Even though figures from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration show that less than 3% of the population in Pennsylvania suffers from alcohol dependency, around 5% of adults report a problem with heavy drinking and 16% admit that they binge drink here, both of which can lead to reliance on alcohol. It is also the case that alcohol misuse is still the leading reason for people to seek addiction treatment within the state. While you might expect that Philadelphia would have the biggest problem with alcohol abuse, the area around Pittsburgh has more cases of alcohol misuse, along with central northern counties of PA such as Bradford, Clinton, Sullivan and Union.
Alcohol addiction may arise from drinking to manage stress, to cope with difficult situations, to deal with feelings of isolation, or even as a result of undiagnosed mental health problems. Unemployment rates of 8% in the state and a poverty rate close to 14% mean that some PA residents may find they turn to drink to blank out their money worries, using cheap beer, wine and cider to forget about their problems and temporarily lift their spirits. However, whatever your reason for abusing alcohol, heavy drinking rarely helps any situation and usually makes matters far worse. While in the grip of an addiction to alcohol, you may not be able to see a way out and continue to use lager, wine, spirits or any other alcoholic drink you can lay your hands on to mask your problems. Once you can admit that you have a drink problem, joining one of the alcohol treatment programs PA run by Steps to Recovery can help you work through your difficulties and set you free from your addiction.
Risks of Heavy Drinking
Although one alcoholic beverage a day may offer you health benefits, once your daily glass of wine, shot or bottle of beer becomes more than that, you start risking your physical and mental wellness. Problems with hangovers are the least of your worries though, as one heavy drinking session can prove fatal and alcohol misuse can lead to long-term medical conditions that are often irreversible. When you drink heavily these are just some of the dangers to your well-being:
- People commonly forget that alcohol is a toxin, so in large amounts you can suffer poisoning, which is sometimes deadly. Although the symptoms of alcohol poisoning are similar to those of drunkenness, signs that you have consumed toxic levels of alcohol include confusion, reduced co-ordination, vomiting, pallor, breathing that becomes slow or irregular, pale skin, hypothermia, seizures and reduced consciousness. Seeking immediate medical help when someone has suspected alcohol poisoning is vital to ensure their safety.
- Your liver processes alcohol so suffers significant damage from alcohol abuse, leading to cirrhosis of the liver, fatty liver disease and alcoholic hepatitis. If a liver function test shows your liver isn’t performing as well as it should, this is a wakeup call that it is time to cut back or stop drinking.
- Binge drinking raises your blood pressure, so you are more likely to suffer a stroke or a heart attack after a heavy drinking session. This applies even if you are otherwise fit and well. Once you start drinking large amounts on a regular basis this can leave your blood pressure high, increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease further. With a high blood pressure reading it is time to address your drinking habits.
- As alcohol is carcinogenic, you are more likely to develop cancer in the tissues directly exposed to alcohol, such as your mouth, throat, gullet, liver and bowel, but heavy drinking also makes you more susceptible to breast cancer too. Attending routine cancer screening is even more important with a history of alcohol abuse and you should never ignore any worrying signs.
- Alcohol damages areas of your brain involved in memory, so prolonged heavy drinking can speed up the onset of dementia. Nerve damage also means that you are likely to have difficulties with your co-ordination, as well as tingling sensation in your fingers and toes.
- You are more likely to suffer from depression when you drink large amounts of alcohol, as while a single drink can lift your spirits, more than this can leave you feeling depressed. If you are able to moderate your drinking or cut alcohol out completely, depressive symptoms should subside.
However, it isn’t just the health effects of alcohol intoxication that you need to think about. Alcohol abuse can damage your life in numerous other ways. When hooked on drinking it is easy to lose sight of the impact that it has on your working life, your relationships at home and other factors such as your finances and your social life. If the glass of red after work to relieve your stress becomes a bottle a night habit, it can leave you hungover each morning, so you are less effective at your job and perhaps there may be days when you can’t even face turning up to work. Either way, over time this may place you at risk of getting fired, which can add further strain if money is already tight. Alternatively, as alcohol takes its hold over you, you may have less time for your family and appear distant from them, choosing to spend more time on your own to drink. This can similarly see you lose touch with friends and let your interests slide, so you socialize less and become more isolated, which can encourage you to drink more heavily still. Your drink habit may also see you taking more risks, which includes drink driving, though you should bear in mind that 40% of fatal accidents in Pennsylvania involve a driver who was intoxicated when they got behind the wheel.
If you can identify that you have an alcohol problem, Steps to Recovery can help you at one of their alcohol addiction facilities in PA. Acknowledging that you have become dependent on alcohol is never easy, but by taking this initial step you are a step closer to getting sober.
Admitting You Are Addicted to Alcohol
Although your family and friends may tell you that they have concerns about your drinking habits, to seek treatment for alcohol abuse you need to recognize the problem for yourself. To help you identify when your drinking has taken over and you have an addiction to alcohol, look out for the following signs:
- The amount you drink continues to increase. For example, the bottle of vodka or rum that used to sit in your drinks cabinet for weeks is now finished within a matter of days and there may be occasions where you can drain a whole bottle of spirits in a night.
- You don’t just feel hungover in the morning, but you now get alcohol withdrawal symptoms on waking. If you feel shaky, sweaty and anxious on top suffering from nausea and a headache, these are signs that your body is craving alcohol.
- You feel tense if you know there isn’t a supply of drink in the house, making you a regular visitor at the liquor store.
- You want nothing more than to give up alcohol, but the draw of beer, whisky, gin, white wine or cider is too great, so despite your best efforts you can’t control yourself from pouring another drink.
- You keep drinking even though alcohol misuse is destroying your life. For instance, you were admitted to the ER with alcohol poisoning, you crashed your car while drunk or you lost your job due to your drinking habits.
If any of these sound familiar, it is time to give Steps to Recovery a call to arrange specialist addiction therapy to help you achieve abstinence.
Programs for Alcohol Addiction in Pennsylvania
When you choose us as your alcohol treatment provider, you have access to a range of addiction recovery programs across the state. From highly intensive residential rehab to more flexible outpatient therapy, the choice is yours, but it helps to know about the benefits of each style of treatment to help you make your decision.
If you need to detox from alcohol a supervised withdrawal program is available that allows us to monitor your vital signs and administer any treatment you need to make you more comfortable during your alcohol detox. However, this isn’t the only reason to stay residentially. With an inpatient program for alcohol rehabilitation PA you will receive counseling on a daily basis, which gives you a fighting chance of kicking your drink habit. We will guide you to this option if you have previously fallen off the wagon, but anyone looking to quit drinking on the first attempt can also benefit from residential addiction treatment. Another attraction of inpatient rehab for alcohol abuse is that you are removed from the triggers that may have led to your drinking in the first place, giving you the chance to work on strategies to manage these before you actually have to face them. Finally, if you have a limited support network at home, the option for round the clock support also makes a residential stay attractive.
Not everyone needs intensive treatment for alcohol misuse though, so you may want to consider outpatient alcohol addiction treatment PA. As you receive therapy less frequently during the week and you don’t stay on site, this lets you carry on with your home life, which may include looking after your family and going to work, as it is possible to organize treatment around these commitments. You are usually most successful with this style of therapy if you have a supportive and structured home life and you feel confident in your ability to resist temptations to drink while you complete therapy.
If you still want to take advantage of daily therapy to recover from alcohol addiction but you wish to travel each day for treatment, partial hospitalization is additionally available. This offers benefits of both styles of treatment and the closeness of Pennsylvania alcohol recovery centers to home means a daily commute is manageable.
Therapy During Alcohol Rehab PA
Not only are our helpful team of staff happy to guide you through the various styles of addiction treatment we offer at Steps to Recovery, they will gladly explain what makes our substance dependency programs unique from those of other providers in the state. Just a few of the benefits of choosing us for your alcohol rehabilitation are:
- We place emphasis on client-centered care, so your program of therapy to aid your recovery is tailored to your needs.
- All our treatments are proven to help addicts on their journey to recovery, giving you the best chance of achieving sobriety.
- Our substance dependency recovery programs are comprehensive, so not only do you gain access to specialist talking therapies, but also other treatments and activities that will help you on the road to success.
- We offer you an exceptional level of support on your journey to recovery and with our own experience of being in treatment we are best placed to understand the care that you need.
When you enroll with us you can expect to take part in personal, group and family counseling to address all the areas that will help you get sober and stay that way, but this isn’t all that we offer our clients. When participating in one of our alcohol recovery programs PA you will have access to complementary therapies that will give you a mental boost and give you another strategy to manage cravings. You will also be able to take part in skills development sessions that are customized to the areas you need to work on; from managing a household budget to interviewing well we can help you with a diverse range of areas. Then for our residential clients you have time for leisure during your week and with the structured activities on offer this really is time well spent. From forming friendships to remembering how to have a good time without the need to drink and seeing how you can naturally lift your spirits, recreation and exercise complete our programs nicely, offering an all round approach to recovery from alcoholism.
Groups and Charities in Pennsylvania
- Havertown Seventh Day Adventist Church: 2 North Edmonds Avenue, Havertown, PA 19083-5024
- Youth Mentoring Partnership: 20 Liberty Boulevard, Suite A9, Malvern, PA 19355
- Fight to Learn: PO BOX 45237, Philadelphia, PA 19124
- Pennsylvania Adult Suicide Prevention Coalition: 525 South 29th Street, Harrisburg, PA 17104
- Greater Works: 301 College Park Drive, Monroeville, PA 15146