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Oregon Alcohol Addiction


Alcoholism exacts a high toll on modern society, with problematic drinking habits capable of affecting people from all walks of life. Alcohol abuse is a problem throughout the United States, with people who drink heavily often becoming addicted to alcohol over time. Oregon alcohol addiction is a serious problem that needs to be treated through a combination of detox and rehab therapy, including medication treatment and a range of psychotherapeutic methods. Aftercare programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) also play an important role in treating alcoholism, with recovering addicts given the practical support and psychological skills they need to make different lifestyle choices. If you know anyone who is living with Oregon alcohol addiction, it’s important to reach out to an accredited treatment center as soon as you can.


What is Alcohol Abuse?

Alcohol abuse involves the problematic and repeated consumption of alcoholic beverages despite negative consequences. People abuse alcohol in a range of ways, including binge drinking and continual heavy drinking. Binge drinking involves the heavy consumption of alcohol over a relatively short time period, with official health guidelines in the United States defining binge drinking as five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women over a single two-hour period. People who abuse alcohol are more likely to develop health and social problems than the general population, including everything from lack of productivity and interpersonal problems to dependence and addiction. Alcohol abuse can easily lead to dependence and addiction over time, with alcohol associated with a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome upon cessation of use.


What is Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol addiction is another form of alcoholism, with “alcohol abuse” and “alcohol dependence” joined recently under the single classification “alcohol use disorder.” Alcohol addiction is defined by the existence of tolerance over time and the experience of withdrawal symptoms when alcohol intake is stopped. Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that is known to produce a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome upon cessation of use. Withdrawal symptoms include mild physical disturbance such as headaches and nausea along with life-threatening conditions such as seizures and delirium tremens. People who are addicted to alcohol are often unable to go a single day without drinking. Other signs of alcohol addiction may include health problems due to alcohol, social problems due to alcohol, spending a lot of time recovering from alcohol, being unable to reduce consumption levels, and being unable to fulfill regular life responsibilities.


Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse

People react to alcohol in a range of ways, with some people able to handle large amounts of alcohol without developing problems and others susceptible to physical and psychological harm. If you’re worried about your own drinking habits or concerned about someone you love, it’s important to be aware of the warning signs before things get out of hand. Problem drinkers are often in complete denial about the existence or extent of their drinking problem, with a crisis intervention often needed before someone will accept the help they need. Alcoholics often lie about or hide their drinking from those around them, and they often feel guilty when others realize there is a problem. People may also rely on alcohol to relax and unwind and be unable to stop drinking once they get started. Other warning signs include drinking in dangerous situations, neglecting regular responsibilities because of alcohol, and “blacking out” on a regular basis. You don’t have to witness all of these signs before getting worried; even two or three of them can be a clear indicator of alcoholism.


Alcoholism Statistics in Oregon

Alcoholism is a serious issue across the United States, and Oregon is certainly no exception. According to the National Alcoholism Center, people in Oregon aged 26 and older are more vulnerable to alcohol problems than the general American population. While people ages 18–25 engage in abusive drinking at a similar rate to the rest of the country, the older population do drink more than their peers in other states. According to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 62.8 percent of Oregon adults have engaged in regular drinking over the last 30 days, with 19.4 percent having engaged in binge drinking. These numbers are significantly greater than the national averages of 52.3 percent and 17.5 percent respectively. Despite these worrying figures, a lack of alcohol and drug treatment facilities has been recognized across the state, with more detox and rehab centers needed to turn the tide.


 Health Risks of Alcohol Abuse

Alcoholism has been associated with a wide range of physical and psychological health problems. Heavy drinking adversely affects every part of the human body, including the heart, brain and liver. Physical symptoms may include peptic ulcers, sexual dysfunction, liver disease, epilepsy, heart disease, nutritional deficiencies, and damage to the central nervous and peripheral nervous systems. Physical problems can influence a range of psychiatric conditions, with brain damage often leading to severe cognitive impairments recognized through a lack of social skills and executive functioning. Psychological health problems have also been associated with heavy drinking, including major depressive disorder, panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. While clear causal links do not always exist between these conditions, people who abuse alcohol on a regular basis are more susceptible to a range of mental health conditions. ­


 Medical Detox and Rehab Treatment

Alcohol addiction requires multiple levels of treatment, from the early days of detoxification through to the later stages of rehab and aftercare. Medications are often needed to treat the withdrawal symptoms associated with alcoholism, with benzodiazepine drugs such as Librium and Valium often preferred. Other medications are also used during the rehabilitation phase of treatment, including Antabuse, naltrexone and Campral. Pharmacotherapy measures are normally joined by psychotherapy sessions, including cognitive behavioral therapy, 12-step facilitation and relapse prevention.


Living with alcohol addiction is extremely difficult, but it is not impossible to overcome. Contacting a professional treatment center in Oregon now can make a life-changing difference that will lead you on the path to sobriety.