The use of alcohol in this country is destroying lives and families continuously and the need for treatment is exceptionally high. The pain and suffering people endure daily due to alcohol abuse and alcoholism in their lives is devastating but even though there's effective treatment and support available, not everyone seeks help.
The abuse of alcohol not only has a major effect on a person's health but innocent lives are destroyed due to impaired driving or alcohol related violence every day somewhere in this country. Everyone's lives are touched either directly or indirectly due to the use and abuse of alcohol in one way or another.
In the United States, alcohol is the most commonly used substance among not only adults, but also among our youth. Alcohol is very addictive and around one out of every twelve adults alone in this country is struggling with alcohol dependence or alcohol abuse. The consumption of alcohol through binge drinking is not only a dangerous and risky pattern of drinking, but it's also very common and widespread among millions of young and older adults today in the U.S.
Even though consuming alcohol under the age of 21 is illegal in the United States that doesn't deter young people from drinking. Alcohol is also the most commonly used addictive substance among youth in the U.S. and sadly is responsible for thousands of deaths every year among individuals under the age of twenty one. According to the CDC, eleven percent of the alcohol that's consumed in this country is done so by individuals twelve to twenty years of age and over ninety percent of it is consumed through binge drinking.
The Difference Between Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol affects people differently, some people can drink responsibly and never have a problem with controlling how much they consume or how often they drink while others are just unable to. People often wonder what the difference is between alcohol abuse and alcoholism because both forms can lead to serious problems and devastating consequences. The difference between the two forms of drinking problems is that alcoholism is associated with physical addiction and alcohol abuse isn't. An alcoholic is unable to control their drinking, instead alcohol controls their life.
Treating Alcohol Use Disorders
The form of treatment that's effective for each person suffering from a drinking problem varies for everyone. Effective treatment approaches are available today that can have a positive impact on a person's recovery process for alcohol use disorders such as Behavior Therapies, Medications combined with behavior therapy and other forms of treatment and support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
Medications for Treating Alcohol Problems
Disulfiram (Antabuse) is a medication that's used in treating chronic alcoholism. Very unpleasant symptoms are experienced if a person consumes even a small amount of alcohol while taking Disulfiram such as headaches, nausea, and vomiting. There is no cure for alcoholism but Disulfiram does help to deter drinking.
Oral Naltrexone is an effective medication used to treat alcohol use disorders (AUDs) because it helps to reduce cravings for alcohol and also decrease alcohol's rewarding effects.
Extended Release Naltrexone (Vivitrol) is an effective medication that's used to treat alcohol dependence by blocking the effects of alcohol.
Acamprosate (Campral) is a medication that helps a person that has recently stopped their consumption of alcohol and gone through detox, remain abstinent.
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
National Center for Biotechnology Information