Opa-Locka is one of many communities in the Miami metropolitan area that stands out for its Moorish architecture and its unique name. “Opa-Locka” was shortened from “opa-tisha-wocka-locka,” a Seminole Indian moniker that means “a big island covered with many trees and swamps.” It is located in northwest Miami-Dade County, and nearly 16,000 people of diverse backgrounds call the area home.
Opa-Locka is a short drive away from the bustling city of Miami, which stays open and offers a good time with live music, dancing, cultural eats, and more. This allows many to have a nice evening out at many of the city’s bars, restaurants, and nightclubs that serve alcohol, a staple of the region’s social and entertainment scenes. Those who’d rather kick back at home in relaxed Opa-Locka can buy alcohol at a local grocery or liquor store, and enjoy their beer, wine, or mixed drinks at home.
Either way, alcohol is always available both to adults of legal drinking age who drink moderately, and those who struggle to stay within their limits. The latter group includes people who have an addiction to alcohol and those who are developing one.
Figuring out exactly how many people in the Miami area or across the United States have an alcohol use problem that requires rehab is difficult to determine. But data gives us an idea of how common it is for people to attempt to manage alcohol use disorder on their own.
The 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that 14.8 million people aged 12 or older in the U.S. had an alcohol use disorder. Locally, Miamians don’t mind footing the bill for their adult beverages. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, “spending on alcoholic beverages in Miami averaged $375 per household over 2013–14, compared with $362 in the South and $454 in the United States.”
While these figures show drinking culture fits right into this vibrant area, some will come to realize they need professional help to slow down or stop their drinking altogether. Fortunately, quality alcohol rehab programs in the area can help them change their lives.
Alcohol Abuse Often Goes Unnoticed
Problematic drinking patterns may not appear to be an issue at first. That’s a widely held perception for many reasons, including that alcohol abuse is easy to explain away or hide. The addictive legal substance is sold at establishments all over the county, so there is no shortage of drinks, and access is hardly a problem. If a person drinks too much, some may just think the person needs to sober up this time around. However, regularly getting “wasted” is a sign that alcohol consumption is a problem.
Alcohol often ends up in places it shouldn’t, such as in the circles of young people who aren’t of legal age to drink it. Educators and law enforcement authorities discourage underage drinking, which is a concern among middle-school and high-school-age students. The pressure to drink affects teens and adults alike, and this can also put people on the path to developing alcohol use disorder (AUD). If this sounds like the situation with you or someone you know, be advised that AUD often happens without friends and family realizing it.
As noted earlier, millions of people across the U.S. and globally struggle with AUD. The Mayo Clinic says defines the condition as a “pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect, or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking.”
If this definition applies to you or someone you know, it might be time to enter an alcohol rehab program. In this setting, addiction care professionals can help you figure out your next steps and what you need to work on right away.
Drinking Too Much Alcohol Is Risky
The advice to “drink responsibly” is often ignored. Even those who don’t intend to drink too much may still end up doing so, which is indicative of a larger, more serious problem. An inability to set sensible drinking limits can become an issue for drinkers and the people they encounter.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that roughly 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes every year. Excessive alcohol use is also considered the third leading preventable cause of death, it says.
Alcohol use is also risky because it can cloud people’s judgment and lead them to do things that can permanently hurt or kill them. Polydrug use, when two or more drugs are used at the same time, is common among substance users. The practice involves mixing two or more drugs for use at the same time.
Sometimes this has happened by accident, but many users combine certain drugs to either increase their high or help them come down from it. This hasn’t ended well for many people.
Data show that in Florida in 2016, alcohol was present in nearly one-half of all drug-related deaths statewide. Users mix the substance with prescription and illegal drugs either on purpose or by accident, but be advised that the combination of these substances is dangerous and deadly.
Alcohol poisoning is another common occurrence resulting from drinking too much, and physical and sexual violence, as well as sexually transmitted diseases, are also outcomes.
Not everyone who is harmed from alcohol use has been using the substance for a long time. Some people engage in binge drinking, which can happen when a person with friends or by themselves. Bingeing on alcohol happens when too many drinks are consumed over a two-hour period. Men who have five-plus drinks, and women who consume four or more drinks are binge drinking. Binge drinking does not necessarily mean alcohol addiction is the case, but it can be the start of one, or it could end a life. Some binge drinkers die from alcohol poisoning.
Quick Treatment Facts
Addiction is a disease of the brain that changes a person’s thinking and behavior. Medical professionals say there is no cure, but the condition is treatable with a program that addresses the addicted person’s specific needs. An effective recovery program offers therapies and services that address their person’s substance use disorder (SUD) and the reasons for it. It also provides them with strategies and tools to help them understand their SUD and how to manage it and avoid relapse.
Accredited treatment centers that specialize in addiction treatment can offer guidance on how to treat alcohol addiction. Usually, they conduct an assessment of the client when they enter a program to determine where they should begin their treatment. The American Society of Addiction Medicine explains how placements along the continuum of care help people work through their addiction. Treatment specialists can also help place you in the right setting to get you started on your recovery.