Alcohol addiction is a medical disorder, one that destroys both the lives of the person living with the issue and the lives of those who love them.
Mental health, physical health and emotional health all deteriorate when chronic alcohol abuse is an issue. Because the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) classifies alcohol addiction as a psychiatric disorder, it is recommended that alcoholics and those struggling with alcohol abuse and binge drinking seek medical treatment in order to learn how to live a life that is free from alcohol.
Who Needs Alcohol Addiction Treatment?
Alcohol addiction strikes men and women, young and old, rich and poor. Trends in alcohol use and types of alcohol abuse may vary, but the result is the same: serious health problems and a deadly addiction. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, even those who are legally too young to drink have a problem with alcohol; as many as 13 percent of 8th graders, 28 percent of 10th graders, and
41 percent of high school seniors reported past alcohol use. Additionally, 5 percent of 8th graders, almost 15 percent of 10th graders, and more than 26 percent of 12th graders reported having been drunk.
Who needs alcohol addiction treatment? Anyone who is unable to stop drinking despite the negative consequences – and when alcohol addiction is an issue, it negatively impacts every aspect of life.
What Is the Difference Between Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol Addiction?
According to PubMed Health, alcohol abuse and alcoholism are two different types of drinking, but both are problematic for the drinker.
When alcohol abuse is an issue, it causes problems for the drinker in every day life – legal issues, financial woes, health ailments, etc. – but it does not cause physical addiction. When alcohol dependence is an issue, it is defined by both a psychological and a physical addiction to alcohol that controls every choice and action of the drinker. Both issues are treatable at alcohol rehab.
When Does Alcohol Addiction Mean a Dual Diagnosis?
When the patient is living with both alcohol dependence and a mental health diagnosis like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other disorders, then a Dual Diagnosis is present. According to the National Institutes of Health, alcoholics are two to three times more likely than the general public to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Additionally, a National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism study found that patients with a history of alcohol addiction were more than four times as likely to experience a major depressive episode as those without a history of alcohol abuse and addiction.
How Is a Dual Diagnosis Treated?
When a patient is dealing with issues related to both an alcohol addiction and a mental health disorder, it is necessary to receive medical treatment for both problems at the same time. In the past, it was believed that addiction should be treated first and the mental health issue should be treated second. However, it was quickly found that it was almost impossible for Dual Diagnosis patients to avoid relapse in early recovery when they weren’t receiving treatment for their mental health symptoms.
Often, patients originally turned to alcohol in an effort to self-medicate their mental health issues, and these untreated symptoms can serve as a trigger for relapse without effective medical and psychotherapeutic intervention.
Get the information you need to effectively address issues of alcohol addiction and mental health symptoms when you contact us at the phone number listed above. Dual Diagnosis treatment can be just what you need to effectively heal.
Further Reading About Alcohol Addiction
- Abuse and Pregnancy
- Alcohol in America
- Alcoholism and Anxiety Disorder
- Alcoholism Nature vs. Nurture
- Are Heavy Drinkers Alcoholics?
- Binge Drinking and Depression
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy
- Disease Theory of Alcoholism
- Guide to Living With an Alcoholic
- Historical Figures and Addiction
- Is There a Cure for It?
- Liver Damage Caused by Drinking
- Long-Term Health Risks Associated
- Risks of Alcohol Poisoning
- The Science of a Hangover
- Using a Breathalyzer at Home
- What Is a Functional Alcoholic?
- What Is Wet Brain?
- Women and Alcoholism
Read our general and most popular articles
David W. Newton is a board certified pharmacist and also has been a board member for boards of examiners for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy since 1983. His areas of expertise are primarily pharmaceuticals as well as cannabinoids. You can read an article about his expertise in CBD on the National Library of Medicine.
Reviewed by: Kim Chin and Marian Newton