Alcohol Abuse & Addiction in Orlando
Alcohol abuse and addiction are serious problems for tens of millions of people in the United States. Alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction are two separate concepts, however. Alcohol abuse refers to any situation where someone is drinking excessively. Alcohol addiction, also called alcoholism or alcohol use disorder, is a situation where someone compulsively drinks and is unable to stop on their own. Alcohol dependence can develop with abuse and addiction as well. With alcohol dependence, someone will go through withdrawal symptoms if they try to stop drinking. Alcohol withdrawal can be severe or deadly.
What Makes Alcohol So Addictive?
When someone regularly drinks alcohol and if they abuse it, it can change the chemistry of their brain. When someone first drinks alcohol, it can create pleasurable feelings or a sense of relaxation. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, so it slows many of the body’s main functions down.
Alcohol affects specific neurotransmitters in the brain, like GABA. Over time, with repeated exposures, these changes don’t just occur when someone is drinking. They can become ongoing changes. Eventually, the longer someone drinks, the less pleasurable feelings they get from alcohol. However, they will continue to drink because their body and brain are dependent on it.
There are certain risk factors that can raise the likelihood someone will become addicted to alcohol. These risk factors include having more than 15 drinks a week as a male, or more than 12 drinks a week as a female. Having a parent with an alcohol use disorder or having a mental health problem like anxiety or depression can also raise the risk of becoming addicted to alcohol.
Signs of Alcohol Abuse
There are signs of alcohol abuse that can start to become apparent. Even if someone is abusing alcohol, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are addicted. Signs of alcohol abuse can include:
- Drinking alone
- Being secretive about drinking
- Being unable to limit drinking, even when you intend to
- Having a high tolerance for alcohol and needing more of it to feel the same effects
- Missing commitments because of drinking or the effects of drinking (like having a hangover)
- Making excuses for drinking
- Continuing to drink even when there are negative consequences that develop
As someone’s alcohol abuse becomes more problematic, physical symptoms may start to occur. These can include intense alcohol cravings and withdrawal symptoms when they’re not drinking. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include shaking, nausea and vomiting. Other physical signs of an alcohol problem include tremors the morning after drinking and blacking out during drinking.
Sometimes people question if they are misusing alcohol. There are certain questions you can ask yourself. For example, do you feel guilty about your drinking? Do you feel that you need to drink more to get the effects you desire from alcohol? Other questions to consider include whether it would be better to cut back on your drinking and whether you experience changes in mood or behavior when you’re drinking.
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Alcohol Abuse and Addiction in Orlando
For people who are struggling with alcohol abuse and addiction in Orlando, it’s important to proactively seek treatment. Treatment options usually begin with a professional medical detox. During a medical detox, a patient is monitored to ensure they are safe and comfortable. This is especially important with alcohol addiction because of the life-threatening effects detoxing from alcohol can cause. Once someone completes a full alcohol detox, they can begin receiving treatment. Alcohol abuse and addiction treatment options in Orlando include inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab.
During inpatient rehab, participants sleep in the treatment facility, and they receive around-the-clock monitoring. This controlled environment can be helpful in the early days of treatment as someone is stabilizing. It can reduce chaos and create a sense of stability. Another treatment option for alcohol abuse and addiction is outpatient rehab. Sometimes people receive treatment along with a continuum of care. They might begin with a medical detox, then go to inpatient rehab. Following inpatient rehab, they might begin outpatient treatment. Other people may begin the treatment journey with outpatient rehab. Beginning with outpatient rehab may be suitable for someone with shorter-term or less severe alcohol addiction.
Alcohol Abuse Facts and Statistics in Florida
While we often hear about the abuse of certain substances commonly, like opioids, alcohol abuse statistics aren’t talked about as frequently. This could be because alcohol is legal for people over a certain age or maybe because there’s not as much of a stigma surrounding alcohol use as with other substances. However, there are concerning alcohol abuse facts and statistics in Florida, as is the case throughout much of the country.
A report from the Florida Department of Children and Families found there were more than 24,000 people who sought alcohol abuse treatment from 2014 to 2015. Of those, more than 41 percent were people aged 35 and above. There were more than 2,180 of those that came from central Florida. From 2003 to 2012, there were more than 8,470 people involved in drunk driving crashes in Florida.
The Florida rate of deaths per 100,000 people because of drunk driving crashes was higher than the national average. The death rates for drunk driving accidents in Florida was particularly high among people aged 21 to 34. One survey also found that the percentage of adults who reported driving after drinking too much in the 30 days prior to the survey was higher than the national average. According to the CDC, there were more than 6,680 deaths attributed to excessive alcohol use in Florida from 2006 to 2010.
Occasional alcohol use can eventually turn to abuse, and that abuse can lead to addiction. If you feel that you or your loved one could have a problem with alcohol abuse or alcoholism, contact an alcohol abuse and treatment center in Orlando. At Orlando Recovery Center a team of professionals can provide a number of treatment programs for substance use and co-occurring disorders. Call and speak with a representative to learn more about which treatment program could work for you.