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New Mexico Alcohol Addiction

New Mexico alcohol addiction has long been a large problem. In New Mexico, the death rate for alcohol-associated deaths is the highest in the nation. Although illicit drug trafficking is also a problem for the state, alcohol abuse is a top priority for the state. New Mexico alcohol addiction in New Mexico may be a challenge for the state, but individuals can manage their disease by seeking treatment at a regional rehab facility or addiction treatment center. If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol abuse or addiction, the best time to seek help is now.

What Is Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol addiction, or alcoholism as it is commonly known, is a disease and treated by the medical community as such. Alcoholism is chronic, usually progressive, and can lead to other associated mental and physical health problems, many of which may be permanent. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol is routinely termed alcohol abuse, but alcohol addiction refers to the disease that involves physical, mental, and behavioral dependencies. Someone who abuses alcohol–binge drinks for example–but is able to stop for a significant period of time is not termed an alcoholic. Someone who cannot stop drinking and suffers from withdrawal symptoms if they attempt to stop, is suffering from alcohol addiction. Addiction cannot spontaneously cure itself. People must seek treatment in order to manage this disease, which essentially has no cure. Management is the key to overcoming the effects of alcoholism.

How Does Alcoholism Develop?

Quite often, alcoholism is preceded by a period of alcohol addiction. After abusing alcohol for a certain period of time, which will vary among individuals, the person develops a physical tolerance for the substance. In other words, the amount they typically consume no longer generates a buzz. In order to get that buzz, the user increases the amount they drink. This practice paves the road to addiction.

There are also some well-known risk factors for the development of alcoholism. Establishing a pattern of alcohol abuse is one of them. Other risk factors for alcoholism include growing up in a household where alcohol or drugs are abused, poverty, drinking to alleviate stress or improve one’s mood, and the presence of a mental disorder such as anxiety or depression. Although some individuals may have more risk factors than others, anyone can become addicted to alcohol.

Signs of Alcohol Addiction

Consuming large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis is a definite sign of alcohol abuse but may indicate the presence of addiction as well. Alcoholism sufferers often feel compelled to have a drink every day, even at inappropriate times like before work. Suffering blackouts as a result of drinking, feeling irritable until you drink, or suffering from withdrawal symptoms if you do not drink are all signs of an alcohol problem. New Mexico alcohol addiction is sadly common, but there is considerable help for people who are suffering from this condition today.

What Are the Effects of Alcoholism?

People addicted to alcohol usually suffer both mental and physical side effects. Alcoholism can lead to permanent alterations in the brain, for instance, because alcohol can destroy both gray and white matter. People with chronic alcoholism may suffer from memory lapses, reduced cognitive function, and even dementia. Some people may develop a mental illness where they had none before.

The physical effects of alcoholism can also be quite serious life threatening. These include liver disease, kidney damage, and a risk for alcohol poisoning. Many people also suffer injuries while under the influence of alcohol, which affects their coordination and reaction times.

Alcohol Addiction in New Mexico

New Mexico alcohol addiction is a deadly problem, which leads the nation in alcohol-related deaths, according to the Washington Post. The Centers for Disease Control reported that “Excessive drinking results in 1,042 deaths and 31,129 years of potential life lost each year in New Mexico.” The Santa Fe New Mexican also demonstrated that alcohol-related deaths in the state affect each age demographic. The younger demographic suffers from more alcohol-related injury (i.e. car accidents) while the older groups suffer more health-related problems due to alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Many of the state’s colleges are working to reduce binge drinking among college-age students, but because this problem affects adults of all ages and teens, it’s going to take sustained effort to battle. 

Alcoholism Treatment

Alcohol addiction requires comprehensive treatment at a certified rehab or high-quality addiction treatment center. It’s important for sufferers to undergo medical detox at a certified center where they can be safely monitored throughout the process. Withdrawal can be serious and possibly even induce life-threatening complications. Medical detox centers can usually ward off these complications simply by reducing the severity of withdrawal symptoms with medical interventions and medications.

After detox is complete, addiction specialists can recommend a course of treatment that usually involves individual and group counseling. Some people remain in rehab for about a month while others require a longer inpatient stay. Many people benefit by moving to a sober living community during their long recovery process. Aside from traditional therapies, many alternative treatments like family therapy can be immensely helpful for those struggling to reach their goal of long-term sobriety. Upon completion of inpatient or intensive outpatient care, many patients continue to attend aftercare programs like AA where they can get continued support and mentorship as they strive to change their lives and achieve long-term recovery.

New Mexico alcohol addictionis not simply disheartening statistics; it is about people who are genuinely suffering and need help. If you abuse alcohol or suspect you have an addiction, do not wait any longer to make contact with an addiction treatment center or alcohol rehab facility. Speak to an addiction specialist today and allow them to assess your current situation, inform you of the process, and provide the guidance and support necessary to move forward.

It is important that each individual is provided with a recommended course of action that is customized to their needs. In time and with treatment, you can manage this devastating condition to lead a life of improved health and well-being.