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FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a disease that includes the following four symptoms: Craving, Loss of control, physical dependence, and tolerance. A craving is a strong need or urge to drink. Loss of control happens when a person is unable to stop drinking or control the amount one consumes once he or she starts drinking. Physical dependence is indicated by withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety. Tolerance increases in the early stages of alcoholism. The alcoholic typically will be able to handle more alcohol before obvious symptoms occur. In the later stages of the disease, one’s tolerance decreases. An Alcoholic may become intoxicated from drinking relatively small amounts.

Is Alcoholism inherited?

Research indicates that families with a high rate of alcoholism have a greater chance of passing the disease along to future generations than families with a low rate of alcoholism.

What is drug addiction?

Drug addiction is a complex brain disease. It is characterized by compulsive, at times uncontrollable, drug craving, seeking, and use that persist even in the face of extremely negative consequences. For many people, drug addiction becomes chronic, with relapses possible even after long periods of abstinence.

Can alcoholism & drug addiction be treated?

Yes, there are effective alcohol & drug treatment programs available. These programs commonly use detoxification, education, counseling, medication, proper nutrition, exercise, and 12-step support groups to help a person stop drinking or using drugs. Once clean & sober, most alcoholics and addicts need long-term help and support to maintain their sobriety and rebuild their lives. In today’s society, this help is readily available, and success is common.

What is detoxification?

Detoxification is the process of allowing the body to rid itself of a drug while managing the unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal. Often a medical procedure, this is the first step in chemical dependency treatment.

Is there help available for addicted persons with legal problems?

Yes, if the legal problems are drug or alcohol related. In more and more jurisdictions today, courts are beginning to look much more favorably upon an individual seeking help for his or her alcohol and drug addiction problems. Quite often, the court will impose addiction treatment in lieu of jail.

Is there affordable treatment available? What is the range of treatment costs?

Treatment prices can range from no or low cost indigent care, usually provided by the local municipalities or non-profit organizations (admission often subject to a waiting list) to costly luxury facilities that include personalized medical and psychiatric care with spa like amenities. Everything between will include County and for-profit hospital programs, and residential programs.

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