Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment in Huntington Beach
Alcoholism, or alcohol addiction, is a disease that affects people from all walks of life, regardless of genetics, gender, race, or socioeconomic status.
Industry leaders for more than twenty years, Hired Power, an addiction recovery service in Huntington Beach, California, offers a trusted, individualized, family-centered approach to recovery from alcohol use disorder.
What is Alcohol Use Disorder?
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is the formal diagnosis of a chronic disease. To diagnose this condition, a professional would consider the following factors:
- Drinking more often and more frequently than intended
- Increased physical tolerance for alcohol
- Unsuccessful attempts to quit drinking
- Significant periods of time spent drinking or hungover
- Strong continued cravings for alcohol
- Disregard for day-to-day activities or responsibilities
- Conflict in relationships
- Drinking in high-risk situations, such as while driving
- Continuing to drink despite alcohol’s negative impact on physical or mental health
- Lethargy or depression
- Difficulties at work or legal issues
- Withdrawal symptoms when alcohol use is discontinued
Risk Factors for AUD
Numerous individual differences and variables contribute to an increased risk of alcohol abuse and addiction. The most prevalent risk factors for alcohol use disorder include the following:
- Heavy drinking and binge drinking
- Family history and genetic predisposition
- Past traumatic experiences
- Alcohol consumption before age 15
- Mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and schizophrenia (when both AUD and mental illness are diagnosed, it is known as a co-occurring disorder)
How Does Alcohol Affect the Body?
While the effects of alcohol on the body vary by individual, common immediate reactions to alcohol overconsumption include the following:
- Slurring words while speaking
- Lack of coordination
- Inability to walk steadily
- Diminished attention span and memory
- Abrupt changes in mood
- Poor decision making
Beyond the immediate effects of alcohol overconsumption, the long-term health effects of alcoholism include:
- Cardiac issues, like high blood pressure, stroke, enlarged heart, and irregular heartbeat
- Liver problems, such as cirrhosis, fatty liver disease, and hepatitis
- Digestive problems
- Diabetes complications
- Increased risk of various cancers
- Bone loss
- Neurological problems, including numbness and pain in hands and feet, disordered thinking, short-term memory loss, and dementia
- Sexual dysfunction
- Weakened immune system
What are the Physical Signs of Alcohol Abuse?
Common physical indications of alcohol abuse include the following:
- Consuming alcohol in continually increasing quantities
- Spending more time and money buying and using alcohol
- Frequent hangovers and time spent recovering from the effects of alcohol
- Exhibiting signs of intoxication, such as impaired coordination, unsteady gait, and slurred speech
- Smelling of alcohol
- Injuries due to falling or risky behavior
- Poor hygiene and self-care
- Weight gain or loss
What are the Psychological Signs of Alcohol Abuse?
Alcohol abuse manifests psychologically when the substance impairs normal brain function. The following are the most common emotional signs of alcoholism:
- Mood swings
- Poor attention span, concentration, and memory
- Increased hostility, irritability, and aggression
- Failure to meet responsibilities
- Delusions or hallucinations, particularly during withdrawal periods
Alcohol addiction’s psychological symptoms can either conceal or exacerbate the symptoms of a co-occurring disorder. When alcohol abuse is still occurring, accurately identifying current psychological disorders is extremely difficult.
What are the Social Signs of Alcohol Abuse?
The results of alcohol abuse aren’t confined to physical and psychological effects— social function is affected as well. The most common social signs of alcohol abuse include:
- Isolation from friends and family
- Conflicts with friends, family, and coworkers
- Lack of follow-through on commitments and plans
- Diminished performance in work or school activities
- Increased time spent with new or changing social groups
- Lying and deceitfulness
A strong indicator of alcoholism is social inconsistency and unpredictability.
What Are Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?
When someone has AUD, the body not only craves alcohol but also develops a physical dependence on it. When alcohol consumption is abruptly discontinued or reduced, the body must adjust to the resulting chemical imbalance, causing debilitating withdrawal symptoms, such as:
- Rapid heart rate
- Stress or anxiety
- Shakiness or tremors
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mood swings
- Inability to sleep
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can change rapidly and violently from mild to severe in a matter of hours. Symptoms begin within a few hours of last use and typically last between 2-8 days. Medical supervision is recommended to ensure the patient’s safety during alcohol withdrawal.
Some withdrawal symptoms, such as insomnia and anxiety, can last six months or longer. To help relieve uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, many treatment programs offer medication-assisted therapy.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment
In the treatment of alcoholism, Hired Power in Huntington Beach, CA, knows that one size does not fit all. A strategy that’s effective for one person may not be effective for another. However, medication, behavioral therapy, and participation in support groups are strategies that have proven effective for many people.
- The FDA has approved three medications to help people stop drinking and prevent relapse: acamprosate, naltrexone, and disulfiram. These medications should be used with professional support under medical supervision.
- Behavioral treatments target the behaviors associated with drinking and the underlying mental health issues. Examples of behavioral therapies are cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and are supported by intervention and teaching skills for coping and preventing relapse.
- Support groups provide peer support for individuals trying to quit or reduce their drinking. In most communities, group meetings are available at low or no cost, at convenient locations and times—including an increasing online presence. Common examples include alcoholics anonymous, narcotics anonymous, refuge recovery, celebrate recovery, and smart recovery. Support groups for families and loved ones can include al-anon, and CODA (codependence anonymous).
Hired Power in Huntington Beach, California, recognizes and supports all paths to recovery but has no financial ties or affiliations to any treatment center or provider. We are an independent service dedicated to the interests of our clients.
Find the Help You Need for Alcohol Use Disorder
If you or a loved one struggles with alcohol addiction, we can help. Hired Power provides compassionate, comprehensive, and professional addiction recovery services to help you on the journey to a better life. Contact us today to learn more.
Call 800.585.5816 or email us to schedule an appointment. Experienced, professional assistance is available 24/7, 365 days a year.
For additional information and resources about AUD or other substance use disorders, see the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).