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Kansas Alcohol Addiction


Kansas alcohol addiction is a huge problem. People experience a range of problems resulting from heavy and compulsive drinking, including physical, psychological and social problems. Alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence are different aspects of alcoholism, with some people experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking and others experiencing psychological symptoms. Kansas alcohol addiction often requires professional treatment, including medical detox and rehabilitation measures. If you or anyone you know has fallen victim to Kansas alcohol addiction, it’s important to contact a specialized treatment facility as soon as possible.

What is Alcoholism?

Also known as alcohol use disorder, alcoholism is a broad term used to describe a wide array of problematic drinking behaviors. People suffering from alcoholism may experience a number of symptoms simultaneously, including tolerance, withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use, social and health problems because of alcohol, and a general inability to fulfill regular life responsibilities. Alcohol use disorder used to be separated into alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence, with these two terms joined in 2013 under a single classification. Generally speaking, people are said to have an alcohol problem whenever alcohol consumption is causing problems in their life and they continue to drink despite these problems.  

Alcohol Abuse vs. Alcohol Dependence

Alcohol abuse involves uncontrolled and compulsive drinking habits that interfere with regular life. Binge drinking is a particular kind of alcohol abuse defined as four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men in a single two hour drinking session. Long-term and heavy drinking habits have been linked with a range of health and social problems, with specialized treatment often needed to get life back on track. Alcohol dependence is related to alcohol abuse, with this form of alcoholism typically recognized by the existence of tolerance and withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation. People who abuse alcohol for a long period of time are at great risk of becoming dependent, with long-term binge drinkers often becoming physically dependent on alcohol later in life.   

Statistics on Kansas Alcohol Addiction

Alcoholism is a huge problem across the United States, with this serious issue having a number of health and social implications. The state of Kansas is certainly not immune to the effects of alcoholism, with 20 percent of Kansans aged 18-25 meeting the criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence, according to the Kansas Substance Abuse Epidemiological Indicators Profile. While this rate drops significantly to 5 percent for people over the age of 25, this statistic highlights the serious nature of this problem. According to the KS Department of Transportation, over 100 Kansans die every year due to alcohol related motor vehicle crashes, with rates of emergency department visitations also closely correlated to alcohol abuse statistics.  

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol consumption affects people in a variety of ways, with some people able to drink without developing problems and others at great risk of addiction and disease. If you’re worried about the drinking habits of a friend, family member or coworker, there are some general signs you can look out for. Common signs of alcoholism include health problems due to alcohol, social problems due to alcohol, financial problems due to alcohol, changing social groups due to alcohol, and being unable to fulfill regular life responsibilities. People with a drinking problem may also feel guilty about their drinking habits or start lying to the people around them to hide the extent of their drinking.   

Adverse Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol use disorder has been closely related to a range of health and social problems. Common physical problems related to heavy drinking include liver disease, heart disease, brain damage, pancreatitis, peptic ulcers, and cancer. A number of psychiatric conditions have also been linked to alcoholism, including depression disorder, various anxiety disorders, and impairments to executive functioning and social skills due to brain damage. Alcoholism has also been linked to a variety of wider social problems, including domestic violence, driving accidents, and a decline in work and school productivity.  

Medical Detox

Alcohol is closely associated with a physical-somatic withdrawal syndrome, with common symptoms including sweating, nausea, vomiting, seizures, hallucinations, and delirium tremens. Some of these symptoms are dangerous and potentially fatal if left untreated. Treatment for alcoholism often begins with a period of medical detoxification. Medical detox is concerned primarily with managing the alcohol withdrawal syndrome, with detox programs also providing a period of enforced abstinence and stability prior to rehab. Medications are widely used to alleviate physical withdrawal symptoms, including benzodiazepine drugs such as Valium and Librium. After detox, patients are normally directed towards rehabilitation programs that treat the environmental and emotional aspects of alcoholism.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy forms the basis of many rehab programs, with typical behavioral models including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing and family. While these methods of treatment all look at the problem of alcoholism from a different perspective, they all attempt to alter unhealthy and compulsive behavior patterns. Individual behavioral treatments include art therapy, music therapy, Moral Reconation Therapy and contingency management systems. Behavioral therapy and other forms of rehab are available on a residential or outpatient basis, with residential programs involving a live-in arrangement and outpatient rehab involving day treatment sessions.

12-Step Programs

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step programs play an important role in the treatment of alcohol abuse and dependence. 12-step programs can be found throughout Kansas and across the United States, via both commercial rehab programs and non-profit groups. The 12-step approach requires patients to admit a lack of control over their addiction and recognize a higher power to provide a sense of sanity. When using the 12-step system, patients also have to recognize and make amends for past mistakes, create a new code of behavior, and help others who are in a similar situation.

Don’t wait. Contact a specialized treatment facility in Kansas to get your life back on track toward a healthier, sober life.