Alcohol is one of the most used substances in the country and some people may need help from a local organization like AA meetings in Kentucky to get their problem under control. Luckily, these organizations, along with alcohol rehabilitation centers can help people get their lives back in order and live the life they’ve dreamed.
Before learning about the treatment options available to you or your loved one, it is important to understand alcoholism and the effects that alcohol can have on the body.
Alcoholism: Definition, Causes, & Symptoms
Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a major problem for some adults. While moderate alcohol use is generally not harmful, it can cause serious issues for some people and lead to dangerous, even life-threatening problems.
Alcohol use disorder is something that can lead to a lot of problematic effects including cravings, loss of control, and a negative emotional state including feelings of stress and anxiety.
Alcohol use disorder is something that can occur for a number of reasons. Environmental factors, genetics, family history, and more can all influence a person’s likelihood of dealing with AUD.
Binge drinking is a common issue for people who suffer from alcoholism and those who don’t. Essentially, binge drinking occurs when a person drinks so much at one time that their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is above 0.08% or above. For men, this normally means five drinks or more within a few hours. For women, this is generally, four drinks within a few hours.
It should be noted that not everyone who binge drinks has an alcohol use disorder but those who do are at a higher risk for developing one.
Obviously, binge drinking and alcohol use leads to a number of dangers and health-related risks which can prove to be life-threatening. Let’s take a closer look at the effects that alcohol use, especially excessive alcohol use, can have on the body.
The Effects of Alcohol on The Body
Alcohol is a substance that affects nearly every part of the body. To begin, there are a number of short-term health risks associated with alcohol use, most of these are due to injury, poor judgement, and other issues. Some of the specific health risks include alcohol poisoning, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, vehicle crashes, falls, violence, and more.
While there are a number of short-term health problems, there are also many long-term problems that can come up from using alcohol. For example, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues can pop up when using alcohol for an extended period. It can also impact a person’s memory and learning ability. Mental health problems such as depression and anxiety are other problems that can affect mental health and lead to other major issues.
Along with these direct issues, alcohol can also lead to a number of different types of diseases including fatty liver disease and cirrhosis. Problems like liver cirrhosis can prove to be dangerous, and even fatal in some cases. Cirrhosis is the late stage of scarring of the liver that is caused by man forms of liver disease. As cirrhosis progresses, more and more scar tissue forms making it difficult for the liver to function properly.
Alcohol is a known carcinogen and people who use alcohol are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer. Heavy drinking is known to cause increased rates of a number of different forms of cancer. Based on data, an estimated 3.5% of cancer deaths in the United States were alcohol related. There is a link between alcohol consumption and the development of many different types of cancer including head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, and more.
Alcohol increases cancer risk because when the body breaks down this substance it creates a chemical called acetaldehyde which can damage your DNA and prevent the body from repairing the damage. Unfortunately, when the DNA is damaged, cells will begin to grow out of control and create a cancerous tumor.
Obviously, there are a number of issues and problems that can result from using alcohol, both in the short and long term. Despite this, there are treatment options available to help people who are struggling with some form of alcohol use disorder.
Alcohol use disorder is treatable. However, it should be noted that while patients can get sober, staying sober and not relapsing will be a lifelong struggle. People who achieve sobriety will have to deal with many periods of cravings and urges that they will need to mentally overcome in order to stay committed to their sobriety.
One of the common forms of treatments that are used to help patients is Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA. AA is an international program that is used to help members “stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety.”
Alcoholics Anonymous first began in 1935 and has since spread to develop a major presence in the recovery community. AA can be an effective form of support and treatment to help people achieve long-term sobriety.
AA Meetings in Kentucky
While AA has a widespread reach, some people may find it difficult to find meetings for their specific location. Luckily, there are a number of resources available online to help them find the best place to help them with their alcohol use disorder.
If you are looking for AA meetings in Kentucky, you can find a list of meetings by location and in surrounding areas here.
It should be noted that while Alcoholics Anonymous can be immensely helpful for people who are looking to achieve long-term sobriety, for most people it is best to overcome addiction and substance abuse from a multi-pronged approach. One of the ways that you can accomplish this is by seeking out an inpatient treatment facility to help with the initial struggles of early sobriety.
During inpatient treatment, patients will go through many steps and to help them overcome the initial problems and urges associated with early sobriety. For one, many patients will go through medically assisted detox program to help them overcome the painful and dangerous withdrawal symptoms that are common with newfound sobriety. This is important as many people will try to detox at home, which can be very problematic, even life-threatening. Moreover, detox will help patients prepare for the next steps of the recovery process.
Generally, for people who are going through inpatient treatment, they will go through specific therapy sessions to help them learn more about addiction and prepare themselves for post-inpatient life. During these sessions they will learn skills and strategies that they can implement to work to overcome urges and cravings that they will experience and avoid relapse.
Following a stay at an inpatient facility, many organizations will set patients up with a discharge plan to help them understand what they need to do after they leave the facility initially. This can include Alcoholics Anonymous as well as other forms of outpatient treatment.
If you are looking for a recovery center in Kentucky, there are a number of different options available to help patients. Landmark Recovery is one treatment center in Louisville, Kentucky that has the professional staff in place to help patients learn how they can overcome their substance abuse problem and develop strategies they can implement to avoid relapse in the future.
If you are looking for professional care for a substance abuse problem that you may be struggling with, you can look for rehabs and AA meetings in Kentucky. Landmark Recovery is one professional facility that can offer patients evidence-based treatment and a path forward. If you would like to learn more about how Landmark can help you or your loved one, please reach out to our admissions team today.