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Treating Addiction: Alcohol Abuse Treatment Facilities

Updated on June 30, 2010

Well over 15 million Americans are currently full blown alcoholics, and there are tens of millions more people in the United States engaging the consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol on a regular basis. The cost to the nation adds up to the hundreds of billions of dollars per year. Alcohol Abuse Treatment is the clinically proven best way to rehabilitation for these alcoholics.

Regardless under what guise alcoholism presents itself, it generally has three characteristics: Compulsive use, loss of Control, and Continued use despite adverse consequences. These characteristics are often referred to as the Three Cs. At any given time an alcoholic may not necessarily display all three, but will be facing a serious and critical problem with at least one.

The signs and symptoms of alcoholism include: Anticipation of the next bout of drinking; Frustration when alcohol is not present; Increased traffic offenses; Increasing problems at the workplace; Modifications in sexual functioning; Personal bravado in excess; Cancellations or rescheduling of plans due to hangovers; Changes in frustration tolerance; Changes in sleep; Decrease in productivity; and decreased ability to engage in normal daily activities. 

One of the main approaches of Alcohol Abuse Treatment is to realize that the compulsive consumption of alcohol to excess has three elements: reinforcement, craving, and habit. Reinforcement occurs when the process of drinking alcohol is begun. The effect of the alcohol rewarding the alcoholic with pleasure, relief from pain and stress reinforces the behaviour pattern that consuming alcohol is a positive activity. As the alcoholic continues to consume excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages, tolerance develops and it takes larger amounts of alcohol in order to obtain the sought-after pleasure or relief. Craving is defined in the way that the body and brain transmit powerful signals that a drink of alcohol is currently required. Repeated bouts of heavy consumption of alcohol significantly changes the underlying and fundamental chemical balance of the brain. Withdrawal symptoms are extremely unpleasant physical symptoms which seem to counteract the pleasure derived from excessive drinking of alcohol. These withdrawal symptoms will be triggered when access to alcohol is restricted. Psychological cravings related to the experience of consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can also occur. Habit is the third element in this definition of compulsive use, and results from deeply etched patterns in the memories incorporated in the brain and nervous system's autonomic responses.

Alcohol Abuse Treatment centers have discovered that the usual pattern is that alcoholics cannot accurately predict or determine how much alcohol they will consume or when they will consume it. However, once the drinking starts, they may find that they cannot stop until they lose consciousness. This may be due in part to the impairment of the brain and memory functions that are triggered by alcohol.

The latest medical research on alcohol addiction for Alcohol Abuse Treatments has shown that intoxication can cause "alcohol myopia," which is strictly defined as a condition that decreases judgment, decision making, and planning skills, as well as negatively affects the perception and capabilities necessary to evaluate the individual's environment accurately.

Continued In - Treating Addiction: Alcohol Abuse Treatment Facilities Part 2


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