Alcohol abuse is a tough and controversial subject to define. When accounting for the long-term effects of alcoholism, you’re likely to hear a slew of differing opinions on the subject regarding, among other things:
How much and how often you need to drink to be deemed an alcoholic.
The severity of your usage.
How much is ‘too much’.
Perhaps most important to consider, however, is the definition of the word ‘addiction’ itself. What many people aren’t aware of is that addiction has more in common with a disease that with a mental disorder. Addiction isn’t a choice; it’s caused by a wide variety of environmental, social, familial, and biological factors. The abuse of any substance can physically change the chemistry of the brain, and it’s very natural for people to seek the endorphins they crave.
Alcohol is known for being an especially addictive substance. After all, it’s relatively inexpensive, easy to gain access to, and, unlike many other substances (like hard drugs), there is virtually no social stigma associated with drinking. Alcohol’s impact on your mind and body begins with your first sip, and once your brain develops a long-term fixation on any given substance, the results can be disastrous.
In that sense, long-term alcoholism is more than just a bad habit – it’s genuinely dangerous.
Short-term alcohol use and how it can lead to long-term alcoholism
The short-term effects of heavy alcoholism can be relatively minor but should not be taken lightly. In fact, the reason that many people enjoy drinking casually or in groups is for how ‘fun’ the short-term effects can sometimes be. Unfortunately, anything that causes the release of endorphins in the brain has the potential, after prolonged use, to lead to overwhelming long-term addiction.
The short-term effects of alcohol usage range in severity, and can include:
Lowered inhibitions and poor social judgment
Loss of balance and coordination
High blood pressure
Alcohol poisoning (usually only caused by extreme binge drinking)
The physical effects of long-term alcohol addiction
Ethanol (alcohol) is a central nervous system depressant and can be harmful to the body in many different ways. Alcohol abuse can also cause damage to your reproductive system, sexual health, immunity, your nervous system, and your likelihood of getting cancer, it primarily causes damage to your organs, including your:
Your liver metabolizes alcohol for you. However, it can only handle a bit at a time, meaning excess alcohol will simply cycle around in your bloodstream. Persistent or binge drinking can cause extreme problems in the liver as a result, including inflammation, fatty liver, fibrosis, and cirrhosis.
Remember, excess alcohol swims for hours in your bloodstream, and everything in your bloodstream goes through your heart over and over! Excessive alcohol use is a leading cause of cardiovascular diseases including cardiomyopathy, high blood pressure, strokes, arrhythmias, and heart attacks.
If excessive drinking is causing liver problems or high blood pressure, your kidney has to work twice as hard to filter harmful substances out of the blood. If the kidneys are overworked, your risk of kidney disease (or even kidney failure) is much, much higher.
Excessive alcohol use can lead to pancreatitis, which occurs when ethanol causes swelling in the blood vessels nearest the pancreas. Because the pancreas helps regulate sugar levels in the body, digestive problems will likely follow.
Because ethanol causes the stomach to produce more acid than normal, excessive drinking can lead to ulcers, diarrhea, reflux, internal bleeding, and inflammation of the stomach lining.
Believe it or not, long-term drinking can cause broken bones! Alcohol abuse can interrupt your body’s capacity to produce vitamin D; a lack of vitamin D makes it difficult for calcium absorption to occur naturally in your body; a lack of calcium absorption leads to osteoporosis, which, in turn, drastically increases your likelihood of bone fractures and breaks.
The psychological effects of long-term alcohol addiction
What many don’t realize isthat alcohol is a drug. It’s extremely addictive, and its long-term effects on your body and mind can be drastic and irreversible. In the United States, alcohol abuse increases the risk of car accidents, suicide, assault, homicide, and other crimes, and leads to 88,000 deaths per year.
Any addiction is hard on your brain and your mental health, simply because a physical and emotional dependency is extremely difficult to break and can lead to withdrawal. The symptoms of dependency and withdrawal can include difficulty sleeping, shakiness, depression, anxiety, nausea, and sweating. In more extreme cases, delirium tremens, seizures, sickness, and hallucinations can occur.
Getting help now
The worst-case scenario of long-term alcohol addiction is, quite simply, death. If you need help now, we strongly recommend getting in touch with us. At Tikvah Lake Recovery, we provide medically-assisted detox, private luxury lodging, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and round-the-clock care. Most importantly, we provide results.
Our number one priority is to provide services that lead to long-lasting and effective treatment. Through our expert care and staff, we can ensure that our alcohol treatment program provides the necessary steps to assist you or your loved one in overcoming addiction.
Our program provides in-patient care with experts in mental health therapy and rehabilitation, as well as assistance throughout the entire recovery process.
In-patient treatment is imperative to overcoming alcoholism. At Tikvah Lake, we offer the proper balance of individually tailored therapy accompanied by luxurious amenities that provide one with the encouragement and mental space to treat alcohol addiction. We provide a range of therapies, detox management, social and life skill development support, as well as post-program guidance and beyond.
At Tikvah Lake, we understand that beginning recovery is no small matter, and we are here to help you. Through our alcohol treatment program, people are given the opportunity to go out into the world with controlled behaviors and lifestyle choices without the use of alcohol.
How our alcohol treatment program works
Our alcohol Treatment Program is centered around therapy catered to the individuals’ needs. Our individualized treatment plan offers a full range of therapies to meet the needs of each person.
The alcohol treatment program focuses on attaining the following goals:
Gain complete independence from alcohol consumption
Discover coping skills to deal with mental illness
Diminish major factors and temptations leading to alcohol addiction
Create a new space for one to develop new hobbies and skills that lead to relaxation and de-stressing
Establish new purpose and meaning to life
At Tikvah Lake, we are committed to every person that walks through our doors to provide them with the best experience to ensure their personal successful journey with alcohol addiction recovery. We are here to provide for you or your loved ones, bringing them to a happier, healthier self one day at a time.
Treating Co-Occurring Disorders (Dual Diagnosis)
It is not uncommon for co-occurring disorders to come as a result of alcohol addiction. When left untreated co-occurring disorders can be a major contributing factor to the continuation and challenge of alcohol addiction.
Our team of experts at Tikvah Lake first provide the most accurate full diagnosis enabling them to work together with you or your loved one to create an individualized treatment plan. It is important for our therapists first to get a full picture of one’s mental and emotional health. Through this awareness, we pave the path to a life free of alcohol addiction.
Starting from one’s first session at Tikvah Lake, our therapists will provide a full psychiatric evaluation to assess any undiagnosed illness and provide for the most complete and accurate addiction analysis. As one continues their alcohol treatment process at Tikvah Lake, co-occurring issues can continue to be addressed and properly handled.
It is our commitment to our guests with the most personalized and top-notch care not only when treating alcoholism and any co-occurring disorder but also from the onset of the diagnosis stage.
Proven Treatment Methods
The foundation and ultimate success of our alcohol treatment program is rooted in our multiple treatment methods provided by our expert staff.
We use evidence-based methods of treatment when catering to you or your loved ones needs such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Somatic Experiencing (SE), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) (where appropriate).
Additional Therapeutic Means of Recovery
In addition to traditional therapy, our alcohol treatment program provides multiple therapy forms to further an individual’s recovery and health. Although we provide these additional therapies based around one’s personal needs and interests, some of the most common forms of therapies we offer are art and music therapy.
Our program is unique in this capacity as we provide other stress-reducing activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, acupuncture, massage and personal training sessions, all proven to improve overall mental, emotional and physical health.
There is a strong and proven correlation between mental health and physical health; therefore we work with the individual to assure optimal physical health. Nutrition education and exercise are two key components to ensuring our guests are satisfied with their overall physical health.
Your Stay at Tikvah Lake
As always, your success and satisfaction are our priority at Tikvah Lake. We work with top experts to provide the best and most incomparable care to guests at our residence. Tikvah Lakes beautiful setting allows one to relax and focus on their alcohol treatment journey, taking in all that Tikvah Lakes breathtaking view and calm setting has to offer. Our residence situated on Lake Charlotte is the perfect place for one to relax, reflect and restart.
Our Expert Clinical Team
Our clinical team is here for you to provide the best in professional care with a warm and compassionate smile. Tikvah Lake therapists create individual treatment plans using evidence-based methods of therapy. Using neuropsychological and psychological testing, our staff creates personalized alcohol recovery blueprint and helps to ensure that our guests achieve their own personal optimal results.
Tikvah Lake Residence
Located in Florida, our grounds boast a pool, spa, dock and boat with plenty of sunshine and fresh air. Our facility is a 15,000 square foot mansion on a 200-acre lake. We have a library, lounge areas, gourmet kitchen, private therapy spaces, recreational room and generously sized bedrooms with en suites. We are also fortunate to be adjacent to a State Park with miles of hiking trails. There is no doubt our residence provides for a luxurious stay.
Seeking Alcohol Treatment for a Loved One
We understand that it is not easy or comfortable watching a loved one struggle with alcohol addiction. Seeking help is the initial necessary step to recovery. Although, ultimately up to the person themselves to make the final decision to get help, we are here to guide family members and those close to one who is struggling with alcohol addiction.
When approaching the topic, one must have the overall knowledge that addiction is not a choice or a character flaw, but rather a condition of the brain that can affect anyone. Our residence provides our guests with the opportunity to leave their current environment and enter into a new atmosphere without the many influences that can potentially further their addiction.
To take the first step in helping a loved one live a life free from alcohol addiction, give us a call. Your love and encouragement could be the driving factor to begin their treatment.