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Alcohol Addiction in Idaho


Alcohol abuse is a very real problem across the United States, with millions of people suffering from the adverse effects from alcohol consumption each year. A range of health and social problems have been linked with alcohol addiction, including damage to the heart, brain, and liver. Professional treatment is often needed to break the bonds of alcoholism, including medical detox and comprehensive rehab services. Treatment for alcohol addiction in Idaho is available on a residential or outpatient basis, with the extent of addiction greatly influencing the treatment provided. If you or anyone you know is living with alcohol addiction in Idaho, it’s important to reach out to a professional treatment center as soon as you can.


What is alcohol addiction?

Alcohol addiction is a type of alcohol use disorder, with addiction typically involving the existence of tolerance and physical-somatic withdrawal symptoms when alcohol intake is stopped. Alcohol addiction is the most severe form of alcoholism, with this medical classification also including binge drinking and other forms of alcohol abuse. Like other forms of psychoactive substance addiction, alcohol addiction is a learned behavior that develops slowly over time. People normally start to develop problems by misusing alcohol, with tolerance developing over time and physical-somatic withdrawal symptoms experienced when alcohol intake is stopped or reduced.


In order to comprehend alcoholism, it’s important to understand the nature of addiction. In order for something to be addictive, it has to be both intrinsically rewarding and positively reinforcing, with alcohol meeting both of these criteria. People normally abuse alcohol because they want to experience the immediate positive effects of consumption, including enhanced mood, increased socialization, and improved self confidence. A psychological attachment to these effects is reinforced with regular exposure, with extensive abuse often leading to dependence and addiction over time. Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that is known to produce severe physical-somatic withdrawal symptoms when intake is stopped. Physical dependence is normally linked with psychological attachment, with a combination of medication treatment and psychotherapy needed to break the bonds of addiction.


Alcoholism statistics in Idaho

Nearly 14 million adult Americans have an alcohol abuse or addiction problem, representing one in every 13 adults. Those who start drinking at an early age are at a much greater risk of developing serious problems, with people who start drinking before 15 twice as likely to abuse alcohol and four times as likely to develop a physical dependence. As you can see, alcohol abuse and addiction is a huge problem across the United States, and Idaho is certainly no exception. According to the Idaho Department of Health Services, 15.5 percent of adults in Idaho reported engaging in binge drinking over the year, with young adults at particular risk. Alcoholism affects all elements of society, with individual drinkers experiencing physical and psychological health problems and wider society affected indirectly through social and healthcare costs. Despite these huge problems, a shortage of treatment centers for alcohol related cases has been noted across the state.


Physical effects of alcoholism

Extensive exposure to alcohol has been linked with a wide array of physical health problems, including damage to the heart, brain, and liver. People who abuse alcohol over a long period of time are likely to develop some kind of physical problem, with additional problems likely as tolerance and physical dependence develop over time. Alcohol abuse is known to increase the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, cirrhosis of the liver, dementia, epilepsy, pancreatitis, and damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems. People who start drinking at a young age are more likely to develop physical problems, with women also at a greater risk of long-term complications. The physical nature of alcohol dependence includes the experience of physical-somatic withdrawal symptoms when alcohol intake is stopped, with many of these symptoms leading to additional complications if left untreated.


Psychiatric effects of alcoholism

Alcohol abuse has also been linked with a wide array of psychiatric complications, many of which are the result of significant brain damage. Severe cognitive problems are common in long-term alcoholics, as are social skill impairment, psychosis, anxiety, depression, and psychosis. The co-existence of depression disorder and alcoholism is common, with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders known as a dual diagnosis. People suffering from a dual diagnosis often need an extra level of treatment, with sequential, parallel, and integrated programs available from many treatment facilities. The psychological nature of alcohol addiction requires comprehensive psychotherapeutic treatment, including cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, counseling, and 12-step facilitation.


Medical detox

Alcoholism is associated with tolerance and physical dependence, with a medically assisted detox program often needed to help break the bonds of addiction. Common withdrawal symptoms include excessive sweating, nausea, vomiting, hand tremors, seizures, hallucinations, and delirium tremens. While some symptoms are only experienced in severe cases, medical treatment is often advised to help reduce and manage the withdrawal syndrome. Benzodiazepine drugs such as Valium and Librium are often used during the medical detox period, with these medications helping to reduce symptoms before they lead to additional complications. People dependent on alcohol are always advised to go through withdrawal in a safe and secure environment, with medically assisted detox centers located throughout Idaho and across the Untied States.



The treatment process for alcoholism includes three separate yet integrated stages, with detox followed by rehab and aftercare. While detox enables people to stop using alcohol and helps to manages the withdrawal period, it does nothing to treat the psychological aspects of alcohol addiction. Psychotherapy programs are always advised, with various behavioral, motivational, and cognitive programs available on a residential or outpatient basis. Typical psychotherapy programs include cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, moral reconation therapy, 12-step facilitation, and relapse prevention. Aftercare support programs are also important, with recovering alcoholics learning how to integrate the lessons learned during detox and rehab. If you or anyone you know needs to access treatment for an alcohol related disorder, it is important you contact an addiction specialist today. Pick up the phone and finally find freedom from addiction.