Alcohol use is embedded in American culture. Legal and easily accessible, alcohol use is widely promoted everywhere you look. Plenty of people can drink alcohol without developing a problem. However, it is estimated that 15 million Americans have an alcohol use disorder. The terms abuse and addiction are often used interchangeably, but they are different. Both are harmful, but not everyone who abuses alcohol will develop an addiction. However, they are at increased risk. Alcoholism is a lifelong disease. Detox and rehab are vital steps toward recovery. People often need a way to transition back into regular daily life following treatment. One way to do so is with a sober living program.
At Westwind Recovery®, we know that recognizing the need for alcohol rehab can be challenging to acknowledge and accept. It is critical to remind yourself that addiction is a disease, not a character defect. For information about our alcohol rehab center or sober living program, contact us at 855.340.8832.
What Are the Effects of Alcohol on the Brain?
Slurred speech, blurred vision, difficulty walking or balancing, slowed reaction time, and impaired memory are all evidence that alcohol consumption impacts the brain. These effects are noticeable after only a few drinks and quickly dissipate once a person stops drinking. However, individuals who drink heavily over a long time can develop brain deficits that persist even long after achieving sobriety. Factors that influence how and to what extent alcohol affects the brain include the following:
- The age at which a person began drinking
- The length of time a person has been drinking
- How much and how often a person drinks
- Age, gender, genetics, and family history
- Overall physical health
Exactly how alcohol impacts the brain and the likelihood of reversing the effects of heavy drinking are focal points of current alcohol research. While it is a myth that alcohol kills brain cells, it does damage the ends of neurons, making it difficult for them to send essential nerve signals. Moderate drinking leads to short-term impairments, but heavy drinking has extensive, far-reaching, and even lasting effects.
Some of the potential long-term effects of heavy alcohol abuse or addiction include:
- Cardiovascular issues that increase the risk of stroke
- Changes in mood and personality
- Brain shrinkage
- Poor circulation to the brain
- Mental health issues including depression, anxiety, hallucinations, and psychosis
- Nutritional deficiencies that can damage the brain
No matter how long you have been abusing or addicted to alcohol, the time to stop drinking is now. Quitting alcohol may help reverse some alcohol-related brain damage and will prevent further damage from occurring.
Discover Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Sober Living Homes in Los Angeles
The decision to go to rehab does not come lightly and can be scary. Knowing what to expect from treatment can help alleviate fears and give you more confidence in your decision. Many of the answers about what to expect will depend upon the level of care you need. At Westwind Recovery®, we offer:
- Alcohol detox
- Inpatient alcohol rehab
- Outpatient alcohol rehab
- Sober living homes
- Concierge program
- Aftercare program
Westwind Recovery® offers holistic and individualized care from a compassionate and highly skilled treatment team utilizing the most recent evidence-based treatment modalities. Other components of treatment you can expect include but are not limited to:
- Structure and support in a safe environment
- Peer and community support
- Group and individual counseling
- Education about alcohol use disorder
- Life skills, communication skills, and coping mechanisms
- Relapse prevention and aftercare planning
Individuals with alcohol abuse or addiction often have co-occurring mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, or personality disorders. Therefore, we provide dual diagnosis treatment.
Contact Westwind Recovery® to Discover Sober Living in LA
If you have decided to seek treatment for your alcohol use, Westwind Recovery® is here to help. Whether you need to detox and go through rehab or are already sober and looking for sober living support, we have a program to suit your needs. Contact us today at 855.340.8832 to learn about your options for sober living.
Dr. Deena is the Chief Clinical Officer of Westwind Recovery®, an award-winning outpatient treatment center in Los Angeles where she oversees the clinical and administrative program and treatment methods. Dr. Deena is a doctor of psychology and licensed clinical social worker since 1993. LCSW #20628. Originally from the East Coast, Dr. Deena has worked running treatment centers, worked as a therapist in psychiatric hospitals as well as school settings and currently has a thriving private practice in the LA area. Dr. Deena has appeared regularly on the Dr. Phil Show as an expert since 2003. She has also been featured on many other TV shows, podcasts and has contributed to written publications as well as podcasts.