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What is the scope of alcohol addiction in the United States?

In the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 86% of Americans ages 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime. Over 70% reported that they drank in the past year, and over 55% reported they drank alcohol in the past month. Binge drinking is problematic throughout the United States, and in 2017 over 26% of people, ages 18 or older, reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month. There were an estimated 88,000 people who died from alcohol-related causes annually. Alcohol-related deaths are the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. For example, in 2014, the alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for close to 10,000 deaths, which was over 30% of all driving fatalities.

The problems of alcohol abuse and addiction affect adult and adolescent men and women differently throughout the nation. In 2017 over 14 million adults ages 18 and over had an alcohol use disorder, which is over 9 million men, and over 5 million women. Roughly 7% of adults who had an alcohol use disorder in the past year received treatment, which is a small percentage when considering the millions of Americans addicted to alcohol. According to the same survey, an estimated 443,000 adolescents ages 12 to 17 had an alcohol use disorder in 2017. Roughly 5% of youth who had an alcohol use disorder in the past year received treatment. The economic burden in the United States is billions of dollars each year, and three-quarters of the total cost of alcohol misuse is related to binge drinking.

More than 10% of children in the United States are living with a parent with alcohol problems. Roughly 30% of children 15 years old reported they had used alcohol at least once in their lives. Over 7 million people, ages 12 to 20 in the nation, reported drinking alcohol in the past month. Over 4.5 million people ages 12 to 20 reported binge drinking and underage drinking drastically interferes with brain development and increases the risk of developing alcohol addiction. In 2015, there were close to 80,000 liver disease deaths among individuals aged 12 and older, and 47% involved alcohol. Each year over 1800 college students in the nation die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries. Close to 700,000 college students are assaulted by another student who has been drinking. Over 95,000 college students between 18 and 24 years old report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Family Intervention Services

Millions of Americans are affected by alcohol abuse and addiction; unfortunately, countless Americans are unable to access the help they need. When exploring options to help someone struggling with addiction, family intervention is the best approach. Most people addicted to alcohol are not necessarily willing to accept they have a problem or ask for help. Across the nation are certified intervention groups providing professional services to help families save the life of their loved ones. Alcohol interventions work, and it is never too late to organize an intervention.

The first step with planning a family intervention for someone addicted to alcohol is contacting an intervention group. Professional interventionists are trained and qualified to guide a family through the intervention process. The first day is spent with the family educating them about intervention, addiction, and counseling them through any barriers that may derail the intervention. The most common problems involve enabling and co-dependency, which are often difficult to overcome without proper help. During this time, the entire intervention is planned, which includes who will be there where it takes place and when. The second day the intervention takes place, and when successful, the individual is escorted to the treatment center.

The rehabilitation process for someone addicted to alcohol begins with detox. Typically, the severity of alcohol addiction and the withdrawal symptoms determines the method of detox. Inpatient medically supervised detox programs are the best option for someone with severe alcohol addiction. For example, this involves the person drinking every day and requiring alcohol to function. Proper withdrawal management involves the use of medication to control withdrawal symptoms. The length of time needed for detox is different for each person, but it may last one week or more.

Conventional detox programs are good options for an alcoholic who is not struggling with dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Usually, these are detox programs attached to inpatient or outpatient drug rehab programs. Residential alcohol rehab is the best option because all the services are offered in one location. Also, it is a safe and distraction-free environment where the drug-addicted person can focus on their rehabilitation. Long-term residential drug rehabilitation provides treatment for three to six months or more, but this is different for each program. Lengthier treatment programs benefit alcoholics more because it provides more sober time.

Aftercare support is also a good idea following any form of inpatient drug rehabilitation. For example, this includes sober living homes, 12-step meetings, and peer support groups. Recovering alcoholics benefit from remaining connected to other sober people. When searching for all the available options in your state, county, or city, the intervention group you are working with will help you narrow down the search.

Works Cited

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