Alcohol Rehab Information

Colorado Alcohol Addiction Rehab Information

Alcohol addiction affects more families and more people across more age groups than any other drug today. In fact, Colorado has one of the highest rates of alcohol-related deaths in the country.

These are alarming statistics:

  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in Colorado engages in excessive or binge-drinking.
  • Half of all adults between the ages of 18 and 25 have admitted binge-drinking in the last 30 days
  • 1 in 3 drivers charged with DWI in Colorado has had a previous conviction
  • Across all age groups, Colorado reports 78% or more individuals drink alcohol
  • Colorado ranks nearly in last place across the nation for access to alcoholism treatment options
  • Alcohol is a factor in 1 in 7 deaths in Colorado

Considering these statistics on alcohol use and abuse in Colorado, the vast majority of Coloradans can probably report being touched by this disease in some way.

The effects of alcohol abuse

The effects of alcohol abuse are far-reaching. Once the disease has taken hold, it has an impact on almost every aspect of a person’s life – and not only for the individual, for their families, friends, and colleagues as well.

In the beginning, it may seem like harmless fun. In a university environment, it is almost a rite of passage. At parties and gatherings on and off campus, alcohol is almost always present, and it may seem to some that over-indulgence is expected. While some young people may be able to walk away after one bad experience with alcohol, others may be drawn into the party lifestyle, either coerced by friends or through a compulsion all their own.

Studies show that the younger people are when they start drinking, the more likely they are to become alcoholics. A teen of 15 is four times more likely to develop an alcohol addiction than they would if they started drinking at age 21.

Some of the far-reaching effects of alcohol abuse include:

  • High risk of liver disease, can be fatal
  • Higher risk for many types of cancers and other diseases
  • Many physical consequences including alcohol poisoning
  • Lack of discretion in companions and environments
  • Removes inhibitions with regard to illicit drug use
  • Loss of interest in studies
  • Inability to hold a job or stay in school
  • Poor judgment in decision making
  • Arrested brain development
  • Loss of gray matter in the brain
  • Lack of coordination
  • Increased risk of injury
  • Lowered immune response so more susceptible to disease and infection
  • Sleep disruption
  • Destabilizing to mood, behavior and mental health
  • Higher likelihood of death by misadventure
  • High risk of injury to self and others
  • Encourages risky or promiscuous behavior, which could lead to other, more serious issues
  • Unwanted pregnancy

Although this might seem like a long list, there is a multitude of other issues that can and do arise from alcohol abuse. They may not become apparent until the individual has reached adulthood, but that does not mean the issues should not be taken as seriously.

Alcoholism or alcohol abuse that continues into adulthood increases the risk of birth defects or the development of fetal alcohol syndrome for women, and for both genders, it can adversely impact just about every area of life.

Am I an Alcoholic?

Alcoholism is a disease, and much like drug addiction, it can be treated. However, there is a significant difference between someone who binge-drinks or drinks to excess on occasion and an alcoholic.

Sometimes it will be easy to spot an individual who is a problem drinker. Other times, it will be less obvious.

Here are several ways you may be able to identify an alcoholic:

  1. Extremely high tolerance for alcohol.
    Alcoholics can generally consume a great deal more than the average person and may outpace everybody in the room before even showing any intoxication. These individuals may also continue drinking after everybody else has stopped or left the party.
  2. Drinking in the morning.
    Constant drinking means a perpetual hangover, which generally means the drinking starts up fresh every morning. If drinking is necessary to “get going” in the morning, either to quell the hangover or calm the shakes, there might be a serious problem.
  3. Hiding alcohol or drinking alone.
    While many young people drink as part of normal social activity, those that drink alone or hide their drinking from others almost certainly have a problem. Hiding booze is very typical alcoholic behavior. They might stash bottles in the bathroom, under the bed, in the laundry hamper, or in other odd places you wouldn’t expect. Hiding alcohol is a clear sign that the person has no control and is ashamed of what they are doing.
  4. Wildly erratic mood swings.
    Alcohol can cause dramatic changes in mood. One moment the person might be your best friend, the next they could be violently angry, and for no apparent reason. Alcohol amplifies moods, and in cases where there may be co-occurring addictions or mental health issues, it may be more pronounced. There are many special occasions that have been ruined by an alcoholic friend or relative; these are emotional situations that cause stress for even normal people, and in the alcoholic mind, the only way to deal with stress is to drink more. This often leads to disruption, embarrassment, and even complete devastation.
  5. Dangerous, inappropriate or risky behavior.
    Alcohol leads to much-lowered inhibitions, which can lead many alcoholics into dangerous places or situations. Waking up in a stranger’s bed, unwanted pregnancies, committing a crime, getting into fights, or challenging authority to the point it gets them kicked out of school, fired from their job, arrested, or at the very least ostracized from their peer group is a normal occurrence for an alcoholic. Sadly, it usually escalates until it ends badly and often repeats itself ad infinitum until some type of intervention is waged.
  6. Irresponsibility, avoidance, lack of good judgment.
    While irresponsible behavior is not in and of itself a sign of alcoholism, it is definitely a symptom. Don’t expect an alcoholic to follow through on their promises, live up to their commitments, participate in normal family life, or show up for important life events – even if the event is for them. Sometimes the stress of attending an event where there will be no alcohol served is enough to make them decide not to go. Conversely, they may turn an innocent event into a scene by bringing alcohol into the equation, such as getting falling-down drunk at a child’s birthday party.

These are just a handful of indications that there might be an alcohol problem at issue.

If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be an alcoholic, there is a recently revised screening test that was developed in 1971 that may help you determine whether or not you are an alcoholic. The MAST (Michigan Alcohol Screening Test) uses 22 questions to help differentiate between occasional heavy or binge drinking and full-blown alcoholism, and is the most widely used tools for the assessment of alcohol abuse.

Alcohol treatment options in Colorado for young adults

The good news is, if you live in Colorado and are searching for help with alcoholism or problem drinking, Peaks Recovery is here to help.

Through personalized alcohol recovery programs that are both age-specific and gender-specific, we can effectively treat young people affected by alcoholism, and help them to re-establish their lives and rediscover their hopes and dreams living sober.

Age-specific, gender-specific alcohol treatment in Colorado

There is a great deal of research to show that age-specific alcohol treatment is most effective for long-term recovery outcomes. When we place young adults of a similar age together, they are better able to relate to each other in a meaningful way. They have had similar life experiences and have faced similar milestones, such as parents and schooling, sexual maturity, and have common recreational activities such as music, media, and more. The more easily they can relate to others in their recovery peer group, the better chance of success they have at maintaining sobriety.

When we stray outside of the age group, we may be introducing young people to a generation that is more experienced, and a young and impressionable addicted mind is far more susceptible to suggestions and acting out in order to look and seem “cool” to their older counterparts. They may even come out of the program with worse issues than they came in with.

As for gender-specific treatment, separating the sexes serves 2 main purposes: it allows participants to relax and be more honest in group settings, and it removes the inherent sexual tension that comes with a mixed group. Co-addictions and co-dependency can be a real problem in mixed-sex recovery groups, and removing the opportunity for more problems to arise lends a greater possibility of success once the individual leaves the facility.

At Peaks Recovery, we also have a focus on developing life skills that will help them reintegrate back into normal life and society once they leave the program. For some, this may be easier than it is for others, but we are always here to help. Our greatest concern is that we give our participants the best possible chance at success, and we will be here as long as needed to ensure that happens.

Peaks Recovery Alcohol Addiction Rehab in Colorado

Our beautiful facility in Colorado Springs, CO, is removed from the stress and hustle of day-to-day city life, giving our patients a serene and healthy environment in which to recover from alcohol and other addictions. If you or a loved one is in need of alcohol treatment, get in touch today. We care and are here to help.