Alcohol Detox in NJ
Because it’s readily available in neighborhood liquor stores, bars, and some restaurants, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that alcohol is a drug. And this drug, which is entirely legal for individuals aged 21 and over to purchase and consume, has become a problem for many people in the U.S. That’s according to two studies, the first of which comes from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH); the second is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The NSDUH study found that an estimated 29.5 million individuals aged 12 and older had an alcohol use disorder (AUD) in 2020. Meanwhile, the CDC study revealed that around 140,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually in the U.S. From a global standpoint, AUDs represent a much bigger problem, with the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics (NCDAS) reporting that alcohol abuse, alcoholism, and alcohol use disorder (AUD) claims the lives of roughly 3 million people each year. For context, that represents around 6% of all global deaths.
The Truth About Alcohol Abuse in New Jersey
Having detailed the extent to which excessive alcohol consumption has impacted people’s lives on both a national and global scale, let’s turn our attention to what it is doing to the lives of people closer to home. Best known for its beaches, Atlantic City, and scenic boardwalks, New Jersey is also home to its fair share of AUDs and other alcohol-related problems. And this is not a baseless, unsubstantiated conjectural statement. According to the CDC, an estimated 79,359 years of potential life is lost to excessive alcohol use in New Jersey alone each year. In addition to full-on alcohol use disorders, binge drinking is another problem in the Garden State. Data from the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics notes that 25% of active drinkers binge drink 3.5 times per month. So that everyone is on the same page, binge drinking, for men, is defined as consuming five or more drinks on one occasion. For women, it’s consuming four or more drinks.
The Consequences of Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Along with increasing the likelihood of suffering from alcohol poisoning, falling, being physically or sexually assaulted, and being involved in a traffic accident, excessive alcohol consumption can compromise an individual’s physical and mental health. According to a study published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, some of the more common health problems related to excessive alcohol consumption include
Cancer – Individuals who drink heavily are at an increased risk of developing multiple alcohol-associated cancers. In a joint study conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Cancer Institute, researchers found that men and women who drink heavily are more likely to develop one or more of the following cancers:
- Breast cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Head and neck cancers, like larynx and oral and pharynx cancer
- Liver cancer
Liver disease – If someone who drinks heavily is lucky enough to sidestep liver cancer, it doesn’t mean they will have the same good fortune in dodging other alcohol-related liver diseases. Multiple studies have confirmed heavy drinking can give rise to the following liver inflammation diseases:
- Alcoholic hepatitis
- Hepatic steatosis
Cardiovascular problems – Like the liver, excessive alcohol consumption can adversely affect heart health. Available data show engaging in such behavior can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure, stroke, arrhythmia, or cardiomyopathy.
Compromised brain health – Several studies, including one from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, show excessive drinking can disrupt communication pathways in the brain. When this happens, it changes the brain’s appearance and how it functions. These changes can lead to alterations in someone’s mood and overall behavior. While we are on the topic, since alcohol is a depressant, it is not uncommon for most people to struggle with depression after consuming it.
Immune system – For those unaware, the immune system is a collection of cells, tissues, and organs, along with the substances they produce, which work in concert to help the body to fight off infection and disease. Without the immune system, most of us would be perpetually sick. That said, excessive alcohol consumption can significantly weaken the immune system, which increases the chances of being stricken with respiratory infections, such as tuberculosis and pneumonia. Further, a weakened immune system can increase one’s chances of catching the flu, according to a study published by the National Institutes of Health.
Why It Is Better To Seek Help From a Licensed Rehab Facility When You’re Ready To Quit Drinking
When it comes to alcohol abuse in the Garden State, whether for health or other reasons, many New Jerseyans are deciding to end their relationship with alcohol. While some are going it alone, others are turning to many licensed rehab facilities in the state for help. And they couldn’t have made a better decision as many issues can arise after starting detox, which is the body’s way of purging itself of alcohol and other contaminants once someone stops drinking. After someone has consumed their final alcoholic beverage, they can start to experience withdrawal symptoms within 6 to 12 hours.
That first wave of symptoms can include mild anxiety, headaches, tremors, insomnia, and an upset stomach. Around the 24-hour mark, most people experience visual and auditory hallucinations. Some also experience tactile hallucinations. But it does not end there; within 24 to 72 hours after someone stops drinking, individuals are at high risk of experiencing delirium tremens, a severe alcohol withdrawal symptom delineated by violent seizures, which can prove fatal without prompt medical treatment. Like in other states, licensed drug and alcohol rehab facilities in New Jersey have treatments and protocols designed to help individuals better cope with these symptoms. And when employed, they can drastically lower an individual’s chances of relapsing or suffering a medical emergency as they work on getting clean and sober.
Finding the Perfect Alcohol Rehab Facility in New Jersey
New Jersey is a relatively small state with more than its fair share of drug and alcohol rehab facilities. And that can make choosing the best one challenging for some people. Things that should be taken into consideration, according to Garden State Detox, a leading substance abuse rehab clinic in Newton, New Jersey, when individuals are trying to choose the perfect rehab to help them give up drinking include
Medication-assisted Treatment – While someone who occasionally engages in binge drinking could do without it, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is almost always necessary for individuals struggling with a full-on alcohol use disorder. For those unaware, MAT is an addiction recovery modality that includes round-the-clock monitoring by a physician and FDA-approved medications to help combat severe withdrawal symptoms while individuals go through detox. To that point, rehab facilities that provide MAT should rank pretty high on the list of potential rehabs for anyone needing help overcoming an alcohol use disorder.
Support groups and sober living homes – After completing rehab, some people are in no particular hurry to return to the “real world.” Often, that’s because they don’t think they can resist the temptation to start drinking again if left to their own devices. Many rehab facilities in New Jersey and throughout most of the tri-state area are mindful of this and, as a result, offer referrals to support groups and sober living homes. Both can help individuals maintain their sobriety long after they’ve completed rehab. That said, anyone who believes they could benefit from this form of aftercare should confirm if a prospective rehab facility offers it.
Insurance – Considering the average cost of addiction recovery is $12,500 in a 30-day inpatient treatment program and $5,700 in a 30-day outpatient program, it’s safe to say getting sober is not cheap. Thankfully, more rehabs in New Jersey accept insurance. That said, confirming a prospective facility accepts your insurance is something you will want to do when searching for one that is right for you. On a side note, if you don’t have traditional insurance through an employer, many rehab facilities accept Medicare, Medicaid, and Affordable Health Care Act insurance plans.
Amenities – Like anywhere else in the U.S., rehab facilities in New Jersey can be bare-bones or resort-like. The latter usually includes maid service and access to saunas, gyms, sunrooms, private treatment rooms, and much more. Those who need help overcoming alcohol but don’t want to feel like they’re toughing it out in a traditional rehab facility seldom mind paying more for a few creature comforts. If any of this resonates with you, you will want to reach out to prospective facilities to find out what amenities they offer and how they impact the total cost of treatment.
In summary, because it is readily available and not too expensive, alcohol is one of the most abused substances in the U.S. today. And that explains many of the alarming statistics detailed in this article. But all hope is not lost; more people are getting the help they need to quit drinking. If you’re interested in becoming a part of this positive trend, consider scheduling a consultation with a Garden State Detox associate today.