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South Carolina Alcohol Addiction

 

No matter where you live or what part of South Carolina you call home, chances are your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by alcohol abuse. South Carolina alcohol addiction is a growing problem, and it can strike people from all walks of life. Anyone can get addicted to alcohol and fall victim to its damaging effects.

Even if South Carolina alcohol addiction has not struck you directly, it is important to understand the impact the issue has had on society as a whole. The abuse of alcohol and the subsequent addiction it creates have a direct impact on virtually every aspect of life in South Carolina.

In the hospitals and emergency rooms throughout the state, cases of acute alcohol poisoning can drive up costs and cause health insurance premiums to rise for everyone else. In the jails throughout the state of South Carolina, those convicted of drunk driving and other crimes clog the judicial system and slow down justice for every resident of the state.

As you can see, even if you think you have not been touched by alcohol abuse and addiction, chances are that is not the case. From the dangerous impact of alcohol withdrawal symptoms to the need for more alcohol addiction help, the problems associated with alcohol are all around us, even here in idyllic South Carolina.

What is Alcohol Addiction?

In some ways addiction to alcohol is similar to addiction to any other type of drug. In fact, alcohol is a drug – and a very powerful one at that. Just like heroin and cocaine, alcohol is physically addictive as well as psychologically habit forming. That can make getting off alcohol and abstaining from drinking particularly difficult, and it is just one reason why professional help and intervention are so important.

The abuse of alcohol can get worse slowly over time, and that can make the problem harder to detect. Alcohol may be a powerful, and powerfully addictive, drug, but it is also one of the few abused substances to be totally legal and even socially acceptable.

You may not realize that your friend or family member has been using alcohol excessively right away. You may only notice that they seem a bit withdrawn, or that they are going out more than they used to. When dealing with an alcohol addiction, however, it is important to listen to your gut. If you think there is a problem, there probably is.

Why is Alcohol Abuse So Dangerous?

As stated earlier, alcohol abuse is dangerous for a number of different reasons. From a strictly legal standpoint, getting picked up for a DUI or causing a car accident while driving could result in thousands of dollars in fines and even substantial jail time. From a health standpoint, the long-term abuse of alcohol can result in serious liver damage and the deterioration of other organs in the body.

In the most serious circumstances the problem drinker may need a liver transplant to survive. Even if the damage is not that severe, alcohol is bad for the body, and the effects tend to get worse the longer the individual keeps drinking and abusing alcohol.

It is also important to understand that not all alcoholic drinks are the same. If you have been diagnosed as an alcoholic, you should obviously avoid alcohol altogether, but understanding the alcohol content of various cocktails is still important.

The average beer may have an alcohol content of only about 3-4%, although some brands have much more. Cocktails and mixed drinks tend to have more alcohol by volume, with an average of 10-20% depending on the preparation and the type of alcohol and mixers involved. Whiskey, tequila and other hard liquor generally has the highest alcohol concentrations of all, with readings as high as 50-60% or even more.

The more alcohol in the drink, the faster impairment, and ultimately addiction, can result. Understanding the alcohol content of the various drinks you might encounter is very important – and something to keep in mind.

What Treatment Options Are Available?

The good news is that even the worst cases of alcohol abuse and addiction can be treated effectively. As with any type of addiction, the sooner you seek treatment for yourself or a loved one the more effective that treatment can be. A long-term drinker is generally much harder to treat than someone who has been abusing alcohol for only a month or two. Timely treatment is essential to success, as is finding the right treatment for the individual.

Even if you have never struggled with an alcohol problem, you have probably heard about the success of groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). These groups rely on a combination of peer support, group therapy and religious faith to help alcoholics get clean and stay that way. For the individual who is dedicated to change, entry into Alcoholics Anonymous can be very effective.

There are also residential treatment facilities that specialize in treating alcohol addiction and other forms of substance abuse. These treatment facilities can be very effective, especially for men and women who truly want to change their lives. In some cases treatment in such a facility will start with a course of medical detoxification, designed to clear the body of alcohol and ease the symptoms of withdrawal.

Depending on the nature of the addiction, the staff at the residential treatment facility may also use psychological counseling, family therapy and other methods to help individuals maintain their newfound sobriety. Regardless of what other techniques are used, the best residential and outpatient treatment facilities use addiction aftercare to follow up with former patients and make sure they have the resources they need to succeed.

Get Help Soon

If you or someone you care about has been struggling with alcohol addiction and abuse, it is important to get help as soon as possible. Timely help can make all the difference in the world, and the sooner you address your drinking problem the better off you will be.