Alcohol Abuse in Chattanooga, TN
Alcohol abuse in Chattanooga is a major concern to health administrators, law enforcement agencies and legislators. Alcohol abuse affects not only those people who drink alcohol, but also their families, close friends, and society in general. People who abuse alcohol are often involved in violent incidents. They may physically abuse family members, or be involved in assaults on others; it is also a holds a very high percentage of 911 call-outs.
What is alcohol abuse?
Alcohol abuse is a type of alcohol use disorder, according to the DSM-V. It is characterized by drinking in a manner that leads to negative consequences. The negative impact can result in:
- Poor performance in employment or at school
- Legal problems, including DUI convictions
- Social and family problems
- Financial difficulties
- Health problems
Alcohol abuse can occur in many different ways. Examples include:
- Binge drinking (i.e. consuming more than four standard drinks in a single session)
- Drinking to the extent that motor functions and decision-making are affected
- Blacking out through excessive drinking and being unable to recall events from a drinking session
- Engaging in dangerous activities when under the influence of alcohol
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol
- Drinking alone
- Drinking as a way to deal with anxiety or depression
While people who abuse alcohol may not be addicted to or dependent on alcohol, but they are at greater risk of becoming addicted. Once people become addicted to alcohol, it is much more difficult for them to control their alcohol use, although it is possible to regain control with the right treatment.
Alcohol abuse is also associated with many different illnesses. Excessive alcohol intake can lead to alcoholic poisoning, which can be fatal. Prolonged use of alcohol is associated with liver damage, cirrhosis of the liver, ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems. It affects people’s ability to think clearly, causes memory lapses, and destroys irreplaceable brain cells. It is also associated with mental illnesses like depression.
Alcohol abuse signs and symptoms
The signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse can vary. They may include:
- Inability to control the amount a person drinks
- Missing work or school because of alcohol
- Giving up other pleasurable activities to engage in drinking
- Prioritizing drinking over responsibilities
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when consumption stops
Safety concerns about alcohol abuse in Chattanooga
According to figures released by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, there have already been 18 fatalities as a result of road traffic accidents in 2017 in the Chattanooga district, of which six occurred in Hamilton County. While statistics detailing the causes of these fatalities have yet to be published, it is almost certain that alcohol will be a factor in some of these, based on statistics from previous years.
In 2016, 349 crashes in Hamilton County were declared as known Alcohol-Related crashes. Either the driver indicated that he or she had consumed alcohol, or testing revealed a BAC >= .08%. In 2014, almost one-third of fatalities in traffic accidents were alcohol related.
When people who have taken alcohol drive, their risk of being involved in an accident is substantially higher. Even small amounts of alcohol can have a detrimental effect on people’s ability to react and on their decision-making. According to the University of Texas at San Antonio, a BAC of as low as .02% can impact negatively on mental functions. People with alcohol taken often underestimate the speed at which they are driving, and their concentration, vision and hearing is impaired.
Treatment for alcohol abuse in Chattanooga
Many ask themselves, “What is alcohol abuse?” Understanding what alcohol abuse is may help you to recognize that your own drinking patterns, or those of someone you love, may be problematical. Please be aware that there is help available for people who abuse alcohol. Alcohol abuse treatment is very effective at helping people to develop a healthier approach to alcohol. Alcohol abuse treatment can be undertaken either as an inpatient or outpatient.
People may be reluctant to seek treatment because of the stigma associated with being a problem drinker. However, our skilled treatment specialists recognize alcohol abuse as a type of illness, not as a character flaw. Our alcohol rehab centers adopt a caring, helpful, and nonjudgmental approach to help people deal with their illness. Moreover, client confidentiality is paramount to the best alcohol rehab centers.
Our patients learn to replace the negative behaviors that make them abuse alcohol with more positive and constructive behaviors. They find out how to avoid or deal with triggers that make them turn to drink. They also learn about the multiple alcohol treatment programs that we offer, call Chattanooga Drug Rehab Centers now at (423) 799-4292.