Alcohol Use/Overuse Find Your Own Path to Recovery 

March 20, 2023

BY Lisa Ryman, Intern


Alcohol use affects individuals and families in many ways. If you find yourself in need of assistance in talking about or dealing with alcohol use or know someone in need of assistance, here are some tips and information regarding helpful resources in this area.  

What is Alcoholism??

·         A need to drink…craving.

·         Physical dependence: the withdrawal is worse than continuing to drink.

·         Loss of control…not being able to stop once you start.

·         Tolerance…requiring more and more alcohol for the same effect.

Quick Facts

·         In 2018, more than 52.8% of adults over the age of 18 regularly consume alcohol.

·         More than 25.1% of adults have had at least one heavy drinking day in the past year.

·         In 2020, 29,505 people died from alcoholic liver disease; that’s 9 people per 100,000.

·         The number of alcohol-induced deaths (accidents and homicides) was 49,061 in 2020; that’s almost 15 people              per 100,000.

·         5.8% of Native Americans meet the criteria for alcohol abuse; 6.4% meet the criteria for alcohol dependence.

·         Violent crimes involving Native Americans suffering from alcoholism are 62% more likely to occur.

·         The rate for heavy alcohol use among military members is almost TWICE the rate of their civilian counterparts.

·         The age group that binge drinks the most: 65+ years.

·         Most alcohol-impaired drivers are binge drinkers.

·         11 million under the age of 21 reports drinking on a regular basis.

·         Women are more likely to develop alcoholic hepatitis which leads.

What Causes Addiction According to the Biopsychosocial Model?

·         Addiction can occur regardless of character, virtue, or moral makeup.

·         Alcoholism was declared a disease in 1956 by the American Medical Association

·         Biology and genetics play a part.

·         Neurotransmitters in the brain activate the reward system…each person’s neurotransmitters are different.

·         Psychological composition such as personality traits, mental health concerns, psychological constructs such as            self-esteem and self-worth, and psychological impact of life experiences such as trauma all play a part in                        addiction.

·         Social norms play a part as well; availability, cultural norms, cultural beliefs, and accessibility are all factors.

·         Wisconsin ranks 3rd among states for percentage of adults consume alcohol: 64.4% of the population; well                  above national average 55.1%.


Problems Associated with Drinking:

·         Hangovers/illness

·         Missed work/school.

·         Low self-esteem

·         Worried family/friends

·         Interference with sleeping/eating

·         Drinking and driving

·         Demotion/job loss

·         Drinking during pregnancy may lead to loss or complications.

·         Regret for something done while under the influence.

·         Blackouts where you don’t remember what happened.


Quitting is Scary!

Total sobriety is just one way to look at recovery; there is also harm reduction. What is harm reduction?

·         Emphasizes compassionate and pragmatic approaches.

·         Safer consumption, needle exchanges, low-barrier housing

·         Create your own goals such as reducing intake or not mixing alcohol and other substances.

·         Focus on other important goals and less on substances.

·         Boosting self-control to achieve low risk drinking or impairment.

·         Lowering temptation by replacing impulsiveness or emotion-driven urgency with positive activities


Seeking Help Isn’t Easy! Monroe County is full of a diverse population and, being rural in nature, you may not know where to start. This brochure has some great resources on the back side. Take the time to find what is right for you. Keep in mind that if you are seeking confidentiality in your recovery, there are plenty of options such as:

·         One-on-one counseling

·         Peer support

·         Mobile Apps

·         Online support and meetings other things to that affect ethics and agency interactions:

·         Financial/insurance constraints

·         Inability to identify health problems due to drinking.

·         Learning how alcoholism affects psychological health.

·         Peer pressure

·         Legal problems

If you or anyone you know is need of help with substance use issues, the ABH team is here to assist you.  Please feel to reach out to us at or you can call us at 608-377-7487.