Ending alcohol abuse is the best way to reduce individual and societal harm, which is why Boca Recovery Center offers a wide range of treatment options near the Jersey Shore.
Alcohol addiction, or alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a major societal problem, leading to serious illness and untimely death. Excessive drinking increases the risk of violence and life-threatening accidents. Binge drinking increases the risk of alcohol poisoning, which can cause death.
High-volume alcohol consumption can trigger chronic illnesses that affect the entire body. These include heart disease, liver disease, chronic pancreatitis, diabetes, and cancer.
If you need alcohol addiction treatment in Jersey Shore, you can find the help you need at Boca Recovery Center.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment in New Jersey
Excessive alcohol use includes a broad range of problem drinking, including heavy use and alcohol dependence; binge drinking, which can cause alcohol poisoning; and alcohol addiction (or alcohol use disorder).
The Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) is the Single State Agency (SSA) designated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to oversee treatment and support for behavioral problems like addiction and mental illness in the state of New Jersey. DMHAS notes that evidence-based treatment with certified medical professionals helps more people maintain abstinence after treatment.
Addiction is a chronic illness, which may mean a lifetime of various levels of treatment — from individual therapy to prescription medication to inpatient programs.
Alcohol is one of the most widely abused intoxicating substances in the world, largely because it is legal for adults in most countries to consume.
Excessive alcohol use is responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This equates to about 95,000 deaths each year from a preventable issue.
The Dangers of Alcohol Addiction
Not only does excessive alcohol consumption cause almost 100,000 preventable deaths on average each year, drinking too much can lead to alcohol addiction, or AUD. Addiction to alcohol is associated with several individual and social health problems.
For example, drinking too much, including due to addiction, shortened the lives of American adults by an average of 29 years, per a survey from 2011 to 2015. In 2010, all forms of excessive drinking, including AUD, cost the United States economy $249 billion, which was an average of $2.05 per drink consumed.
There are several short-term problems associated with drinking too much, like:
- Higher risk of accidents that can lead to death or serious injury, like car accidents, drowning, or causing fires.
- Greater risk of being the victim of a violent crime.
- Higher risk of causing a violent crime, like intimate partner violence.
- Greater risk of engaging in risky sexual behaviors, including unprotected sex.
- Higher risk of miscarriage or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).
- Greater risk of overdoses when alcohol is mixed with other substances, including prescription medications like benzodiazepines and opioids.
Drinking more than moderately, including binge drinking and heavy drinking, may trigger alcohol addiction or AUD. This can lead to other long-term health problems, alongside the short-term damage.
These chronic health issues are associated with long-term alcohol abuse:
- Liver (hepatic) disease: The liver is the main organ responsible for processing alcohol, and consistent abuse of alcohol can damage this part of the body. Fatty liver disease (steatosis), fibrosis, alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure are all associated with alcohol abuse, especially alcohol addiction.
- Cardiovascular disease: Damage to the heart muscle can lead to cardiomyopathy and irregular heartbeat. Changes to other parts of the body can also increase blood pressure and lead to high cholesterol, including blockages that may cause stroke, heart attack, or pulmonary embolism.
- Epilepsy: Alcohol can cause cerebral atrophy, causing a permanent imbalance in brain chemistry that can trigger problems like epilepsy and seizures. Repeated, sudden withdrawal from alcohol, or “quitting cold turkey,” increases the risk of relapse and drinking more than before. It also increases the risk of developing a seizure disorder like epilepsy, which can further damage the brain and even be fatal.
- Other brain disorders: Alcohol addiction can cause a range of other mental and neurological disorders, including depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (a depletion of thiamine in the brain that can lead to memory loss and problems with motor function).
- Diabetes: Alcohol contains a lot of excess sugar and calories, so consuming high volumes of alcohol on a regular basis can lead to rapid weight gain and trouble maintaining blood glucose. This can lead to type 2 diabetes, which is a chronic health condition in which the body is unable to maintain insulin levels. Developing type 2 diabetes can increase the risk of other health problems associated with alcohol abuse and make these conditions worse. Struggling with alcohol addiction while trying to manage diabetes can make medical treatments less effective.
- Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas, or pancreatitis, can cause changes in the regulation of hormones and enzymes that help the body function. Chronic pancreatitis is associated with regulatory issues in several other body systems, including an inability to digest food, leading to malnutrition; breathing problems; higher risk of infection; kidney failure; sexual dysfunction; and pancreatic cancer.
- Psoriasis: This is a skin disease associated with an autoimmune condition that leads to chronic inflammation. While alcohol abuse is not causally linked to psoriasis, drinking too much is associated with suppression of the immune system while increasing inflammatory cytokines, which may attack parts of the body like the skin.
- Cancer: Alcohol addiction and abuse are associated with higher risk of cancers, including liver, mouth, esophageal, pharyngeal, lung, tracheal, stomach, colon, prostate, breast, ovarian, kidney and bladder, and even blood cancers like lymphoma.
Untreated alcohol addiction makes medical treatment for other chronic conditions associated with alcohol more complex, so chronic illnesses may become more severe faster. This leads to reduced quality of life, shortened lifespan, and more pressure on social and health services.
Boca Recovery Center in Galloway, New Jersey
The city of Galloway is very close to the Jersey Shore, providing a picturesque location for any level of treatment.
Overcoming alcohol use disorder is the best way to reduce or prevent associated chronic illnesses and improve social health outcomes.
Treatment for AUD includes Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) and behavioral therapies, typically offered in rehabilitation. Medications include naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram, although the last is rarely prescribed due to potential dangers associated with feeling ill.
Behavioral therapies based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), motivational incentives, motivational interviewing, brief intervention, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are core components of individual, group, and family therapies.
Boca Recovery Center’s Galloway Rehab Program offers a range of treatments for alcohol addiction and other addictions. These programs include:
- Medical detox supervised by doctors and nurses who monitor withdrawal symptoms.
- MAT provided by licensed medical professionals with a tapering regimen.
- Outpatient treatment, including mutual support groups.
- Intensive outpatient treatment focused on regular behavioral therapy interventions.
- Partial hospitalization, starting with physical stabilization and moving to therapy.
- Residential treatment, offering a safe place to develop new behavioral patterns.
Access to several levels of treatment means that your recovery journey will be customized to your needs, without treatment interruption that comes from bouncing between different types of programs. For example, if you begin in a partial hospitalization program and move to a lower-level outpatient program at 10 hours per week, you will not need to wait for approval to enter this outpatient program. Boca Recovery Centers will have a space for you.
- Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services Home. Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, State of New Jersey.
- Frequently Asked Questions. Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, State of New Jersey.
- Excessive Alcohol Use. (September 2020). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Alcohol Use and Your Health. (May 2021). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Chronic Diseases and Conditions Related to Alcohol Use. (2014). Alcohol Research.
- Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) Treatment. (May 2021). MedlinePlus.