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By Kaitlyn Mercy
Getting a drink with a friend, buying a six-pack for the game, pouring your significant other a glass of wine over dinner. These things have more in common than just alcohol: they’re all extremely normalized within our culture and society.
Alcoholism is a substance use disorder that affects over 1.7 billion adults in the United States alone. Many of these people began drinking as a means of winding down, calming their nerves, or coping with stressful situations, and many of them denied that they were facing an issue as well.
When you think of an alcoholic, you probably think of the extreme case. Constantly drunk, life falling apart, drinking 24/7. While this is a common scenario, alcohol dependence and addiction looks different for everyone who struggles with it. Some people appear to be just fine, despite having a drinking problem that they’ve acknowledged, or others have noticed.
Acknowledging that your alcohol use may be a problem is a big step, but it’s difficult to know exactly what to do next. You may feel angry, frustrated with yourself, or even saddened and ashamed because of the situation you’re in.
The truth is, overcoming an addiction is challenging, but it’s not impossible. Because substance use disorders take a toll on the mind AND the body, it’s important to seek healing and treatment for both. Your primary care physician can offer you referrals to treatment programs and therapists, and also do a physical to assess whether or not your body has been affected by your alcohol use. There are also community meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART Recovery, and local support groups that provide you with peer support as you begin your journey to sobriety.
There are hundreds of providers across the United States that specialize in treating substance use disorders, and Sandstone Care is one of the best. We offer a full continuum of care for teens and young adults who are struggling with substance abuse and/or co-occurring mental health disorders. If you or a loved one is struggling, reach out to our caring admissions team for support as you determine what the next best step is.