Long-term alcohol use can wreak havoc on every part of your body, including your brain. Alcohol dependence (commonly called alcoholism) is a progressive disease that includes cravings for alcohol, loss of control over drinking, and a negative emotional state when you’re not drinking.
Alcoholism doesn’t discriminate; it affects people of all ages, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds. And unfortunately, long-term use of alcohol can lead to balance issues, even in sober alcoholics. However, alcohol addiction treatment can still make a difference.
How Does Alcohol Addiction Impact Balance?
New research suggests that while long-term sobriety can help to improve balance problems in alcoholics, some may not be able to regain full stability while standing. This lack of stability, which results from alcohol-related brain injury, can increase the risk of fall-related injury and death.
“With sobriety, gait and balance become stable. However, even with prolonged sobriety, people with long-term chronic alcohol dependence can have difficulty in standing upright,” said study corresponding author Edith V. Sullivan, professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, in a news release. “Their balance can be marked by sway that exceeds what most of us experience while standing still in one place, especially with feet together and hands down by one’s side, that is, without the use of natural stabilizing factors.”
To gather data, Sullivan and colleagues tested postural sway in 34 alcoholic men, 15 alcoholic women, 22 control men, and 29 control women. Results from this assessment show that the sway paths of alcoholics are longer and cover a wider area than those of controls for a given time. Sullivan noted that it is important to highlight that the standing stability of sober alcoholics can be improved by using stabilizing factors, including simple aids like turning a light on in a dark room, touching a banister while walking down a flight of stairs or walking or standing with feet apart rather than with ankles close together.
How Alcohol Addiction Treatment Can Help
While ongoing physical health issues related to alcohol abuse can be difficult to overcome, there are effective treatment options available. At a qualified alcohol addiction treatment center, you’ll work with a team of medical professionals specializing in helping people recover from alcohol dependence. Through personalized programming that includes evidence-based therapies, you’ll be able to address the root causes of your alcoholism and regain control over your health and well-being.
Some of the most effective therapies and services for alcohol addiction include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy – This therapy can help you to identify and change the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to your alcohol abuse.
- Motivational enhancement therapy – This therapy is designed to help increase your motivation to change your drinking behavior.
- Individual counseling – In individual counseling, you’ll work one-on-one with a therapist to address the issues that contribute to your alcohol addiction.
- Group counseling – Group counseling provides you with support and guidance from others who are facing similar challenges.
- Family therapy – Family therapy can help relationships that addiction has damaged.
- Medication-assisted treatment – Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) combines medication with behavioral therapies to provide a comprehensive approach to recovery.
Find Help for Alcohol Addiction at Promises
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, it’s time to get help. At Promises treatment centers around the country, you’ll find comprehensive programming that addresses the physical, psychological and behavioral aspects of addiction. With experienced clinicians, evidence-based therapies, and comprehensive resources at our disposal, we can help you achieve lasting recovery. Call us today at 844.875.5609 to learn more about our alcohol addiction treatment program and how we can help you get started on the path to wellness.