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Alcohol Addiction Intervention and Treatment in California



Alcohol addiction intervention and treatment options in California include medically supervised alcohol detox, residential drug rehab, and outpatient drug rehab. Typically, when searching for alcohol rehab programs in California, there are different options for the family to consider. Initially, they should go through their health insurance provider. Most private and state health insurance providers in California cover some portion of alcohol rehabilitation. However, the extent of coverage and what is paid for depends on the health insurance plan. Another option for a family to consider is an addiction assessment with a qualified healthcare professional. The purpose of an addiction assessment is to help an addict or their family find the best alcohol detox and rehabilitation programs in California. The extent and severity of addiction determine what methods of alcohol rehab are needed. Intervention and alcohol treatment is critical to help someone overcome alcoholism.


What is Alcohol?

Alcohol is a psychoactive substance that creates dependence, tolerance, and addiction and has been widely used in many cultures for centuries. Within the California, the harmful use of alcohol causes large disease, social and economic burdens in the state. The term alcohol has been synonymous with spiritous liquids for the past 300 years. Alcohol or ethanol is an intoxicating agent found in beer, wine, and liquor. Alcohol is produced by the fermentation of yeast, sugars, and starches. For example, fruit such as grapes, and grains like barley and wheat are most commonly used for wine, beer, and liquors. Alcohol is a clear volatile liquid that is highly soluble in water.

When alcohol is consumed, it is primarily absorbed through the intestine. Blood alcohol concentration is dependent on body weight and fat, food effects, and amount and time frame of alcohol consumption. Approximately 90% of alcohol consumed is metabolized in the liver and broken down by a specific enzyme. However, the liver can only process so much alcohol and continues to break it down long after someone has stopped drinking. The toxins that are broken down by the enzyme in the liver are what cause a hangover. Alcohol addiction is a common problem impacting individuals and families in different ways.


What Causes Alcohol Addiction?

There are a variety of factors affecting alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms. Environmental factors include economic development, culture, availability of alcohol, and vulnerabilities within a society are likely to have similar effects. Alcohol addiction begins with recreational use, binge drinking, and heavy alcohol use. Most alcoholics struggle with long-term alcohol addiction and are often abusing other drugs with alcohol. Alcohol triggers the brain to release dopamine and creates the positive feelings with drinking, motivating a person to continue to drink alcohol. As the person drinks more for whatever reason, they develop a need to drink. Heavy drinkers or alcoholics have a dependence on alcohol and experience severe withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking. Most people who are struggling with alcoholism began drinking at a young age. In addition, frequent drinking increases the risk of alcoholism. Alcohol rehabilitation programs in California are equipped to manage all severity of alcohol addiction.


What are the Long-Term and Short-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse?

The short-term effects of alcohol appear after a few drinks and someone with a low tolerance may be effected after one drink. The short-term effects include a feeling of relaxation and a sense of euphoria. Alcohol will also irritate the lining of the stomach and trigger vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. Alcohol is also a central nervous system depressant and inhibits or slows various physiological functions like breathing and heart rate. Alcohol use slows reflexes and impairs hearing and vision. Drinking alcohol decelerates the brain’s reaction time. Alcohol is also a depressant and causes fatigue and memory lapses. Binge drinkers, for example, often have no memory of their behavior. Alcohol abuse also leads to clouded thinking and loss of inhibitions.

The long-term effects of alcohol use are quite serious and continuous heavy habitual drinking takes a toll on the individual. Long-term alcohol use leads to an increased tolerance as the brain and body adjust to continuous drinking, tolerance gradually builds. The alcoholic must consume more and more alcohol to achieve the same effects. Alcohol abuse leads to potentially harmful withdrawal symptoms. The most severe withdrawal symptoms are delirium tremens. Chronic alcohol consumption increases the risk of type II diabetes. Alcohol also damages the liver causing cirrhosis or liver cancer. Chronic high blood pressure is a result of problem drinking. Alcohol abuse creates heart problems and causes lasting brain damage. Someone struggling with alcohol addiction requires extensive alcohol rehab in California to achieve sobriety.


Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Detox in California

Treating alcohol addiction begins with medical detox in California because severe alcoholism leads to dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Common withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, anxiety, and other physical and mental symptoms. However, not every person addicted to alcohol experiences dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Initially, an addiction assessment would determine what type of withdrawal is needed. Many addicts who abuse alcohol are using other drugs like prescription drugs or illegal street drugs. Following detox the next phase of alcohol rehabilitation involves attending a residential or outpatient alcohol rehab programs in California. Residential alcohol rehab is usually the better option to treat alcohol addiction because more therapy and counseling options are provided.

Treating alcohol addiction involves multiple approaches that include behavioral therapies like 12-step facilitation, cognitive behavioral therapy, contingency management, and motivational interviewing. Other alcohol rehab programs in California utilize holistic treatment approaches or faith-based rehabilitation. Well-rounded rehabilitation is critical as it produces the best results. It is also important for a recovering alcoholic to consider aftercare support like 12-step meetings, sober living homes, or other forms of peer support. Recovering from alcohol addiction takes time and is not always easy, but with the right support it is possible.


Family Intervention for Alcohol Addiction in California

Most individuals struggling with alcoholism are not always willing to accept help and treatment. Family intervention in California for alcohol addiction is the best option to motivate an alcoholic they need rehabilitation. The best way to plan and organize a family intervention is by hiring a professional interventionist. Friends, family, and the interventionist confront the alcohol-addicted family member and demonstrate how their addiction has impacted their life and the lives of their family members. Within California, alcoholism affects many families, and alcohol use disorders were more prevalent than other types of substance use disorders. Approximately 6% of California residents reported meeting the criteria for alcohol dependence. In addition, the use of alcohol often begins in adolescence and by 11th grade more than half of California students have used alcohol. Alcohol also accounted for more nonfatal emergency department visits than all other drug diagnoses combined.



California Health Care Almanac. Substance Use in California. October 2018. https://www.chcf.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/SubstanceUseDisorderAlmanac2018.pdf