Since OARS began in 2015, we have primarily treated patients with opioid use disorder. Through our experience, we’ve learned that many of our patients develop co-dependence on other substance use disorders as well.
Did you know that an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol use disorder annually?
People with alcohol use disorder will continue to drink even when it has negative consequences that are detrimental to their daily life. Those with alcohol use disorder may be aware that their alcohol use has negative effects on their life, but it’s not enough for them to stop drinking.
The cause of alcohol use disorder is still unknown. It develops when excessive amounts of alcohol are consumed to a level where it changes the chemical makeup of the brain. These changes increase dopamine levels in your brain, which is the rewards and motivation center of the brain.
In the short-term, the health effects of alcohol use disorder are:
- Lowered inhibitions, leading to poor social judgment
- Trouble concentrating
- Loss of coordination
- Loss of critical judgement
- Dulled perception, especially vision
- Mood swings
- Reduced core body temperature
- Raised blood pressure
- Passing out
In the long-term, the health effects of alcohol use disorder are:
- Bleeding in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract
- Damage to brain cells
- Cancer in the GI tract
- High blood pressure
- Pancreatitis – inflammation of the pancreas
- Nerve damage
- Changes in mental status, including Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome – a brain disease that causes symptoms such as confusion, vision changes, or memory loss
If your loved one has a dependency on alcohol, look out for these signs:
- Drinking alone
- Drinking more to feel the effects of alcohol (having a high tolerance)
- Becoming violent or angry when asked about their drinking habits
- Not eating or eating poorly
- Neglecting personal hygiene
- Missing work or school because of drinking
- Being unable to control alcohol intake
- Making excuses to drink
- Continuing to drink even when legal, social, or economic problems develop
- Giving up important social, occupational, or recreational activities because of alcohol use
- Alcohol cravings
- Withdrawal symptoms when not drinking, including shaking, nausea, and vomiting
- Tremors (involuntary shaking) the morning after drinking
- Lapses in memory (blacking out) after a night of drinking
- Illnesses, such as alcoholic ketoacidosis (includes dehydration-type symptoms) or cirrhosis
If they exhibit any of these signs, seek treatment immediately.
OARS is continuing to expand its treatment services. We’re announcing that we now treat those with alcohol use disorder. Our treatment includes:
- Counseling to address emotional problems that may cause you to drink
- Support groups, including 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
- Medical treatment for health problems associated with alcohol use disorder
- Medications to help control addiction:
- Disulfiram (Antabuse)
If you have any questions about our treatment options or want to learn more about getting into treatment at OARS, call us at 724-912-6277. We’re here to answer any questions you have to get help for you or your loved ones.