According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), alcohol claims an average of 95,000 lives every year. In addition to these individuals who lost their lives, millions more lives are affected by alcoholism every day. The 2019 National Survey on Substance Use & Health reported that more than 14 million individuals over the age of 18 had a diagnosable Alcohol Use Disorder. Preventing, addressing, and treating alcohol-related health issues starts with education.
Alcohol Abuse Defined
In a society where drinking is not just legal, but commonplace, how do you differentiate normal drinking from problematic drinking? There are a number of ways to answer the question, “Am I an alcoholic?”, and that only adds to the confusion. For instance, the NIAAA and SAMHSA have similar, but different definitions of binge drinking. Let’s start by understanding a couple of definitions. The NIAAA specifies binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over a specified level whereas SAMHSA defines it as consuming a certain number of drinks within a single occasion. Although these definitions serve a purpose, perhaps a better approach for identifying problematic drinking is by taking a more wide lens view on the behaviors and relationships associated with alcohol. Consider the why, when, with who, and how.
Overcoming An Alcohol Use Disorder
There is an age-old adage that you may have heard – “admitting you have a problem is the first step”. However, this isn’t always true for recovery. In some cases, it can take days, weeks, or years to admit to yourself that you have an alcohol problem, let alone to someone else. This doesn’t mean that the recovery journey can’t begin. You could say that learning to admit that there is a problem is a part of recovery. It may be surprising to learn that many people go to rehab because of a court order or because they are encouraged by a loved one, despite being unable to admit that they are struggling with addiction. Research has shown that treatment can be effective whether or not it is voluntary.
At Ignite Recovery Center, we help individuals and families overcome the struggles of alcohol addiction through various treatment programs and an array of therapy options. Our recovery professionals are passionate about helping you develop the tools, skills, and outlook needed to make real changes for long term sobriety. Make the call to get started today!