Questions about Alcoholism, its Effects, and Treatment
“Do I have a drinking problem?”
If drinking is causing you problems with your health, relationships, job, finances, the law and/or in other areas of your life, it’s important to seek help. The effects of alcohol abuse are serious—even fatal.
How do I know if I have a drinking problem?
Ask yourself these questions. They come from the CAGE questionnaire, used by doctor’s offices, to identify cases of alcoholism.
- Have you ever felt you needed to Cut down on your drinking?
- Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
- Have you ever felt Guilty about drinking?
- Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover (Eye-opener)
If you answered “YES” to two or more of the above questions, you may have a drinking problem.
What is a Standard Drink?
From the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, ‘What Is A Standard Drink?’
Many people are surprised to learn what counts as a drink. The amount of liquid in your glass, can, or bottle does not necessarily match up to how much alcohol is actually in your drink. Different types of beer, wine, or malt liquor can have very different amounts of alcohol content. For example, many light beers have almost as much alcohol as regular beer – about 85% as much. Here’s another way to put it:
- Regular beer: 5% alcohol content
- Some light beers: 4.2% alcohol content
That’s why it’s important to know how much alcohol your drink contains. In the United States, one “standard” drink contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in:
- 12 ounces of regular beer, which is usually about 5% alcohol
- 5 ounces of wine, which is typically about 12% alcohol
- 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, which is about 40% alcohol
How do you know how much alcohol is in your drink?
Even though they come in different sizes, the drinks below are each examples of one standard drink:
Each beverage portrayed above represents one standard drink of “pure” alcohol, defined in the United States as 0.6 fl oz or 14 grams. The percent of pure alcohol, expressed here as alcohol by volume (alc/vol), varies within and across beverage types. Although the standard drink amounts are helpful for following health guidelines, they may not reflect customary serving sizes.
What are the effects of alcoholism?
From the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, ‘Alcohol’s Effects on the Body‘
Drinking too much – on a single occasion or over time – can take a serious toll on your health. Here’s how alcohol can affect your body:
Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions can change mood and behavior, and make it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including:
- Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle
- Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat
- High blood pressure
Research also shows that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may protect healthy adults from developing coronary heart disease.
Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver, and can lead to a variety of problems and liver inflammations including:
- Steatosis, or fatty liver
- Alcoholic hepatitis
Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of developing certain cancers, including cancers of the:
Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease. Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not drink too much.
Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections – even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.
Treatment for Alcoholism
Alcohol Rehab Programs
Support Systems Homes has several different types of treatment and levels of care for alcoholics and problem drinkers.
Call 408-370-9688 or 800-811-1800.
Treatment may include detoxification: stabilizing a person by getting the alcohol safely out of their systems and helping them understand options for longer-term treatment. Detox can occur in a hospital or in a rehab center designed to safely administer detox.
Detox should be followed by residential, day and/or outpatient treatment in Support Systems Homes rehab center. Along with counseling, education and therapies, our rehab programs also give you vital post-treatment resources; including legal assistance, job prep and training, housing and more.
Helping families and friends: Because the support of family members and friends is so crucial to the recovery process, Support Systems Homes programs also offer a family program as part of your treatment for alcoholism. It’s also important for loved ones to begin their own healing process; our treatment center-based family programs can help with this, as can community-based programs such as Al-Anon/Alateen.
“Today our son is one year free of drugs and alcohol. We want you to know how highly we value the contribution you, your staff and the Support Systems Homes philosophy have made to his recovery. This has been a long and bumpy road, with many detours along the way. The reality is it’s a never-ending road, requiring constant maintenance. We didn’t give up hope, and neither did Support Systems Homes.” – Testimonial
Aftercare: Although alcoholism can be treated, even if an alcoholic has been sober for a long time, he or she must continue to actively maintain a sober lifestyle. With this in mind, our treatment programs offer Aftercare to program graduates. Aftercare is a managed group that meets regularly to guide clients in long-term recovery efforts.
Self-help groups: Many treatment programs also include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, or refer clients to other community-based self-help groups for ongoing recovery support. Although AA is generally recognized as an effective program for recovering alcoholics, not everyone responds to AA’s style or message.
Support Systems Homes maintains a list of other available recovery approaches.
Need Help with Addiction?
Support Systems Homes
1202 Meridian Avenue
San Jose, CA 95125
Support Systems Homes was founded in 1990. Our intention has always been to provide high-quality rehab treatment solutions at an affordable rate. Our staff members have been actively involved in outreach and education programs throughout California for years.
For more information, please give us a call. We are available to assist you 24 hours a day.
Call Support Systems Homes at 408-370-9688 or 800-811-180.
Our Service Area
Support Systems Homes serves the Greater Bay Area of Northern California; as well as Santa Clara County, Alameda County, San Mateo County and San Francisco.
Some of the cities we serve include: Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Milpitas, San Jose, Santa Clara, San Leandro, and San Francisco.
Questions? We Have Answers – 24/7.
Call Support Systems Homes at 408-370-9688 or 800-811-1800.