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Mississippi Alcohol Addiction


Alcoholism is a broad term used to describe any drinking patterns that result in health and social problems. Also known as alcohol use disorder, alcoholism describes alcohol abuse along with physical and psychological alcohol dependence. Mississippi alcohol addiction is a major health and social problem that requires intervention and treatment, including medical detoxification and rehabilitation regimens. If you know anyone who is struggling with Mississippi alcohol addiction or anywhere else in the United States, it’s important to reach out to a specialized treatment center as soon as possible.

What is Alcohol Use Disorder?

Alcohol use disorder is the medical name for alcoholism, a condition sometimes referred to as alcohol dependence syndrome. The alcohol use disorder classification was previously divided into alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence, with these two terms combined together in 2013. Alcohol use disorder exists from a medical perspective when two or more of the following symptoms manifest simultaneously: tolerance, or needing more alcohol to achieve the same effects; withdrawal symptoms when drinking is stopped or reduced, strong cravings for alcohol; drinking significant amounts of alcohol over a long time period; being unable to take care of work and family responsibilities due to alcohol; experiencing health and social problems related to drinking; drinking in dangerous situations; spending a lot of time drinking; and wanting to cut down but not being able to.

Psychological and Physical Dependence

Alcoholism manifests in numerous ways, from binge drinking and other forms of alcohol abuse through to physical and psychological dependence. Alcohol dependence or addiction is the most extreme form of alcoholism, with people experiencing specific and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms when alcohol intake is stopped or significantly reduced. Common physical withdrawal symptoms include sweating, vomiting, nausea and headaches. The withdrawal period can progress towards more dangerous symptoms such as seizures, hallucinations and delirium tremens if left untreated. People detoxing from alcohol are also likely to experience a number of psychological effects, including emotional and motivational symptoms such as depression, severe alcohol cravings, anxiety and lack of motivation.

How Does Mississippi Alcohol Addiction Develop?

Mississippi alcohol addiction normally develops over an extended period of time in a progressive fashion. In a typical case scenario, people may start to binge drink at an early age, with drinking levels slowly rising over time. Long-term exposure to alcohol may lead to psychological and physical dependence, with some alcoholics needing to drink every single day to ward off withdrawal symptoms. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is one of the best tools to objectively measure alcohol dependence, with the Severity of Alcohol Dependence Questionnaire (SAD-Q) also administered to measure the severity of physical and psychological dependence. People who drink heavily at an early age are at a much greater risk of developing a Mississippi alcohol addiction later in life, with early education and alcoholism treatment plans recommended before things get out of control.

Alcoholism Statistics in Mississippi

Alcoholism is a major problem in Mississippi and across the United States. According to America’s Health Rankings, 13 percent of the adult population in Mississippi have been involved in binge drinking during the last month, with this form of alcohol abuse defined as consuming five or more standard drinks for men and four or more standard drinks for women in one two hour period. Problem drinking affects all elements of society, including drinkers themselves, their friends and families, and wider society. According to the Mississippi State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup, 371 people in died in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes in Mississippi, accounting for 40 percent of all road-related fatalities. Despite these significant problems, treatment statistics in Mississippi are among the lowest in America, with less than 1 percent of heavy alcohol abusers getting the help they need according to the Mississippi Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

Risks of Alcohol Consumption

Heavy drinking and alcohol dependence has been linked with a wide array of health and social problems, including damage to the heart, liver and brain. People who drink heavily over a long period of time are putting themselves at great risk of physical and mental illness, with short-term excessive drinking also leading to brain damage and alcoholic poisoning in extreme cases. Physical health problems related to alcoholism include pancreatitis, epilepsy, heart disease, liver disease, brain damage and cancer. A number of mental health problems have also been linked to excessive drinking practices, including depression disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and brain impairments related to executive functioning, facial recognition and general social skills. Alcoholism has also been directly and indirectly linked with a range of social problems, including domestic violence, automobile accidents, theft and other crimes, and lack of workplace productivity.

The Treatment Process for Alcoholism

Addiction intervention, also known as crisis intervention, may be required before people will accept professional help. Interventions are generally organized by the people close to the alcoholic, often with the help of a professional intervention counselor. Medical detox treatment is often needed to treat alcoholism, especially for people experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms. Benzodiazepine medications such as Valium and Librium are often used in this context, with these drugs helping to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and stabilize patients prior to rehabilitation. While detox plays an important role during treatment, it is not without its limitations.

Rehabilitation programs are also needed to treat the emotional and social aspects of alcoholism, including individual counseling and behavioral therapy support programs. Typical behavioral systems include family therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral therapy. Psychotherapy programs are also needed on an aftercare basis, including relapse prevention programs and 12-step support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

It’s not too late to take your life back from addiction. Contact an addiction specialist to learn more about how you can live a happy, healthy life free of drugs.