April is Alcohol Awareness Month throughout the United States. It is important to take time to remember that responsible alcohol consumption is the only acceptable policy. Here in Hudson, there are many places to purchase alcohol or enjoy a drink with friends. Bear in mind that moderation is key and that there are measurable and easily identifiable signs of alcohol abuse. According to the National Library of Medicine, 15% of drinkers in the United States have a diagnosable alcohol problem.
Signs of Alcohol Abuse
- Drinking alone on a regular basis
- Drinking in order to ignore or “forget” negative emotions such as sadness and anger
- Inability to remember what happened after drinking
- The effects of alcohol are presenting trouble in your personal and/or professional life
- Feeling that you need alcohol to function
- Regularly occurring hangovers
If you or a loved one is showing one or more of the above signs of alcohol dependence, you need to find help. Some people can stop drinking on their own, but most need assistance. Professional help from a doctor, counselor or mental health organization is your best bet. There is no shame in asking for help, especially if you are struggling with an issue such as alcohol addiction.
The Road to Recovery
Before it’s possible to recover, you must first admit that there’s a problem. It is often difficult to identify our flaws. This is human nature; however, that is exactly what must be done. Then you must seek help. You may first visit a doctor who can run blood tests and ask you some questions about your alcohol use and how it relates to your life. You may choose to see a counselor who has experience with addiction but is not necessarily a medical doctor. Either way, these professionals will help you understand that alcohol abuse is a problem and that you can proactively manage it. You may receive medication, counseling advice on how to structure your activities, or more likely a combination of treatment strategies.
Alcohol abuse can ruin your personal life, your mental state, and your overall health. Recovering from alcohol abuse will have a positive effect on all three of these factors. If you would like some more specific reasons to quit, consider that alcohol can affect your health by:
- Being a leading cause of cirrhosis of the liver
- Leading directly to an enlarged pancreas
- Contributing to high blood pressure
- Causing a host of birth defects including sudden infant death syndrome
Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point is a hospital that cares about our patients and our community. While we do not have a dedicated behavioral health center onsite, we will do everything within our power to ensure that you get the help that you need when it comes to alcohol abuse. If you are looking for help for you or a loved one please call Consult-A-Nurse® at 1-888-741-5119. This free service will provide you with contact information for a professional who can help you or a loved one overcome alcohol dependency.
Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point’s Health Library)
Alcohol and Public Health (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)