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Alcohol may cause one to feel high, relaxed or sleepy, but its long-term effects can change the way the brain reacts to alcohol. Thus, alcoholism or alcohol dependence is a disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive alcohol use leads to 80,000 deaths each year in the United States, making alcohol use a leading cause of preventable death.

In 2016, 136.7 million Americans (aged 12 or older) reported current use of alcohol, 65.3 million reported binge alcohol use, and 16.3 million reported heavy alcohol use in the past month. Widely available in all 50 states and advertised regularly, most people tend to forget that alcohol is an addictive drug. Many drinkers are able to control their alcohol use, but for those who cannot, the consequences could be devastating.

Heavy alcohol use, if left untreated, can affect every aspect of one’s life. It can take an enormous emotional toll on individuals along with their family and friends. It can also put a great financial stress on the health care system and the society as a whole. A chronic life-long disease, alcohol dependence can be both progressive and life-threatening.

Alcohol abuse

A central nervous system depressant, alcohol consumption is as old as the hills so to speak since it has been recorded since ancient times. Unlike most other psychoactive drugs, alcohol is legal, frequently advertised and is easy to obtain. Classified as a substance abuse disorder, the phrase “alcohol abuse” refers to a behavioral pattern. A person dependent on alcohol continues to use alcohol despite experiencing negative consequences, including professional difficulties, blackouts, health problems and DUI arrests.

Following are the two forms of alcohol abuse:

  • Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD): Commonly referred to as alcoholism, AUD involves a person drinking large amounts of alcohol over a long period of time and is characterized by loss of control over alcohol intake, compulsive alcohol use and a negative emotional state when not abusing the addictive substance.
  • Binge drinking: Binge drinking involves an individual consuming a large amount of alcohol with the goal of getting drunk. For women, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines binge drinking as drinking four or more drinks on the same occasion or at least 1 day in the past 30 days.

In addition to causing a variety of physical illnesses including liver diseases, gastrointestinal problems, cardiovascular problems and unintentional injuries, alcohol abuse has been linked to a range of mental health issues from depression to suicide.

 Women and alcohol: Effects, symptoms and red flags

Traditionally thought to be dominated by men, when it comes to drinking alcohol, women seem to have caught up with them by drinking in a way that threatens their health, safety and general well-being. Alcohol is more harmful to women because they have a different drinking pattern compared to men and their bodies react differently to alcohol. Thus, women’s bodies do not tolerate alcohol the way men’s bodies do, making women more vulnerable to long-term negative side effects of alcohol. With less water in their bodies, women’s brain and other body organs are often exposed to more damage by alcohol.

Following are some of the symptoms of alcohol abuse:

  • Drinking in high-risk or dangerous situations
  • Having to drink more to achieve the same effects
  • Feeling out of control or guilty while or after drinking
  • Spending more time drinking or recovering from drinking sessions

Excessive drinking can increase women’s risk of suffering from certain long-term diseases including certain types of cancers, liver diseases, brain damage and heart damage. In addition, excessive drinking in women also increases their risk of sexual assault. Drinking can lead to a host of problems such as:

  • Legal problems resulting from drinking beyond the authorized limit
  • Causing physical harm to another person while drunk
  • Drinking interfering with work, school or normal daily functioning
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not drinking which may indicate the need for help from an alcohol detox center

Treatment for alcohol addiction

Addiction is a chronic disease that affects a person’s brain and behavior. While no single treatment is effective for everyone, staying in treatment long enough is critical to recovery. The first step in alcoholism treatment is realizing that one has a problem and asking for help.

A comprehensive alcoholism treatment involves supervised alcohol detox treatment followed by psychotherapy under the guidance of trained professionals. Basis a patient’s pre-assessment, alcohol rehab may comprise of medically supervised detoxification treatment at certified alcohol detox centers followed by intense behavioral therapies under the guidance of trained medical health professionals.

While a supervised detox program can prevent unpleasant or fatal consequences resulting from the sudden cessation of use and can aid the patient in becoming abstinent from drugs, therapy or counseling sessions allows one to find out the hidden causes behind addiction and also learn effective coping mechanisms to deal with daily-life stressors without alcohol post the treatment completion.

Why choose Sovereign Health?

At Sovereign Health, we understand that it can be difficult to recover from an addiction to alcohol and thus, offer a comprehensive alcohol rehab. Sovereign Health’s safe and comfortable alcohol rehab center in Chandler, Arizona provides expert alcohol treatment for women – particularly for those dealing with trauma in addition to addiction.

Taking a holistic view toward treatment, our women only alcohol program does not merely treat the physical symptoms but also addresses the complex mental and behavioral causes driving the addiction. Specifically geared towards female patients, our Chandler, Arizona, facility is considered the best alcohol rehab facilities for women. Fully licensed by the state of Arizona, our facility makes use of the latest evidence-based treatment for addiction-related disorders, mental health disorders, or any other co-occurring disorders for our female patients. In addition to alcoholism treatment, our treatment facilities also offer treatment for trauma, mental disorders and drug addiction.

In addition to traditional treatment methods, our women alcohol rehab facility offers women patients alternative therapies, including neurofeedback and experiential therapy, such as equine, recreation, music, and art therapy. For more information on our top-notch alcohol treatment programs or to locate the finest alcohol rehab centers for women, near you, please call our 24/7 helpline number and speak with our admission specialist. You can even chat online with our representatives for further assistance.

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