Alcohol is the third leading cause of death, which is preventable, in the United States. Massachusetts has the eighth largest drinking problem in America. The national rate for adults that participate in binge drinking is 16.2 percent while the rate of adults that binge drink in Massachusetts is 21.2 percent. Binge drinking is defined as someone that has four or more (for women) or five or more (for men) drinks on one occasion. According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Addiction Services:
In 2017, 32.8% of clients listed alcohol as their primary substance of abuse upon treatment admission. 55.3% reported using alcohol in the 12 months before entering treatment. (MAGov)
Excessive drinking in Massachusetts is more prevalent in white men between the ages of 18-44 who have less than a high school education and make between $50 to $74,999 a year in income.
Risks Involving Alcohol Abuse and Addiction
Alcohol is legal and easily attainable for someone of legal drinking age. However, excessive drinking does come with a host of short- and long-term potential risks. Every year thousands of people lose their lives due to alcohol. On average, about 29 people die every day in motor vehicle accidents due to an alcohol-impaired driver. Excessive alcohol use costs the United States billions of dollars each year. Alcoholism treatment programs in Massachusetts and out-of-state are available to address this serious public health issue that affects not only alcoholics but their entire families. Alcoholism is a family disease where the underlying causes of excessive drinking must be addressed through psychotherapy, professional guidance, and sober support.
Negative Effects of Chronic Alcoholism
When looking at alcoholics, the negative effects on your health and loved ones are endless. Most alcoholics in the middle of a binge don’t see this and instead act selfing and self-serving. Some of the short-term risks of excessive drinking can include:
- Alcohol poisoning
- Violence such as suicide, homicide, and sexual assault
- Unintentional injuries such as drowning, falls, burns, and motor vehicle accidents
- Poor decision-making and engaging in risky behaviors such as unprotected sex
Drinking excessively also has a host of long-term risks. Some of the potential long-term risks of excessive drinking can include:
- Alcohol dependence
- Memory and learning problems
- Hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and liver disease
- Cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon, or breasts
Underage Drinking in Massachusetts
Massachusetts also has the highest rate of underage drinking in the United States. The brain does not fully develop until a person is over the age of 20, so underage drinking can damage parts of the brain that are responsible for self-control, memory and learning, and decision-making. The Massachusetts government (MAGov) has developed a guide for preventing underage drinking:
- Talk with your children about alcohol. Tell them what will happen if they break your rules about alcohol or other drugs.
- Have an ongoing discussion about the risks involved.
- Be involved. Know who, what, where, and when.
- Don’t assume that other parents have the same rules you have.
- Create a plan with your children about what to do in a risky situation. Texting, calling, or going to a safe location are all good ideas.
The key to underage drinking is prevention. Talk with your kids and develop a trusting relationship so they will feel comfortable coming to you if they are having problems. It’s important to step in and get them help, especially if they are having mental health issues that need to be addressed. Untreated mental health disorders are a big cause of drinking and substance abuse issues.
Alcohol Treatment in Massachusetts Area
Massachusetts has a host of treatment programs available for alcoholism and addiction. Everyone has different needs when it comes to treatment. Addiction and Alcoholism are not a one size fits all approach, so treatment must be individualized according to the specific needs of each patient. Massachusetts has different types of treatment programs from inpatient rehab to intensive outpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs, and dual diagnosis treatment. There are programs for the uninsured along with programs that accept different types of insurance. There is treatment available for anyone that needs it.
Evidence-Based Treatment for Alcoholism
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction issue, our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Evoke Wellness at Cohasset offers evidence-based treatment programs to cater to the individual needs of each patient. Our solution-focused addiction treatment will lead you on a road to long-lasting recovery. You don’t have to suffer any longer, call us today.