Factors and Differences

Determining whether someone has an alcohol abuse issue is not always cut and dry.  Due to the prevalence of alcohol in social settings and popular culture, the lines have become blurred and many problem drinkers consider themselves and their behavior “normal”.  Despite this, alcohol continues to be a leading cause of preventable death in the United States.  The affliction of alcohol is entirely treatable, and people recover every day.

Alcohol abuse and drug abuse has no barriers, While it was considered to be a primarily impacting male individuals, recent substance abuse research indicates equal risk to women. Significant gender differences in the substance-related origin, social factors and characteristics, biological responses, progressions to dependence, medical consequences, co-occurring psychiatric disorders, and barriers to treatment entry, retention, and completion. The origin of women’s drug use presents challenges separate from those raised by men’s drug use.  Evidence suggests that women with substance use disorders are more likely than men to face multiple barriers affecting access and entry to substance abuse treatment. Gender-specific medical problems as a result of the interplay of gender-specific drug use patterns and sex-related risk behaviors create an environment in which women are more vulnerable than men to human immunodeficiency virus, which also can be treated by a medical professional in our community. Individual characteristics and treatment approaches can differently affect outcomes by gender. All of these differences have important clinical, treatment, and research implications. At Continuum we will address what lead you into alcohol and or substance abuse and guide you into the right direction of healing.

Denial is a common and defining feature of alcoholism—so many with the affliction will not believe that they have it. The following are a list of warning signs to be privy of if you are concerned about a loved one and their alcohol use:

  • Lying about drinking or amount of drinks consumed
  • Drinking alone or privately
  • No impulse control; can’t stop once started
  • Drinking when it would not be safe to do so
  • Problems with interpersonal relationships
  • Physical dependence; increased tolerance
  • Withdrawal symptoms (delirium tremens, shaking, cold sweats, disorientation, etc…)
  • An inability to stop even though the desire and recognition is there