Alcohol abuse is the third leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. Despite its prevalence, overconsumption of alcohol may seem ordinary and routine. In reality, it can be the root cause of serious medical problems that carry long-term health consequences and personal hardships. Fortunately, telehealth is transforming how individuals receive treatment. Online help to stop drinking has proven itself effective and offers the ease of convenience that allows access to more Americans in need of ongoing support and recovery.
In the United States, alcohol is the most widely used addictive substance, with nearly six percent of American adults, or about 15 million people, living with an alcohol use disorder (AUD). According to a 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), nearly 87% of people ages 18 or older reported drinking alcohol at some point in their lifetime, and 70% reported drinking in the past year. Due to its availability and acceptance across many cultures, alcohol is viewed much differently than other “harder” drugs like cocaine or heroin. Still, it’s arguably more lethal than any other illicit drug on the market, with an estimated 88,000 people dying annually from alcohol-related causes.
What Is Alcohol Abuse?
To simplify this addiction, alcohol abuse refers to pattern drinking that can interfere with daily life. However, the issues caused by alcohol are extensive and extremely complex.
Alcohol abuse takes on many forms and can impact everyone differently. For this reason, alcohol abuse can be difficult to treat, especially without a plan for long-term intervention. An individual may suffer from alcohol abuse if drinking too much at one time or too often. Alcohol abuse can lead to physical dependence, which carries a variety of negative health impacts, including mental health degradation. In fact, alcohol has been reported to cause more than 60 different health conditions, and abuse is known to put people at higher risk of disease and injury. Further, individuals who suffer from alcohol abuse also face drastic mental health issues and thoughts of suicide.
Although alcohol addiction is common—about one in eight adults suffer from AUD nationwide—roughly seven percent of these individuals receive needed treatment. It’s important to note that alcohol addiction is a real disease. It can cause changes to the brain and neurochemistry, which inhibits a person from controlling actions and compulsions. Frequently consuming alcohol eventually becomes an everyday cycle that can quickly spiral out of control.
Causes of Alcohol Abuse
Substance use experts have suggested that various factors can cause an individual to abuse alcohol. While many societal structures, genetics, and socioeconomic status play a role, there are other factors to consider, such as:
The most substantial risk factor for developing an alcohol-use disorder is a family history of the disease.
“Part of this is due to the genes you get from your parents, and part is the environment in which your parents raised you.” – Lewis Nelson, MD, a professor in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine
Similarly, individuals may be impacted by mental health factors that either contribute to or cause substance dependency. No matter the cause, though, it’s important to consider treatment options, especially if a drinking problem is recognized early on.
Online help to stop drinking makes it possible for many individuals to find the resources they need without sacrificing daily schedules, work obligations, and other commitments.
What Does Alcohol Addiction Look Like?
As with any other substance addiction, alcohol use disorder can show itself in a variety of ways. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the severity of alcohol dependence is often grouped into mild, moderate, and severe categories. People with mild dependence usually may not need assistance during the stages of detox. At the other end of the spectrum, people who are severely alcohol dependent require medical assistance with alcohol withdrawal. If you or a loved one plan to quit drinking alcohol, it is imperative to contact a physician prior to discontinuing use. Alcohol withdrawal can be extremely dangerous and life-threatening. Once an individual has detoxed, online alcohol treatment options may also be a viable option for long-term care.
It’s also critical to consider the association between alcohol and mental health problems. Depression, anxiety, drug misuse, nicotine dependence, and self-harm are commonly associated with excessive alcohol consumption. Up to 41% of suicides are attributable to alcohol, and 23% of people who engage in deliberate self-harm are also alcohol dependent.
Symptoms of alcohol addiction include:
- Increased quantity or frequency of use
- High tolerance for alcohol
- Drinking at all hours of the day
- Avoiding interaction with loved ones
- Hiding alcohol or hiding while drinking
- Increased lethargy, depression, and other emotional issues
Defining the level of severity of alcohol dependence is a critical first step in the recovery process. The earlier an addiction problem is brought to light, the more quickly treatment programs can offer relief. Online help to stop drinking is certainly a treatment option worth considering.
A New Technology: Online Help to Stop Drinking
Substance dependency is often considered a gradual illness. Early warning signs may help to uncover treatment options that are both effective and readily available. With newer technology, programs are beginning to incorporate the latest telehealth services, promoting online help to stop drinking.
In fact, to increase the accessibility of various treatment options, new technology-driven recovery resources have provided the guidance needed to help individuals overcome alcohol use disorder. While it’s definitely a modern approach, online alcohol addiction help still offers the same evidence-based methodology scientifically proven to help clients stop drinking and maintain abstinence.
Benefits of Online Alcohol Abuse Treatment
There are many reasons to consider getting online help to stop drinking. Considering the worldwide coronavirus pandemic that upended 2020, alcohol consumption has drastically increased as more people seek relief from the constant isolation and resulting mental health declines. ABC News noted recently that alcohol is being used as “an ‘effective pain killer’ in a time of trauma, [which] sparks concern among experts.”
Between 2019 and now, men and women are reporting increases in binge drinking episodes during the pandemic. Further, as the coronavirus surged in Spring 2020, alcohol sales simultaneously began to spike. The World Health Organization warned countless times that alcohol use could potentially exacerbate health issues and risk-taking behaviors.
“People’s depression increases, anxiety increases, and alcohol use is often a way to cope with these feelings. But depression and anxiety are also the outcomes of drinking; it’s this feedback loop where it just exacerbates the problem that it’s trying to address.” – Michael Pollar, author and sociologist at RAND corporation
There are many positive aspects of remote access to alcohol abuse treatment. For one, it has increased accessibility for many.
In the U.S., there is a well-known discrepancy between the number of people who require addiction treatment and those who actually receive it. In 2016, about 21 million people aged 12 and older, or approximately 1 in 13, needed substance abuse assistance. Only about 18% were able to access it. Despite the numerous options including:
- Inpatient or In House Residential
- Intensive Outpatient
- Sober Living Groups and Therapy
- Individual Therapy
There are still numerous barriers that prevent many from accessing alcohol treatment. Online help to stop drinking and telehealth services has transformed the way individuals and families can garner support for alcohol abuse.
Online alcohol treatment programs combine 12-step methodology, mental health therapy, and even group support to launch a new way of addressing the surge in alcohol-related deaths occurring each year. Using technology, addiction specialists can offer evidence-based services that provide supportive tools to help citizens combat alcohol abuse.
Because these programs are now offered online, finding help is much easier. With a smartphone, tablet, or computer, individuals can participate in solutions that address mental health and alcohol dependency.
Alcohol and Addiction Related Stigma
According to the American Addiction Centers, “stigma is a socio-cultural process in which alcoholics are traditionally devalued, rejected, and excluded. Alcoholics are equated in social contexts to people who are unlovable, unemployed, and criminals.” Stigma profoundly changes how people feel about themselves and the way they see themselves. In addition, it prevents many from seeking the help they desperately need. In fact, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) reports that stigma prevents over 40% of people with anxiety and depression from seeking help.
Alcohol use disorder is a well-defined mental illness, not unlike depression, and it’s a well-known public health crisis. Still, many suffering from the disorder are unable or unwilling to seek treatment due to the labels associated with such stigmas. Receiving online help to stop drinking provides thousands with the opportunity of completing an addiction program with anonymity. It is both a convenient and effective form of treatment.
How Can AspenRidge REACH Help?
No matter where you live, you can enroll in AspenRidge’s REACH online counseling for alcohol addiction. All you need is access to the Internet link and a handheld or desktop device.
As with all of AspenRidge’s alcohol treatment and rehab programs, REACH has several options. These are geared to patient needs and preferences.
When you choose REACH online Intensive Outpatient program, you can expect to meet in individual and group sessions virtually. This will occur via video conferencing on AspenRidge’s secure platform. The frequency and duration of these sessions vary with the program option selected.
Our two online alcohol treatment programs offered include a six-week and 12-week session.
Contact AspenRidge Recovery
Get effective online help to stop drinking. We offer many individuals an easier, convenient, and private way to access treatment for alcohol use disorder. Our flexible plans factor in people’s busy lives, but our priority is always to treat substance abuse, as well as underlying mental health and co-occurring disorders. As an alternative to traditional treatment at a rehab facility or outpatient center, online alcohol treatment programs are geared toward providing services that have helped others struggling with drinking.
Find out more about our online rehab programs here or give us a call to speak with an intake specialist 24/7 at 720-650-8055.
REACH Online Help to Stop Drinking – Intensive Outpatient Program
The REACH Intensive Outpatient Program aims to aid participants in their efforts to get alcohol-free and resume their former sober lifestyle.
REACH Online Rehab Reset
The REACH Rehab Reset educates and empowers participants. While it does not deal with detox, it offers support groups and mental health counseling services.