Alcohol addiction, also called alcohol use disorder and often referred to as alcoholism, is a chronic and progressive disease that involves a loss of control related to the consumption of alcohol.
As defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), alcohol addiction inhibits a person’s ability to stop drinking alcohol despite any negative health, occupational, or relationship consequences they may experience.
The effects of alcohol addiction can be incredibly damaging, but treatment can help. Southstone Recovery Center offers outpatient treatment for women age 18 and older whose struggles with alcohol use disorder have had a significant impact on their daily lives.
Signs & Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction
The signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction can vary from person to person. Sometimes, they can be difficult to identify, as secrecy and deception are tactics someone might use if they have developed alcohol use disorder.
In general, however, common alcohol addiction symptoms and warning signs include:
- Powerful urges to drink alcohol
- Drinking in unsafe situations, including while driving
- Preoccupation with drinking or acquiring alcohol
- Failure to meet personal or professional responsibilities due to alcohol use
- Inability to drink in moderation
- Needing to drink more to get the same effect
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities
- Using alcohol to cope with sadness or experience joy
- Continuing to drink despite multiple attempts to stop
Anyone who exhibits these signs and symptoms should seek professional help immediately.
Alcohol Addiction Statistics
The following statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) illustrate how alcohol use affects women.
- Approximately 13% of adult women in the United States report binge drinking — consuming five drinks in a short amount of time — and on average do so four times a month.
- In 2019, 4% of women overall and 8% of women ages 18-25 had alcohol use disorder.
- Approximately 27,000 women die from alcohol-related deaths annually in the U.S.
- Biological differences in body structure and chemistry lead most women to absorb more alcohol and take longer to metabolize it than men. That puts them at higher risk for liver disease, cognitive decline, heart damage, and certain types of cancer.
Potential Effects of Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction can wreak havoc on a person’s physical and mental health, along with their overall quality of life. Some more specific potential effects of alcohol addiction for women include:
- Injuries or accidents while intoxicated
- Damaged relationships with friends and loved ones
- Separation or divorce, as well as loss of child custody
- Elevated risk for breast cancer and certain other types of cancers
- Legal problems, including being arrested
- Onset or worsening of mental health concerns
- Lowered self-esteem and self-confidence
- Liver disease, heart problems, and cognitive decline
- Job loss and continued unemployment
- Feelings of intense loneliness and isolation
- Suicidal ideation or death by suicide
The first step in getting help is to reach out to a qualified alcohol addiction treatment center. The experts at Southstone Recovery Center can help you find a path to recovery.
The Benefits of Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Alcohol addiction can leave you feeling alone and like there’s nowhere left to turn for help. But alcohol use disorder does not have to define you. With professional treatment, you can build your confidence, regain control, and find joy and peace without using alcohol.
Throughout your time in alcohol addiction treatment at Southstone Recovery Center, you will work with professionals who will help you understand your diagnosis and teach you the skills and strategies you need to stay sober. They’ll help you become aware of your triggers so that you can manage stress and prevent relapse.
You’ll also have the opportunity to hear from other women who are experiencing similar struggles. Our treatment place is a safe, supportive space to share your journey and talk about where you hope to be in the future. Alcohol addiction treatment gives you a chance to discover that you’re not alone and find shared support as you work toward achieving better health.
Therapies Used in Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Every woman who comes to Southstone Recovery Center for alcohol addiction treatment receives a personalized care plan that reflects the full scope of their needs. Though your plan will be unique to you, plans often include common elements such as:
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy
- Experiential therapies
- Medication management services
- Basic medical care
You’ll spend most of your time during treatment participating in group therapy, which may touch on a wide variety of topics. These include:
- Triggers, cravings, and avoiding relapse
- Planning for sobriety
- Relapse prevention basics
- Addiction and loss
- Effects of substance use on mental health
Alcohol addiction treatment at our facility may also incorporate cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), DBT-informed therapy, motivational interviewing, redecision therapy, recreational therapy, and 12-Step programming.
Choosing the Right Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center
When you make the decision to pursue alcohol addiction treatment, you are making a brave choice that can help you reclaim your life.
But finding the right treatment place can be overwhelming. Here are some questions to ask yourself when considering if a program is right for you:
- Does this treatment center offer thorough assessments and personalized alcohol addiction treatment?
- Is this level of care right for me, or do I need a higher level of support?
- Will I have the chance to work with a team of experienced professionals?
- Will I be able to participate in a wide variety of programming that can help me acquire the tools I need to make better choices?
- Will I receive a detailed discharge plan at the conclusion of treatment that can help me continue my recovery journey and stay sober for the long haul?
Alcohol use disorder is a devastating diagnosis. But by seeking outpatient alcohol addiction treatment at Southstone Recovery Center, you can build the foundation for lasting recovery.
This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at Southstone Recovery Center.