Alcohol Treatment Center in Washington State: Getting Help for Alcoholism
Alcohol use disorder is a serious disease that can lead to several health complications. Excessive drinking also affects a person’s relationships and work performance and can lead to financial and legal trouble. Alcohol affects the human brain such that it becomes very difficult to stop drinking. For this reason, people who become addicted to alcohol find it challenging to quit. Alcohol treatment centers in Washington help alcoholics kick the habit and return to sober living. Alcohol addiction treatment is critical for overcoming alcohol problems, repairing broken relationships with family and friends, and returning to sober living. Alcohol rehab is also a necessary component of getting DUI help to avoid financial penalties, prison sentences, loss of employment, and driving disqualification.
Facts and Figures: Alcohol Use in Washington
Drinking alcohol is very common in many parts of the world and is considered a socially acceptable activity. In the United States, 86 percent of adults report drinking alcohol at some point in their life.1 However, social drinking frequently escalates to problematic drinking and becomes a serious concern. Nearly 14.5 million adults in America have alcohol use disorder. An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes every year, making this the third highest cause of preventable deaths in the USA. Excessive drinking does not affect only the individual, but the entire family. Studies have shown that more than 10 percent of children in America live with a parent who has alcohol problems. Alcohol misuse is estimated to cost the United States to the tune of nearly $250 billion, the majority of which is related to binge drinking.1 Here are some statistics on alcohol use in Washington State.2,3
- In a nationwide study, Washington was ranked 31 overall for alcohol-related deaths.
- Alcohol-related incidents claim the lives of 2.7 people per 100,000 every year in the state.
- Washington has the 8th highest rate of DUI arrests in the USA.
- In 2010, more than 38,000 people entered drug and alcohol addiction treatment in Washington.
Drinking Patterns Defined: Do I Have an Alcohol Problem?
Oftentimes, what starts as social drinking progresses to harmful drinking patterns. Alcohol treatment centers in Washington offer effective treatments for alcoholism, but family members cannot be sure whether a loved one is simply unwinding with an occasional drink or needs professional alcohol addiction treatment. Here are the standard drinking levels, exceeding which indicates there is an alcohol problem.4
- Moderate drinking is defined as a maximum of 1 to 2 drinks per day for women and men respectively.
- Heavy alcohol consumption is defined as more than 3 drinks per day for women and more than 4 drinks a day for men or binge drinking 5 or more days per month for men and women.
- Binge drinking is defined as consuming 4 to 5 drinks for women and men respectively in about 2 hours or drinking to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 g/dL or above.
Heavy alcohol use and binge drinking increase the risk of developing alcohol use disorder. Most people can drink safely at low levels. However, it is recommended that some people avoid alcohol completely, for example, commercial drivers and heavy machine operators. These occupations require high levels of skills, alertness, and coordination. The use of alcohol can lead to accidents, injuries, and DUI charges.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment in Washington
There is a range of treatment options available at alcohol treatment centers in Washington for people who are trying to drink less or stop drinking completely. Alcohol addiction treatment facilities offer customized programs tailored to the needs of the recovering alcoholic’s situation and goals. Sometimes, people who have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) are mandated by a court to enter alcoholism treatment for problem drinking.
The first step in alcohol rehab is typically detoxification. Medically-supervised detox gets alcohol out of the system and gives the body a chance to adjust to a new, healthier state. Most people choose to go to a professional alcohol addiction treatment center to manage withdrawal symptoms like tremors (shaking), hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t real), and seizures.
No medicine can cure alcoholism, but several medications are used during alcohol addiction treatment to reduce cravings and make recovery easier and safer. A medication called disulfiram (Antabuse) makes you sick if you drink. It is utilized to prevent recovering alcoholics from drinking by instilling the fear of uncomfortable symptoms. Other medications, such as acamprosate (Campral) help reduce cravings for alcohol and prevent relapse. Naltrexone (Revia) blocks the effects of alcohol (the high) and makes drinking less enjoyable.
The next step in alcohol rehab is counseling and therapy to help recovering alcoholics change their behaviors and deal with stress and triggers in a healthy way. This part of alcohol addiction treatment also includes building a strong support system of family members and friends.
Getting DUI Help in Washington State
Alcohol is the most frequently reported substance of abuse in all addiction treatment admissions. More than one-third of all referrals for substance abuse treatment originate in the criminal justice system.5 Court-mandated alcohol addiction treatment is ordered to reduce drinking and treat alcohol problems. DUI offenders are commonly required to attend treatment to address problems arising from alcohol abuse. Court-ordered interventions include education (teaching offenders how alcohol impairs driving) and professional treatment at alcohol treatment centers in Washington. DUI help can also be in the form of sanctions (revocation of license or alcohol ignition locks that require the driver to pass a breath test before the vehicle will start). These measures are critical in avoiding the penalties of drunk driving, such as fines, loss of license, loss of employment, and prison sentences.
Family Involvement in Alcohol Rehab
People who are drinking excessively often do not realize they have a problem. It falls upon family members and friends to find options for alcohol addiction treatment for their loved ones. Sometimes, a DUI charge is the wakeup call that tells relatives a person has alcohol problems that need to be addressed. The good news is that no matter how severe the problem may seem at first, a professional alcohol treatment center in Washington can help overcome alcohol use disorder. Studies have shown that people who have strong family support have a better chance of maintaining abstinence from alcohol. Most people who receive treatment can reduce their drinking and many have no further problems with alcoholism. If you (or someone you love) are regularly drinking more or longer than intended and have been unable to cut down or stop drinking on your own, it’s time to get professional help.