Your Guide to Alcoholism and Alcohol Rehab in Colorado

Alcohol addiction is one of the most destructive forms of addiction in existence. It is easily the most common. It's easy to forget that it can be addictive because alcohol is legal and easy to access. That addiction can be even more difficult to recognize than drug addiction. This is because the consumption of alcohol is normalized in society. People are more inclined to sense a problem if they see drug use.

But alcoholism is a very real disease. It remains the most common substance treated in rehab centers across the entire country. You may think you just drink to have a good time. Or that you don't have a problem because you don't do harder drugs. But if you're a frequent drinker of alcohol, and you find it increasingly difficult to feel like yourself without a few drinks, it may be time to give us a call and determine if you have a problem that needs treatment.

This article covers the basic information you need to know about alcoholism and alcohol rehab in Colorado. We'll look at some facts and statistics. We'll also cover a list of support groups and other resources around the state. Finally, we'll explain how AspenRidge North can help. Use the information in this guide to help yourself or someone you love escape from alcohol addiction.

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Understanding Alcohol Addiction

The best first step to overcoming any problem is to first understand it. Addiction is no different. Too often, discussions on addiction devolve into victim blaming. That isn't helpful. We understand that.

We're not here to judge. In fact, we're here to protect you from that judgment and actually help you overcome your problem. Take it from us: feeling ashamed or guilty about your addiction will only make it worse as it causes increasing mental stress.

In reality, addiction is just a disease. Like any other disease, it comes with risk factors. That means there are some people who have a greater chance of developing the disease.

Some of the risk factors for alcoholism include:

  • Family history. Just like other diseases, addiction is genetic.
  • Stressful life events. Alcohol is a common escape mechanism for those struggling with hopelessness or overwhelming stress in their personal or professional life.
  • A previous history of addiction. Like many diseases, catching it once makes you more susceptible to catching it again.
  • A history of mental illness. About half of all people with an addiction also have a mental illness.

These factors make you more susceptible to addiction. But that doesn't mean they're the only ones. Some of the most well-balanced, stress-free people in the world can fall victim to alcoholism.

Often times people develop alcoholism just because they're part of a social group that frequently consumes alcohol. So they simply associate heavy drinking with having fun with friends. It doesn't have to be a cascade series of problems for addiction to arise.

Alcohol Abuse and Addiction Statistics for Colorado

Did you know that there were nearly 20,000 arrests for DUI in Colorado in 2017? You can use this interactive map of DUIs by county to see how many happened near you. That's a lot of drunk drivers. Keep in mind that police only catch a small fraction of the people driving drunk.

This is no small thing. Between 2016 and 2017 there were more than 1,000 DUI fatal and injury crashes according to the state patrol.

The CDC did a study on youth drinking in the state in 2015. Colorado has a lower rate of youth alcohol consumption compared to the national average. That's good. But 59% of youths reported that they've had booze. Another 17% report binge drinking in the last 30 days. That's just one point lower than the national average.

That's important. The National Institutes of Health reports that people who start drinking as youths are more likely to have a problem when they get older. Also, these people are more likely to be dependent on alcohol at a younger age. Nearly half of the people in the survey could be classified as alcoholics before they turned 21.

Youth drinking causes other issues as well. It lowers academic performance. That makes it harder to get into a good college. As a result, job prospects are worse. It's nearly impossible to quantify how much of an impact this has on individual lives or the economy.

The state government put together a report on excessive drinking. The findings are surprising. 1 in 5 adults drink excessively in Colorado. That causes an average of 5 deaths per day. Also, it costs the state $5 billion in economic loses. That's billion, with a “b”.

Excessive drinking carries several short and long-term health risks. The short-term risks include:

  • Increased chance of experiencing violence
  • Increased chance of injury
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Pregnancy complications like miscarriage, stillbirth, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).
  • Increased chance of risky sexual behavior

The long-term risks of excessive drinking are even more frightening. They show how alcoholism can ruin your life. These effects include:

  • Medical conditions like heart disease, liver disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and more
  • Cancer
  • Problems with learning and memory
  • Depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders
  • Social problems and difficulty relating to other people

The statistics for binge drinking in Colorado are also telling. Binge drinking is defined as having 4 or more drinks within 2-3 hours for women. For men, it's 5 or more drinks in 2-3 hours.

1 in 5 adults in Colorado binge drink. Even worse, 1 in 6 high school students binge drinks. On average, binge drinkers have 7 drinks per event. They have 4 binge drinking episodes per month. This problem is so bad that it causes 882 deaths ever year in the state. The economic costs come to $3.7 billion.

Alcohol Rehab in Colorado

How Do I Know if I Need Alcoholism Rehab?

It's hard to tell if you need help. However, given the dangerous effects of alcohol abuse, it's worth looking into.

The creep of addiction is gradual, quiet, and often symptom-free up to a point. You don't just suddenly wake up and know you're addicted. There's no big "YOU'RE ADDICTED, GET HELP" sign in flashing letters that pops up in front of you.

It's easy to be in denial about whether you have a problem. It just feels like you're going out, having fun, loosening up a little. Why would it be a bad thing that you're enjoying yourself?

That may be how it starts, but little by little, things change. You slide further and further from "wanting" to drink to "needing" to drink. Alcohol addiction, despite being a legal substance, can be one of the most dangerous addictions. Believe it or not, withdrawals from heavy, chronic alcohol use can actually have some of the most dangerous. They have potentially fatal withdrawal effects.

It's a difficult leap to go from thinking like this to making the call to start receiving alcohol treatment. The first step of admitting the problem is especially difficult for alcoholics. That's because alcohol use is normalized and legal. In many cases, the media celebrates alcohol use.

The way alcoholism works, you don't feel bad when you're drinking - you feel bad at all OTHER times. The state of being sober is the one that hurts. The state of drunkenness is the normal one. The logical conclusion when you feel bad becomes to solve the problem with more alcohol.

That compulsion gets stronger and stronger. Eventually, it feels like you can't function at all without alcohol. It happens over time. Often people don't recognize it until it's too late.

Regardless, there are a number of common warning signs for alcoholism. These point out when you've crossed the line from recreational drinking to compulsive drinking. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence has a quiz to help you determine if your drinking is the result of an addiction or recreational.

You can also call and consult with us if you think you or someone close to you has a problem.

Support Groups for Alcoholism in Colorado

No two people are the same. That means everyone responds differently to alcohol rehab. Thankfully, there are plenty of alcoholism support groups in Colorado. We've made a list of some of the most popular options. You can also check out our list of local resources for more information.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the most popular and successful alcoholism support group in the world, and it is the origin of the 12-step program used in part by AspenRidge North. AA has helped millions of alcoholics overcome their problems. It can be a great supplement to a traditional rehab program. Check here for to find AA meetings near you.

AA meetings come in all forms. There are meetings at restaurants. Some meetings occur at churches. Others happen at private residences. Some groups focus on specific steps. Others work through all of them. This flexibility means that you can find an AA meeting that meets your needs.

LifeRing of Colorado is a secular recovery network of people who support one another in living free of alcohol and drugs. They bill themselves as a complement to rehab programs or even to spiritually-based programs like AA.

Whatever path to recovery you find most appropriate, LifeRing will accommodate your choice and help you in whatever road you choose. Your personal and spiritual beliefs are important, but private here. LifeRing is about empowering individuals through their own willpower and self-improvement.

SMART is a different kind of program than AA. It involves only 4 steps, not 12, and focuses on self-empowerment and reliance. It's a great alternative for those who aren't interested in AA's spiritually-based approach. There aren't quite as many meetings for SMART Recovery as AA, but you can still find weekly meetings across the state of Colorado.

There is no support you can get that replaces the love and support you'll get from family. We, as well as many support groups like Al-Anon/Alateen of Colorado, work with your family and loved ones to better understand what you're going through in your addiction. With this understanding, they will be even greater support for you, and will be better able to cope with the ways in which a loved one's addiction affects them.

Alateen is an especially important resource. Remember, nearly 1 in 6 high school students in Colorado binge drink. Also, binge drinking and drinking underage increase the chances of developing alcoholism. Alateen gives teens and youths a way to deal with alcohol problems, whether their own, or someone else's.

Learn About AspenRidge North's Alcohol Recovery Services

Choosing the right rehab facility for you is almost as important as making the choice to go to rehab in the first place. There's no one right way to go through rehab, but there is a right way for you.

Every rehab facility has a different approach, a different philosophy, a different way of approaching similar issues. Gathering information is the best place to start. Some alcohol rehab facilities are likely to be a great fit for you, and some maybe aren't.

We want you to choose AspenRidge North, but not because we tell you to. We want to give you all the facts so that you can make the best decision for yourself. This recovery is your journey, and you deserve to have all the information you can before choosing where to take the first steps toward the rest of your life.

At the heart of AspenRidge North's program is expert-level individual therapy. In individual therapy, you'll really identify the elements of your addiction, and develop strategies for dealing with it that are unique to you. You can see some of the core elements of our treatment by checking out our addiction rehab program page, or our intensive outpatient program page.

Individual therapy is the most important aspect of drug rehab. It gets to the root causes of your addiction. Also, it's completely customized to your unique situation. Addiction is different from person to person, so of course treatment should be as well. That's how AspenRidge North goes about helping people every single day.

We also include a heavy emphasis on group support. You'll get access to the informal support that comes from people who understand your suffering firsthand. When you're struggling, it helps to know you're not alone. Group support puts you around people who understand your suffering like nobody else possibly can.

Why Should You Choose AspenRidge North?

AspenRidge North is Colorado's premier alcoholic rehabilitation center. Helping patients achieve and maintain sobriety is our entire purpose. We know that alcoholism is a serious disease. It's not a choice or a moral failing. We make it our mission to help every single person who walks through our doors. That's true no matter how where they are in the recovery process or how bad their problem is.

Our skilled and compassionate team of addiction treatment experts are here to treat you like an individual - not a number. We work to understand you, your problems, your background, and the reasons you turned to alcohol in the first place. This helps us better personalize your treatment plan. That means more effective results for you.

If you're ready to take that first step towards the rest of your life, contact us now. There are brighter days ahead of you, you just have to get there one step at a time. And we're here to help you with the first few steps.

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Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

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