With a U.S. economy inching laboriously back from recession with a flagging job market in tow, we should be sensitive to hidden costs of this “lifestyle choice.” In a perfect world, we would weigh the right to drink excessively against the $94.2 billion in tax dollars that we spend every year to pay the costs of alcoholism. We should weigh the collective choice against the 1.9 million public school teachers we could hire with that $94.2 billion — or the million public parks that money could build for communities across the country, or the million students we could put through school. And we’d think hard about what cultural shift could moderate this “lifestyle choice” before it becomes disease.
Integrated alcohol treatment programs are designed for patients who meet the criteria for a substance use disorder and a form of mental illness. In a national study of co-occurring disorders, the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 37 percent of individuals with alcohol dependence also suffered from a mental health disorder, while over 50 percent of individuals who abused drugs also had a psychiatric illness. These patients face unique obstacles in recovery, such as low motivation, anxiety about new situations, poor concentration and delusional thinking. Integrated treatment, which targets both the patient’s mental illness and substance use disorder within the same program, is the most effective way to achieve a full recovery. Services for both issues are provided at a single facility, and delivered by staff members who are cross-trained in substance abuse treatment and mental health.
Any drug overdose can be either accidental or intentional. Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. Accidental overdoses tend to happen when people take more of a prescription medication than originally intended to achieve certain results, or when they use too much of an illegal drug trying to get a better high. Intentional overdoses are usually a result of someone trying to commit suicide. Regardless of the intent, any loss of life due to an overdose is tragic and any overdose can have severe and lasting repercussions.
Binge drinking has become the most widespread form of alcohol abuse in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Over 30 million adults in the U.S. (approximately 15 percent) admit to binge drinking within the past month. Most of these drinkers are white males between the ages of 18 and 34. Forty percent of college students report episodes of binge drinking.
While a relapse or slip-up is by no means inevitable, you might face some setbacks during recovery. This does not have to mean returning to alcohol use. A lapse should not signify the end of your recovery, provided you act appropriately, in order to avoid a full relapse. You might even find that this small slip is enough to remind you of why you wanted to quit in the first place.
In-patient residential treatment for alcohol abuse is usually quite expensive without proper insurance. Most American programs follow a traditional 28–30 day program length. The length is based solely upon providers' experience. During the 1940's, clients stayed about one week to get over the physical changes, another week to understand the program, and another week or two to become stable.[18] 70% to 80% of American residential alcohol treatment programs provide 12-step support services. These include, but are not limited to AA, NA, CA, Al-Anon[18] One recent study suggests the importance of family participation in residential treatment patient retention, finding "increased program completion rate for those with a family member or significant other involved in a seven-day family program."[19]
Get treatment for other medical or mental health issues. People often abuse alcohol to ease the symptoms of an undiagnosed mental health problem, such as depression or anxiety. As you seek help for alcohol addiction, it’s also important to get treatment for any other psychological issues you’re experiencing. Your best chance of recovery is by getting combined mental health and addiction treatment from the same treatment provider or team.

Binge drinking has become the most widespread form of alcohol abuse in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Over 30 million adults in the U.S. (approximately 15 percent) admit to binge drinking within the past month. Most of these drinkers are white males between the ages of 18 and 34. Forty percent of college students report episodes of binge drinking.
Addiction is an all-consuming disease, using much of an individual’s time, energy and resources. There are many physical, mental and emotional signs of addiction. If you or a loved one are experiencing a combination of these signs, treatment may be a stepping stone for long-term recovery. Looking for signs and symptoms of drug abuse can be the first step toward identifying an addiction: Inside NHS detox centre - Victoria Derbyshire
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