Alcohol consumption is more or less used among people as a way to relax and let loose. Most drink alcohol socially and don’t have any dependence on it. But for some drinkers, the alcohol has become an addictive substance, though not everyone who partakes can become addicted. A common misconception is that alcohol abuse and addiction are one in the same, that is not always the case, but unfortunately, those that abuse alcohol can become addicted. Today we at Meehab Addiction Recovery would like expound specifically on alcohol addiction.
Alcohol Abuse VS Dependence
Having unhealthy or dangerous drinking habits is alcohol abuse; drinking every day or drinking too much at a time are examples. Alcohol abuse can be detrimental to so many aspects of your life; it can negatively impact relationships, work, and lead to legal problems such as driving while drunk. Abusing alcohol can eventually lead to alcohol dependence. Alcohol dependence is also called alcoholism or alcohol addiction. Addiction gives you a strong need, or craving, to drink excessively.
Signs of Alcohol Addiction
If you or a loved has three or more of the following problems in a 12 month period, you are addicted to alcohol:
– You can’t bring yourself to control how much you drink or quit drinking.
– To achieve the same effects you need to drink more as the day’s progress.
– Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking such as feeling sick to your stomach, sweating, shakiness and anxiety.
– Utilizing most of your time drinking and recovering from drinking.
– Giving up other activities, hobbies, and passions to allot yourself more time to drink.
– Inability to quit drinking or to cut back the quantity without success.
– Continuing to consume alcohol despite the negative consequences it has on your life.
Is Alcoholism an Addiction?
Long term alcohol addiction is a chronic disease. It is NOT a weakness or a lack of willpower. Like many other diseases, it has a predicted course of action, known symptoms, and is also influenced by your genes and other circumstances.
Early Warning Signs of Alcoholism
If you experience any of the below, you are building up an addiction and dependence to alcohol:
– Drinking alone, in the morning, and are often drunk for long periods of time.
– Switching up the different alcoholic beverages in an effort to help you drink less or keep you from getting drunk.
– Feeling guilty following drinking.
– Hiding your drinking from others and making excuses for your drinking.
– Experiencing blackouts and not remembering what you did while you were drinking.
– Anxious over not having enough alcohol to last through an evening or weekends.
How Can Alcoholism Be Diagnosed
Seeing a doctor if you are concerned, or at a family member or friends suggestion can determine if you are addicted to alcohol and get you the right treatment. Doctors will ask about your symptoms and past health, perform a physical exam and in some cases, a mental health assessment. The mental health assessment checks to see if you have underlining mental health issues like depression. Additionally you may undergo questioning or tests to look for health problems linked to alcohol like cirrhosis.
Depending on to the extent of your alcohol addiction, treatment may include help from a counselor or the need for a medical treatment as well as a hospital or treatment center. You need detoxify when you are physically addicted to alcohol. Going through the detox treatment may require medication to help with withdrawal symptoms. Following your detoxification, remaining sober can be accomplished with the help of loved ones and programs. You can do it and its okay to accept the help and support for others to accomplish your goals!