Okeechobee County in southern Florida is home to over 42,000 people. As in many rural communities, this area sees a high rate of alcoholism or alcohol use disorders (AUDs) and not that many rehab options. Luckily, individuals can obtain Okeechobee rehab at Florida Center for Recovery (FCR). Florida Center for Recovery is here and ready to point you toward meaningful, sober living.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, AUDs are the third-leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S., claiming 95,000 lives annually. It is also responsible for over 200 diseases including alcohol-associated liver disease, cardiovascular disease, cancers, and HIV/AIDS. Alcohol impairment while driving was even behind 10,142 deaths in 2019 — 28% of the overall driving fatalities that year.
If alcohol dependence threatens to wreck you and your family, make the call to Florida Center for Recovery right now. We can help you take the wheel and turn your life around.
What Is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a disease marked by “impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences”, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). It is also called alcohol dependence or alcohol use disorder (AUD). According to MedlinePlus, at least 18 million Americans suffer with mild to severe alcoholism symptoms.
The majority of alcohol users can control their intake. In some people, though, alcohol misuse causes changes in the brain that lead to addiction. Binge drinking and heavy alcohol consumption put individuals at a greater risk for developing alcoholism.
An animal study published in Science Advances pinpointed previously unknown neural mechanisms behind AUDs. Apparently, increased transmission of brain chemicals in the central amygdala makes affected individuals lose the ability to stop seeking alcohol. In the study, nerve cells in this region seemed to promote alcohol use in some lab subjects despite negative consequences.
Stages of Alcoholism
Alcoholism develops in five stages: pre-alcoholic, early alcoholic, middle alcoholic, late alcoholic, and recovery. Due to its insidious nature, alcohol dependence starts in a seemingly harmless way that slowly takes over a person’s life. Understanding these stages can help you prevent or treat the onset of an AUD in your or your loved one’s life:
- Pre-Alcoholic: IndividualS drink to relieve stress. Their tolerance increases as they need more alcohol to get the same feeling of relief.
- Early Alcoholic: Alcohol use starts to affect people’s daily lives, relationships, and jobs. The drinker attempts to alleviate guilt, shame, and stress by consuming more alcohol.
- Middle Alcoholic: People drink more frequently and might justify or hide their behavior. They may also try to stop but they relapse.
- Late Alcoholic: People have lost control of their drinking. They suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as shaking and nausea when they do try to stop.
- Recovery: The drinker reaches out for help.
Risk Factors for AUD
How alcohol affects an individual depends on how much, how quickly, and how often that person drinks. The NIAAA mentions a variety of biological and environmental factors that might make a person more inclined to drink excessively. These include:
- Genetics & family history: Genes may influence alcoholic tendencies by up to 60%. The drinking behaviors in a child’s environment influence the likelihood of AUD onset.
- Early drinking: People who start drinking before age 15 are over five times as likely to develop alcohol dependence as those who started drinking at age 21 or later.
- Mental illness & history of trauma: Individuals with psychiatric conditions such as depression, ADHD, and PTSD face a greater risk of developing alcoholism. Childhood trauma also makes people more vulnerable to this disease.
Effect of Coronavirus Pandemic on Drinking Trends
Stress over the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 and 2021 has triggered even more overindulgence according to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) publication Stress in America. This report states that 23% of adults have been drinking more to cope with stress during the pandemic. It also estimates that 52% of parents of early elementary school-aged children increased alcohol consumption to deal with coronavirus-related disruptions.
Among adults who reported experiencing high stress, 38% drank more in response to stress. By comparison, 10% of the adults reporting a low stress level upped their intake. Almost 40% of essential employees such as health care workers and law enforcement officers fell into overdrinking during the epidemic.
Why is Alcohol Abuse So Common in Rural Communities?
Many rural communities have certain factors that increase their residents’ risk of developing an addiction to alcohol. Access to alcohol and social norms for drinking in these regions play a part in promoting or discouraging drinking behaviors. The Rural Health Information Hub lists these issues as well:
- Low educational attainment
- Limited access to mental health care
Despite these challenges, you can live a rich, fulfilling life here without the bondage of alcoholism. Take the step towards Okeechobee rehab today with Florida Center for Recovery.
What Is a Rural Community?
Public officials and researchers define rural areas in varied ways, sometimes resulting in different interpretations of data. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, rural is “any population, housing or territory NOT in an urban area.” The Rural Health Reform Policy Research Center says that large rural or nonmetropolitan counties have populations of 10,000 to 49,999.
What AUD-Related Challenges Do Rural Communities Face?
Alcoholism and other substance use disorders (SUDs) pose many problems everywhere, but rural communities face additional unique challenges:
- Limited or no nearby behavioral health and detox services
- Patients having to travel long distances to access treatment for SUDs
- Rural first responders or hospital staff with inadequate experience in caring for overdose patients
- Hesitancy to seek treatment due to privacy concerns associated with small communities
- Too few law enforcement personnel and prevention programs spread out over large rural areas
How Serious Is Alcoholism in Okeechobee County?
According to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), 14.2% of adults overall in Okeechobee County engaged in heavy or binge drinking in 2019. Fortunately, this is lower than the 2013 rate of 21.6%. The most currently available rate is higher than the 2002 rate of 11.1%, though.
Broken down by age groups, a disturbing trend arises among young adults ages 18-44. In every year measured from 2002 to 2019, this demographic exceeded older adults in heavy or binge drinking. In 2019, 20.7% of adults ages 18-44 drank excessively, compared to 11.4% of those ages 45-64 and 7.2% of seniors ages 65 and older.
Among male adults in Okeechobee County, 18.9% engaged in heavy or binge drinking. They followed the same trend among age groups as the overall rates show. A significantly lower proportion of female adults misused alcohol in 2019, according to the BRFSS. In that year, 9.0% of women overall drank too much.
Alcohol use rates among Okeechobee County’s youth indicate a severe issue here. 25% of middle school and high school students drank alcohol in 2014. Plus, Florida’s state level was just over 20%, according to the Okeechobee County 2016 Community Health Improvement Plan.
Does Florida Center for Recovery Offer Okeechobee Rehab Programs?
Florida Center for Recovery (FCR) offers extensive rehabilitation programs at its private, 12-acre Fort Pierce location. We’ve been successfully treating people with addiction disorders at our accredited and certified facility since 2002. Clients from and nearby Okeechobee County and even far-away states such as New York and Ohio come to us for comprehensive, professional treatment.
FCR’s 72-bed facility offers inpatient addiction rehab treatments for men and women ages 18 and older. During our all-inclusive onsite services, we carefully monitor patients in detox. We also individualize our protocols to ensure the comfort and safety of our patients. Our varied lengths of stay here at Florida Center for Recovery give our patients the time that they need to reset their bodies, minds, and spirits.
Therapies & Programs at FCR
We here at FCR employ a full spectrum of holistic, evidence-based therapies to help our patients address the multi-layered aspects of their addictions. We treat the whole person with these and other practices such as:
- Client-Centered Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Motivational Interviewing
- 12-Step Integration
- SMART Recovery
- Art, Music, and Yoga
FCR also has specialized programs for:
- Rapid Resolution Therapy for Trauma
- Pregnant Women
- Chronic Relapse
- Co-Occurring Disorders
- Military/1st Responders
- Intensive Family Therapy
Steps to Recovery from Alcohol Addiction at FCR
At FCR, detoxification is the first step in treatment for AUDs. It usually requires round-the-clock medical supervision, as suddenly going “cold turkey” can be dangerous or fatal. Our inpatient medical detox center helps facilitate a safe withdrawal.
Our admissions process comes with a medical and clinical exam, development of a detox protocol, and tailored, therapeutic services to address the specific needs of patients. Any FCR patient that’s dealing with a co-existing mental health issue on top of his or her substance addiction will receive dual diagnosis treatment.
Receive Okeechobee Rehab for Alcoholism at Florida Center for Recovery
If you or a loved one is struggling with an AUD, we have encouraging news for you. In a Substance Use & Misuse article, 71% of people with a history of alcoholism found freedom from alcohol dependence. You can do it, too, with the caring, professional help you’ll find at FCR.
Alcohol rehab for Okeechobee County residents is within your reach. Say yes to sobriety and all the potential of rural living by receiving alcohol addiction treatment at Florida Center for Recovery. Call Florida Center for Recovery now for a free, confidential assessment.