By Sara Arce, Counselor, MLHC, CAP
Alcohol Use Disorder (commonly referred to as Alcoholism), causes 88,000 deaths per year according to an article published by Faculty at the Harvard Medical School. They describe Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) as a disorder characterized by excessive alcohol use despite negative consequences associated with it. Depending on the severity, a person with AUD can become physically, psychologically and/or emotionally reliant on alcohol. When physical reliance or dependence occurs, stopping the alcohol consumption can cause withdrawal symptoms often including shaking, vomiting and diarrhea. Long term effects of excessive alcohol use can lead to liver disease, stomach ulcers, brain damage, and other serious medical problems.
Only a licensed professional can diagnose someone with an AUD. However, commonly fear prevents people from seeking professional substance abuse help. The authors inform that The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recommends that a primary care physician ask simple but specific questions to determine risk during routine appointments. Some common tools used to screen for an AUD include the CAGE and the AUDIT; short questionnaires developed by the World Health Organization. Primary care physicians are oftentimes the first ones to recognize a problem and refer to treatment.
The most effective method of treatment for AUD is residential treatment. Other approaches include outpatient therapy, self-help groups, medication management, and detoxification. LifeSkills South Florida is dually licensed to treat both substance abuse and other co-occurring disorders (often referred to as dual diagnosis). and offers a full continuum of care via residential care, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient programs, and routine outpatient treatment.
Our treatment programs utilize a holistic approach that aims to give patients the life skills and independence needed to live a happy and functional life in recovery. All of our clinicians are either Masters or Doctorate level professionals and our residential program is supervised around the clock. We also have a staff to client ratio of 6:1 in addition to individualized treatment plans and therapeutic clinical tracks. If you or a loved one would like to learn more about what we have to offer, please call our admissions office at 754-227-6264. All calls and assessments are kept free and confidential. We are an out of network treatment provider but will welcome most major insurance plans, excluding Medicare and Medicaid. Don’t waste another day.