Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) affects millions of women every year. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), in 2021, “12.4 million women ages 18 and older (9.5% in this age group)” were diagnosed with AUD.

Untreated AUD has the potential to cause severe mental and physical health issues. Avery Lane provides women with a safe space to heal and recover from alcohol addiction. The clinical team uses evidence-based methods to ensure clients have a positive treatment experience.

Alcohol Addiction

What Is Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol addiction is a chronic disease characterized by an inability to control one’s drinking despite adverse side effects. According to the NIAAA, “Alcohol addiction is a chronic relapsing disorder associated with compulsive alcohol drinking, the loss of control over intake, and the emergence of a negative emotional state when alcohol is no longer available.” AUD is one of the most common health issues worldwide.

Many potential risk factors contribute to the development of AUD, including:

  • Family history of substance abuse, AUD, or mental health disorders
  • Drinking as an adolescent or teen
  • Co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Genetics
  • Peer pressure
  • Low self-esteem
  • Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)
  • Trauma

Women often have multiple underlying and co-occurring issues affecting their mental health and contributing to alcohol abuse. Family or relationship problems, financial strain, chronic stress, trauma, and other factors may cause some people to use alcohol to escape emotional or physical distress. Avery Lane uses trauma-informed treatments and personalized care to help women manage their condition.

The Difference Between Binge Drinking and Alcohol Addiction

Many people use the terms binge drinking and alcohol addiction interchangeably. However, they are different, and each has unique potential side effects. According to MedlinePlus, “Binge drinking is drinking so much at once that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is 0.08% or more.” Individuals with AUD may binge drink and vice versa. However, binge drinking does not inherently mean a person is dependent on or addicted to alcohol.

People who binge drink may experience the following:

  • Blackouts
  • Memory problems
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Arrhythmia
  • Death from sudden heart failure
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Alcoholic hepatitis

Binge drinking is a significant risk factor for AUD. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Binge drinking is the most common and costly pattern of excessive alcohol use in the United States.” Binge drinking in women involves drinking four or more alcoholic beverages in a single sitting.

Potential Physical Health Side Effects of Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol misuse affects women differently than men. Women absorb alcohol quicker, digest it slower, and may experience more severe side effects.

Some potential physical health side effects of chronic alcohol abuse include:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Liver disease
  • Cancer
  • Brain disease
  • Heart disease
  • Complications during pregnancy

According to NIAAA, “Studies show that women start to have alcohol-related problems sooner and at lower drinking amounts than men and for multiple reasons.” Early intervention and treatment is the best way to help women affected by AUD.

How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain?

Alcohol has a direct effect on brain function and the physical structure of the brain. Chronic alcohol addiction or binge drinking can cause temporary or permanent brain damage.

Alcohol abuse affects brain function by doing the following:

  • Damaging areas of the brain responsible for speech, balance, sleep regulation, memory, and decision-making
  • Reducing the size of neurons
  • Interfering with neurotransmitters
  • Increasing the risk of dementia and other brain diseases

Women should seek clinical diagnosis and treatment as soon as they notice a potential problem with alcohol abuse. According to the CDC, “Alcohol-related cognitive decline and shrinkage of the brain develop more quickly for women than for men.”

Treatment Options at Avery Lane

Avery Lane provides clients with a welcoming community where women empower and uplift one another. Individuals diagnosed with AUD benefit from joining personalized treatment programs that offer evidence-based and alternative holistic therapies.

Some of the treatment options offered at Avery Lane include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Brain Spotting
  • Seeking Safety
  • Psychoeducation
  • Trauma-informed therapy
  • Mindfulness
  • Equine therapy
  • Nutrition support
  • Nature therapy
  • Relapse prevention

Clinicians at Avery Lane provide clients with skill development and other essential tools to support long-term recovery from AUD and co-occurring conditions.

Gender-Specific Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

Avery Lane is a treatment center by women, for women. The clinical team collaborates with clients and their families to create effective personalized care plans for every stage of recovery. Avery Lane offers 30 to 90-day treatment programs for individuals struggling with alcohol abuse and co-occurring disorders.

Clients choose from a continuum of gender-specific care, including the following programs and services:

  • Detox
  • Mental health and substance abuse residential (RTC)
  • Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
  • Transitional living

Women benefit from engaging with peers who share similar life experiences. Avery Lane offers a vibrant, sober community where people in recovery learn from and support one another through every stage of treatment. Clients are never alone as they progress through their recovery journey.

Treatment options generally include multiple levels of care and stepping down one program at a time. Avery Lane offers a wide range of treatment options and encourages women in recovery to play an active role in creating their own care plans. Our clinicians motivate women to empower and uplift one another as they heal from AUD and other disorders.

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is one of the most common health issues affecting women today. Recovery from AUD may involve a combination of prescription medications and psychotherapy to address underlying issues and manage symptoms. To learn more about our programs and services, call Avery Lane today at (800) 270-2406.

Contact Avery Lane Admissions Today

Summer Lan Franco
MA, MFT-t, Primary Therapist

Summer Lan Franco loves working with people to facilitate recovery from substance use disorders, disordered eating, mental health issues and complex trauma. She earned her BS in Nutrition and Food Science from California State University Chico and MS in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University of California. She has worked in community-based and private practice settings. Her approach is personable and sincere. Summer believes in helping people rediscover their true selves by uncovering barriers that stand in the way. Her warmth and earnest interest in others’ wellbeing are always present in the work she does with people seeking help. She has experience with trauma recovery, substance abuse recovery, codependency, family issues, disordered eating, treatment for anxiety and depression, and working with personality disorders.

Alaina Dunér
Office Manager, Sound Healing Group Facilitator, Reiki Master

Alaina Dunér is a Sonoma County native. She studied sociology and outdoor adventure programming for two years at Loyola University of New Orleans and Warren Wilson College. In 2016 Alaina was on a recreational skydive and had a crash landing that resulted in her fracturing multiple vertebrae in her spine. Since her accident, Alaina has emersed herself in understanding the nuances and complexities of health and spirituality. She is passionate about supporting clients through Reiki and Sound. Since taking a pause from university, Alaina has become a certified Reiki Master Teacher in the Tibetan Usui system, an Ayurvedic yoga instructor, a health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and a trauma informed sound facilitator. At the end of 2022 Alaina will attend Southern Utah University to complete her bachelor’s in aerospace and aviation with an emphasis on rotary flight.

Sunnie Skillman
Energy Worker

Sunnie has worked within the field of Energy Psychology for over 20 years and has been trained in a number of healing modalities, including EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and Access Consciousness. She has been using the tools of Access Consciousness for 23 years, teaching classes and working with clients using various hands-on energy body work techniques. She specializes working with clients who have symptoms of PTSD and assisting in clearing where trauma is stored in the body.
Sunnie brings her personal experience with trauma healing as well as her kind and
caring energy to support the ladies interested in working with other healing modalities
at Avery Lane.

Nicole Collins,
AMFT, Primary Therapist

Nicole Collins entered the field of healing after receiving her BA from Colorado State University
in Human Services, which led her to work in domestic violence. Following her beliefs and
passion in the body-mind-spirit connection and the Intelligence of the Self-healing power, she
got her MS from Touro University in Vallejo. She believes that addiction, alcoholism,
depression, the things that push against your joy, calm, serenity, and sense of security, are
powerful and baffling. Still, there is something unique inside of you that is ready to push back
against it all. The fear, anxiety, depression, and trauma that press against your head and chest
are real, but they should not define you. She feels her role is to help you find the resources
within to overcome the challenges and suffering that life may bring. She specializes in trauma,
substance abuse, LGBTQIA+ community, matters of belonging, helping individuals heal in their
relationships within themselves. In your work together, she will meet you where you are and
support you in reacquainting you, with all parts of yourself, including your inherent wisdom.

Erin Miller, RADT
Recovery Counselor

Erin is a Registered Alcohol Drug Technician, Certified Recovery Coach, and Certified Clinical
Trauma Specialist-A (Trauma and Addiction). She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in
Psychology and Addiction Studies at Aspen University. Through her personal experience with
alcohol addiction and recovery, Erin was inspired to support others on their recovery journeys.
She brings kindness, compassion, and encouragement to her work at Avery Lane. Erin lives in
Sonoma County with her husband and their two adventurous children.

Laurel LeMohn
Recovery Counselor

is a Mendocino County native. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Sonoma State University in 2014 and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University. She has been a Recovery Counselor at Avery Lane since October, 2021, and works from a trauma-informed, psychodynamic, and humanistic lens. She has had a desire towards helping others since she was young and looks forward to working with you as you transition your life into one where you are thriving and proud to be living.