Alcohol Dependence is used to describe compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages, usually to the detriment of the drinker’s health, personal relationships, and social standing. It is medically considered a disease, specifically a neurological disorder.
Alcohol Dependence (Alcoholism) is called a “dual disease” since it includes both mental and physical components. Social environment, stress, mental health, family history, age, ethnic group, and gender all influence the risk for the condition. Significant alcohol intake produces changes in the brain’s structure and chemistry. These changes cause a person to have a compulsive inability to stop drinking and results in alcohol withdrawal syndrome, if the person stops. Alcohol damages almost every organ in the body, including the brain. The cumulative toxic effects of chronic alcohol abuse can cause both medical and psychiatric problems.
Psychiatric disorders are common in alcoholics. The most prevalent psychiatric symptoms are anxiety and depression disorders. Psychiatric symptoms usually initially worsen during alcohol withdrawal, but typically improve or disappear with continued abstinence. Panic disorder can develop or worsen as a direct result of long-term alcohol misuse.
Most treatments focus on helping people discontinue their alcohol intake, followed up with life training and/or social support in order to help them resist a return to alcohol use. We understand that alcohol dependence involves multiple factors which encourage a person to continue drinking. Our trained staff will identify and treat these coexisting conditions in order to successfully prevent a relapse.
Also, please visit the Detoxification page for additional details and information on the first step in the process toward sobriety