Excessive alcohol use is a growing concern throughout many US communities. The state of Colorado and, more specifically, the metro city of Denver are among those with rising concerns. In 2018, a study conducted by Denver Public Health found that 38% of all fatal vehicle crashes were alcohol-related. As the number of substance abuse cases in the emergency room increases, support and treatment are in higher demand. Alcohol counseling in Denver can provide residents with a method to address underlying mental health issues that may exacerbate alcohol abuse.
Alcohol abuse can impact families, neighbors, employers, and law enforcement, and can decrease the overall sense of safety for entire communities. Excessive alcohol use has several concerns that stem well beyond the individual struggling with problem drinking. Understanding local and national trends of alcohol use can provide awareness of the rehabilitation needs across the country. Becoming aware of the drinking culture within Colorado and the Denver area can help to minimize the potential for ongoing substance use problems within our city and state.
Drinking Culture in Denver
Understanding Denver’s drinking culture is important when considering the health implications of alcohol use disorder. Knowing the recent trends of alcohol and drug use disorders within Denver’s community may help to reduce the chances of dangerous drinking patterns.
Drinking culture refers to the norms, practices, and acceptability of drinking behaviors. Drinking culture can differ between cities, states, and countries. Identifying Denver-specific drinking culture can help reduce the potential for negative impacts on local communities. Denver has a higher rate of alcohol abuse. This may be due to several factors which include:
- Abundance of Craft beer and craft cocktail breweries and distilleries
- Considered to be a “safe haven” for beer and cocktail connoisseurs
- Home to a nationally renowned music scene
- Outdoor and active culture
- Legalization of marijuana within Colorado
Denver Alcohol Abuse Statistics
Denver’s drinking culture may be caused by several different factors, but there is a trend of more socialization and acceptability of excessive alcohol use in the Denver area. The increase in alcohol abuse statistics shows a risky trend occurring in our area.
Learning about Denver’s alcohol abuse trends is important as these stats can provide clarity into the need for rehabilitation services and provide a deeper understanding of how alcohol abuse disorder may look in the Denver area. Statistics of alcohol abuse in Denver, Colorado include:
- 27% of Denverites indicate they binge drink
- 5 billion dollar annual losses in productivity due to alcohol use
- 38% of driving-related deaths involve alcohol
- 15% of approximately 15,000 ambulance transport have involved alcohol in recent years.
During the Pandemic, numbers related to alcohol abuse surged in Colorado’s capital city. This included alcohol-related deaths increasing 27% in the first year of the pandemic.
Dangers of Alcohol Abuse
Heavy drinking and binge drinking are both considered forms of alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse occurs when alcohol is consumed in unsafe manners. Alcohol abuse may increase one’s risk of developing alcohol dependency. Alcohol abuse is often undiagnosed as many view binge drinking as a normal part of life. Binge drinking may be socially acceptable as compared to alcohol dependency. However, binge drinking is dangerous and can lead to short and long-term problems.
The dangers of alcohol abuse can range from health problems to relationship difficulties. Common dangers associated with alcohol abuse include:
- Health problems
- Mental health concerns
- Family conflict
- Financial stress
- Legal problems
Bottom line is alcohol ruins lives and has tremendous impacts on the residents of Denver. Alcohol counseling Denver may help to alleviate some of the issues that directly correlate with ongoing alcohol abuse.
Alcohol Recovery Denver can provide many inhabitants of Colorado’s largest metro city with the help they’re seeking.
Risks of Long-Term Drinking
Abusing alcohol for an extended period can have even more problems associated with it. Short-term problems include financial stress, family conflict, legal problems, unemployment, more common colds, and moderate illnesses. Long-term impacts of alcohol abuse may be severe and life-threatening. Long-term alcohol abuse has a high risk of causing alcohol dependency. Alcohol dependency can cause severe and irreversible consequences. Such risks associated with alcohol dependency include:
- Increased risk for severe health problems (Example: Liver disease, Cancer, Stroke)
- Severe mental health problems (Example: Anxiety Disorders, Psychotic Disorders)
- Risk of social isolation (Example: Family estrangement, unemployment)
- Higher risk of severe legal problems (Example: DUIs, Theft, Incarceration)
- Increased risk of using other substances
Mental health can be hugely impactful for ongoing alcohol abuse. To understand the correlation between drugs and mental health, it’s important to note that everyone is affected by alcohol differently. While mental health disorders may not cause binge drinking, they can contribute to or prolong suffering for many individuals and families. Alcohol counseling Denver can help alleviate some of the symptoms and underlying stresses that come with life difficulties that may contribute to unhealthy drinking habits.
Denver Alcohol Abuse Treatment Options
There are several Colorado alcohol abuse treatment options available to help address heavy and binge drinking. Heavy and binge drinking have a higher likelihood of turning into severe alcoholism. Addressing treatment needs early is an important step to limiting short-term and long-term risks of alcohol abuse.
There are multiple treatment options available for alcohol abuse. These treatment options include:
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Outpatient AODA Counseling Services
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Inpatient rehabilitation treatment
Alcohol may be linked with lessened symptoms of anxiety. However, it’s also important to understand the risks involved with quitting alcohol cold turkey and to be sure that there is a support system in place to help with relapse triggers.
Denver Counseling Services for Alcohol Abuse
Finding the best fit for yourself and the treatment option cannot be understated. Developing a safe and supportive environment for alcohol abuse treatment will lead to effective care and long-term sobriety. Engaging in counseling services throughout any alcohol treatment option is highly recommended. Counseling services are often used in tandem with Alcoholics Anonymous, medication-assisted treatment, and inpatient rehab.
Counseling helps to provide individuals with a deeper understanding of why alcohol use may be occurring. Developing a deeper meaning of alcohol patterns can provide significant benefits. Such benefits include:
- Develop feelings of empowerment
- Increased motivation
- Decreased chances for relapse
- Maintain accountability
- Address underlying mental health concerns
Counseling for Dual Diagnosis
Counseling for alcohol abuse is important as it can help address potential underlying mental health illnesses. It is common for alcohol use disorders to be associated with other mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, anger, and trauma. These underlying mental health conditions are referred to as comorbid disorders or dual diagnosis.
Dual diagnosis is present when two or more conditions are present. Alcohol abuse disorder is often considered to be a part of a dual diagnosis as the reason for drinking may be connected to other mental health concerns. Treatment for dual diagnosis is important. Counseling methods used for the treatment of dual diagnosis include:
- Psychodynamic Therapy
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- Trauma-Informed Therapy (Example: EMDR)
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Where and When to Seek Alcohol Counseling Denver Services
Knowing when to seek out counseling services for mental health concerns, alcohol, or drug problems, or both can be difficult to notice. It is always the right time to start seeking counseling services. Services can be provided safely and effectively via inpatient, outpatient, in-person, or online. If you feel you may be struggling with a mental health disorder or an addiction it is important to contact a trained clinician immediately. Addressing mental health concerns early is a powerful change in the right direction.
AspenRidge Recovery provides compassionate care for individuals suffering from alcohol and other mental health concerns. Through our various treatment options, we can focus on alcohol abuse as well as underlying disorders that may prevent long-term recovery. For more information contact us directly at 855-281-5588.