The drinking is a constant fear. The third time that your father ended up in conversation with an urgent care doctor, you were present. Although your father asked to be taken to an urgent care doctor because he feared that he was having a stroke, the visit took a serious turn toward the topic of addiction to alcohol. The resulting visit ended with a serious conversation between your father and the urgent care doctor who the had seen at least twice before. The physician explained that while the symptoms may have presented themselves as a heat stroke from mowing the grass, the real cause of the symptoms was dehydration caused by a too high blood alcohol content.
Leaving the urgent medical center with literature about alcoholism treatment options made for a tense and quiet ride home.
One of Every Ten Children in America Live with a Parent with Alcohol Addiction Problems
Even adult children suffer the consequences of a parent who is addicted to alcohol or other substance. And while young children are often the victims of a life that is filled with chaos and chemicals, adult children often find themselves in situations that go back and forth between anger and guilt. Although alcohol is the cause of many addiction problems, as many as 5,000 visits to emergency rooms every day are attributed to the effects of drug abuse.
Unfortunately, the addiction problems of one individual can have devastating effects on several other people other than the chemical abuser. Spouses, parents, children, and friends often find themselves suffering along side of some one who is addicted to alcohol or drugs. For young children who live in a home with someone who has a chemical addiction, the problems they suffer also manifest themselves when they are away from home. Truancy, exhaustion, lack of focus, and physical and verbal outbursts are among the many problems caused by living with an addicted parent or relative.
Consider some of the devastating statistics about drug and alcohol addiction:
- Alcohol is the number one drug problem in America.
- 20% of college students meet the criteria list for an Alcohol Use Disorder.
- 53% of American adults report that one or more of their close relatives has a drinking problem.
- Young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are the most susceptible to alcohol related problems. At the other end of the spectrum, people over the age of 65 are the least susceptible.
- Some statistics indicate that people who are more educated are more likely to have a drinking problem.
- If drinking causes you problems, you have a drinking problem.
Overcoming Chemical Addiction Often Requires Rehabilitative Therapies
When an individual is addicted to drugs or alcohol, a simple trip to an urgent care doctor to treat related symptoms is rarely the solution. The is, of course, unless the attending physician directs the patient or the patient’s friends and family members to a treatment center. And while some individuals are able to get a handle on their addictive behavior by attending weekly support groups for one or two hours, many addicts require a more structured and invasive approach.
In the case of patients who are trying to quit taking highly addictive drugs, a detoxification process is the first step in the process. Both public and private facilities with trained medical staff are often the best approach to helping an addict quit his or her bad habit. Follow up therapies that focus on coping mechanisms and continued support also have positive impact.
Addiction rehabilitation programs often combine the efforts of therapists, nurses, doctors, and counselors. All of these people, however, cannot complete their tasks if an individual does not admit to having a problem. Facing an addiction begins with facing the problem itself. Blaming others or blaming circumstances are roadblocks to recovery.
These rehabilitative programs also depend on the support of family and friends who will help the recovering addict make the transition from the therapy environment to the real life environment. Friends or family members who enable or encourage the addiction must change their ways or the addict must have the strength to remove these people from his or her life. The road to recovery is difficult.