Alcohol Treatment and Addiction in Utah:
Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is a serious health condition that is considered a chronic, terminal disease by most in the field of addiction treatment. Much like Atherosclerosis (heart disease) or Diabetes, alcohol addiction needs to be challenged with effective treatments that lead to multi-dimensional changes in peoples’ lives. The bad news is that of the millions of people suffering from alcohol and drug addictions, only about 10% of those people get treatment of some kind. When those numbers are extrapolated to the state of Utah, the dynamic is quite scary. The implications of untreated disease of any kind are staggering and the toll it takes on our families and communities is devastating. The good news is we now have evidence that, just like with other diseases, existing treatment of alcohol addiction works, and when the treatment protocols are followed, full, sustainable recovery is possible. Alcohol Treatment Utah Statistics
2.5 million years of potential life lost due to Alcohol
The amount of alcohol consumption in Utah is among the lowest in the nation. Only about 25% of people in Utah report consuming alcohol, while on the national level that number is 50%. It would seem that with the rate of consumption being about half of the national average, the issues related to alcohol addiction in Utah would be lower than the national average. The truth is, however, that those who engage in addictive behaviors around alcohol (heavy drinking and binge drinking) do so at the same rate as those on the national stage.
When we factor in the range of people that alcoholism affects, taking into consideration issues like traffic accidents, hospital visits, job loss, homelessness, domestic violence, incarceration, sexual assault, among many other grueling consequences, the percentage of people abusing alcohol does not matter. The reality is that this untreated disease affects all of us in every state the same way.
When Should I Seek Alcohol Treatment in Utah?
Alcohol use causes an annual average of 88,000 deaths per year.So what makes someone an alcoholic? How do you know if you suffer from alcohol use disorder? When should you seek alcohol treatment Utah for yourself or a loved one? The answers to these questions can vary for each individual. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), excessive alcohol use is characterized “in the form of binge drinking (drinking 5 or more drinks on an occasion for men or 4 or more drinks on an occasion for women) or heavy drinking (drinking 15 or more drinks per week for men, or 8 or more drinks per week for women.” These categories of drinking are each directly correlated with many health issues, such as liver disease and various unintentional injuries.
From a clinical perspective, we measure whether or not someone has a problem by the impairment that alcohol has caused, or is causing, in his or her life. Impairment can be defined in a variety of ways, but usually will be associated with problems in a combination of the following categories: home, relationships, work, legal (DUI, arrests, etc), school, spirituality, and many other aspects of life.
Alcohol Use Disorder is a Fatal Disease if Not Treated.
We believe that people who suffer with impairment from an alcohol use disorder should seek treatment immediately. Again, alcohol use disorder is a fatal disease and should be treated with the same urgency as any other fatal medical disease. Even if the level of impairment in someone’s life is seemingly questionable (or the infamous “denial” is present) they should still seek counsel and testing for possible health and psychosocial risks their drinking may be posing. From a monetary cost perspective, getting alcohol treatment Utah can save a family up to hundreds of dollars a week to thousands of dollars a month!
Only 10% of People get Treatment
Percent of Utah Alcohol Consumers vs National
Percent of Binge & Heavy Drinking
Alcohol Treatment Can Save Years of Potentially Lost Life.
Sadly, as an industry, we measure cost not only in dollars, but in death and destruction as well. According to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey, in 2013 “more than half of the U.S. adult population drank alcohol in the past 30 days. Approximately 17% of the adult population reported binge drinking, and 6% of the adult population reported heavy drinking.” As a result, studies show (ARDI application) that from 2006 to 2010 excessive alcohol use was responsible for an annual average of “88,000 deaths, including 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years, and 2.5 million years of potential life lost. More than half of these deaths and three-quarters of the years of potential life lost were due to binge drinking.” The same study shows that from a dollar perspective, problems with alcohol cost the US $249 billion in 2010. The average per state cost from this figure is about $3.5 billion. These costs were characterized by losses in workplace productivity, health care costs, legal expenses, traffic accidents, and overall property damage.
How Do I Find Alcohol Treatment Utah?
Navigating the digital space to find alcohol treatment Utah can be frustrating at best. Unfortunately, there are some players out there who are not in the industry with the best interest of you or your family in mind. If you are looking for treatment, our previous blog post, “Rehab Centers in Utah”, will be extremely insightful and helpful for you. However, if you are reading this blog, you have most likely found your way to Brighton Recovery Center’s web page or one of our affiliates. The best thing to do is to pick up the phone and call us or fill out our web form to request information and we will call you. We can help in so many ways, even if you just have a barrage of questions. We can refer you to any level of care you might need, even if it is not with us. We have a lot of resources that you can take advantage of such as free, in-person community support for those that are local and feeling hopeless.
Alcohol addiction is not new, and it certainly isn’t new in Utah. The effects of excessive alcohol use still devastate our communities and families. We know that prevention and treatment works, and the overall stigma and access to care have improved over the years. It’s time to do something about the issue that is plaguing your life in one way or another. This is the first day of the rest of your life.
Jonathan Saul, CMHC