An alcohol use disorder develops when someone develops unhealthy drinking habits. This condition can include a problem controlling how much the person drinks, an unhealthy focus on drinking, or continuing to drink even when it’s problematic. Patterns can start to develop that put the individual’s health at serious risk. These patterns include binge drinking, drinking in secret, drinking in the workplace, or drinking while driving.
Seeking help through an alcohol addiction treatment center can get you or a woman you love on the path to sobriety, avoiding severe medical complications. For information about a women’s alcohol addiction treatment program in Maine, please contact Crossroads today at 877.978.1667.
Medical Complications of Alcohol Abuse for Women
Alcohol abuse often puts women at greater risk for several severe health conditions. These conditions may include breast cancer, infertility, and increased side effects of menopause. While there are risks for both men and women, alcohol does affect women differently than men. The same amount of alcohol will cause a higher blood alcohol level in a woman than it does a man, even if they are the same size and stature.
Alcohol abuse is particularly dangerous over extended periods of time. For instance, women who suffer from alcohol use disorder are at risk for:
- Liver cancer
- Laryngeal cancer
- Breast cancer
However, alcohol abuse can be dangerous in the short term, as well. If you drink while you’re pregnant, for instance, the baby may be born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, or you may lose the baby altogether. Furthermore, if you drink too much in a short period of time, you may get alcohol poisoning, which can be fatal without immediate medical treatment. Therefore, it’s critical to seek an addiction treatment program as soon as possible.
Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcohol use disorder can range in severity, but, in general, symptoms often include:
- Spending most of your time drinking alcohol
- Being unable to cut back or stop drinking alcohol
- Craving alcohol when you are not drinking
- Being hungover much of the time
- Missing work or school obligations because of alcohol use
- Continuing to drink even though it’s obviously causing problems
- Avoiding social situations or hobbies because you’d prefer to be drinking
- Being under the influence while driving
- Needing to drink more and more to feel a high
The more you drink, the higher the blood alcohol concentration is, and the more intoxicated, or drunk, you become. Intoxication causes both behavioral and mental issues, including blackouts. For heavy drinkers who try and stop, severe alcohol withdrawal can occur.
If you think that you might be drinking too much, or if your family approaches you with concerns about your drinking, then it’s time to talk to a professional. This could be your doctor, a mental health professional, or a self-help support group like Alcoholics Anonymous.
It’s common to dismiss the problems your drinking may have caused because you want to believe that you can manage your drinking. Listen to people close to you when they ask you to get help. Trusting the people closest to you will help you find a path to recovery more quickly. You might think about talking with someone who has battled the same problems but has beat their addiction. There’s also no shame in seeking treatment. Doing so can prevent long-term consequences of alcohol abuse from occurring.
Contact Crossroads to Learn More
People with an alcohol use disorder may not seek treatment as most don’t think they have a problem. Sometimes an intervention can help them recognize and accept that they need help. If you’re concerned about someone you care about and you think they may be putting themselves at risk with their alcohol consumption, the treatment team at Crossroads is here to help you. We offer a range of treatment options, including:
- Residential women’s addiction treatment
- Rehab for women with children
- Dual diagnosis treatment options for women with co-occurring mental health conditions
- Addiction treatment therapy programs
- Intensive outpatient addiction treatment
Destructive drinking patterns bring with them undo stress, problems dealing with regular daily life, and medical complications. Getting treatment early is critical. Contact Crossroads at 877.978.1667 and find out about all of our treatment options for you or a loved one.