Alcohol Use Disorders and Rehab
- How do I know if I have an Alcohol Use Disorder?
- Leading Factors that can cause Alcohol Use Disorder
- Alcohol Use Disorder’s impact on the Mind and Body
- What makes our Alcohol Use Disorder Program different?
- What are some common Misconceptions about Alcohol and Alcohol Use Disorders?
- How we help those struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder at Hotel California by the Sea
- Get Help
- Request a Call
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a chronic disease caused by uncontrolled and excessive consumption of alcohol despite the often negative consequences. With AUD, individuals can become so dependent on the substance, they are unable to emotionally and physically function without it. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, an estimated 15 million people in the United States experienced some form of AUD. Alcohol abuse rehab centers focus on helping patients cultivate healthy habits and coping mechanisms through individual and group therapy sessions. This in turn, encourages individuals to build a solid foundation for their recovery that includes a supportive environment and network for life after treatment.
At Hotel California by The Sea, we offer inpatient and outpatient alcohol rehab programs in the Orange County, California area for those who are suffering from mild to severe AUD. Our alcohol rehab centers provide a secure and structured environment for patients to recover and work towards a fulfilling life free of their addiction. Evidence informed treatments such as medical detox and individual therapies are used to combat drug and alcohol disorders.
How do I know if I have an Alcohol Use Disorder?
Individuals who suffer from alcohol use disorder and alcohol addiction express many physical and psychological signs and symptoms of the disease. Excessive use of alcohol can lead to permanent and damaging effects on the body. Some signs and symptoms can manifest as soon as 2 hours after alcohol has been consumed. While other symptoms can occur and evolve over time as a result of long-term alcohol abuse. The physical symptoms of alcohol abuse include a delay in reaction, trouble with basic motor skills and coordination, slurred speech and episodes of blackouts. When assessing the psychological symptoms of alcohol abuse, individuals will begin to experience memory impairment and lapses as well as impaired judgment and risky behaviors. These cognitive problems can also lead to co-occurring mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Leading Factors that can cause Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcohol abuse can affect anyone and can be caused by a multitude of factors. Those who suffer from alcohol use disorder can potentially be predisposed to alcoholism through genetics and early childhood influence. In other cases, individuals have been surrounded by an environment that normalizes alcohol binge drinking or have fallen into the social and peer pressures to excessively drink.
Contrary to popular belief genetics and biological make up can play a significant role in a person’s development of alcoholism and alcohol abuse. It is extremely complex and can be caused by multiple genes interacting with each other. Studies have shown there are at least 50 different genes that have an impact on alcoholism. Alcohol abuse can also be hereditary. Characteristics associated with alcoholism can be passed down from parent to child. Some individuals have a genetic predisposition such as a certain trait or behavior that can contribute to the development of alcohol addiction.
Psychological and Personality Factors
Oftentimes psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder can become triggers for excessive alcohol consumption. Individuals who suffer from these types of co-occurring mental health disorders are more likely to turn to alcohol as a way to cope with their illness. Sometimes their disorders impair their ability to understand the reality of their drinking habits and other risky behaviors associated with excessive alcohol consumption.
An individual’s personality also plays a factor in the development of alcoholism. A person who enjoys being “the life of the party” or the “center of attention” might feel more likely to engage in heavy social drinking to be more likable by their peers. Ultimately, individuals who perceive that alcohol has a more positive impact or have experienced positive feedback from drinking alcohol are much more likely to develop an addiction to the substance.
Family, Social and Cultural Factors
Family, friends, society and cultural norms play a significant role in the development of alcohol abuse. When alcohol consumption is normalized and glamorized by family members, individuals will often see this as a socially acceptable behavior and believe it is expected to drink alcohol at this level. Children who have parents who drink also learn and develop this behavior as adults thinking it is normal.
Some use drinking as a form of social acceptance and others find the social and cultural pressures is what leads them to excessively drink. One example of this is in college where drinking excessive amounts of alcohol is glorified and encouraged. Especially binge drinking. This can often be the case when young people want to gain acceptance into certain social groups.
In some cultures, drinking can be considered very shameful. This then causes the individual to hide their drinking problem to avoid the stigma associated with it. With this negative connotation behind drinking, this can also lead to the development of co-occurring mental disorders for individuals who feel ashamed and too embarrassed to seek help.
A person’s surroundings and environment can play a huge role in the development of alcohol use disorder and alcohol abuse. In some places, it is much more difficult and sometimes expensive to acquire alcohol and therefore it is less accessible and less likely a person will develop an alcohol addiction. Families and people who are well off financially have more means of obtaining alcohol and are more likely to develop a heavy consumption use. For individuals who are surrounded by alcohol consumption, it becomes a learned habit from their family and surrounding community. This leads to a higher rate of developing alcohol abuse.
Alcohol Use Disorder’s impact on the Mind and Body
Heavy consumption of alcohol can cause both psychological and physical impacts on an individual suffering from alcohol use disorder. Because alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, it slows down both your mind and body. Your physical and cognitive reaction times are slower, your inhibitions are lowered and your memory becomes impaired when you drink. Alcohol can exacerbate any co-occurring mental health issues or even contribute to the development of mental health disorders.
Over a long period of time, drinking can jeopardize your physical health leading to high risk of damage to the liver, pancreas, esophagus, brain and even your heart. Cancer, immune disorders and other serious health conditions can be amplified or even caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
Alcohol abuse and alcohol use disorder can have a major impact on one’s psychological behavior. Because excessive drinking can alter normal brain functions, individuals begin to show behavioral signs that are concerning and have negative personal consequences.
Those who suffer from AUD experience impaired judgment and may engage in risky behavior. These can include motor vehicle accidents, dangerous situations where the individual can potentially harm themselves, or even unprotected sex, sexual abuse and date rape. There is also an increased likelihood for engaging in violence either against others, or upon oneself.
When it comes to friends, families and partners, those relationships begin to suffer on account of the out of character behaviors from the individual suffering from AUD. This can lead to frightening situations and even a loss of trust from our loved ones. In other aspects of daily life such as professional career and school, individuals suffering from alcohol addiction can jeopardize this due to their impaired cognitive performance.
Excessive consumption of alcohol not only affects cognitive behaviors, but it can have a significant impact on a person’s physical being. Overtime alcohol begins to take a toll on different aspects of body functions and can lead to serious damage.
Liver disease is a common side effect of heavy drinking. Because the liver is working overtime to try and get rid of the alcohol from the body, it becomes more difficult to perform its necessary duties for the body. Alcohol abuse increases fat in the liver, increases inflammation of the liver and can also lead to scarring of the liver tissue.
Excessive drinking can also lead to complications with the heart and digestive system. Increased risk of heart failure, high blood pressure and stroke are common symptoms of alcohol abuse. It is especially harmful to the stomach because heavy drinking can lead to the deterioration of the stomach lining, causing gastritis and a heavy build up of acid, leading to painful stomach and esophageal ulcers.
Long term excessive alcohol drinking puts the individual suffering from AUD at higher risk for developing cancer such as throat, liver and breast cancer. Individuals also become at high risk for neurological complications and bone damage. Ultimately, long term alcohol consumption leads to a weakened immune system making a person much more susceptible to other diseases and illnesses because it makes it harder for the body to fight off any infections.
What makes our Alcohol Use Disorder Program different?
Treatment for alcohol use disorder is not a “one size fits all” approach. Individuals who struggle with AUD seek treatment for their own unique circumstances and needs. At Hotel California by The Sea, our alcohol rehab centers offer a combination of evidenced informed treatment methods such as alcohol detox and behavioral health therapies. Effective therapies used in the treatment for alcohol abuse include CBT, DBT, EMDR and group therapy.
Finding the right kind of therapy for the individual seeking treatment for AUD is important for its success. At Hotel California by the Sea, customizing a patient’s treatment plan to best meet and adapt to their needs is of the greatest importance.
In alcohol abuse rehab, medical professionals assess individuals throughout the treatment process and often consider medically approved medications for AUD treatment. This is especially beneficial for our patients who suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms whether it be physically or psychologically.
Our alcohol rehab center offers treatment on multiple levels of coordinated care for those who are struggling with alcohol or substance use disorder. Inpatient services such as our drug and alcohol detox and residential programs provide patients with 24/7 continuous care from licensed medical professionals. This ensures the safety and comfort of our clients throughout their drug and alcohol detox process. Once this step in rehab has been completed, many patients will continue their treatment in our outpatient programs such as PHP and IOP. In our outpatient facility, we offer a full continuum of care including, medication assisted treatments, group and individual therapies, and aftercare services such as assistance with transitional housing and career and educational opportunities.
What are some common Misconceptions about Alcohol and Alcohol Use Disorders?
There are many misconceptions about alcohol and alcohol addiction. One of the biggest “myths” about alcohol many people believe is that alcohol is not considered a drug. On the contrary. Alcohol is a drug and is one of the most commonly used and abused drugs in the United States. Alcohol is also just as addictive as any other substance. With its ease of access and the social and cultural connotation associated with alcohol and drinking, alcohol can easily become an addictive substance leading to abuse and addiction.
Misconception: Alcohol isn’t a Drug
One of the biggest misconceptions about alcohol is it isn’t a drug. In fact, alcohol is the most commonly abused drug. According to the Food and Drug Administration, a drug is defined as any substance other than food, which is intended to affect the structure and or function of the body. Consuming alcohol affects both cognitive function of the brain as well as physical functions and motor skills of the body. The main ingredient in alcohol is ethanol. Ethanol is a central nervous system depressant. This will slow down the body’s system resulting in slurred speech and impaired cognitive decision-making, physical imbalance and sometimes a slowed heart rate.
Misconception: It’s harder to become addicted to Alcohol compared to other Drugs
Believe it or not, alcohol is one of the most addictive drugs. Alcohol produces a euphoric feeling that can disrupt regular communication between neurotransmitters in the brain. The “feel good” sensation many people experience from alcohol is a major factor in how and why individuals become so addicted and reliant on the drug. Alcohol is a drug that is legal and readily accessible. This in turn makes it easy and more prevalent, especially among teens and young adults. Underage drinking often leads to excessive drinking. For young people underage drinking, social peer pressure and added co-occurring mental health disorders equals a recipe for alcohol addiction and abuse.
How we help those struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder at Hotel California by the Sea
Our alcohol use disorder treatment program in beautiful Orange County, California helps individuals recover from alcohol addiction through medically managed alcohol detox, rigorous cognitive and group therapies, and assistance with various professional services. Alcohol detox is normally the first step towards living a life free of alcohol addiction. With severe cases of addiction, some patients can experience alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) and may be in need of more intense detox treatments such as medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
At Hotel California by The Sea, our inpatient alcohol detox facilities are equipped to assist patients with alcohol withdrawal management. In severe cases of alcohol addiction in which a heavy drinker suddenly stops or reduces alcohol intake, they experience alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Our alcohol detox and alcohol rehab treatment program follows the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) protocols for alcohol withdrawal management. The corresponding symptoms can have serious health implications where the patient will need to be medically monitored and assessed for their health and safety. Some of the common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
- Anxiety and depression
- Confusion, mood swings and insomnia
- Fever and shaking
- Delirium tremens (severe and extreme cases)
Throughout the duration of the patient’s stay at our alcohol rehab center, individual behavior therapy sessions and group counseling is available to provide emotional support through an often stressful period in recovery. Some of the most successful therapeutic interventions recommended by our licensed therapists and psychologists include, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy, and group therapy.
Hotel California by the Sea is located in the heart of Southern California, known for one of the best places to recover. With local access to various alcohol addiction recovery support groups, our facilities are located between Los Angeles and San Diego, each offering a multitude of cultural attractions. Orange County, California offers plenty of beautiful beaches and hundreds of nature trails for hiking and biking. Clients will have endless opportunities to enjoy the sunny outdoors while they recover.
Addiction treatment for alcohol use disorder is available and accessible. If you or a loved one feels overwhelmed by the task of finding the right treatment program option, any one of our admissions specialists are ready to help you in every step of the way. Our alcohol rehab center offers alcohol detox and a variety of other therapeutic treatments needed to help each individual suffering from alcohol abuse. Recovering from a substance use disorder such as alcoholism isn’t easy, but achieving and maintaining recovery is possible.
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