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Alcohol Addiction in Idaho


Alcoholism affects all elements of American society, both through the individual health of alcoholics and the social costs associated with alcoholism. Also known as alcohol use disorder, this medical classification now includes the previous psychiatric classifications of alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. Alcoholism can be used to describe a wide range of problematic drinking behaviors, from binge drinking through to physical alcohol addiction. Alcohol addiction in Idaho is a huge problem that requires careful evaluation and treatment, from the early days of detoxification through to the later stages of aftercare support. If you know anyone who is living with alcohol addiction in Idaho, it’s important to contact a professional addiction treatment center as soon as you can.


What is alcohol use disorder?

Also known as alcoholism or alcohol dependence syndrome, alcohol use disorder is a broad term that can be applied to any problematic drinking behavior. Alcoholism has been linked to a wide range of physical and psychological health problems, with problem drinkers also likely to experience significant social problems as a result of their drinking. While alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence were combined in 2013 as alcohol use disorder, differentiating between these conditions can be useful from a treatment perspective. For example, someone who abuses alcohol will not necessarily experience physical-somatic withdrawal symptoms when they stop consumption, meaning that medication treatment may not be needed. In contrast, people who are dependent on alcohol may feel like they are unable to live without drinking, with these people likely to experience severe withdrawal symptoms when alcohol is discontinued.


Signs and symptoms of alcoholism

People react to alcohol consumption in very different ways, with some people more likely to become addicted than others. For example, people who start drinking at an early age are more likely to develop dependence issues than those who started to drink later in life. If you’re worried about the drinking habits of a friend or family member, there are some general signs that you can look out for. Common signs of alcoholism include tolerance, withdrawal symptoms when alcohol is discontinued, alcohol cravings, spending a lot of time involved with alcohol, giving up recreational activities in order to drink, drinking in high risk situations, experiencing health and social problems because of alcohol, and being unable to carry out regular work and study commitments because of alcohol. Because denial is such as common feature of substance abuse, an addiction intervention may be needed before someone admits the existence or extent of their alcohol problem.


Alcohol addiction and treatment statistics from Idaho

Alcohol abuse and dependence are problems across the United States, and Idaho is certainly no exception. According to a recent epidemiological report by the state, over 7 percent of Idahon residents lived with alcohol abuse or dependence in the past year. This is a significant percentage of the overall population, with treatment often needed before things get out of hand.


According to geographical data, in the state of Idaho it is estimated that there will be around 6,773 DUI’s, and 80 deaths due to drunk driving this year. Statistics also show that there will be 410 deaths related to alcohol abuse, 2,104 tobacco related deaths, and 82 deaths due to the use of illegal drugs. A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 30,000 Americans died from alcohol-related causes last year alone. The problem absolutely translates to Idaho.


Adverse effects of alcohol

Alcohol has the potential to affect every organ in the body, including the heart, liver, and brain. Common adverse physical effects of alcoholism include heart disease, liver disease, brain damage, epilepsy, polyneuropathy, peptic ulcers, alcoholic dementia, nutritional deficiencies, and sexual dysfunction. Adverse psychiatric effects are also likely, including depression disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and cognitive deficits due to brain damage. People who abuse alcohol on a long-term basis are also at a greater risk of developing things like alcoholic liver disease and cardiovascular disease, with extensive damage to the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system also possible when alcohol is abused over a long time period. A number of adverse social effects have also been linked to alcoholism, with people who drink heavily more likely to be involved with crime, driving accidents, domestic violence, and child abuse than members of the general population.


Treatment for alcoholism

The treatment process for alcoholism consists of three separate yet integrated phases, with detox followed by rehab and aftercare support. Individual treatment regimens for alcoholism differ widely depending on the history and extent of abuse, with medication treatments available alongside psychotherapy and relapse prevention programs. Medication therapy is often administered when physical-somatic withdrawal symptoms are present, with four drugs currently approved for alcoholism in the United States: disulfiram, two forms of naltrexone, and acamprosate. Benzodiazepine medications such as Librium and Valium are also used to treat the alcohol withdrawal syndrome, with a gradual dose reduction of these drugs often applied over a long time period to avoid unwanted complications.


While medication treatment forms a vital role in many alcohol treatment programs, it is rarely enough when administered in isolation. Rehabilitation programs are always advised in the weeks and months that follow detox, followed by relapse prevention and aftercare support regimes. Alcohol rehabilitation includes all medication and psychotherapeutic treatments applied after detox. Common psychotherapy models include cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, contingency management, and motivational interviewing. During the rehab process, therapists use behavioral, cognitive, and motivational techniques to help patients recognize and overcome their addiction issues. Once people have left formal treatment, they are always advised to stay in contact with the treatment process by attending 12-step support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). If you or anyone you know is living with an alcohol problem, it’s important to reach out to a professional treatment center as soon as possible. Pick up the phone today, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.