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North Dakota Alcohol Addiction

 

What Is North Dakota Alcohol Addiction?

If you use and/or abuse alcohol in North Dakota, you aren’t alone. Alcohol is the most-abused substance in the United States, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). North Dakota alcohol addiction occurs when a person is physically and mentally dependent upon alcohol. In short, a resident cannot go a day without drinking alcohol without suffering physical health effects, such as shaking, sweating, trouble thinking clearly and strong cravings.

North Dakota alcohol addiction doesn’t matter what you drink, how old you are or your socioeconomic status. It can affect all different types of North Dakotans. If you or a loved one has problems drinking that have led to a loss of control over your life and possibly your health, it is important to seek professional medical treatment.

 

Statistics Related to North Dakota Alcohol Addiction

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, alcohol use and abuse is the largest substance-related problem in North Dakota. State residents report some of the highest rates of alcohol abuse in the United States. For example, 75.6 percent of North Dakotans ages 18 to 25 report having consumed alcohol in the past month, a figure that is nearly 15 percent higher than the national average of 60.9 percent.

According to the Centers for Disease Control Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), between 18 and 24.7 percent of adults in North Dakota report binge drinking sometime in the past month. For the purposes of the survey, binge drinking is four or more drinks per day for women or five or more drinks per day for men.

Traditionally, men drink more than women in North Dakota. For example, 27.7 percent of men in North Dakota report binge alcohol use in the past month while 10.2 percent of women report binge drinking, according to the CDC.

 

How Does Alcohol Affect the Body?

Alcohol can affect nearly every organ and tissue in the body. Much of the North Dakota alcohol addiction problems starts with changes to the brain, and later changes to the body, particularly the liver that is responsible for filtering and breaking down the toxins created when a person drinks.

Over time, this can lead to damage to the liver that causes a person to experience a condition known as alcoholic liver disease. When the liver no longer works as effectively, toxins can circulate in the body, which leads to a condition known as hepatic encephalopathy. This condition affects the brain and causes symptoms such as sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression, shortened attention span, difficulty maintaining coordination, coma and even death.

High levels of alcohol consumption can also affects the heart’s conduction, leading to irregular heartbeats. Irregular heartbeats are dangerous because they can cause blood clots to develop in the chambers of the heart or cause a person’s heart to start beating too rapidly or too slowly.

The cumulative effects of alcohol abuse on a person’s body and the increased risk for accidents can mean a person will experience a shortened lifespan due to alcohol use and abuse.

 

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse

Signs a person in North Dakota may have an alcohol abuse problem include if a person’s drinking has caused distress or harm. If you or a loved one answers “yes” to several of these questions, you could be experiencing a North Dakota alcohol addiction problem:

  • I often say I will drink a certain amount, but almost always seem to drink more.
  • I have wanted to quit drinking and may have even tried in the past, but haven’t been able to.
  • I experience cravings or strong urges to drink when I am not drinking.
  • I have given up on other activities, family members and/or friendships in order to drink.
  • I have experienced memory loss and blackouts related to my drinking.
  • I find that I frequently have to drink more and more to experience the same intoxicating effects I once did.

 

Health Risks from Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol is the third-leading cause of lifestyle-related deaths in the United States, according to NCADD.

Alcohol impairs a person’s judgment. This can lead to increased risk for short-term injury, such as automobile accidents, falls and other traumatic incidents. Those who abuse alcohol are at an increased risk for violence and abuse from violence. They also can experience family and social problems.

Long-term health problems associated with alcohol abuse include the following:

  • Dementia
  • Gastrointestinal conditions, such as pancreatitis and gastritis
  • Heart problems, such as heart attack, cardiomyopathy, atrial fibrillation and high blood pressure
  • Increased risk for stroke
  • Increased risk for cancers, such as those of the liver, mouth, throat, voice box, throat and esophagus

 

Treatment Options for North Dakota Alcohol Addiction

A person for alcohol has a need for the substance that is so strong it can feel as basic as the desire for water. A person with this addiction level cannot simply use willpower to quit. Instead, he or she needs professional help to detoxify the system from the condition and overcome the cravings that can result with abuse. There are a number of accredited treatment centers that can help you get help for North Dakota alcohol addiction.

Detoxification is often the first step in the alcohol treatment process. This involves withdrawing from the presence of alcohol in one’s body. This can cause severe symptoms, such as seizures, rapid heart rate, high body temperatures, coma and psychosis, or loss of touch with reality. Because these symptoms can be severe, it is important that a person receive professional help.

Once a person has completed the detoxification process, he or she can begin further treatments, which may include behavioral therapies, such as group or individual therapy; taking medications to reduce cravings and/or to make a person feel ill if she or he returns to alcohol abuse.

If you are suffering from North Dakota alcohol addiction, you don’t have to go through this struggle alone. Help is available so you can beat this addiction and live a healthier, happier life. Call an addiction specialist today.