Alcohol addiction, also known as an alcohol use disorder or alcoholism, is the most severe type of alcohol abuse. Typically, it entails an inability to overcome and manage alcohol use and the resultant drinking habits.
There are three categories of this form of substance abuse and addiction: severe, moderate, and mild. Each of these categories comes with its own unique symptoms. They can also lead to harmful side effects. The important thing to keep in mind, however, is that all types of alcohol addiction and abuse can quickly spin out of control.
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While struggling with this substance use disorder, you will typically feel that it is impossible for you to function normally unless you drink alcohol. As a result, you may end up struggling with a wide variety of issues. The problem could also have a negative impact on your personal, social, and professional goals. Further, it could affect your overall health, relationships, and personal matters.
In the course of time, the various negative side effects of ongoing alcohol abuse and addiction will become worse. They could also potentially lead to complications, many of which will be damaging in various ways.
Luckily, you do not have to continue struggling with alcohol addiction. It is possible to find treatment and rehabilitation options available so that you can work on overcoming this problem so that you can achieve sobriety and recovery in the long term.
Some of the warning signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction and abuse tend to be noticeable. In other cases, however, they might take some time before surfacing. If the problem is discovered while it is still in its early stages and you seek addiction treatment and rehabilitation services, your chances of recovering successfully will significantly increase.
That said, the following are some of the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse and addiction:
In case you are at a point in your life where you feel like alcohol use is taking over your life and leading to harmful consequences, you need to look for treatment options that could potentially hep you address the problem before it gets further out of hand.
Talking to a doctor or an addiction treatment and rehabilitation professional could help. These experts will provide you with professional assistance and guidance so that you can seek the recovery services that you need to overcome the issue.
Many of the risk factors for alcohol addiction and abuse are linked to the reasons why people start and continue drinking alcohol in the first place. Some of these reasons include but are not limited to:
But what exactly is alcohol addiction? Essentially, if you are addicted, it means that you are dependent on a given substance. In the case of alcohol, it effectively means that you are dependent on it.
Lack of alcohol dependence means that you may want to drink alcohol without necessarily needing it to function normally in your daily activities. However, if you are dependent, you will experience physical urges and cravings to abuse the substance.
When you are dependent and addicted to alcohol, you will be classified as an alcohol. This means that you will already be physically dependent on this substance. This problem will occur due to the changes that long term alcohol use would have caused in your brain.
After developing dependence and you stop drinking the substance for a given number of hours, you will experience physical withdrawal. This will be accompanied by a wide range of withdrawal symptoms, including but not limited to physical discomfort, sweating, insomnia, anxiety, and many others.
Once dependent, you would have to consume alcohol in increasingly higher volumes before you can achieve the pleasurable effects that your brain has come to associate with drinking.
If you drink too much, either during the long term or on a single occasion, there is a high risk that alcohol could take a tool on your wellness and health. Some of the effects of alcohol could have minor effects on your health. Others, however, may end up leading to severe or even life-threatening effects.
The important thing to keep in mind is that the short term effects will typically be quite as dangerous as those that occur in the long term. For instance, if you drink and it has a negative impact on your reaction time, you will have reduced coordination and slow reflexes. In case you are driving in this situation, you may suffer harmful consequences - such as getting into an accident that could hurt you and others.
That said, the following are some of the short term effects that arise from abusing alcohol:
In the long term, consuming alcohol in excess could also have a negative effect on your health. Most of the short term effects of alcohol abuse could potentially not arise for many years. However, eventually, they will surface. Some of the long term effects that you can expect include:
When you are dependent on alcohol, you will suffer from nausea, sweating, and insomnia - among other withdrawal symptoms - when you do not consume this substance. That said, the following are some of the additional effects of alcoholism:
Alcohol addiction, also known as alcoholism, is now classified as a physical and psychological disease. It affects people from every walk of life, irrespective of their social, economic, political, or religious background.
Experts have been trying to pinpoint the various factors that could increase your risk of developing this addiction. Some of these factors include but are not limited to socioeconomics, race, sex, and genetics. Even so, it is important to keep in mind that there is no single cause of alcohol addiction. In fact, behavioral, genetic, and psychological factors could all potentially contribute to your development of this disease.
The important thing to keep in mind is that alcoholism is an illness. This is in the sense that it will cause negative changes to your neurochemistry and brain makeup. As a result, it might be difficult for you to control your actions once you have developed this disease.
There are various ways in which this disease will show itself. Its severity, the frequency at which you drink, and the amount of alcohol you consume will depend on different factors - and will vary from one person to the next.
Whereas you may drink heavily on a daily basis, there are people who may binge drink before staying sober for a period of time before their next binge drinking episode. Irrespective of the outlook of your alcohol consumption, however, you can be sure that you have moved from drinking normally to physical dependence. If you are at this point in your life, it means that you have already developed this disease. This will occur once you reach a stage where you are heavily reliant on alcohol and you find it impossible to stay sober for long.
It can be difficult to understand and recognize alcohol addiction. Unlike heroin, cocaine, and other illicit substances of abuse, alcohol is widely accessible, available, affordable, and acceptable in many cultures. It is also one of the substances that is used and abused in social situations, including periods of enjoyment and celebrations.
For many people, consuming this substance is a normal part of life. Since alcohol is common in society, it might be difficult for you to differentiate between its normal use and its abuse. That said, the following are some of the typical symptoms and signs of alcohol addiction:
Alcohol addiction, like any other type of substance use disorder, will worsen over time. This is why it is a good idea to look out for the early symptoms and warning signs of an alcohol use disorder. In case you identify and treat it early, you may be able to reduce your chances of developing the more dangerous and harmful consequences and effects of the disease.
It can be both challenging and complex to treat alcohol addiction. For treatment to be effective, you must be willing and ready to get sober and overcome this problem. This is why it is impossible to force someone to stop drinking and abusing alcohol in case they are not yet ready. In fact, success will largely depend on the desire that the affected individual has to improve and get better.
That said, the alcohol addiction recovery process is a commitment that should be ongoing for the rest of life. It will involve daily care and there is currently no quick fix for it. Additionally, it is impossible to cure this substance use disorder - only to manage it over the long term.
Some of the treatment options that exist, however, include but are not limited to:
Detox is the first stage in the recovery process from alcohol addiction and abuse. You need to complete this process with the help and observation of highly qualified and licensed medical professionals. This is because there is a high risk that you may develop serious, painful, uncomfortable - and even potentially life threatening - withdrawal symptoms. During detox, the treatment center might prescribe medications to help you overcome these withdrawal symptoms, or at least assuage them.
After you have completed the detox process, you should proceed with rehabilitation and further treatment. You can do so either on an inpatient or an outpatient basis. Typically, inpatient treatment will take anywhere between 1 and 12 months - or even longer. This is also the case with outpatient treatment.
Both of these types of care will involve:
The important thing to keep in mind is that it is possible to manage alcohol addiction, and potentially get your life back in order even after struggling with this problem for a long period of time.