Not only do we have more individuals struggling with alcohol addiction than ever before but we have more citizens on the pathway to addiction than ever before in the country’s history.
Whether we’re willing to have the conversation now or later, the subject of kicking our habit and seeking treatment and rehabilitation is a serious discussion that we, as Americans, are going to have to have with each other.
FACT 1: Researchers estimated that in 2005 more than 53,000 men and 12,000 women died from complications and/or issues associated with alcohol addiction and abuse. Although it is clear that treatment rehabilitation could have not saved everyone in these two groups, no doubt a majority could have avoided their fate if they had been able to find the help that they required to kick their addiction.
FACT 2: Heavy drinking is a risk factor for more than 200 diseases or injuries. With an aging population in the United States, what this means is a significant cost of not only valuable lives but also a significant strain on the health care system as we know it. What proper treatment rehabilitation can do is provide long-term care to make sure that lives are saved and that the strain isn’t as severe.
FACT 3: Overall global consumption of alcohol has been stable since 1990 however those who are drinking alcohol are doing so more hazardous than before. There’s roughly the same amount of people worldwide that regularly consumer alcohol but they’re drinking it in greater quantities. Responsible drinking has never been an issue but it’s this kind of psychoactive binging that breeds alcohol addiction.
Deaths from alcohol addiction rose from 750,000 worldwide in 1990 to 2.5 million in 2011; over 4% of fatalities worldwide. Treatment rehabilitation is an opportunity to give these individuals a chance to not become just another number added onto the fatal pile of those who have fallen at the hands of addiction.
FACT 4: Alcohol abuse is twice as common in men as it is among women with 5.5 percent of men against 1.9 percent of women. Despite this stat, the amount of alcohol addicted females is growing which is significantly changing the way alcohol abuse is viewed as it has more often than not been portrayed as affecting primarily men. If treatment rehabilitation isn’t encouraged and if this stat is not addressed publicly in the near future, in all likelihood, we could end up with an increase in female alcoholics.
FACT 5: Half of the 20 million American alcoholics suffer from a cognitive impairment and up to 2 million develop permanent, debilitating conditions requiring a caretaker. Heavy drinking that has been compounded over the course of an extended period can, over the course of years, change the chemistry and structure of the brain. While many experience the short-term effects, not many consider the long-term effects that alcohol can have.
You don’t even need to be addicted to the substance in order for this to happen. Treatment rehabilitation is the only option for a lot of these people to fight their addictions and make a go of attempting to gain back what may be permanently lost.
FACT 6: 51% of Americans over the age of 18 admit to being a regular drinker. Let’s be clear. There’s nothing wrong with an occasional alcoholic beverage with dinner, at the barbecue, or at the sports game. One drink is fine. The dependency on the feeling you get from that one drink can often lead to a second, third, fourth, and before you know you’re passed out enjoying a drug-infused sleep. It’s important to recognize the signs and to make sure that these individuals who do suffer from a dependency are taken to treatment rehabilitation to kick their habit to the curb.
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Treatment rehabilitation is key but so is prevention. What treatment rehabilitation does is acts as a solution to those already suffering from alcohol addiction. We can cure that dependency. But prevention is arguably more important as it will inform those who aren’t yet addicted that to continue on that path may not be such a good idea. As we uncover more about why certain people have a dependency and why others aren’t likely to develop one, one thing is clear. This is a conversation that we need to have as a country.
This article was written by John Upton, who having battled with alcohol dependency, aims to educate everybody about treatment rehabilitation options for others with addiction issues.