HOLYOKE — Thursday, April 6 marks annual National Alcohol Screening Day, which raises awareness about the risks associated with excessive alcohol use and encourages individuals to get screened for alcohol-use disorders.
Alcohol misuse and addiction remain significant public-health concerns in the U.S. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, an estimated 14.5 million adults in the U.S. have alcohol-use disorder (AUD). Additionally, excessive alcohol use is responsible for approximately 95,000 deaths and $249 billion in economic costs each year.
National Alcohol Screening Day is an opportunity MiraVista Behavioral Health Center is leveraging to educate individuals about the signs and risks of alcohol misuse and to encourage them to seek help if necessary.
Individuals who participate in a screening can receive feedback about their alcohol use and may be referred to treatment or other resources if needed. Treatment for AUD may include behavioral therapies, medication-assisted treatment, or a combination of both.
“National Alcohol Screening Day is an important reminder that alcohol misuse and addiction can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, or socioeconomic status,” said Cristina Rivera, director of Outpatient and Inpatient Substance Use programming. “Detoxing from alcohol withdrawal can pose a serious health hazard. The process should happen under the supervision of a medical professional or facility. If you are experiencing alcohol-withdrawal symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately from your primary-care physician or from organizations such as MiraVista, which offer trained professionals and clinicians who can support every stage of the process. After-care support is especially important to sustain one’s recovery.”
Dr. Katie Krauskopf, MiraVista’s medical director of Substance Use Disorder Services added that “the importance of an individual tapping into their primary-care physician cannot be understated. There are many primary-care tools that are validated to better understand if a person’s alcohol use is risky and if they have any related symptoms. These tools can help primary-care providers decide if someone is drinking in an unhealthy way and can then recommend an appropriate course of action.
“Sometimes, a patient may simply be encouraged to cut back on the size and/or frequency of their alcohol-containing beverages,” she went on. “In other cases, someone might benefit from medicine to help with cravings for alcohol. Of course, for some, it may be clear that they need medical detoxification from alcohol under close medical supervision. Although it can be difficult, it really is important to be honest with your doctor about how much, and how often, you drink alcohol. This information will help a healthcare provider determine the best way to keep you healthy.”
To learn more about MiraVista’s inpatient and outpatient substance-use treatment programs, including detox, call (413) 264-0825 or visit miravistabhc.care.