HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Advocates are raising awareness of the dangers of alcohol abuse for National Alcohol Awareness Month and letting those struggling know that there is help.
Alcohol abuse is responsible for 95,000 deaths in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We try to destigmatize the disorder, and help the general public understand that it’s a brain disease, not a moral failing,” said Dr. Stephanie Smith, clinical director for the Pine Grove Women’s Center.
According to Smith, alcohol is often used as a way to relax and over time, a higher tolerance is built
“They end up drinking more than they ever planned and find themselves inhibited in their ability be able to perform in their personal and professional life,” Smith said.
If your loved one is abusing alcohol, you will begin to notice their habits changing, the signs will be there.
“It starts to interfere in their daily life and their daily functioning, and they’re drinking more than they intending to drink and they’re drinking at times that they normally would not have drank,” Smith said.
When a person is ready to seek help, Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services and the women’s center are places of refuge they can turn to. The center offers treatment for alcohol abuse, depression, anxiety and more.
“The staff here is very compassionate and easy to work with and we do this all the time, and we can make a way for the individual to feel safe to begin the work,” Smith said.
Both centers offer residential treatment that allows patients to interact with people who share their struggles.
The women’s center treats women struggling and is large enough to house 26 women.
“They will find that its people here who have similar situations,” Smith said. “And through other women, it really is helpful to begin that process, that journey, because we find people are stronger when they have others around them to connect to.”
If you or a loved one wants to know more about how Pine Grove can help, call 1-888-574-4673.