Alcoholism is a disease the affects millions of people, and can lead to serious physical, emotional and social consequences. At Turning Point Treatment Center, we offer alcoholism drug treatment to address the unique issues that arise when clients struggle with alcohol addiction.
What is alcohol?
When we use the term alcohol we’re referring to any intoxicating beverage, usually created by fermenting grains, sugars or starches. Alcohol comes in many forms including wine, beer, whiskey, gin, vodka and any other “adult” beverages.
What effect does alcohol have on the user?
As the definition suggests, the primary effect of alcohol is intoxication, although intoxication looks vastly different on different people.
Different people respond to alcohol in different ways: some show signs of intoxication after as little as a single serving of beer or wine, while others need several drinks to feel even minor effects. There are many factors that play into a person’s response to alcohol, including weight, metabolism, and the amount of food in the stomach, which slows the absorption of alcohol.
One of the main issues with alcohol – and one of the main contributors to problem drinking and alcoholism – is that as users continue their alcohol use, they develop a tolerance, meaning they need higher quantities of alcohol to experience the same effects. This leads to an increase in both the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption.
What are the symptoms of someone under the influence of alcohol?
Similar to the amount of alcohol needed for intoxication, the signs of intoxication vary from person to person and also vary depending on the amount of alcohol in the person’s bloodstream.
With one ounce of alcohol (one shot of hard liquor, two glasses of wine or beer), the drinker may exhibit some slurred speech, slowed reaction time and a mild feeling of euphoria- a pleasant sensation of relaxation. They may become more talkative and friendly.
As the amount and/or frequency of alcohol consumption increases, the symptoms become more severe:
- Impaired coordination (not being able to walk a straight line or touch a finger to the nose)
- Inappropriate behavior (aggression, sexual flirtation, rudeness, loud outbreaks)
- Sudden shifts in mood (laughing fits, sullenness, anger, anxiety)
- Sudden shifts in personality
- Impaired social or occupational functioning, judgment
- Lapses of attention or memory, also known as “blackouts”
- Stupor or coma, caused by alcoholic symptoms.
What are the potential dangers of alcoholism and alcohol abuse?
Alcohol is a large part of our culture, and as such, it can be easy to dismiss it as harmless. But alcohol abuse can be deadly. In the majority of states, more than 1/3 of traffic fatalities are related to alcohol consumption (2005 survey, compiled by MADD). And each year, thousands of high school and college students die from non-automobile alcohol related accidents, like bicycle accidents, drownings, falls and alcohol poisioning (University of Notre Dame study, 2007).
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, treatment might be the answer. At Turning Point Treatment Center, our individualized treatment plans, highly qualified staff and personalized approach to recovery have a proven track record of success. For more information on treatment at Turning Point Treatment Center, please contact us.