Alcohol abuse is a common and serious illness that can have profound effects on both the drinker and his/her friends and family. Alcohol abuse can range from mild (occasional overuse) to alcohol dependence/alcoholism (in which the drinker may be physically dependent on alcohol). Alcohol abuse may progress over time to alcoholism.
Signs of problem drinking can include:
- Regularly drinking alone, hiding or lying about drinking.
- Being unable to limit the amount of alcohol consumed.
- Feeling guilty or ashamed about drinking.
- Needing to drink in order to relax, feel better or feel “normal”.
- Becoming irritable when the usual drinking ritual or routine is disrupted or questioned.
- Not remembering conversations or commitments, sometimes referred to as “blacking out”.
- Gulping drinks, ordering doubles, becoming intoxicated on purpose to feel good.
- Having legal problems or problems with relationships, employment or finances because of drinking.
- Building a tolerance to alcohol: needing an increasing number of drinks to feel alcohol’s effects.
- Experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms — such as nausea, sweating and shaking — when not drinking.
Depending on the severity of the problem, treatment for alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence may involve outpatient counseling, self-help support groups, or residential or hospital treatment.
Drug Abuse and Addiction
Drug abuse, also known as substance abuse, is the excessive and repeated use of a drug to elicit pleasure or escape from problems or reality, in spite of negative consequences.
Substance abuse can involve illegal drugs such as meth, heroin or marijuana, inhalants such as model airplane glue, or prescription medications including , vicodin or oxycontin. Drug abuse may start with experimentation, sometimes out of curiosity or peer pressure. With repeated use, the drug may become more and more important, and the ability to stop using may diminish until a person becomes physically dependent on the drug.
Signs of drug abuse or dependence may include:
- Neglecting relationships, work or school responsibilities because of drug use.
- Taking risks while using drugs, such as driving or having unprotected sex.
- Arguments or conflicts with family, friends, employer due to drug use
- Feeling a loss of control over drug use: being unable to cut back on use, life revolves around drug use.Legal problems because of your drug use.
- Needing to use more and more of the drug to achieve the same affects, also known as tolerance.
- Taking drugs to relieve withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, shaking or sweating.
Treatment is available for all forms of drug abuse and addiction. Treatment may involve outpatient counseling, self-help support groups, or residential or hospital treatment.
Local Drug and Alcohol Abuse and Addiction Treatment Resources
For people needing drug and alcohol treatment, residential (inpatient) and outpatient services are available in and around Polk County. Inpatient care involves extended stay at a treatment facility which intensive drug and alcohol treatment programs that are the cornerstone of the patient’s daily activities. Outpatient programs provide patients with more freedom of movement which allows them top a regular commitment to family, work, and educational responsibilities.
Northwest Passage, Ltd.
Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
Center City, MN
St. Croix Regional Medical Center-Behavioral Health
St. Croix Falls, WI
Polk County Behavioral Health & Chemical Dependency
Balsam Lake, WI
Counseling and Therapy Services
These resources have provider(s) with Wisconsin certification as a Substance Abuse Counselor or Minnesota license as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor.
Family Innovations, Inc.
Balsam Lake, WI
Higher Ground Family Therapy
The House of Hope
St. Croix Falls, WI
Sharon Ward, MA, LP, Licensed Psychologist
St Croix Falls, MN
Local 12 Step Resources
Local Addictions Meeting List (compiled by Wanda Brown, includes SCF area and some Minnesota meetings)