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ROSARY HALL CO-MEDICAL DIRECTOR DISCUSSES GROWING PROBLEM OF ALCOHOL ADDICTION

By Rebecca Gallant on 
Posted on December 12, 2018

ROSARY HALL CO-MEDICAL DIRECTOR DISCUSSES GROWING PROBLEM OF ALCOHOL ADDICTION

To reach Rosary Hall, call 216-363-2580 and press 4 to speak with a caregiver immediately. 

 

With the holiday season of celebrating and parties here, the role of alcohol in our culture is an important discussion topic. Casual and excessive alcohol drinking is not only tolerated, it’s often encouraged. As much attention has been given to the opioid epidemic over the past few years, addiction experts say alcohol is a growing problem that has not received the attention it deserves.

Experts in the medical community assert that alcohol is a drug and should be used cautiously. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that alcohol-related causes kill an estimated 88,000 people each year in the United States and USA Today reported that 16,000 more people die each year from alcohol than opioids.

Christopher Adelman, M.D., co-medical director of Rosary Hall at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, recently spoke on the 90.3 WCPN “Sound of Ideas” program about alcoholism being an often overlooked addiction and how to support friends or family in recovery.

Dr. Adelman joined two other guests, Jason Joyce, senior director of clinical programs, Recovery Resources, and Jamie B., Alcoholics Anonymous, NE Ohio, and host Rick Jackson for the discussion, which can be heard here on ideastream.org.

Jackson asked Dr. Adelman why alcoholism does not get the attention that the other crises, like the opioid crisis, has. Dr. Adelman said there are several reasons, including that alcohol has been socially acceptable for a long time and that it became increasingly acceptable to binge drink in the 1960s.

“The opioid epidemic has been devastating. In detox units, 95 percent of patients were opioid addicts five years ago. But now, within the last year, that has tapered off as people make different decisions. Some people have decided to not use opioids or quit using them. But, most of those people have moved on to other drugs, with the first choice being alcohol. That’s why we see a rise in the detox units for alcohol.”

Jackson asked Dr. Adelman how to set up a safe-home environment for a recovering addict. He talked about the need for a place that’s drug and alcohol free. “At Rosary Hall and other detox programs, they’ll be there for three to five days, and then our social workers work to put them in a safe place, whether it’s a sober house or a long-term treatment program, or their own home and doing outpatient treatment.”

He added, “If they’re homeless or don’t have a safe and dry place to live, we know from experience that their prognosis is not good. If people relapse, we work to reengage them. We see it all the time. Sometimes it takes several tries.”

Jackson asked Joyce from Recovery Resources for advice to help listeners speak to those in treatment or who are about to enter treatment.

“Don’t be judgmental. If people are using or in the early stages of recovery, they are especially sensitive to any sort of judgement. Come at it from a place of love and support. ‘I’m concerned about you and want you to get help.’ There’s no need to point out their faults,” Joyce said.

Jackson discussed the holidays potentially being a stressful time, which can lead to an increase in alcohol use and a rise in relapses for people who have been treated for addiction.

“There are more relapses in December. At the detox programs in Northeast Ohio, we admit people 365 days a year. People even come in on Christmas Day,” said Dr. Adelman.

About Rosary Hall

Rosary Hall at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland has been at the forefront of treating alcoholism and drug dependency for more than 65 years. Its founder, Sister Ignatia Gavin CSA, worked hand-in-hand with Dr. Robert Smith, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, to establish St. Vincent Charity as the first religious institution to recognize the rights of alcoholics to receive hospital treatment in Cleveland.

At Rosary Hall, patients and their families find the road to freedom in a recovery process that’s compassionate, comprehensive and one of the best in the country. In fact, Rosary Hall is the only addiction treatment center in the region to provide a full spectrum of the most current treatment options, from hospital detoxification to community-based rehabilitation, to the latest medication-assisted treatments.

To reach Rosary Hall, call 216-363-2580 and press 4 to speak with a caregiver immediately. Learn more about our co-medical directors, Dr. Ted Parran and Dr. Christopher Adelman

To reach Rosary Hall, call 216-363-2580 and press 4 to speak with a caregiver immediately. 

 

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