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Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol Abuse Treatment Specialist in Columbia, SC

You probably have an alcohol use disorder if your drinking habits cause you to experience severe discomfort regularly and interfere with your ability to function in everyday life. It could be minor or really serious. However, early treatment is crucial since even a modest illness has the potential to worsen and cause major issues. For alcohol misuse therapy, visit Kristy Thompson, APRN, FNP-BC, at Living Healthy Body & Mind. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 7520 Irmo Dr., Suite#5, Columbia SC 29212.

Alcohol Abuse Treatment Specialist Near Me in Columbia SC
Alcohol Abuse Treatment Specialist Near Me in Columbia SC

Table of Contents:

What is alcohol abuse?
How can drinking too much affect me?
What causes alcohol use disorder?
Is there a safe level of drinking?

What is alcohol abuse?


The term alcohol abuse refers to a drinking pattern that leads to detrimental results to a person’s health, daily function, or responsibilities. It is generally characterized by the frequent, and excessive consumption of alcohol to the extent that it takes precedence over a person’s other activities or obligations. Alcohol abuse is distinct from alcohol dependence or alcoholism, as a person is not yet physically dependent on the substance, however, it can lead to such a case. The consequences of alcohol abuse are quite numerous, impacting not just the health of an individual, but many aspects of their life including, mental health, relationships, and social responsibilities as previously stated. Most frequently it is seen to result in the neglect of personal and professional responsibilities and strain on relationships with friends or family. Realizing signs of alcohol abuse is critical for intervention, which can involve counseling, support groups, or medical treatment in some cases, to regain a more balanced and healthy lifestyle.

How can drinking too much affect me?


Drinking too much alcohol can have numerous effects on an individual that impact various aspects of their life, health, and well-being. Physically, excessive alcohol consumption has been shown to lead to a host of negative effects on the body, including the liver, heart, and pancreas, as well as increasing the risk of particular cancers. The liver can experience steatosis, commonly known as fatty liver, fibrosis, or cirrhosis, and in regards to the heart, drinking over a long period can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, arrhythmias, and heart disease. Alcohol is a known carcinogen, as it is associated with an increased risk of cancers in the head and neck, liver, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer. Beyond physical health, heavy drinking can have significant psychological effects. Particularly, mental health conditions, namely depression and anxiety, can become exacerbated, and in some cases, lead to dependency. Dependency can lead to a neglect of personal and professional relationships, as well as a neglect of responsibilities. Socially speaking, excessive drinking can cause changes in behavior, such as increased risk-taking, aggression, and social withdrawal. Put concisely, excessive drinking is by no means a minor issue, as it frequently leads to adversely affecting numerous aspects of a person’s life, making it important to recognize signs and seek the appropriate help if you have concerns about your own or a loved one’s excessive drinking.

What causes alcohol use disorder?


Alcohol Use Disorder, otherwise known as AUD, is a complex condition with a variety of contributing factors. It is typically characterized by the inability to control or stop alcohol consumption regardless of the negative effects that a person may be experiencing: health, relationships, and responsibilities. Genetic, environmental, psychological, and social factors are all frequently mentioned when it comes to attributing a cause of AUD. For example, some people have a predisposition to AUD, influenced by genetic makeup, which can affect how the body processes alcohol and make one more susceptible to addiction. Others may be raised in an environment in which alcohol abuse is common, which also plays a significant developmental role in AUD. Psychologically, depression, anxiety, and stress are often linked to the development of AUD, as people may turn to alcohol as a means of escape or coping. Socially, people may be part of circles that normalize or encourage drinking heavily, and if done frequently, can lead to AUD. Understanding these various developmental factors of AUD is crucial to the prevention and treatment of such a disorder.

Is there a safe level of drinking?


The concept of a ‘safe’ level of drinking is nuanced and will vary considerably among individuals as it is contingent on factors including age, gender, health status, and family history. With that being said, any amount of alcohol can increase the risk of developing a long-term health issue. Data from the WHO statement as of January 2023 states that when it comes to human health, no level of alcohol consumption is particularly safe. Drinking in moderation, classified as two standard drinks per day for men and one standard drink per day for women, can lead to increased risks of cancer and developing some form of cardiovascular or liver condition. Because of this, the best way to stay safe and decrease the risk of adverse long-term health effects is to avoid drinking.

Consult with our healthcare professional if you believe that you occasionally consume excessive amounts of alcohol, if your drinking is creating issues, or if your family is worried about your drinking. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 7520 Irmo Dr., Suite#5, Columbia SC 29212. We serve patients from Columbia, SC, Seven Oaks, SC, Lexington, SC, South Congaree, SC, Arcadia Lakes, SC, Richland, SC, and surrounding areas.