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Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment and the Importance of Having a Support System

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Alcohol and drug abuse are both significant issues within the United States. While there are a variety of treatment options available for these and other addictions, it can be considerably challenging for someone to go through this process alone without a dependable support system.

Alcohol Abuse and Treatment

Alcohol abuse is considered to be the number one drug problem within this country. While adults 18 to 29 are considered to be the most vulnerable, adults 65 and older are considered to be the least susceptible. Recent data shows that almost 13.8 million people within the United States have a drinking problem. This includes the 8.1 million people in the country that suffer from alcoholism.

There are a variety of issues that can affect whether or not someone develops an alcohol problem or alcoholism. When children live with parents or other relatives that have issues with alcohol, it can negatively impact their home life. Over ten percent of children in the United States, for example, are living with a parent that has issues with alcohol. In some instances, these children may be living with two parents or are in contact with other family members that have alcohol problems.

Roughly 53% of adults have indicated that they have a close relative with a drinking problem. In some instances, this may be a family member in college. Data indicates that approximately 20% of all college students currently meet the criteria for an Alcohol Use Disorder.

Some alcoholics require monitoring and medication in order to address withdrawal symptoms. This applies to approximately ten percent to 20% of alcoholics, however. Delirium tremens is considered to be a life-threatening condition, which involves sudden and severe mental and/or nervous system changes.

While the detoxification process will differ from person-to-person, delirium tremens usually develops within 48 to 96 hours after someone has had their last drink. In some cases, an individual can experience this condition for up to ten days.

In general, however, acute withdrawal usually lasts from three to five days. After this initial withdrawal phase, the second phase is referred to as post-acute withdrawal syndrome. This phase can last up to a year or longer.

Substance Abuse and Treatment

In 2015, there were 20.5 million people 12 years of age and older with a substance abuse disorder. Two million of these individuals had a disorder that involved prescription pain medication, and 591,000 had a disorder that involved heroin. Estimates indicate that 23% of the people that use heroin will develop an opioid addiction, and four out of five of these users became addicted due to abusing prescription painkillers.

The leading cause of accidental death in the United States is due to drug overdoses. In 2015 alone, there were 52,404 lethal drug overdoses that occurred. While prescription pain medication overdoses accounted for 20,101 of these cases, heroin overdoses accounted for 12,990.

When someone is withdrawing from heroin and related shorter-acting drugs, withdrawal symptoms may begin within six to 12 hours after they took their last dose. The symptoms may peak within one to three days and lessen over the course of seven days. Anxiety, insomnia, and dysphoria may continue for weeks or months. If someone is withdrawing from longer-acting drugs such as Methadone, LAAM, or Buprenorphine, however, withdrawal symptoms may not begin for one to two days.

What is Suboxone treatment? To answer the question, “What is Suboxone treatment?” there are three active ingredients within this medication-assisted treatment protocol: Methadone, Buprenorphine, and Naltrexone. If someone asks the question, “What is Suboxone treatment?” then it’s important to note that this treatment is primarily used to treat opioid dependency. Furthermore, when someone asks, “What is Suboxone treatment?” they should also know that this is an FDA-approved medication.

Seeking Treatment and Rehabilitation

Every day, there are over 5,000 emergency room visits due to drug abuse. Prior to beginning drug rehabilitation, these individuals need to go through the drug detoxification process. Whether someone is seeking treatment for alcohol and/or substance abuse, it’s important to remember that when they go through this process alone, there is about a 95% relapse rate. This is why treatment programs combined with a dependable support system are so important.

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