Alcohol addiction can take a toll on all aspects of your life. It is a dangerous disease that can be predisposed due to sex, race, socioeconomics, or genes.
Several causes can lead to this disease. But, behavioral, genetic, and psychological factors predominantly contribute to having it.
Sadly, alcoholism is mostly misconstrued as social behavior. In reality, it is a real and terrifying disease. It affects the brain and neurochemistry that sometimes restrict the addict from controlling their own actions. a
A person with alcoholism can exhibit various signs as not all people drink in the same way. While some just binge drink, some prefer drinking throughout the day. As a result, the severity of the addiction is different for all. No matter how mild it looks on the surface, if a person cannot stay sober for a longer period and needs alcohol, it’s an addiction.
Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction
In most countries, alcohol is the center point of any celebrations. It is a widely accepted substance, unlike other drugs such as cocaine or heroin. This makes it very difficult to recognize the symptoms of alcoholism.
Drinking is a part of the society we live in. It is so common that we cannot really differentiate between people who love to have a couple of drinks occasionally and people with real drinking problems.
Despite the complexity, the following symptoms can be the triggers of alcoholism:
- Increased dependency on alcohol to be normal.
- Self-isolating behavior
- Inappropriate drinking times or places like mornings, church, workplaces, etc.
- Troubled relationships
- Seeking alcohol everywhere they go
- Increased tolerance for alcohol
- Legal problems like arrest, loss of employment
- Increased emotional issues like depression
- Increased alcohol quality and frequency
- Hiding alcohol or avoiding meeting people when drunk
Alcohol addiction gets worse with time. Therefore, it is crucial to recognize its symptoms in the early stages and get them treated. Failure to do so can result in significant consequences.
Southern California Addiction Center suggests maintaining a supportive approach if someone you know is a victim of alcoholism. Never make them feel ashamed or guilty for their habit. This can worsen the situation and push them away from you.
How Can Alcohol Addiction Affect Your Health?
Alcohol addiction can lead to some severe problems with the liver and heart. It can cost you a life. Apart from these diseases, it can also cause:
- Risk of cancer
- Vision problems
- Sexual problems
- Diabetes complications
- Bone problems
- Immune function problems
- Congenital disabilities
Heavy drinkers often tend to take risks when they are drunk and put others in the same situation as well. As per the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 28 deaths occur each day in the United States because of drunk driving. Plus, alcoholism is closely linked with incidents of suicides and homicides.
Such critical consequences of alcohol addiction make it a serious problem that needs to be treated as early as possible. Every risk associated with alcoholism is treatable and avoidable with the right recovery program.
Treatment Options For Alcohol Addiction
The most fundamental thing needed for any alcoholism treatment — the person being treated must want to get sober first. It is not possible to force someone into this, and it’s the patient’s desire that decides the outcome of the treatment.
The truth is, recovery from alcohol addiction is a lifetime thing. It cannot be treated overnight. It needs commitment, support and daily care.
Alcohol Anonymous (AA) & Support Groups
Alcohol Anonymous is a 12-step recovery program. Plus, several other support groups are also available that help you get rid of alcohol addiction. But, these support groups do not follow the 12-step model like the Sober Recovery or SMART method.
No matter what methodology they prefer, support groups are worth participating in treating alcohol addiction. It’s helpful to deal with everyday challenges people with addiction usually face.
Inpatient or outpatient rehab is the most common treatment for alcohol addiction. Inpatient treatment can last from 30 to 365 days, depending on the requirement. Outpatient treatment allows you to continue living at home with daily medical support and care.
Other Treatment Options
Alcoholism can also be treated with
- Nutrition changes
- Drug therapy
In some cases, doctors recommend drugs such as antidepressants to support self-medication to overcome alcohol addiction. And, doctors can also prescribe medication to deal with emotions during the recovery.
Therapy is excellent for dealing with stress. It also develops new skills to prevent relapse. Alcohol addiction can cause a lot of damage to your body. A healthy diet can recover your body from the damage and promote recovery.
Treatments done in the early stages are the most effective when it is about alcoholism. Long-term addiction is quite challenging to break. But, it can be treated anyway.
People who have been sober for a long time can find themselves having a drink or two again. This cannot be treated as a relapse or a failure. A person getting back to everyday life is the essential thing here.
Lastly, sobriety is the responsibility of an individual. If the person continues drinking even after you attempt to help, maintain boundaries and try not to enable destructive behavior in him or her. You can stop assisting them financially or prevent them from fulfilling their addiction needs. However, your emotional support, encouragement and care can be a deal-breaker for people with alcohol addiction.