Alcoholism is a serious illness that can be a challenge to overcome. However, those armed with knowledge about alcoholism and its treatment will be better prepared to tackle recovery. Explore these seven alcoholism facts to learn more about the disease and what you can do to help yourself or a loved one overcome it.
1. Over 16 Million Adults in the U.S. Struggle With Alcoholism
One of the most important alcoholism facts to be aware of is that the disease impacts millions around the world. In the United States alone, there are more than 16 million adults who struggle with alcoholism. There are many, many more who have substance abuse issues or who binge drink. Both of these can be precursors to alcoholism.
2. Alcoholism Costs the Country More than $249 Billion Annually
Alcoholism doesn’t just impact those who struggle with it. In fact, some estimates claim that alcoholism costs the United States as much as $249 billion every year. This includes the cost of medical attention and treatment for alcoholics. It also includes legal expenses, housing drunk drivers in prison and missed work among the many employees struggling with alcoholism.
3. 10% of U.S. Children Live in a Home Where Alcoholism is Present
Alcoholism facts don’t just involve those struggling with addiction. Many people with alcohol addictions have young family members living with them. Sadly, one-tenth of the children in the United States live in a home with an alcoholic present.
This can be problematic for a number of reasons. To start, they may be subjected to behavior or actions that harm them. Furthermore, living with an alcoholic may set a poor example and influence their own drinking decisions in the future.
4. Alcoholism is in Part a Genetic Predisposition
The factors that lead to the development of alcoholism are varied. However, significant research points to a genetic component. This means that some individuals are simply more likely to develop an addiction to alcohol than others. Unfortunately, this hereditary factor makes it even more challenging for those raised in a household with an alcoholic to emerge without addictive tendencies.
5. Signs of Alcoholism Can be Challenging to Spot
Recognizing and identifying alcoholism isn’t always easy. Unlike drug use, alcohol use is mainstream. Because of this, you may not be able to immediately recognize the signs of alcoholism in people who are close to you.
Keep in mind that in addition to the physical signs of addiction, there may be emotional or behavioral changes. People who suffer setbacks in their career, relationships or finances, but continue to drink excessively may be ignoring their illness, despite the obvious consequences.
6. Treatment for Alcoholism is Possible
Remember that alcoholism isn’t a life sentence. Treatment is available, and it can be incredibly successful. Typical treatment for alcoholism might include the following:
- Enrollment into a rehab facility
- Behavioral, group and family therapy
- Wellness and holistic therapy
- Aftercare that extends beyond rehab
7. Moderation is Not an Option for Alcoholism
One of the biggest dangers of alcoholism is the myth that moderation will eventually be possible. Those who struggle with addiction have to embrace a life of complete sobriety. Drinking just a single alcoholic beverage can trigger the chemical and nervous systems, making it harder than ever to remain sober.
Use These Alcoholism Facts as Motivation
With these alcoholism facts in mind, treatment should be a priority for those dealing with alcoholism. At San Antonio Recovery Center, a comprehensive approach to recovery can help. Call 866-957-7885 and begin crafting your custom road to a life of sobriety.