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Michigan Alcohol Addiction
Alcoholism Treatment Michigan

Alcohol Addiction

Alcoholism is a serious medical problem that often requires specialized treatment. Michigan alcohol addiction is generally treated with a combination of detox and rehab, with pharmacotherapy programs used to promote abstinence and behavioral therapy programs initiated to treat the emotional and social precedents of addiction. Alcoholism can lead to significant physical and psychological problems if left untreated, with people advised to seek professional help as soon as they can. If you or anyone you know is struggling with Michigan alcohol addiction, it is important to seek professional help as soon as you can.

What is alcoholism?

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder, is defined by the compulsive and uncontrolled intake of alcoholic beverages despite negative consequences. Alcoholism is a broad term that can be used to describe a wide range of problematic behaviors, including alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. While these two terms are often distinguished from a treatment point of view, they were combined in 2013 under the singular term ‘alcohol use disorder’.

Signs of alcoholism include needing more alcohol to achieve the same effects, suffering withdrawal symptoms when drinking is stopped or reduced, spending a lot of time drinking or recovering from alcohol, and experiencing social or health problems because of alcohol consumption. Generally speaking, someone is said to have a drinking problem whenever drinking is causing problems in their life and they continue to drink anyway.

Alcohol abuse vs alcohol dependence

Alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence are often distinguished within the context of treatment in order to provide the best services possible. Alcohol abuse is typically defined by problematic and uncontrolled drinking behavior. In contrast, alcohol dependence is normally recognized by the existence of tolerance and withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use. People who are dependent on alcohol can suffer physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms, with the existence of a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome normally requiring medication treatment. Binge drinking is a specific form of alcohol abuse that involves periodic episodes of heavy drinking, with binge drinking and other forms of alcohol abuse possibly leading to dependence unless preventative measures are taken.  

Michigan Alcohol addiction statistics

Alcohol abuse and dependence is a problem throughout the United States, and Michigan is certainly no exception. According to figures from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 38 million American adults binge drink an average of four times a month, with binge drinking defined as five or more standard drinks for men and four or more drinks for women in a single two hour drinking session. The state of Michigan has a higher rate of binge drinking than the American average at 17 percent compared to 15 percent. According to the same report, 29.9 percent of 18-24 year old adults said they had engaged in binge drinking over the past month, with people who starting drinking heavily at a younger age more likely to develop alcohol problems in the later years of life.

Types of alcohol

Alcoholic beverages are available in a range of formulations, with the alcoholic content of different beverages varying greatly between drinks. Beer and cider typically have the lowest concentration of alcohol at between 3 and 6 percent, followed by wine at 12-14 percent and spirits at 35-40 percent.  While there are many exceptions to this rule, the vast majority of alcoholic beverages fall within these guidelines. People often get into trouble by mixing drinks without educating themselves on the alcoholic content of each beverage. This is an especially big problem for young drinkers and people engaging in binge drinking sessions.

Adverse physical effects of alcohol

Alcohol has been associated with a wide range of physical health problems, with excessive drinking known to affect the liver, heart, and brain among other organs. People who drink heavily have a greater risk of developing epilepsy, pancreatitis, peptic ulcers, malabsorption, cancer, and central nervous system damage among other conditions. Young people and women are at greater risk of developing physical health problems from drinking, with women who drink heavily facing an increased risk of developing breast cancer and damage to reproductive functioning.

Adverse psychological effects of alcohol

Alcohol addiction has also been associated with a range of psychological health problems, including depression disorder, various anxiety disorders, and impairments to executive functioning and social skills. Extensive cognitive problems are common with heavy drinkers, with the progressive neurotoxic effects of alcohol known to cause damage to the prefrontal cortex area of the brain. This has a number of negative implications for learning and social development, with heavy drinkers at an increased risk of developing perception problems, social problems, and theory of mind deficits.  

Medical detox

Alcohol is a physically addictive drug that often requires medication treatment. A medical detox period is often initiated at the outset of the treatment process, with medications prescribed to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and stabilize patients. The alcohol withdrawal syndrome can be dangerous and even fatal if left untreated, with severe symptoms possible including seizures, hallucinations, and delirium tremens. Benzodiazepine medications are widely prescribed in this context, including Valium, Librium and other sedative drugs. Long-term medication treatment may also be needed during rehab and aftercare, with a gradual dose reduction of sedative drugs often applied over a period of weeks or months.  

Rehabilitation and aftercare

Rehabilitation treatment typically follows detox, including residential and outpatient programs. Rehab is available throughout Michigan and across the United States, with medical and psychotherapeutic techniques set up to tackle all aspects of alcohol addiction. Psychotherapy programs are based on cognitive, behavioral, and motivational methods, with common treatment modalities including family therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and motivational interviewing. Aftercare programs are always advised following rehab, including dedicated relapse prevention programs, 12-step support groups, and SMART Recovery.

If you have questions about rehabilitation and recovery, pick up the phone today. A highly knowledgeable addiction specialist will be able to ease your concerns in regards to addiction rehab. Do not delay, your new life awaits.