Northpoint Nebraska designs individualized and integrated treatment plans that address the physical and psychological aspects of your alcohol use disorder, as well as any co-occurring mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
We offer evidence-based inpatient treatment programs that give patients both a safe and comfortable place to overcome their disorder.
Patients will learn to identify things that contribute to their alcohol use disorder, how to avoid relapses, and how to maintain sobriety for the rest of their life.
We also offer outpatient programs that give patients the option to keep their family and work schedules while receiving proven and effective treatment.
With an evidence-based treatment approach, a highly qualified team of healthcare providers, and medication-assisted detox services with Vivitrol, we give patients a variety of tools to overcome their alcohol use disorder.
Located in Omaha, Nebraska, our 44-bed facility with state-of-the-art technology is designed to produce positive outcomes for patients. We also offer free assessments for anyone considering entering our inpatient or outpatient programs.
Alcohol Abuse Disorder: What Is It?
Millions of people in the United States have been affected by an alcohol use disorder.
Put simply, an alcohol use disorder is defined by experts as a medical condition marked by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite negative social, occupational, or health consequences.
An estimated 15 million people in the United States have an alcohol use disorder, according to numbers provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). About 401,000 are children ages 12-17.
As of 2018, 5.8% of the adult U.S. population had an alcohol use disorder.
Warning signs of an alcohol use disorder may include:
- Wanting to stop drinking but being unable to
- Drinking longer than intended
- Spending large amounts of time drinking
- Drinking despite the problems it causes
- Drinking to the point of feeling sick, leading to the inability to complete daily tasks
- Choosing alcohol over hobbies and other activities you used to enjoy
Unfortunately, the NIH reports only 10% of people with an alcohol use disorder to seek treatment.
Binge Drinking in Nebraska and the United States
When someone’s drinking causes their blood-alcohol levels to reach 0.08 or above, that is binge drinking. This typically occurs for men after five or more drinks within a two-hour span and four drinks for women.
While not everyone who binges drinks develops an alcohol use disorder, it can happen.
Many signs point to Nebraska having a binge-drinking problem.
Just two years ago, in 2019, 21.9% of people living in Nebraska reported binge drinking in the last 30 days. That is above the 18.6% national average.
Across the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 6 adults binge drinks four times a month. That leads to 17 billion total binge drinks in a year.
In addition to potentially leading to an alcohol use disorder, binge drinking can lead to health issues, accidental injuries, memory problems, violence, and diseases.
The Long-Term Dangers of Excessive Alcoholism
Excessive drinking, a term used to describe heavy and binge drinking, can have a negative impact on your health.
Drinking excessively can cause a variety of health problems, including:
- High blood pressure
- Mental health disorders
- Alcohol use disorders
- Weakened immune system (making you more likely to get sick)
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
Excessive drinking may also cause problems in your professional and personal life.
You can help prevent these problems by limiting yourself to moderate drinking.
Moderate drinking is defined as two drinks or less in a day for men, and one drink or less a day for women.
You should not drink alcohol at all if you are pregnant, driving, or planning to drive, under the age of 21, recovering from an alcohol use disorder, unable to control your alcohol intake, or taking certain medications, or have certain medical conditions.
Underage Drinking and the Potential for Developing an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)
Underage drinking in the United States is the consumption of alcohol by those younger than 21 years old.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 39.7% of Americans ages 12-20 admitted in 2019 to having had at least one drink in their lives. Around 7 million admitted to drinking alcohol in the last month. A reported 825,000 admitted to heavy drinking in that same timeframe.
The NIH says, “Research indicates that alcohol use during the teenage years can interfere with normal adolescent brain development and increase the risk of developing AUD.”
Underage drinking can also lead to dangerous activities or situations, such as impaired driving or sexual encounters.
Those under the age of 21 are advised to refrain from drinking alcohol completely. Not only are there dangers associated with it, but it’s also illegal.
What Are The Signs of Alcohol Withdrawal?
Alcohol withdrawal occurs when someone who regularly drinks too much alcohol stops.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, ”Alcohol withdrawal occurs most often in adults. But, it may occur in teenagers or children. The more you drink regularly, the more likely you are to develop alcohol withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking. You may have more severe withdrawal symptoms if you have certain other medical problems.”
Withdrawal symptoms begin about eight hours after the last drink. Symptoms usually peak within 24-72 hours.
A medical professional may perform a physical exam and look for signs such as abnormal heart rhythms, fever, rapid breathing, dehydration, and more.
Common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
- Mood swings
More serious symptoms include:
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there)
What You Should Know About the Detox Process
Research has shown that those who complete alcohol rehab and treatment are less likely to relapse and more likely to remain in recovery.
The medicated detox process will last seven days and will address the physical dependence on alcohol and also cleanse the body of toxins that come along with it. This will be combined with therapeutic activities like counseling and psychosocial support.
A medicated detox may also prevent the onset of more severe withdrawal symptoms and calm the cravings for alcohol.
After detox, patients typically enter a rehabilitation treatment program for 21 days. There they will address the underlying cause of their addiction, learn how to manage cravings, and altogether learn how to remain on the road to recovery.
After the rehab program, patients may choose to participate in an outpatient program.
What Exactly Is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)?
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the combined use of medications and behavioral therapy to address substance use disorders.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several different medications to treat alcohol and opioid use disorders. MAT medications relieve the withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings that cause chemical imbalances in the body. Medications used for MAT are evidence-based treatment options and do not just substitute one drug for another.”
Medications such as naltrexone (Vivitrol) may be used as a treatment for alcohol use disorders.
As part of MAT, co-occurring mental health disorders may be found and treated. Many people battling a substance use disorder don’t even know they have a co-occurring disorder.
Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders
Co-occurring disorders are the combination of a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder.
Co-occurring conditions are common for people receiving MAT.
People with mental health disorders are reportedly more likely to have a substance use disorder. Around 9.2 million adults in the United States have co-occurring disorders, according to SAMHSA.
Common mental health disorders found during the treatment process include anxiety, major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and bipolar disorder.
Substances misused by those with a mental health disorder may include opioids, tobacco, prescription drugs, stimulants, hallucinogens (such as LSD), and alcohol.
How Do I Help an Alcoholic family member?
We want nothing but the best for those we care about.
If you think it’s time to help a loved one address their alcohol use disorder, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Understandably, this can be a difficult task. However, the National Institutes of Health says your support can make a big difference. Many health providers believe a support system is crucial in one’s road to recovery.
One thing to keep in mind is that you should remain patient. Overcoming an obstacle is never easy, especially for those struggling with an alcohol use disorder.
You should also pay attention to their successes along the way and cheer them on. Any acknowledgment of their efforts can go a long way. Also, try not to get discouraged or angry with them.
Remember, this is a journey, not a race. Overcoming an alcohol use disorder takes time, but it can be done.
We have compassionate healthcare providers standing by to answer your questions and tell you more about the alcohol use disorder treatments we offer at Northpoint Nebraska. Call us today at 402-275-4333.
What is considered the most effective treatment for alcohol use disorder?
The most effective form of treatment is the one that best fits the unique situation of the individual. Everyone’s story is different, and treatment is never a one-size-fits-all. Here at Northpoint Nebraska, we take a whole-patient approach to treatment. We design individualized and integrated treatment plans that address the physical and psychological aspects of an alcohol use disorder, as well as any co-occurring mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
What is the most successful way to stop drinking?
Many experts agree that professional treatment is the best way to stop drinking. By seeking treatment from medical professionals, you are monitored during the withdrawal and detox stages, and behavioral therapy can help address the root cause of your addiction or any co-occurring mental health disorders. This can go a long way in sustaining recovery. At Northpoint Nebraska, patients will learn to identify things that contribute to their alcohol use disorder, how to avoid relapses, and how to maintain sobriety for the rest of their life. Outpatient programs that give patients the option to keep their family and work schedules while receiving proven and effective treatment are also offered.
How do you get someone to stop drinking?
Getting someone to stop drinking is a stressful task, but you have to remember, you can’t force anyone to do anything. Most importantly, they need your support and understanding. If they do decide to seek treatment, pay attention to their successes and cheer them on, refrain from getting angry or frustrated, and remember that recovery is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight.
Can the brain heal itself from alcohol?
Alcohol can have negative effects on your health and brain. The healing process truly depends on a variety of factors. The best thing to do is raise your concerns with a medical professional.