Alcohol Addiction on the Rise

While enjoying the occasional alcoholic beverage is not necessarily problematic, the overuse of alcohol can cause a variety of health issues and mental problems. People typically drink to celebrate special occasions, and nearly 80% of the overall population is estimated to enjoy an adult beverage at least once in their lifetime. Yet, there are some individuals who drink to cope with their surroundings, and who drink often. Frequent alcohol consumption to cope with reality may result in alcohol addiction. And situations like COVID-19, stress, unemployment, and social distancing in 2020 may be causing more people to drink frequently, a sign that alcohol addiction could be on the rise.

 

St. John’s Recovery Place (SJRP) and other Florida drug and alcohol treatment centers are working overtime now to educate the public on alcohol addiction, the symptoms of it, and when someone may need to seek addiction treatment. All of this comes as a result of the high increase in the general public’s stress levels and increased alcohol consumption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s a terrible recurring cycle of isolation, lack of structural normalcy, and trauma. Alcohol and the coronavirus are a dangerous and deadly pairing, with a high-risk factor to only create more problems. As more and more people turn to alcohol and drug use to alleviate anxiety, or to numb the feelings of hopelessness or boredom, the risk for dependence and long-term addiction becomes more prevalent. It is important for everyone to remember to try and keep themselves productive and busy while at home, and to seek help if the stress of the current pandemic or your current living situation give rise to your drinking more frequently than you intended to.

How Crisis & Isolation Can Lead to Alcohol Relapse

Here at SJRP, we are concerned about the potential of alcohol relapse during the pandemic. One thing that is taught openly in recovery is not to distance yourself and not to spend too much time alone.  Alcohol relapse risks typically increase due to chronic stress and overall, stress levels increasing nationwide. Stress can be both psychologically and physically taxing on even the most strong-willed individuals. As your stress levels increase, so does your physical, emotional, and mental discomfort. This eventually leads to a catalyst point where you absolutely need to alleviate and relieve the stress, so that it exits the body. For some exercise, listening to music, or taking a nap can work in an attempt to regain homeostasis. However, studies have shown that large or chronic stress levels leave us vulnerable to substance use disorders, as we attempt to use drugs or alcohol to alleviate negative emotions or feelings.

 

COVID-19 has done a great deal more than just raise the stress levels of individuals and families across the United States. Coronavirus has managed to negatively impact the social structure of the nation, requiring individuals to stay within their homes, and avoiding as much human contact as possible. Even with some states, such as Florida, opening up post-COVID-19, there are still fears and risks involved with getting ‘back to normal.’  This generates another potential onset for relapse. Alcohol withdrawal paired with social withdrawal simply does not work.

 

At SJRP, alcohol addiction treatment is paired with the use of support groups, or group work, to help clients understand and overcome their addiction struggles. This is similar to treatment provided at most Florida alcohol rehab centers. However, social isolation prevents these meetings from taking place outside of treatment while also limiting any other form of healthy social interaction too. Further, there is little potential for a change in atmosphere as we are no longer encouraged to “get out” and socialize. This has left people across the nation feeling isolated and alone, with seemingly no end in sight. Social isolation and stress are generating a new public health crisis to join the Coronavirus illness itself. Sadly, many will not be able to bounce back from the despair that is caused by such isolation and trauma.

Warning Signs of Alcohol Relapse

Alcohol relapse may not immediately occur. The overall alcohol relapse rate depends on the individual, the amount of social pressure that exists, their stress and anxiety levels, the level of anger, and the internal thought process of the individual. Experts note that the process associated with alcohol relapse is a mixture of both internal and external factors, and depending on the individual, maybe a near-constant struggle or a position-based decision that takes place intrinsically.

 

Warning signs of relapse often occur in stages, and may be rather complex to decipher. Beginning sometimes weeks or months before the actual relapse moment, the signs of alcohol relapse often begin in what is called an emotional phase where individuals are not thinking of drinking initially but may be stunting or experiencing negative emotions in increasing severity. This may spur their desire to drink. Emotions and the potential signs of alcohol relapse may include:

 

  • Bottling up emotions
  • Isolation
  • Avoiding meetings
  • Attending meetings but not participating in the discussion
  • Poor eating habits
  • Poor sleeping habits
  • Focusing on other people’s problems to avoid thinking about their own

 

The common denominator for this stage or sign of alcohol relapse is poor, or lack of, self-care. The emotional stage or relapse eventually transitions to a mental phase and distinct warning signs of impending relapse. The individual feels as though a war is going on inside of their minds, where they are constantly battling their desires, urges, and thoughts of alcohol use. At this point, the clients’ resolve begins to diminish. Mental warning signs of a relapse may include:

 

  • Cravings
  • Thinking about people and places associated with their past alcohol abuse
  • Glamorizing their memories of alcohol use
  • Minimizing the consequences of past alcohol use
  • Bargaining to get alcohol
  • Lying about alcohol
  • Thinking of schemes or plans to better control drinking habits
  • Looking for active relapse opportunities
  • Planning a relapse

 

After a client works through these phases the actual, physical process of drinking heavily again may begin and it’s very possible that the user will spiral out of control shortly after the the onsetting event. Keep in mind that this is an event that they may or may not have actually planned. Again, the alcohol relapse rate depends on the individual, but is typically a gradual process occurring over a long stretch of time. The warning signs of a relapse can be just as gradually occurring, hence why it is important for you to be familiar with the stages in which they occur.

Signs of Alcohol Addiction

If you are concerned about your own drinking habits, and some of the thoughts you have been having recently, you may be wondering “am I addicted to alcohol?”  A drinking addiction or alcohol problem is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition. Here at SJRP, a Florida alcohol rehab center, we understand those concerns, and want to help you make the best, and healthiest decisions for yourself, especially if you think you may need to reach out for help. To help you better determine whether you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol addiction, here are some overall signs of alcohol addiction for your reference. You may have a drinking problem that requires professional alcohol addiction treatment if you have:

 

  • Had times when you ended up drinking more than you intended.
  • Had times where you ended up drinking for longer than you intended.
  • Wanted to cut down or stop drinking more than once.
  • Tried to cut down or stop drinking more than once, but couldn’t.
  • Spent a lot of time drinking.
  • Are sick or you are frequently getting over the aftereffects of excessive drinking (alcohol withdrawal).
  • Experienced cravings, urges, or needs to drink.
  • Found that drinking — or being sick from drinking — often interfere with your ability to care for your home and / or your family.
  • Found that your drinking has caused problems with your job.
  • Found that your drinking habits have caused problems with your school work.
  • Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends.
  • Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to spend more time drinking.
  • More than once gotten into situations while drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt: this includes driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious.
  • Continued drinking even though it has led to the onset of other health problems.
  • Continued drinking even after having had a memory blackout.
  • To drink much more than you once did to get the desired effects.
  • Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you experienced withdrawal symptoms such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating.

If you suspect you may have a drinking problem, now is a great time to seek alcohol addiction treatment. At St. John’s Recovery Place, our Florida alcohol rehab center specializes in treating clients that have sustained trauma, depression, anxiety and other serious side effects as a result of alcohol addiction. Call our admissions department at 833-397-3422 to speak with someone about getting the alcohol addiction help that you need.

What to Do If you Think You Have a Drinking Problem

Maybe you’re wondering how to help someone with a drinking problem. First, it is important to learn more about alcohol addiction treatment, and what may work for you, or your loved one, in terms of getting help. SJRP is one of the many alcohol treatment centers in Florida.  We are readily equipped to help you or your loved one begin, restart, or maintain a journey to recovery from alcohol addiction. Here at SJRP we offer a wide variety of therapies for addiction and recovery including holistic, alternative, complementary, and traditional relapse prevention techniques. If you wish to learn more about our services, feel free to call our admissions team at 833-397-3422 to discuss our alcohol rehab center & the treatment we provide.

Inpatient Alcohol Rehab in Florida for Your Recovery

SJRP is an inpatient alcohol rehab in Florida, dedicated to providing our clients with quality care and services. Inpatient alcohol addiction rehab may be either short- or long-term depending on client needs. At SJRP, clients reside at our alcohol rehab center in Florida in order to undergo an intensive, highly supervised series of treatment programs and counseling to help them overcome their addiction. Once a client has completed their time in inpatient alcohol rehab, they can move to an outpatient treatment program where they continue to meet and participate in group therapy and counseling. Throughout it all, there is no isolation, social distancing, or being alone – and we believe this is vital to your recovery!

 

Undergoing alcohol addiction treatment in a Florida alcohol detox center or alcohol rehab in Jacksonville Fl, may seem overwhelming at first. But it is important to remember that you are not alone.  The staff at St. John’s Recovery Place are trained and ready to help you through your most difficult moments. Although inpatient treatment might be a necessary step in your journey towards recovery, what’s better than getting the help and support you need? COVID-19 may be causing some turmoil and struggles, and alcohol relapse may be on the rise, but at SJRP, we’ll continue to provide safe, compassionate alcohol addiction treatment during and after the pandemic to ensure you and your loved ones get the help they deserve from a facility that you can trust. Call our admissions department at 833-397-3422 to learn more about our alcohol rehab programs.

References

National Institute on Drug Abuse: Advancing Addiction Science. Alcohol. (Accessed 2020, June 9).

 

Florida Health. Substance Abuse. (Accessed 2020, June 9).

 

Fort Worth Texas. Pandemic Could Lead to Spike in Alcohol and Drug Addiction. (2020, April 9). (2020, June 9).

 

National Center for Biotechnology Information: U.S. National Library of Medicine: National Institutes of Health. Chronic Stress, Drug Use, and Vulnerability to Addiction. (2008, October). (2020, June 9).

 

National Center for Biotechnology Information: U.S. National Library of Medicine: National Institutes of Health. Along on the Inside: The Impact of Social Isolation and Helping Others on AOD Use and Criminal Activity. (2018, April 6). (2020, June 9).

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: CDC 24/7: Saving Lives, Protecting People. Coronavirus Disease 2019: How to Protect Yourself & Others. (2020, April 24). (2020, June 9).

 

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism No. 6 PH 277. (1989, October). (2020, June 9).

 

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol Dependence, Withdrawal, and Relapse. (Accessed 2020, June 9).

 

National Center for Biotechnology Information: U.S. National Library of Medicine: National Institutes of Health. Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery. (2015, September 3). (2020, June 9).

 

National Institute on Drug ABuse: Advancing Addiction Science. Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). (2018, January). (2020, June 9).