It's likely that alcohol abuse affects you or someone you know: An estimated 14.4 million Americans ages 18 and older had an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) in 2018, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).
It's a shocking number, and it doesn't include children under 18 who have experimented with alcohol. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that 10 percent of 12-year-olds have tried alcohol. That number jumps to 50 percent by age 15.
Alcohol doesn't just affect our mental health; it can have deadly consequences, as well. Each year, about 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes, and alcohol-impaired driving fatalities represented 31 percent of overall driving fatalities (9,967 deaths) in 2014. (Source)
Peak Wellness Center is joining thousands of organizations locally and across the nation to help raise awareness of alcohol abuse during Alcohol Awareness Month.
By helping to reduce the stigma associated with Alcohol Use Disorders, we can help those struggling with AUDs break the cycle of addiction.
The comprehensive services available through our private, non-profit clinics include residential and outpatient treatment options, long-term aftercare and special support for families.
So how does alcohol abuse affect Wyomingites?
According to the Wyoming Department of Health, binge drinking among high-schoolers has been dropping steadily since 1995, though it remained slightly above the national average at 19.7 percent in 2015.
Among adults, costs due to excessive drinking amounts to $593 million, resulting in "losses in workplace productivity, health care expenses and other costs due to a combination of justice expenses, motor vehicle crash costs and property damage." (Source)
Identifying if you need help is not always easy. According to alcohol.org, the symptoms of an Alcohol Use Disorder include:
- Using alcohol in higher amounts or for a longer time than originally intended.
- Being unable to cut down on alcohol use despite a desire to do so.
- Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of alcohol.
- Cravings, or a strong desire to use alcohol.
- Being unable to fulfill major obligations at home, work, or school because of alcohol use.
- Continuing to abuse alcohol despite negative interpersonal or social problems that are likely due to alcohol use.
- Giving up previously enjoyed social, occupational, or recreational activities because of alcohol use.
- Using alcohol in physically dangerous situations (such as driving or operating machinery).
- Continuing to abuse alcohol despite the presence of a psychological or physical problem that is probably due to alcohol use.
- Having a tolerance (i.e. needing to drink increasingly large or more frequent amounts of alcohol to achieve desired effect).
- Developing symptoms of withdrawal when efforts are made to stop using alcohol.
If you or someone you love is experiencing these symptoms, it is important to seek treatment from a mental health professional or doctor.
An effective treatment plan will help you or your loved one to return to a healthy, sober life.
At Peak Wellness Center, our proven treatment for substance abuse is based on the latest research and more than 50 years of experience helping people recover from addictions.
All you have to do is take the first step, and we will help you the rest of the way.