Straight Talk For Problem Drinkers

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Drinking Problems. A message to alcoholics: Don't just sit there and think that your drinking problems are going to get better. Problem drinking in the form of alcohol addiction doesn't get better; it gets worse until somebody dies.

You need to take appropriate action by realizing that you are a chronic problem drinker and then get the professional treatment you require and you need to do this now!

Until you get quality treatment, solving your drinking problem and attaining alcohol recovery will be highly unlikely.

And please understand the following: chances are very good that your alcoholism is destroying the lives of people who love you. So do the correct thing and deal with your alcoholism problem by getting the professional alcohol treatment you require.

Just Telling It Like It Is

Hello Valued Visitor,

If you expected to arrive at a page designed to "sell you something," rest assured that all of the information on this website is free, important, AND relevant.

Please take a good look at the information contained on this page. You will see facts and statistics that reflect the damaging, destructive, unhealthy, and the potentially fatal consequences and drinking problems associated with alcoholism and chronic alcohol abuse.

You will also read about some of the "good news" that is associated with alcohol treatment and with the alcohol recovery process.

This is important because no matter how dreary and depressing alcoholism can be, alcohol recovery is possible if an alcoholic gets professional alcohol rehabilitation before the disease progresses too far.

And finally, if you need more information than the alcohol-related topics presented on this website, you will be able to review the extensive educational and informational topics that can be found on our alcohol-related "sister" websites that are listed below.

Alcohol Abuse, Alcoholism, and the Teens of the World

Alcoholism and alcohol abuse have become major social problems for all of the industrialized countries in the world. Sadly, these societal problems are getting increasingly worse, partly because the youth of the world are starting to drink more frequently AND at an earlier age.

Why is this a problem? A major study was conducted in 1998 by American researchers to determine the total cost attributable to the consequences of underage drinking in the U.S. The cost was more than $58 billion per year!

To make such an astronomically large number more comprehensible, consider this: $58 billion is equivalent to the net worth of 58,000 millionaires!

This is so important that it needs to be repeated: $58 billion is equal to the net worth of fifty-eight thousand millionaires! And this is the amount of money that is "lost" each year in our country due to underage drinking.

In a sense, then, we are creating multiple generations of adolescents who "hit the road running" when it comes to alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

Let us state the obvious: problem drinking is NOT progress, it is NOT healthy, and it is NOT in any conceivable way making a positive contribution to society. Drinking problems not only affect the drinker and his or her family and friends, but far too often others in society who innocently happen to cross the path of the person with the drinking problem.

As the developed nations of the world becomes more complex, people everywhere feel more stress, tension, and a sense of generalized anxiety.

Due to the fact that alcohol blocks emotional pain, it is commonly turned to as a "cover up" during times of temporary or ongoing stress or grief during situations such as relationship problems, serious issues at work, financial difficulties, unresolved family tensions, or the loss of a loved one.

From a slightly different vantage point, whether it is from depression, alcohol, unemployment, money issues, gambling, drugs, or relationship problems, people experiencing chronic stress or turmoil more often than not exhibit poor coping skills.

Regrettably, these poor coping skills almost always make a major negative impact on the distraught individual himself or herself as well as on those who are the most concerned: his or her family and friends. And the research shows that when people have poor coping skills, many of them manifest problems with drinking.

The bottom line is that you have a problem with drinking if your drinking causes difficulties in ANY part of your life. This includes your relationships, work, finances, health, education, and you life at home.

Indeed, you may have a drinking problem if you think about drinking most of the time. In a similar manner, you may have a problem with drinking if you keep trying to quit drinking on your own but can't, or if you regularly drink more per sitting and more frequently than planned. And unfortunately, you may have an alcoholism problem if you experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms when you quit drinking.

Having said this, let's put together a list of some of the truly appalling and devastating consequences and drinking problems that are associated with alcoholism and chronic alcohol abuse.

Alcoholism: The Bad News

  • 95% of alcoholics die from their disease and die approximately 26 years earlier than their normal life expectancy.

  • Drinking problems cluster in and destroy families. More than 50% of current drinkers have a family history of alcoholism.

  • Absenteeism among alcoholics or problem drinkers is 3.8 to 8.3 times greater than absenteeism among non-alcoholics or among those who are not problem drinkers.

  • The average 18-year-old has seen 100,000 television commercials encouraging him or her to drink.

  • In the United States, 500 million work days are lost each year to problem drinking.

  • Fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol effects are the leading causes of mental retardation in the United States.

  • As much as 50 percent of police work is spent addressing alcohol-related problems in our nation. This would mean that the annual cost to law enforcement agencies is at least $7.5 billion dollars.

  • About 43% of U.S. adults -- 76 million people -- have been exposed to alcoholism in the family -- they grew up with or married an alcoholic or a problem drinker or had a blood relative who was an alcoholic or problem drinker.

  • Lost productivity from alcohol-related absenteeism, illness and premature exiting of the workplace, due to death and forced retirement, amounts to more than $70 billion each year.

  • Alcohol kills 6½ times more youth than all other illicit drugs combined.

  • 20% of alcoholics who try to quit drinking on their own without medical management die of alcohol withdrawal delirium.

  • It is estimated that more than 3 million teenagers in the U.S. between the ages of 14 to 17 are problem drinkers.

  • It is estimated that 30% of all Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related motor vehicle accident sometime during their lives.

  • 6.6 million American children under the age of 18 live in homes with at least one alcoholic parent.

  • In addition to alcohol-related pancreatitis, heart disease, cancer, and liver disease, excessive and problem drinking over time is also associated with the following health conditions: infertility, irritated stomach lining and bleeding from stomach ulcers, obesity, nerve damage, vitamin deficiency, skin problems, muscle disease, sexual problems, epilepsy, and loss of brain cells.

  • Currently, approximately 14 million Americans, 1 in every 13 adults, has problems with drinking (that is they abuse alcohol or are alcoholic).

  • Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are the third leading cause of the preventable deaths in the United States.

  • Approximately 43% of American adults have had a child, parent, sibling or spouse who is or was an alcoholic.

  • Research has shown that U.S. teens who drink alcohol are 50 times more likely to use cocaine than teens who never consume alcohol.

  • An alcoholic will negatively impact the lives of 4 or 5 other Americans (such as associates, family, and friends) while under the influence of alcohol.

  • About half of state prison inmates and 40% of federal prisoners incarcerated for committing violent crimes report they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of their offense.

  • Alcohol impaired drivers get behind the wheel 123 million times a year in the United States.

  • United States alcoholism statistics show that people who start using alcohol before the age of 15 are 4 times more likely to become alcoholic at some time in their lives, compared to those who start drinking at the legal age of 21.

  • 25% of all emergency room admissions, 33% of all suicides, and more than 50% of all homicides and incidents of domestic violence are due to problem drinking.

The Bad News Drinking Problems: Conclusion

In simple economic terms, alcoholism problems and other alcohol-related drinking problems in the United States cost society almost $200 billion per year. In human terms, the cost of the following alcohol-related drinking problems cannot be calculated: wife battering, failed health, broken homes, traffic fatalities, child abuse, injuries, illnesses, and destroyed lives.

Isn't It Time For Some Positive Changes In Your Life?

Despite of all of the alcohol-related drinking problems listed above, there is good news: As serious as alcoholism and problem drinking are, they can be effectively treated. And with quality treatment, alcohol recovery from one's alcoholism problem or other problems with drinking can become a reality.

Alcohol treatment programs typically use a combination of counseling and medications to help an individual quit drinking. Even though most alcoholics and many alcohol abusers need professional help to recover from their drinking problem, research has shown that with treatment and support, many problem drinkers are able to quit drinking, become sober, and reclaim their lives.

Having said this, let's put together a list of some of the positive and reassuring aspects about alcohol recovery and alcohol treatment.

Alcohol Treatment and Alcohol Recovery: The Good News

  • Risk is not destiny. Just because alcoholism tends to run in families doesn't mean that a child of an alcoholic parent will automatically become an alcoholic too. Some people develop an alcoholism problem even though no one in their family has a drinking problem. By the same token, not all children raised in alcoholic families have problems with drinking in general or an alcoholism problem in particular. Knowing you are at risk is important, though, because then you can take steps to protect yourself from developing drinking problems.

  • Family members and friends should express their affection for the alcoholic and their intentions for supporting the person with the drinking problems through recovery, but they must strongly and consistently demand that the problem drinker seek treatment. Children may even be involved in this process, depending on their level of maturity and ability to handle the situation.

  • Prevention of alcoholism problems and other forms of problem drinking are best accomplished by abstinence. As simple as it sounds, a person must first have access to alcohol before becoming an alcoholic.

  • Accepting the fact that help is needed for a drinking problem or an alcoholism problem may not be easy. But keep in mind that the sooner you get help, the better are your chances for a successful recovery.

  • In alcohol treatment, once a problem drinker quits drinking and after the alcohol withdrawal symptoms subside, it is important for the individual with the drinking problem to join a recovery or sobriety program such as Alcoholics Anonymous to help him or her maintain sobriety.

  • Even problem drinkers who are determined to stay sober may suffer one or several "slips," or relapses, before achieving long-term sobriety. Relapses are very common and do not mean that a person has failed or cannot recover from alcoholism.

  • A clearer understanding of the biological underpinnings of alcoholism is opening the way to better doctor prescribed medications.

  • Intervention group meetings are one of the best approaches for motivating an alcoholic to seek treatment. Alcoholism intervention group meetings are meetings between people with an alcoholism problem and their friends and family members who have been affected by the person's drinking problems. Using this approach, each person affected offers a compassionate but direct and honest report describing specifically how he or she has been hurt by their loved one's or friend's alcoholism.

  • According to some research studies, for every dollar spent on alcohol recovery, the U.S. economy saves seven dollars in health care and cost to society.

  • A number of family-oriented interventions have been used to help prevent alcohol abuse, alcoholism, and other forms of problem drinking. These interventions include the following: family preservation programs, family services, family therapy, family skills training programs, in-home family crisis services, and family education programs.

  • When experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms, ALWAYS see your doctor or your healthcare provider immediately so that he or she can assess the severity of your situation and suggest the best option for treatment.

  • Treatment for alcoholism has been shown to reduce criminal activity up to 80% among chronic offenders, has increased their rate of employment, decreases homelessness and reduces all health care costs.

  • If you want to avoid the long-term effects of alcohol abuse and alcoholism such as unnecessary alcohol-related health problems and other drinking problems later in life, drink in moderation or not at all.

  • Problem drinkers who are experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms should not treat these symptoms at home. Instead, they need to seek medical assistance immediately so that their doctor, urgent care center personnel, healthcare provider, or emergency room personnel can assess the severity of their withdrawal symptoms and initiate the best option for treatment.

More Good News About Alcohol Treatment and Alcohol Recovery

If you think you are a problem drinker or have an alcoholism problem, realizing that you have a drinking problem is the first step in getting meaningful help. Let's face facts: many alcoholics and chronic alcohol abusers would prefer to quit drinking, but this is very difficult--and highly unlikely without professional, effective alcohol treatment.

The problem drinker and everyone involved needs to fully comprehend that alcoholism is a disease and that the responses to this disease (such as craving, tolerance, denial, and fear of withdrawal) are not character flaws but symptoms, just as pain or discomfort are symptoms of other illnesses.

Not unlike people suffering from other life-threatening diseases such as cancer, everyone involved with the alcoholic also needs to understand that treatment, though painful and difficult, is the only realistic option for alcoholism recovery.

Once an individual with a drinking problem receives alcohol treatment, becomes sober, and after the alcohol withdrawal symptoms subside, the person is on the path to alcohol recovery.

It is, nevertheless, important for the problem drinker to join a recovery or sobriety program such as Alcoholics Anonymous to help him or her maintain sobriety and to stay on the road to alcohol recovery and sobriety.

Keep in mind, however, that the Alcoholics Anonymous recovery program may not be for everyone. Consequently, other recovery approaches are available, including Christian, Jewish, and numerous professional secular programs.

It is interesting to note, moreover, that problem drinkers who have gained benefits from Alcoholics Anonymous commonly find other programs that, in combination with Alcoholics Anonymous, work best for them. Some of these programs include group counseling, individual therapy, and/or medical care.

Until a "better" and more efficient approach is discovered, the safest, most healthy, and the most beneficial path to alcohol recovery for most people who exhibit problems with drinking is sobriety.

The bottom line is this: with all of the damaging and devastating drinking problems that are related to chronic alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction, and the healthy lifestyle changes, hope, and renewal that are possible with alcohol treatment and alcohol recovery, don't you owe it to yourself and to your loved ones to get professional treatment and give alcohol recovery and sobriety a chance?

To continue with this thought, if you are concerned about your drinking behavior and you feel the need to talk with a counselor or a therapist, please call your local drug and alcohol treatment center and make an appointment.

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