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Alcohol Addiction in Nebraska

Alcoholism is an umbrella term used to describe a wide array of problematic drinking behaviors. From occasional binge drinking, through to physical alcohol dependence, alcoholism cases require specialized treatment and ongoing support. Alcohol addiction in Nebraska is a serious issue in the community, with detox and rehab centers located throughout the state. If you know of someone who is struggling with alcohol addiction in Nebraska, it is important to find specialized help as soon as you can.

What is alcohol abuse?

Alcohol abuse involves the ongoing consumption of alcoholic beverages, even when consumption is causing health or social problems. Alcohol abuse is a previous psychiatric diagnosis, and alcohol abuse and dependence are now combined as the singular “alcohol use disorder.” People who abuse alcohol, are often divided into two camps: those with anxiety-like symptoms, and those with anti-social and pleasure-seeking tendencies. There are numerous ways to abuse alcohol, with binge drinking being a specific and very common abuse pattern. Alcohol abuse has been linked with numerous physical and mental health problems, including heart disease, brain damage, liver disease, depression disorder, among many others. People who abuse alcohol on a continual basis may develop an alcohol dependence, or experience serious social and legal problems.

What is alcohol addiction?

Alcohol dependence is typically associated with the existence of tolerance and withdrawal symptoms upon alcohol discontinuation. Alcohol dependence is a serious issue that must be treated carefully through medical detoxification and rehabilitation schemes. Other than tolerance and withdrawal symptoms, dependence can be recognized by the existence of significant social and health problems, alcohol cravings, an inability to reduce usage, and a general inability to perform the regular functions of life. People who are dependent on alcohol may also feel guilty about their drinking habits, or lie to the people around them to cover up the extent of their problem. In most cases of alcoholism, dependence is synonymous with addiction, with physical dependence accompanied by psychological attachment and intense alcohol cravings.

Types of alcohol

Alcohol has been consumed by humans for thousands of years, as almost every culture on Earth has had some form of relationship with alcohol at one point or another. In modern times, commercial alcoholic beverages are divided into three different categories: beer and cider, wine, and spirits. It is important to understand the differences between these forms of alcohol, as each type involves a different concentration of alcohol by percentage. Beer and cider normally have between 3 and 6 percent alcohol, with some variation on the upper end of the scale. Wine typically has an alcohol concentration between 10 and 15 percent. Spirits are much stronger, and have between 35 and 40 percent alcohol. Educating young individuals about these differences is crucial, with the heavy use of spirits more likely to lead to alcoholic poisoning and other medical complications.


Adverse effects of alcohol

Alcohol use has been linked to numerous health and social problems, many of which require medical attention. Common physical health problems resulting from alcohol consumption, include heart disease, liver disease, brain damage, pancreatitis, epilepsy, cancer, and peptic ulcers. While relations between alcohol consumption and disease are not always causal, excessive consumption of alcohol often weakens the immune system to a point where medical complications arise more rapidly. Alcoholism has also been linked with many psychiatric health problems, including mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. Physical brain damage can also influence psychiatric conditions, including impairments to social skills, executive functioning, and facial recognition systems.

Alcohol misuse has also been linked with a wide array of social problems, where are experienced by the drinker, the people around them, and wider society. For example, people who drink heavily are more likely to be involved in criminal activity, including rape, domestic violence, child abuse, drunk driving and much more. Non-criminal problems are also likely, including lack of school or work productivity, interpersonal problems, divorce, financial problems, and social isolation. While people at all stages of alcoholism can experience these problems, long-term and extreme drinkers are more likely to suffer the negative consequences of alcohol misuse.


Alcohol abuse statistics in Nebraska

Alcoholism is a major problem in the state of Nebraska, along with the United States as a whole. According to the National Alcoholism Center, over 70 percent of treatment admissions in Nebraska, report alcohol as their primary drug of choice. This is drastically more than any prescription medications or illegal drugs, with the next highest drug being methamphetamine at 12 percent. Every single year, over 300 Nebraskans die from alcohol-related causes, and more than 4000 are hospitalized due to the direct or indirect effects of alcoholism. Alcoholism exacts a high toll on every aspect of modern society, with detox and rehab treatment needing to be applied as soon as possible in order to reduce the negative effects of abuse and addiction.

Medical detox

Medical detox often marks the start of the alcoholism treatment process. Alcohol dependence is typically associated with a physical withdrawal syndrome, and possible effects include nausea, vomiting, headaches, depression, seizures, hallucinations, and delirium tremens. Some of these symptoms can cause severe medical complications if left untreated. Fortunately, medical detox programs are designed to reduce dangerous symptoms, and stabilize patients prior to rehab. Benzodiazepine drugs are the most widely prescribed medications during detox, including the brand name drugs Valium, Librium, Serax, and many more. Other drugs may also be administered in the later stages of detox under certain conditions, including the opioid antagonist naltrexone, Antabuse, and Campral.


12-step support groups

Conventional 12-step support groups are often used to treat alcoholism, both during rehab and aftercare programs. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has been around since the 1930s, with this program continuing to help tens of thousands of Americans each and every year. During the 12-step process, alcoholics need to admit a lack of control over their addiction, recognize God or another higher power, make up for past mistakes, and formulate a new code of behavior. They are also advised to help other members who are going through a similar situation, via a sponsor program. While the 12-step process is not for everyone, it is a powerful method of treatment when combined with other forms of counseling and psychotherapy.

If you or your loved one needs help with an alcohol abuse or addiction problem, reach out to qualified addiction rehabilitation centers in Nebraska today to learn more about the alcohol treatment options available.