Alcohol Addiction: Symptoms, Signs, Treatment and Rehab


What Does Alcohol Addiction Mean?

Alcohol addiction is a worldwide concern affecting countless individuals. Worst of all, if it reaches the point of alcoholism, the situation can even be terrorizing. Medical research specialists and other experts have directed their efforts in trying to deduce the central reason behind this condition, but it has never been clear. 

Some have tried relating it to the influence of sex, genetics, race or social and economic reasons, but none of these seem to be the leading cause. Therefore, in general terms, there is a presumption that it has psychological, behavioral and genetic factors relating to its cause. 

Alcohol Addiction

So what is this alcohol addiction? In simple terms, it refers to alcoholism, which also means an inability to manage one’s intake of intoxicating beverages. It is a disease that prompts its victim to become a prisoner of their addiction. Such persons will feel the urge to go to the bar and drink again and again; they do not want to remain sober.

This condition has lots of effects, not only for the affected person but also the people they meet in their daily interactions. These impacts are noticeable in the institutions they work in, their relationships, their affairs and their well-being. 

This condition requires serious treatment, just like any other mental illness. It influences abnormal changes to the victim’s neurochemistry and brain causing them to not be able to think straight or control their actions. 

Alcohol_addiction  brain

The manifestation of a dependence on drinking occurs in many varied ways. Persons who consume intoxicating drinks throughout the day are likely to suffer severe effects, as opposed to those who consume moderate or minimum amounts. 

Living a life of dependency is very depressing as it ejects all the usefulness from you. Luckily there is abundant assistance available for any affected persons. Organizations, institutions, and other groups are offering quality rehab services that help addicts reform and gain control of their drinking habits.

Symptoms of Alcoholism

Consuming too much liquor is a severe condition that interferes with the normal functioning of the brain and results in improper thinking and actions by the victims. 

Just like other diseases, alcoholism comes with its unique signs and symptoms. However, with dependency, symptoms might be a little hard to recognize. A majority of them are physical.

The following list includes some of the better known and easily recognizable alcohol addiction symptoms.

  • Persistence in its use – one wishes to drink again and again. 
  • Feeling unsatisfied, even if you have just finished drinking – you don’t experience “hangovers.” 
  • Addicts tend to drink even at odd hours.  For example, they might drink during early morning hours. 
  • Wishing to be near areas where someone can drink, such as bars and restaurants. 
  • Creating friendships with persons who drink as well – often they are people who drink heavily. 
  • Staying away from home and not wanting the company of your family members.
  • Being possessive of alcohol while drinking. You tend to hide it to avoid sharing with anyone. 
  • Believing that you cannot commence a given task before drinking. 
  • Increased depression, exhaustion, or further emotional issues.
  • Professional or legal issues such as losing work or being arrested.

Warning Signs of Alcoholism

In most cases, warning or early signs are not very conspicuous. Sometimes they may take quite a long time to surface.

However, if early diagnosis works out, then it is easier to prevent its escalation to levels that are impossible or difficult to control or manage. 

Once you notice the signs listed below, it is be highly recommended that you visit a health specialist as soon as possible for assistance.

  • Having uncontrollable zeal for the consumption of intoxicating drinks.
  • Cravings for alcohol, especially within a few minutes of not drinking.
  • Willing to spend money on liquor rather than other issues of higher priority.
  • Feeling like you should drink now and again.
  • Sectioning a more significant portion of your money for drinking.
  • Exhibiting awkward behavior after drinking.

Indulging in drinking habits can sometimes be very easy. You may begin with a mere sip, next time you have half a bottle and before you realize it, you will be guzzling crates of it. 

Alcohol_addiction

However much you drink, do not let alcohol take a toll on you. Treatments options are always present and plentiful; you can always seek help before your condition develops into something hard to control.

If you believe that you or someone you know has a drinking problem, a medical professional can give you proper advice and instructions.  It is important to get prompt medical assistance for this condition. The faster someone gets treatment, the faster they can return to living a healthier and happier lifestyle. 

Requesting assistance from a qualified health personnel early enough will offer you a great opportunity to curb the problem in a quick and timely manner.

What Factors Lead to Addiction?

I believe you have heard of people dying of liquor caused diseases/disorders right?  But have you ever wondered why you or other people continue drinking? Is because that they do not fear those diseases or those faults brought about by alcoholism?

In actual sense, alcohol does not have a precise causative. However, its influence is attached to a combination of several factors; of which include personal psychology, genetics, society, as well as the type of environment they live. Most of these factors are hard to control and so many people tend to bow down to their pressure.

Here is more detailed coverage of them:

  • Stressful Environments:  Stress receives more consideration as one of the most common reasons for alcoholism. Stress is a part of life and almost every one of us gets stressed daily. The difference comes in that some people know how best to manage their struggles through other methods.  However, there are a group of persons who resort to drinking as a way of alleviating their stresses. If their stresses persist on a daily basis, then that will make them drink daily, and that is how they get addicted. 
  • Drinking at an Early Age: Research conducted by the Mayo Clinic indicated that individuals that indulge in early drinking have high chances of becoming major addicts as they get older. The research showed that their bodies have a propensity for tolerating excessive amounts of drinking.
  • Mental Health Disorders such as Depression: People with mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and fear are predisposed to developing an inclination for drinking. These diseases interfere with the brain’s ability to think straight; therefore affected persons have a tendency to make wrong choices, like excessively drinking.
  • Taking Medicine Alongside Alcohol: Different medications we take react differently with the liquor in our systems. Some increase the toxic levels of alcohol in the body and as a result form an additive feeling that will only make you want to drink.
  • Family History: If you happen to originate from an alcoholic family, then there are very high chances of influence into drinking. The force might be from both the environment and genetics. 

If you are tied in the chains of alcoholism and do not know the solution, you can always visit your nearest doctor or another health specialist to offer you proper direction.

What Makes Alcohol Addictive?

Alcohol does not only alter your behavioral characteristics but also causes significant chemical alterations in your body. Such modifications may result in serious dependency.

Research projects on its effects on the brain indicate that liquor enhances the manufacture of endorphins.  These are hormones that act as your body’s painkillers. Endorphins also influence the pleasure or the reward you feel in your body.  They tend to gather in the part of the brain that is responsible for habit-forming behaviors.

Alcohol-Addiction

Intoxicating substances possess the ability to corrupt the brain to create and tell lies. It will show you that there is adamant pleasure in consuming intoxicating beverages; as a result, it will always compel you to have a drink. At the same time, liquor slows down the general body impulses and the ability to make decisions. In conclusion, just the act of drinking can lead to a dependency.

According to detailed research conducted by the Science Translational Medicine, heavy drinkers tend to have more spikes in their endorphins than those who do not drink, or drink a moderate amount. The study, therefore, concludes that it is an excellent stimulant towards continued drinking habits. Remember, excessive drinking results in organ damage.

Why Do People Become Addicted to Alcohol?

Getting addicted to drinking is usually never done of the person’s free will. However, those who find themselves in the mix may have received a push by certain factors such as genetic, environmental or psychological interferences.

How long one can take to get thoroughly addicted is a subject of debate. There isn’t a definite time period; people take different amounts of time to be incorporated in alcoholism fully. It is like asking how long you can choose to drive from point A to B. The answer will be subject to many factors, starting with your speed.

Some people take only months while others take years. A boy at 11 can begin drinking, having been influenced by his alcoholic family members and at 20, he becomes a full addict. Also, in some cases, you might find those who only drink when there are special occasions, such as holidays or celebrations, might take a little longer to develop any dependency.

However, it is important to keep in mind that drinking excessively on a single occasion does not qualify you as an addict. Though, you will be increasing your addiction rate and raising the chances of getting other related diseases.

Alcoholism is a worldwide concern. According to the World Health Organization’s 2020 report, there are about 208 million people addicted to drinking. The statistics further indicate that about 4.1% of them are 15 years or older.

How to Battle Alcohol Addiction

Battling this disease calls for personal commitment and personal will, if not assistance.  Heavy drinking hinders private developments, destroys careers and causes loss of opportunities that would have lifted your life status. 

Battle with Alcohol Addiction

If you choose to battle this condition, then the best way to go about it would be to seek specialist guidance and treatments. There exist several institutions and organizations devoted to addressing concerns relating to alcoholism. 

They offer proper counseling and necessary medication to aid you in curbing your habit and regaining a better life.

How Can You Help Someone Facing Alcohol Addiction?

Alcoholism is a grave concern affecting people all around the world, with America recording statistics of 1.5 million addicts above 18 years old. The above statistic was from research carried out by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in 2019. Today, the number continues to rise.

This shows us that this problem has reached a point where friends and family have to take a little bit of responsibility to ensure their companions shy away from addiction. This path, however, calls for specific factor considerations and these include:

  • Confronting reality: The very first step towards helping an alcoholic addict is by accepting the truth that whoever you are dealing with is an addict. Personal or family attachments should not feature in the conversation.
  • Have an open conversation; no secrets: Sometimes it might be a little embarrassing exposing members of your family as addicts. However, if you mean to help them, you will have to look beyond that. It is essential to involve a third party, those that you may not have been close to, like priests, doctors or other therapists. At least they may not judge you.
  • Form a gathering: Once you’ve noted helpful persons who would assist you in talking to the affected individual, you can call them together so that as a group they can speak with the addict. Remember, the meeting should not be a forced one. Also, the questions or comments aired during this meeting should not be offensive to the addict. 
  • Chose a convenient time and space: You should never call the meeting when your friend or family is stressed or drunk. The conversation might never be productive. A time when they are sober will allow them to take in valuable information.
  • Share your concerns with your loved one. Let them understand why you are trying to help. Put all this in an emotionless manner so you do not trigger their anger. You should not point fingers at all.
  • Explain to them why they need to detox. Remember the detoxification should occur only under a doctor’s supervision.
  • If they refuse the treatment, then the best solution would be to leave them alone to make their decisions. Sometimes, people need to reach “rock bottom” for them to realize the need for them to change.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Taking the initiative to get treatment as an addict is a significant step in earning back your long-gone good life. Various types of treatment exist that are so dependable and only call for commitment in embracing the procedures you acquire from the rehab programs, support and counseling groups, and other therapists.

Different addicts will have different treatment methods that work for them. However, the general treatment classification entails:

Does Treatment Work?

Treatment for dependency works fine provided you follow all the medics and therapists advice and medical procedures. Many people have completely come out of it through full commitment and personal will.

Types of Treatment

Types of treatment for alcoholism are available in plenty. However, the top ones include;

  • Detoxification: This process requires a medical specialist to keep watch of the patient’s progress. Since different addicts have different responses to medicine, a health specialist will ensure you always have the relevant one for you.  Detoxifying drugs lowers the addict’s appetite for drinking intoxicating beverages.
  • Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation in this context will mean introducing the addict to several therapeutical routines and procedures that allow them to forget the need for more alcohol.
  • Maintenance: Maintenance of your medical procedures is a type of treatment that works best if followed keenly. You need to strictly follow the therapeutic advice given to you.

Alcohol Rehab   

Rehab has been proven for a long time to be the ultimate way of addressing alcoholism. The program involves setting some therapeutic routine for both the in and outpatients to try to embark them towards healthy living far from addiction.

Alcohol addiction

In severe addictive conditions, patients are usually advised to choose an inpatient program, which allows the health specialist to continuously supervise the individual’s habits. 

The time one takes in an rehab depends on various factors, key among them being the rate at which the patient is getting better. Patients who conform and respond quickly to the induced change always take a shorter time than the rest, who would take longer to reform.

The best part of rehab is that there are enough specialists and proper facilities to monitor your medical procedures fully. You can always search for the very best ones in your town before getting treatment.

Rehabilitation Definition

Rehabilitation refers to an initiative designed to assist people addicted to drinking in dealing with their signs and symptoms, which often interferes with their healthy living. The program takes anywhere between 30 days to a year to complete. 

It is usually very flexible, as it accommodates both the inpatients and the outpatients.

Rehabilitation Goals

The primary goal of the rehab process is to ensure patients get quality reform guidelines to help them deal appropriately with their emotional struggles as well as withdrawal symptoms.

What Happens During Rehabilitation?

When undergoing rehab, patients receives particular a medical and therapeutic process that helps them withdraw easily from alcoholism. Those with severe conditions come in as inpatients whereby they stay within the treatment center until they recover. For the those with mild to moderate conditions, they can be dealt with as outpatients.

What Happens After Rehabilitation?

Adjusting from rehab life to normal life might sometimes be very challenging. However, the best way to go about it is structuring a good plan. You need to design your healing routine to ensure you are able to once again comfortably handle the responsibilities before you.

Alcohol Treatment Centers

Treatment centers are special facilities designed to accommodate both the inpatients and outpatients struggling with alcoholism. 

These institutions exist in most parts of the world and are always open for those who may need assistance. However, not all of them could be good; some will have few specialists yet good facilities or vice versa. Others may have highly qualified professionals and better facilities. 

Therefore, it is always wise to conduct little research on these centers before approaching any.

Conclusion

Alcohol addiction is one of the most terrorizing conditions most drinkers face. Many health specialists appertain it to human genetics, surrounding environment and even psychology. However, the exact source of the problem has never been apparent. 

Alcohol-Addiction

Alcohol is a substance which when consumed interferes with the behavioral characteristics of a person, mainly towards the bad. People who are affected by this disease do not think straight or make proper decisions. Most of the time they will prefer being in the bar drinking and even saving a lot of time and money for that purpose. As a result, they fall short in providing necessary commitments to their families as well as their professions.

However, solutions exist for such addicts. There are special rehab facilities designed to provide reform among the victims. The facilities offer full therapeutic and medical services in support of the addict’s recovery.

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