COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Most problem drinkers are not alcoholics but binge drinkers. A new study from Center for Disease Control shows about 38 million adults in America drink way too much.
This large amount of alcohol consumption costs the economy about $224 billion each year.
Mark Strunk from Pastoral Institute explained that he was not surprised by the new study. Strunk continues to see a consistent number of patients who struggle with alcoholism in the Chattahoochee Valley.
"It is not unusual to find adults who have these drinking problems," Strunk said. "These adults probably started drinking early and became more addicted overtime. Alcoholism is a progressive disease and it continues to worsen overtime. People don't just become addicted overnight."
Strunk explained that there are some symptoms heavy drinkers need to look out for to protect themselves from alcoholism. These signs may indicate that you are becoming an alcoholic.
"If you can drink more and more with less of an impact, that's not a good sign," Strunk said. "Family members start complaining about drinking, and this is also a problem."
Other signs include upset stomach, feeling anxious or shaky when heavy drinkers stop drinking. Hiding and feeling ashamed about their drinking habits, not being able to quit or control alcohol consumption are some major signs that people need to be watch out for.
"The most important thing for any substance treatment is recognition," Strunk said. "Patients need to face and accept the fact that they have a problem. This makes it easier for people to really engage in their treatment to overcome their addiction."
The C.D.C also mentioned that having conversation with binge drinkers can effectively reduce people's heavy alcohol consumption. Strunk agrees with the new study as well.
"Many times, alcoholism is a disease of a denial. They deny they have a problem," Strunk said. "Thus, it is important for any treatment problem or physician or mental health provider to have an honest discussion with their patients so they can move on with their process."
You can look into the treatment and help Pastoral Institute offers on their website.
You can also make an appointment by calling their local office in Columbus, Georgia at (706) 649-6500.
To schedule an appointment with their Valley office, the number is (334) 768-2341.