Because it is readily available in most supermarkets, convenience stores, and corner liquor stores, very few people think of alcohol as a drug. But it is a drug, and it is a drug that has ruined the lives of many people, according to several studies that have examined the financial, emotional, and the physical consequences of alcohol abuse, one of which comes from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The study found that nearly 14.5 million individuals ages 12 and older had an alcohol use disorder in 2019. The study also revealed that in 2019 an estimated 26% of individuals ages 18 admitted to routinely engaging in binge drinking.
How Alcohol Can Affect Individuals and Communities
If you think that alcoholism only affects the lives of those doing the drinking, you are sorely mistaken. It affects not only them but also their families and people they don’t even know. According to an article published by Forbes, in 2018, 29% of all traffic accidents in the U.S. were alcohol-related. But it does not end there, sadly. In a study published by ScienceDirect, a multi-disciplinary, peer-reviewed journal covering research related to science, technology, medicine, and social sciences, researchers found that alcohol poisoning accounted for over 60,000 hospital emergency room visits in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Rounding out how alcohol affects the lives of others not doing the drinking, a study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that 30 to 40% of men who physically or verbally abuse their significant others are under the influence of alcohol when the event takes place. Among women, it is around 27 to 34%. Fortunately, many of these same individuals who abuse alcohol recognize that they are hurting themselves and others. And this recognition is motivating many of them to turn to rehab facilities across the country for help.
The Truth About Overcoming Alcoholism and Avoiding Relapse
If you’re reading this and you’re among the thousands of people in the U.S. who want nothing more than to quit drinking for good, there are some things you should know about trekking the path to sobriety. The journey will be difficult as it involves going through detox, which opens the door to a barrage of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. And some of them will begin to present themselves within just 8 hours of taking your final drink and can last for days. Some of the withdrawal symptoms associated with going through an alcohol detox include the following:
• Anxiety and Depression
• Chronic fatigue
• Mood swings
• An inability to focus
• Profuse sweating and clammy skin
• Dilated pupils
• Loss of appetite
• Nausea and vomiting
• Tremors and general shakiness
Of course, this list does not encompass all of the withdrawal symptoms typical of going through alcohol detox; however, those mentioned are the ones people often encounter when they abruptly stop drinking alcohol. In addition to severe withdrawal symptoms, relapse is always possible while individuals go through alcohol detox.
What Percentage of People Who Seek Treatment for an Alcohol Problem Relapse?
Most people don’t go to rehab expecting to fail, but such failures do happen from time to time. And when they happen, they are called a relapse. According to a study published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), some 40 to 60% of individuals fall victim to relapse while going through a rehab program to overcome a substance abuse problem. When it comes to alcohol, specifically, the percentage is even higher, with 68.4 percent of individuals relapsing. Most of those who do relapse cite intense cravings, temptation, or severe withdrawal symptoms caused by going through detox as the reason for them doing so.
In summary, alcohol has a high relapse rate even among those individuals who are deeply committed to getting their lives back on track. Thankfully, most rehab facilities have protocols in place that keep relapses to a minimum and improve an individual’s chance of achieving long-term sobriety. To learn about these protocols or for help finding a rehab facility near you, consider speaking with one of our associates today. Call 855-334-6120