Not only can alcohol cause physical and psychological dependency but alcohol abuse can cause severe medical problems. Because your liver is responsible for filtering impurities and can only filter one serving of alcohol every 90 minutes, heavy drinking can overwork your liver. Signs of alcohol addiction, such as drinking before work or drunk driving, are important to identify because delaying drug and alcohol addiction recovery can make symptoms more severe.
Alcohol is a common part of social life in the United States. Weddings, sports events, nightlife, and parties are almost synonymous with alcohol. Unfortunately, alcohol is prone to abuse, with more than 1 out of every 4 adults in the United States binge drinking at least once a month. 1.6% of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 and 5.8% of adults meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder annually.
What are the Signs of Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that slows down your heart rate and breathing. While intoxication can create feelings of relaxation, alcohol intoxication also intensifies whatever emotions you’re experiencing when you start drinking. Alcohol also impairs judgment, lowers inhibitions, and causes mood changes. Drinking can increase your risk of engaging in dangerous behavior, which can lead to a slew of harmful consequences.
As alcoholism progresses, your body and brain become dependent on alcohol to function properly. If you become physically dependent on alcohol, an alcohol addiction treatment center program can offer detox services to help mitigate and reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
Signs of alcohol addiction include:
- Blacking out when you drink
- Having friends or family members confront you about your drinking
- Drinking in excess while alone
- Drinking solely to get drunk
- Regretting things you say or do while drunk
- Feeling guilt, shame, or remorse about your drinking
Long-term abuse of alcohol is dangerous to your physical and mental health, as nearly half of all deaths caused by liver disease were alcohol-related in 2018. Alcohol abuse can also lead to cognitive and neurological problems.
How to Treat Alcoholism
When you demonstrate signs of alcohol addiction, substance abuse treatment programs provide you with the support, guidance, and education you need to recover. Substance abuse addiction rates are significantly higher when you complete a substance abuse treatment program.
The first step in recovery is detoxing from alcohol. Alcohol withdrawal can cause a rare but potentially fatal symptom called delirium tremors which is why completing a detox program is the best way to protect your health and recovery. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms include intense cravings which are hard to avoid outside of a treatment center.
Withdrawal symptoms begin within 24 hours of your last drink and begin to alleviate within one week. Once detox ends, your brain and body begin to relearn how to function properly without alcohol. This can lead to mood changes, such as anxiety and depression.
Inpatient alcohol treatment programs provide increased structure, supervision, and support. Struggling with severe alcoholism, a co-occurring disorder, or having attempted recovery multiple times makes inpatient care an ideal fit. While an inpatient drug rehab center requires you to remain on campus 24/7, you’re able to talk to family members and friends and have visitors.
Residential treatment ensures that your main focus is your recovery, which can make it easier to maintain your sobriety as you’re not exposed to as many external stressors.
Finding Help Today
When you notice you’re showing signs of alcohol addiction, reaching out for help is the best way you can begin your road to sobriety. Alcoholism can make it hard to live a stable and healthy life. Struggling with a drinking problem can cause problems with your employer, friends, and loved ones.