Nobody knows your drinking habits better than you. You know if you drink because you like it or you drink because it’s there. If you’re worried that you’re addicted to alcohol, you probably are.
The fact that you’re worried means you want to change.
If your loved ones think you are abusing alcohol ask yourself:
Do you drink everyday, automatically, without questioning whether you want a drink, or keep drinking when you don’t enjoy it?
Do you try and fail to stop drinking before you get drunk?
Do you drink and drive or engage in other risky behavior while drinking?
Has drinking damaged your health or your personal and professional relationships?
If any of these are true, you might be abusing or addicted to alcohol.
That doesn’t make you a weak person. Alcohol is one of the most addictive substances. There may be a genetic component, too.
Society doesn’t frown on alcohol the way it does on most forms of drug abuse and other addictive substances.
Instead, alcohol is legal and is everywhere, openly sold in restaurants, supermarkets, and corner stores. It’s even used in church services.
If you can’t drink responsibly, if one drink leads to another and another, then there may be many negative effects, both physical and mental.
What Happens When You Drink Too Much?
Alcohol does produce pleasant effects, at low doses or in the short term. Alcohol releases endorphins, a morphine-like substance in the brain that blocks pain and makes you feel good.
It also can be a social lubricant. Maybe you’re shy, and a drink or two makes you feel more open, less inhibited, more comfortable with hanging out at the bar singing karaoke with your friends.
But that feeling won’t last. When you exceed a moderate alcohol level too often, excessively drinking on a regular basis, you risk developing a tolerance that prevents or delays those pleasant effects.
Your body adjusts to the intoxicant, requiring more and more alcohol to achieve the same effect, and increasing the likelihood of bad effects, including addiction.
Drinking too much, that is drinking until you’re drunk – and that amount is different for everybody, based on age, weight, and genetic disposition – is alcohol abuse, and leads to a vicious cycle of tolerance and drinking more alcohol more often.
Eventually you become dependent on alcohol, and drink not to feel good, but to not feel bad. Being unable to stop drinking, even when faced with negative effects, is alcoholism.
What Are the Signs of Alcohol Abuse and Addiction?
You don’t care about anything, including the consequences of your actions.
Alcohol can be euphoric (create feelings of joy) in the short term, but as tolerance develops, it is replaced by the depressive effects.
Partial, total, temporary, or permanent amnesia.
The liver doesn’t function properly, resulting in jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), spider-like red blood vessels visible on the skin, and other symptoms. A liver transplant might become necessary in cases of advanced cirrhosis.
Impaired Reaction Time and Judgment
You become less capable of handling the unexpected and more prone to engaging in risky behaviors, including drunk driving, unprotected sex, and violent behavior.
If you are addicted to alcohol, not drinking even for a day or two may cause your body to experience a range of gastrointestinal difficulties, hand tremors, and hallucinations.
Continued alcohol abuse may result in a low sex drive and an inability to perform; the failure of your immune system, so that your body is less able to fight off disease; and even cancer and other life-threatening consequences.
What Can You Do If You Need Alcohol Rehab?
If you believe you have an alcohol abuse or addiction problem, you don’t have to live with it or try to overcome it alone.
Willow Springs recovery has an effective alcohol rehab facility, both 12-step and non 12-step, evidence-based and faith-based.
No one method works for every addict, so the best alcohol rehab offers customized treatments by an experienced staff, beginning with medically monitored detoxification.
Such detox–stopping all alcohol consumption–can be scary and uncomfortable, even painful, depending on how dependent you’ve become.
In the most severe cases, doctors can administer temporary replacement drugs, such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates, to get you through the worst of withdrawal.
After completing the alcohol detox process, we offer different treatments based on the needs of each individual patient.
Additional expert staff – therapists, nutritionists, spiritual guides–can help you fight your addiction with every weapon in their arsenal.
Sometimes alcoholism isn’t the only problem needing treatment.
Sometimes there’s a second disorder – mental illness, disease, or another addiction–which may need to be addressed simultaneously with the alcohol abuse. The staff at top rehabs is trained to recognize and treat both.
And after inpatient treatment is completed, reputable treatment clinics will remain involved in your recovery through rehab aftercare.
They’ll help you and your loved ones learn new coping skills to help you stay clean and sober. They can’t guarantee you won’t relapse, but will work with you to minimize or mitigate the risk.
Willow Springs Recovery strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.
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