Some people can drink alcohol safely and in moderation. For others, alcohol use quickly progresses to alcohol abuse, and then to alcohol addiction.
Alcohol addiction is also commonly referred to as alcoholism. The clinical term for this condition is alcohol use disorder.
Alcohol use disorder can affect individuals of all ages and genders, including adolescent girls and adult women. But it is a treatable condition. When you get help at an effective alcohol addiction treatment center, you can learn how to live a healthier life without alcohol use.
Common Signs & Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder
The following signs and symptoms may indicate that you have developed alcohol use disorder:
- Using alcohol alone or in secret
- Feeling anxious or irritable if you can’t drink alcohol
- Being unable to stop your alcohol use once you start drinking
- Lying to or arguing with friends and family about your alcohol use
- Relying on alcohol to be happy or to deal with stress
- Using alcohol to help you wake up or get to sleep
- Feeling ashamed or guilty about your alcohol use
How Common Is Alcohol Addiction?
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has reported the following statistics about alcohol use and alcohol addiction among women and girls:
- About 26,000 women die every year from causes related to alcohol use.
- More than 5 million women, or 4.1% of the adult female population, currently meet the criteria for a diagnosis of alcohol use disorder.
- About 227,000 adolescent girls ages 12-17 display the signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction.
- Among girls and young women ages 12-20, more than 11% say that they have engaged in binge drinking at least once in the past month.
Effects of Alcohol Use
The World Health Organization reports that alcohol use is linked to more than 200 diseases and types of injury.
The physical effects of alcohol use can include physical harm from slips, falls, reckless or aggressive behaviors, and automobile accidents. Other physical effects of alcohol use include:
- Kidney damage
- Liver disease
- Heart problems
Alcohol use can also increase your risk for several types of cancers.
But the effects of alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction aren’t limited to these types of medical problems. Untreated alcohol use disorder can also lead to:
- Loss of friendships and other relationships
- Setbacks in school or at work
- Inability to find or keep a job
- Financial difficulties
- The onset or worsening of mental health disorders
- Becoming isolated from loved ones
- Losing hope for the future
- Thoughts of suicide
When you get effective alcohol addiction treatment, you can minimize your risk for continued harm. Your time at an alcohol addiction treatment center can also help you begin to heal from any damage you’ve already experienced.
What Is Alcohol Withdrawal?
When you develop alcohol use disorder, your body becomes used to the presence of alcohol in your system. When you try to end your alcohol use, or when you can’t get alcohol, you may experience several unpleasant physical and psychological symptoms. This is known as alcohol withdrawal.
Common signs of alcohol withdrawal include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid heart rate
- Tics or tremors
- Anxiety or irritability
In severe cases, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include hallucinations, seizures, and even death.
The pain of withdrawal can quickly push you back into the downward spiral of alcohol abuse. To help you get past withdrawal so that you can achieve recovery, our alcohol addiction treatment center offers ambulatory, nonmedical detoxification.
When you take part in detoxification, or detox, at our treatment center for alcoholism, a team of experienced professionals will protect your health and minimize any discomfort. You will even be able to take part in therapy while you’re completing detox for alcohol use.
How to Choose an Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center
There is no single perfect type of treatment for alcohol use disorder. When choosing an alcoholism treatment center, it’s important to find the place that feels like the best fit for you.
One important factor to consider is what levels of care are available. We provide alcohol addiction treatment at two levels:
- Our residential alcohol addiction treatment program is for adolescent girls ages 12-17 and adult women age 18 and older. Features include a trauma-informed approach, round-the-clock care, and individualized alcohol addiction treatment plans.
- Our PHP accepts adult women who have been struggling with alcohol use. This level features full days of alcohol addiction treatment, with the option to return home or to one of our on-campus residences when the treatment day is over.
A member of our team can describe the benefits of getting treatment for alcohol use disorder at each of these levels and help you determine which type of alcohol addiction treatment is right for you.
Types of Therapy in Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center provides an individualized alcohol addiction treatment plan for each girl or woman. Depending on your unique needs, your treatment for alcohol use disorder may include:
- 12-Step education and support
- Individual and group sessions
- Family therapy
- Experiential therapies such as art and dance/movement
Treatment for alcohol use disorder may also include dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and motivational interviewing. These approaches can help you change negative thought and behavior patterns so that you can achieve long-term recovery from alcohol use disorder.
What Happens If I Relapse?
Your treatment for alcohol use disorder at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center will help you develop healthy coping strategies so that difficult experiences don’t push you back into alcohol use. We will also teach you how to respond if you do have a relapse.
The skills you learn at our alcohol addiction treatment center can prevent a temporary setback from becoming a long-term problem. Healthy responses to relapse can include attending additional 12-Step meetings, working more closely with the members of your personal support network, or getting additional treatment for alcohol addiction.
Wherever you are in your recovery journey, if you need help, Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center is here for you.
This content was reviewed and approved by the clinical staff at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center.