Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to the Coronavirus
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Red River Hospital to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Red River Hospital.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit

Signs & Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Red River Hospital helps individuals struggling with alcohol addiction build a strong foundation for long-term recovery. Serving Wichita Falls, TX, Red River is the leading provider of alcohol addiction treatment.

Understanding Alcoholism

Learn about alcohol and substance abuse

Excessive drinking can have devastating effects on a person’s life. Carrying potentially fatal consequences, alcohol abuse and alcoholism pose risks to a person’s health and quality of life if left untreated. Marked by the inability to control one’s drinking, an abuser of alcohol is often preoccupied with drinking and continues regular use of alcohol despite the impact on his or her life.

Alcoholism, which involves physical dependence on alcohol, can lead to physiological changes in a person’s body that could cause serious medical conditions requiring long-term care. Alcohol abuse, a known precursor to alcoholism, can also put a person’s health at risk and cause serious impairment in behavioral and cognitive functioning. The treatment involved in ceasing a person’s alcohol consumption has proven to be effective and can assist an individual in regaining power over his or her addiction.


Alcohol addiction statistics

It is estimated that almost 88% of adults, aged 18 and older, have consumed alcohol in their lifetime. Binge-drinking (consuming more than 5 alcoholic beverages at one time) rates among individuals within that same age range are estimated at almost 25%, with almost 8% of those people admitting to drinking heavily within a month’s time. It has also been found that nearly 17 million Americans meet diagnostic criteria for an alcohol abuse diagnosis. Almost 85,000 people die each year in alcohol-related deaths, making it the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for alcohol addiction

The development of an alcohol abuse problem can be explained by taking a number of factors into consideration. The most commonly agreed-upon notions about the causes of alcohol addiction are:

Genetic: Alcohol addiction is something that is known to have a genetic influence. Individuals with family members, especially immediate family members, who have struggled with alcohol abuse are at greater risk of developing an addiction to alcohol.

Physical: Significant drug abuse is known to alter brain chemistry and alcohol is no different in that regard. As an alcohol addition progresses and cravings to drink intensify, the portion of the brain that controls impulses can be affected. Moreover, frequent intoxication impairs motor functioning, which is ultimately controlled by the brain. Dopamine and serotonin levels can become imbalanced and an abuser of alcohol may experience drastic changes in mood as the part of the brain that regulates mood is adversely affected.

Environmental: Exposure to alcohol abuse, violence, trauma, and chronic stress could result in a person developing an alcohol addiction. Often occurring in those with a lack of healthy coping skills, regular alcohol consumption may be used as a means of escaping stress or unpleasant emotions. This escape can distance a person from his or her own thoughts and surroundings, so if an alcohol abuse problem goes untreated, the addiction to alcohol could lead to physical dependence.

Risk Factors:

  • Family history of alcohol abuse
  • Pre-existing mental illness
  • Undiagnosed mental illness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Early exposure to alcohol
  • Peer pressure to drink
  • Troubled interpersonal relationships
  • Access to alcohol
  • Lack of impulse control

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction

Depending on the duration of a person’s addiction to alcohol and the amount of alcohol consumed, the following signs and symptoms may be present in an individual who abuses alcohol:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Increased anger / aggression
  • Lying or omitting information
  • Social isolation
  • Continued drinking despite consequences
  • Drinking alone
  • Concealing drinking habits and/or alcohol
  • Interaction with the legal system
  • Decreased performance at work or school

Physical symptoms:

  • Slurred speech
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of normal appetite
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Lack of coordination
  • Headaches
  • Flushing of the skin

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Changes in personality
  • Memory impairment
  • Lack of concentration
  • Poor decision-making

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Cravings to drink
  • Drastic mood changes
  • Hostility
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depressed mood


Effects of alcohol addiction

Alcohol addiction is something that affects an addict as well as those around him or her. Because alcohol impairs an individual physically and hinders good decision-making, a person suffering from alcohol abuse is likely to engage in risky behaviors and putting his or her interpersonal relationships at risk of demise. Some additional examples of the devastating effects of alcohol abuse are:

  • Driving under the influence
  • Risk of interaction with the legal system
  • Divorce
  • Decrease in quantity and quality of relationships
  • Engaging in risky sexual behaviors
  • Driving under the influence
  • Poor work performance / loss of employment
  • Poor school performance / academic failure

Alcohol abuse can also have lasting effects on a person’s health. With death being the most severe of all effects, the following health risks are increased for a person who suffers from alcoholism:

  • Liver disease
  • Increased risk of cancer development
  • Brain damage
  • Heart problems
  • Weakened immune system
  • Physical injury due to engaging in risky behaviors

Withdrawal & Overdose

Effects of withdrawal and overdose

Effects of Alcohol Withdrawal: Withdrawal can become apparent in a matter of hours or even days depending on the extent to which an individual abuses alcohol. Severity of symptoms experienced is also dependent on the abuser’s consumption of alcohol and the length of time he or she has suffered from alcohol abuse. Withdrawal symptoms can involve:

  • Sweating
  • Fever
  • Tremors
  • Convulsions
  • Increased heart rate
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Irritability
  • Anxiousness
  • Mood swings
  • Depressed mood
  • Jitteriness

Effects of Alcohol Overdose: Alcohol overdose, known as alcohol poisoning, occurs when a person has exceeded his or her own tolerance level for alcohol. Indicators that a person is overdosing on alcohol are:

  • Slurred speech
  • Incoherence
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Labored breathing
  • Decrease in reflexive response to stimuli

Co-Occurring Disorders

Alcohol addiction and co-occurring disorders

It is common for a person with alcohol addiction to be diagnosed with another mental illness. Sometimes the individual has a preexisting mental health disorder or consumes alcohol in attempts to minimize the effects of an undiagnosed mental illness. The following co-occurring disorders can be applicable for a person with an alcohol use disorder:

  • Another substance abuse disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depressive disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Personality disorders
  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

What sets us apart?

We understand the many pressures, concerns, and frustrations that can accompany the effort to find the best treatment option, and we are dedicated to doing all that we can to make this a more efficient and effective process.

Understanding, Expert Staff
Individualized Treatment Plan
Optional Family Involvement

I was treated with respect and staff showed me love, and understanding from day one till leaving out the door! I received courage, motivation, open eyes, and my heart. Thank you staff, for bringing me back to life.

– Former Resident
Marks of Quality Care
  • The Joint Commission (JCAHO) Gold Seal of Approval
  • The Jason Foundation