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Nevada Alcohol Addiction

Nevada alcohol addiction is a chronic brain disease that forms through the habitual consumption of alcohol. Alcohol addiction is a form of substance use disorder (SUD) specified as “alcohol use disorder.” Other terms also used include alcoholism, alcohol dependence, and alcohol dependence syndrome.

Nevada alcohol addiction is of urgent concern. There are many factors that relate to the prevalence of alcoholism, three of the most common being socioeconomic factors of the area, social norms, and availability. These factors are especially relevant in terms of Nevada alcohol addiction as the state is noted for activities that often include partying and alcohol consumption in addition to the perception that area social norms are accepting of behaviors associated with overindulgence.

Alcoholism or alcohol addiction develops through repeated bouts of increasing consumption of alcoholic beverages over a period of time. Through continual use, changes take place in the brain which causes an impediment to the proper functioning of the neurotransmitters. The brain continues to readjust its level of functioning as it responds to the effects of the alcohol (or drugs) and creates an urgent need for more frequent consumption of higher amounts to achieve the same sense of balance.

Statistics related to alcohol abuse and addiction in Nevada

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported the following statistics for the state of Nevada based on the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2013:

  • When surveyed in 2013, over one million residents of Nevada over the age of 26 reported using alcohol in the last month.
  • 559,000 Nevada residents over the age of 18 reported binge drinking within the 30 day period before the NSDUH survey in 2013.
  • The number of Nevada residents, 18 years of age and over, that reported needing, but not receiving, treatment for a Nevada alcohol addiction totaled 159,000 in the 2013 NSDUH survey.

Most people don’t have a realistic view of what constitutes a single drink or the amount of alcohol that they are consuming. The liquid in a glass is not representative of the amount of alcohol that a person consumes. Beer, hard liquor (distilled alcohol), wine, liqueurs, or malt liquor contain different amounts of alcohol. For example, most beer drinkers don’t understand that many light beers have nearly as much alcohol as regular beer (approximately 85% as much).

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse and Dependence

Accepted medical diagnosis of alcohol abuse, or the mild form of an alcohol use disorder, is made if at least 2 to 3 of the following signs are deemed present:

  • Chronic, heavy alcohol use.
  • Increased frequency and amounts of use.
  • Higher tolerance for drinking or a lack of hangover symptoms.
  • Drinking at inappropriate times or in inappropriate places.
  • Avoiding situations where alcohol is not allowed.
  • Changes in relationships.
  • Dependence on alcohol to function in everyday life.
  • Legal or professional problems such as arrest or job loss.
  • Urgent desire to drink.
  • Inability to pace oneself, or limit drinking.
  • Inability to stop drinking.
  • Dependence manifested by withdrawal symptoms when drinking stops.

Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol abuse is dangerous on many levels in addition to serious health consequences to the individual. The effects of alcohol are far-reaching and impact the lives many people other than the alcohol abuser. Alcohol abuse and alcoholism are serious problems for the individual, but also for their family and friends, as well as society as a whole. Dangerous behaviors include:

  • Alcohol is a depressant and can trigger the onset of depression through chemical imbalance.
  • Alcohol abuse, alcoholism, and suicide are closely related. The risk of suicide is 120 times greater for alcoholics than the average person.

There is a causal relationship between excessive drinking and all types of violence. Domestic violence is of special concern. Inebriation often causes people to behave differently and allows them to commit acts that are far removed from normal thought and action.

  • Families of drug and alcohol abusers often suffer financial hardship.
  • Binge drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning and can be life threatening.
  • Inhibition heightens the risk for falls and injury accidents, drunk driving and car accidents, passing out while driving or operating machinery, committing misdemeanor crimes and violent crimes, and other risky behaviors that could endanger their lives or the lives of others.

Health Risks from Alcoholism

When a person drinks alcohol, there are certain process and functions within the body that are impacted.  In terms of the brain, communication pathways are influenced which brings about changes in mood and motor skills. Thought becomes unclear and movements unsteady due to loss of coordination. Binge drinking, or continuing to drink over a long period of time, causes the potential for damage to the heart. Certain diagnosed disorders of the heart can be brought on by alcohol abuse such as cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias (irregular heart beat), stroke, and high blood pressure. Other serious health repercussions include liver, kidney, and pancreatic disease, certain forms of cancer, brain damage, memory loss, sleep disturbances and apnea, hepatitis, diabetes, and suppressed immune function among others. Alcohol abuse and addiction takes a toll on the user’s health in many ways. The effects of alcohol are constantly working on nearly every system of the body.

It is important to seek treatment from a qualified alcohol treatment facility when attempting to end the destructive cycle of abuse or addiction. There are many elements of alcohol abuse and alcoholism that go far beyond the end of the act of drinking. The emotional and psychological aspects of the disease are just as damaging to the individual in certain ways as the alcohol itself. Without treating all of the elements of the disease, the user, or addict, is not in true recovery and will likely lapse back into use at some point. Relapse is a danger for all those, even those in recovery, but there are ways to plan and prepare for the eventuality of experiencing the triggers that will make them want to drink again.

Nevada Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Common treatment options include inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. Inpatient rehab includes supervised medical, or medicated, detox and withdrawal which greatly reduces the symptoms that the patient suffers while detoxing from the addictive substance. This allows for a safer, more effective detoxing process overall. Once the patient has completed the process of detoxification, inpatient treatment is provided through a program designed to treat the person as a whole. This is accomplished through therapeutic intervention, counseling, group counseling, family therapy, and more.

Outpatient treatment allows the patient to live at home while being treated, but is not advisable under every circumstance. Residential living is an option for those needing to remain in a supervised setting for an extended period of time in order to slowly transition back to the outside environment. In general, there are several different methods of treatment that vary by the need of the particular individual. It’s important that the recovery program will work for each patient separately and provide the support needed for long-term sobriety.

Break Free From Alcohol Addiction Today

If you, or someone you love, needs help or information please call. There is no better time than now to break the cycle of addiction and begin to move forward to a life of possibility. Recovery means restoring your personal power, regaining control over your life, and improving your life in ways that are otherwise impossible in an addicted state of being. Take your life back; we’re here to help you do it.