Alcohol addiction, or alcoholism, affects millions of people in the United States each year. As the home of music, tourism, and exciting nightlife, the state of Tennessee is not immune to the adverse effects of alcoholism. For this reason, Tulip Hill Recovery provides alcohol rehab in Murfreesboro, Tennessee to those struggling with alcohol addiction.
While alcoholism can have a devastating effect on your life, there is a way out. Alcohol addiction is treatable, and, with support and compassion, anyone can achieve long-term sobriety. Alcoholism doesn’t have to control your life. Tulip Hill is here to help you break free.
Tennessee Alcohol Abuse Statistics
Excessive drinking in Tennessee is slightly below the national average. However, alcohol abuse statistics are still relatively high, all things considered. According to American Health Rankings, excessive drinking is defined as “binge drinking (4 or more [females] or 5 or more [males] drinks on 1 occasion in the past 30 days) or heavy drinking (8 or more [females] or 15 or more [males] drinks per week).”
American Health Rankings shares the following are statistics on alcohol abuse in Tennessee from 2020:
- 15.6% of adults reported excessive drinking in Tennessee, compared to 17.6% nationally
- Men report more excessive drinking at 20.3%, compared to women at 11.5%
- Excessive drinking occurs most in the 18 to 44 age group at a rate of 24.1%
- 14.1% of excessive drinkers report binge drinking
- 5.7% of excessive drinkers report heavy drinking
Despite being lower than the national average, these statistics still mean that nearly 1 in every 6 adults drinks excessively in Tennessee. In other words, many of the state’s adults either have or are going to develop an alcohol addiction. However, these numbers can improve with alcohol rehab in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
What Is Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol addiction is most clearly defined as continuing to drink despite harmful physical, mental, social, or legal issues. When you are unable to stop drinking even though you experience significant problems in your life, you likely have an addiction. For instance, you might get arrested for drunk driving, yet continue to drink excessively.
Alcohol addictions can also be considered a spectral disorder. That is to say that alcohol addiction can be mild, moderate, or severe. Yet, over time, excessive drinking causes changes in brain chemistry and can lead to physical dependence. Thus, the more you drink and the more often you drink, the more likely you are to develop an addiction to alcohol. Therefore, even a mild addiction can become severe in the long term.
However, not everyone who drinks alcohol will develop an addiction. Certain risk factors can make addiction more likely in some than others. Nevertheless, excessive drinking can still lead to several harmful effects, even if you don’t develop an addiction.
Risk Factors of Alcohol Addiction
Certain risk factors increase your chances of alcohol addiction. Many of these risk factors also result in co-occurring mental health disorders. Traumatic experiences growing up can lead to drinking as a way of coping, for example. For this reason, Tulip Hill alcohol rehab in Murfreesboro, Tennessee focuses on dual diagnosis treatment for addiction and mental health issues.
Common risk factors of alcohol addiction include:
- Family history of alcohol or drug addiction
- Drinking during childhood or adolescence
- Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)
- Co-occurring mental health condition
- Traumatic life events
- History of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
- Having friends who drink alcohol
- Cultural views that drinking excessively is acceptable
Most often, those with alcohol addiction use alcohol to cope with stress or underlying mental health issues. In addition, within certain environments, many people believe that drinking is an acceptable way of dealing with their problems or “taking the edge off” following a bad day. Drinking becomes a type of self-medicating for several underlying issues.
What is the Difference Between Alcohol Dependence, Abuse, and Addiction?
Several terms describe varying degrees and behaviors related to alcohol addiction. Therefore, it is important to understand the differences between abuse, dependence, and addiction.
Alcohol abuse arises when you drink in a way that is damaging to yourself or others. It includes heavy drinking and binge drinking. Most people who abuse alcohol are not addicted. However, alcohol abuse can still have adverse consequences. These consequences include heart problems, cancer, and fatal accidents, like car crashes that occur while under the influence.
Alcohol dependence develops when you regularly drink high amounts of alcohol. You also might need to drink more and more alcohol for the same effects. Essentially, your body adjusts to the alcohol in your system and changes the way it functions in anticipation of the alcohol. You begin to need alcohol to feel normal. In addition, if you suddenly stop drinking, you might have withdrawal symptoms, which can range from uncomfortable to life-threatening.
Alcohol addiction refers specifically to the compulsive seeking of alcohol. Addiction can accompany or develop due to dependence. You can also be dependent on alcohol without being addicted. Alcohol addiction is also called alcoholism or an alcohol use disorder (AUD).
Signs and Symptoms You Need Alcohol Rehab
Alcohol addiction can be challenging to identify because those who struggle often deny or minimize the issue. In addition, loved ones and family members might create excuses or enable the addiction. Therefore, it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction.
Common signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction include:
- Cravings and persistent thoughts about drinking
- Risky behaviors occur under the influence
- Problems at work, school, or in relationships due to alcohol use
- Most free time is spent drinking or recovering from heavy drinking
- Losing interest in hobbies and pleasurable activities
- Change in appearance (weight gain or loss, poor hygiene)
- Having to drink more alcohol to feel the same effects
- Mood swings and irritability
- Unable to cut back or stop drinking
- Behaving secretively or dishonestly
- Blackouts or forgetting things that occurred while drinking
- Using alcohol to cope with stress and other problems
- Withdrawal symptoms appear if you stop drinking
The above signs and symptoms can help you identify a drinking problem in yourself or a loved one. Overall, you want to look for changes in behavior, appearance, and mood that have no other cause. For instance, you might generally be energetic and focused; however, as you continue drinking, your demeanor changes for the worse.
In addition, alcohol addiction causes physical health symptoms, especially over long-term use. Thus, seeking help for an addiction can prevent these issues from occurring in the first place.
What Are the Health Dangers of Alcohol Abuse and Addiction?
Drinking too much alcohol can have severe consequences on your health. Most physical damage occurs after long periods of alcohol abuse. However, even one heavy drinking incident can lead to permanent physical injuries. For example, you might get into a car accident or fall while intoxicated.
Alcohol abuse can impact major organs in your body, such as your brain, heart, and liver. In addition, excessive drinking can put you at a higher risk of certain types of cancers and other diseases.
Alcohol changes the way your brain functions. Indeed, most people drink alcohol for the effects on the brain. These effects include relaxation, a false sense of confidence, and lowered inhibitions, for instance. However, over time, these effects change the way your brain works.
For example, you might drink to cope with social anxiety. In the short term, you have fewer symptoms of anxiety and feel more confident when around others. Yet, as you develop a tolerance for alcohol, your brain becomes dependent on alcohol to manage any anxiety symptoms.
Your brain has specific chemicals that help you regulate your mood and emotions. By drinking excessively, your brain chemistry can change, and you need to detox to regain normal functioning.
Excessive drinking can affect your heart health. You can have symptoms while drinking, such as lower blood pressure, which makes you feel relaxed. However, these short-term symptoms can cause lasting damage over time.
Heart health issues from alcohol abuse include:
- Stretching of the heart muscle
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
Holistic health practices during treatment can help to restore your heart health.
Your liver metabolizes alcohol and breaks it down into other substances that are either used or excreted. The liver takes approximately 1 hour to break down 1 beverage. However, excessive drinking causes the liver to work above its capacity. As a result, the liver is unable to process all alcohol in the blood.
Over time, this can lead to a range of liver problems, including:
- Steatosis (fatty liver)
- Alcoholic hepatitis
The liver is able to heal itself from damage to a certain extent. However, with regular, heavy drinking, your liver never gets a chance to recover. The liver can then become permanently damaged. Therefore, the sooner you quit drinking, the better the chances that your liver will heal on its own.
Alcohol addiction is linked to developing certain types of cancers. Therefore, excessive drinking puts you at a higher risk of developing these cancers.
Cancers that may result from drinking alcohol include:
- Breast cancers
Quitting excessive drinking now can significantly reduce your risk of developing these types of cancers.
Excessive drinking also weakens the immune system. As a result, regularly drinking increases your chances of contracting diseases like tuberculosis and pneumonia. A single binge-drinking session can also temporarily slow your ability to fight off an infection, even 24 hours after your last drink. Therefore, you could be at a higher risk of developing a cold or flu, as well as contracting COVID-19.
How Alcoholism is Treated
Alcoholism is treated according to individualized plans that work best for you. In other words, your treatment program might differ from another person’s, depending on your unique needs and preferences. However, many alcohol addiction treatment programs contain similar elements.
Elements of a successful alcohol recovery plan might include:
- Therapy teaches healthy coping skills and gets to the root causes of your addiction.
- Peer support provides a sense of community and belonging as you realize that you are not alone.
- Holistic approaches, such as yoga, mindfulness, and exercise, focus on your whole self in recovery.
- Relapse prevention teaches you to manage drinking triggers and deal with cravings throughout your recovery.
- Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) combines behavioral therapy and FDA-approved medications to manage withdrawal symptoms.
- Dual diagnosis treatment helps you manage underlying mental health symptoms, often at the root of alcohol addiction.
- Sober living programs give you the chance to practice recovery in everyday life while holding you accountable for your sobriety.
- Step-down levels of care, often from inpatient to outpatient services, help you gradually overcome your addiction.
Alcohol addiction treatment begins with detox when you stop drinking altogether. During detox, you might have withdrawal symptoms, which can be life-threatening. Following detox, you might enter residential rehab or engage in another type of long-term program. As you recover, you will step down to lower levels of treatment.
Still, it is important to remember that alcohol use disorder is a chronic and relapsing disease. Therefore, you might not always progress in a linear fashion during recovery. Life is full of ups and downs that can trigger your symptoms. In other words, during tough times, you might need to return to a higher level of care to prevent a relapse.
Treatment Options For Alcohol Rehab In Murfreesboro, TN
Alcohol rehab programs in Murfreesboro offer options and levels of care for you or your loved one. Tulip Hill Recovery focuses on partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs. We also have recovery residences for those who need additional support, and post-recovery care after active treatment.
Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
Alcohol rehab in Murfreesboro, Tennessee can involve either inpatient or outpatient levels of care. At Tulip Hill, we offer outpatient care. The highest level of outpatient care is called partial hospitalization or PHP. PHP can also be referred to as “day treatment.”
During PHP, you attend a program for several hours a day, 5 days per week. This level of care is great for those who are unable to stay at an inpatient facility. You still get a high level of care without needing to reside within your treatment facility.
Intenstive Oupatient Program (IOP)
IOP is a lower level of care than PHP and requires less time per session. IOPs can be great for those with work, family, or school obligations. During IOP, you still get a high level of support and programming, yet your schedule is flexible enough to maintain other responsibilities.
You can reside in recovery residences at Tulip Hill, which are similar to sober living homes. As you attend outpatient services, you might need additional support. At a recovery residence, you stay with like-minded peers who will support you and hold you accountable for your sobriety.
The outpatient and residential programs at Tulip Hill could be considered an active treatment for alcohol addiction. Yet, recovery from addiction is a long-term process. After you complete our programs, we will continue to provide a low level of support in our post-recovery program. During this final stage of treatment, you will transition back to everyday life with the skills needed for long-term success in recovery.
Get Help Fighting Addiction With Alcohol Rehab In Murfreesboro, TN
Alcohol rehab in Murfreesboro involves treating the underlying causes of your addiction. Tulip Hill Recovery is here to help with dual diagnosis, substance abuse, and mental health disorders. We also provide treatment for veterans. Our family-run alcohol rehab offers flexible outpatient programs to reduce the costs of long-term treatment while maintaining a high level of support. Contact us today to learn more about alcohol rehab in Murfreesboro, Chattanooga, Tennessee or Clarksville.