovery from infection and physical trauma, including poor wound healing.” (Sarkar, D. et. al, 2015)
Alcohol use disrupts the immune pathways in a complicated, complex way that can reduce the body’s ability to fight off disease or other infections. The first point of contact for alcohol as it passes through the body is through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. A significant side effect that can occur is that the integrity and structure of the GI tract is compromised. For instance, alcohol can affect the number of microbes in the gut that disrupt normal gut functioning.
Alcohol Detox and Treatment at Inland Detox
Treatment and detox for alcohol addiction is a serious matter that needs to be addressed by a team of medical professionals to ensure a client’s comfort, privacy and most importantly, safety. At Inland Detox we take alcohol detox very seriously, ensuring every one of our clients has constant monitoring and support while they are going through the withdrawal period.
Alcohol withdrawals can cause severe and sometimes life-threatening symptoms including anxiety, restlessness, sweating, headaches, vomiting, chills, and insomnia. However, symptoms for alcoholics can go from mild to severe quickly. These signs and symptoms include, but are not limited to seizures, delirium tremens, hallucinations, increased heart rate, high blood-pressure, and severe depression.
The first step when you contact the staff at Inland Detox is to be evaluated by one of our clinicians to determine what type of treatment programs are needed and if we are going to be a right fit for you or your loved one. After admission is completed, we treat the symptoms that are associated with detox and withdrawal, ensuring you are safe and comfortable during the process. After the withdrawal phase is done, we work with our clients to help them consider if further treatment is necessary for the success of their recovery.
If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol addiction or abuse, please call, email, or reach out to someone right away at Inland Detox. We will provide you with a safe, loving, and comfortable environment for you to recover in.
Sarkar, D. et. al. (2015). Alcohol and the Immune System. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4590612/
Westman, J. et. al. (2015, April). Mortality and life expectancy of people with alcohol use disorder in Denmark, Finland and Sweden. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4402015/