Alcohol Abuse vs Alcohol Addiction

alcohol abuse vs addictionAlcohol Abuse vs Addiction

A drunk man wonders if he suffers from alcohol abuse vs addictionMany people do not know the difference between alcohol abuse vs addiction. For diagnostic purposes and purposes of treatment, professionals distinguish between Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol Addiction. The main feature that set these two phenomena apart is that they tend to move in one direction: e.g., over time, Abuse leads to Addiction, but, theoretically, one can remain addicted indefinitely and still maintain the semblance of an ordered life. Although this might have the appearance of splitting hairs, the distinction is highly significant for the purposes of establishing relevant treatment protocols.

Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Generally speaking, Alcohol Abuse exhibits the following traits or behaviors:

  • Acquiring mounting legal troubles, such an arrest for either possession or DUI
  • Financial instability
  • Continued abuse in the face of deteriorating personal relations
  • Deterioration of performance at work or at school
  • Engaging in risky behaviors with regards to sex or adrenaline stimulation. This might include promiscuity, e.g., enjoying multiple partners while intoxicated, or driving when intoxicated

Signs of Alcohol Addiction

In contrast to symptoms or behaviors associated with Abuse, traits of Addiction frequently indicate the presence of far more entrenched pathology and include characteristics associated with other mental health disorders. In addition to the symptoms already mentioned, Addiction symptoms include:

  • Enduring physical, mental, or emotional withdrawal symptoms if unable to acquire the substance
  • The development of a tolerance to the drug(s) of choice
  • Consuming quantities that are deleterious to one’s health
  • An inability to regulate one’s usage or stop altogether
  • Physical dependence

Effective Treatment is Specific to the Problems Identified

Again, for purposes of treatment protocols and the clinical trajectory one’s treatment might take, the distinction between Abuse and Addiction is significant. Alcohol Addiction, as opposed to Alcohol Abuse, is almost invariably complicated by the presence of multiple disorders or co-occurring conditions. True Addiction almost universally generates suffering from some other form of mental illness that is not necessarily present where there is abuse. Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Mood Disorders and Personality Disorders – these are all mitigating factors that must factor into treatment and that further demarcate the difference between Abusive behaviors and behaviors that result from full-blown Addiction.

Interdisciplinary Treatment

At Casa Palmera, our clinical program and our treatment team is specifically trained to address the many facets of the Addictive condition. Casa Palmera’s multidimensional approach includes medical interventions overseen by our MDs, who work in conjunction with our therapists and clinical staff to ensure that a treatment plan is created and adhered to that gives the client the best possible chances for recovery. Casa Palmera’s Treatment Services include:

  • The most advanced and effective Dual Diagnosis treatment available
  • Comprehensive assessments that take into consideration both medical, psychological, and emotional factors
  • Detoxification services that are closely monitored by our trained staff and overseen by independent doctors
  • A dignified approach that honors the total needs of the client
  • Counseling that includes Family Counseling, Group counseling, as well as One-on-One Counseling
  • Ongoing therapy with clinicians who specialize in Addiction pathology
  • Long-term treatment planning that includes Aftercare, Extended Care, and Alumni services
  • Integrated treatment, specially designed to treat Dual Diagnosed individuals. This includes psychiatric care, oversight of medications, and continued aftercare

Call to Learn More about Casa Palmera

This is by no means a comprehensive picture of the services Casa Palmera provides. Please visit the other sections of our website to better understand the full spectrum of Addiction Treatment options available to you or your loved one. Education is the most important tool available to you, and keeping current on latest treatment practices is the best way to ensure you or someone you love receives the care they need. If you would like to learn more about our Dual Diagnosis treatment services please contact us today.