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The Transition House, Inc.

What are the side effects of alcohol use disorder?

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In 2013, an estimated 18 million people struggled with symptoms of alcohol dependence or abuse. However, only 1.4 million - less than 10% - received any type of treatment. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism along with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recommend medication assisted treatment (MAT) for the treatment of moderate to severe alcohol use disorder.

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What is alcohol use disorder?

Alcohol use disorder, also known as alcohol dependence, and alcohol abuse, is a treatable medical disorder. Alcohol use disorder occurs when the body can no longer function without alcohol due to overconsumption over time. This makes detoxification from alcohol especially difficult and potentially life threatening.

What are the side effects of alcohol use disorder?

Short-term effects of alcohol use:

  • Slurring speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Emotional changes
  • Sleep disruption
  • Lowering of body temperature

Symptoms of excess alcohol use:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Blackouts
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Coma and death

Long-term effects of overconsumption of alcohol:

  • Depression
  • Liver damage or cirrhosis
  • Cancer
  • Depression of the immune system
  • Reduced sexual performance
  • Pancreatitis
  • Nerve damage

In addition to the side effects listed above, expectant mothers who struggle with alcohol use disorder are at risk for fetal alcohol syndrome which can cause both physical and mental birth defects.

How do you treat alcohol use disorder?

Medication assisted treatment (MAT), the combination of specific addiction medication like Vivitrol along with behavioral therapy, is the recommended treatment for alcohol use disorder. Treatment begins with medical detoxification. Remember, detox from alcohol can be dangerous and potentially life threatening. For this reason, you should only detox under the supervision of a qualified addiction specialist or physician and never on your own. Seek help before you try to detox from alcohol.

Depending on your symptoms, inpatient residential rehab may be recommended. Outpatient treatment that includes behavioral therapy and self-help groups like Alcoholics Anonymous can help you continue to choose recovery after detox.

Choose recovery today.

Make an appointment at one of our counseling centers where our highly qualified practitioners include a psychiatrist, a physician, a psychologist, licensed mental health counselors and certified addiction professionals.

Our counseling centers in Florida provide medication assisted treatment with Suboxone medication free of charge to uninsured and underinsured patients. In addition to medication assisted treatment, we provide psychiatric medication management, psychiatric and psychological evaluations, as well as individual and group therapy sessions.

You can choose recovery today. We are ready to hear from you.

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