Alcohol Abuse & Addiction
A Brief Introduction to Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
People use drugs for a variety of reasons. Nowadays, a lot of us face stress that overwhelms both mentally and emotionally. Because of this, there’s been a steady rise in substance abuse. This includes alcohol abuse, which is the most widespread substance use disorder in the United States. The rise in alcohol addiction affects individuals and families. Knowing the symptoms of alcoholism can help people identify if their loved one has a drinking problem.
Alcohol addiction is commonly known as alcoholism. It occurs when a person abuses or consumes alcohol so much that they become dependent on it. They need alcohol to feel normal and will keep drinking it even when it starts causing them life problems.
Drinking alcohol isn’t illegal if you’re over the age of twenty-one. Most people twenty-one and older can purchase alcohol with ease. While it’s not illegal, it’s still just as dangerous as illegal substances. Even worse, because it’s so easy for people to obtain, the problem becomes harder to control and monitor. Most of the population can consume alcohol in moderation and be completely fine. However, when someone begins to abuse alcohol, or become dependent on it, a problem can form quickly. When individuals consume alcohol at unhealthy or dangerous rates they’re not only putting themselves at risk, but others as well.
Symptoms of Alcoholism
People may think that alcohol is harmless and a temporary fix or relief from the stress of everyday life. However, there are a variety of symptoms that happen when someone is an alcoholic. These signs occur during and after active addiction.
A person who is an alcoholic can experience excessive blackouts, shakiness from anxiety, sweating, and food/alcohol cravings. None of the latter symptoms are healthy, however, they are the most common symptoms of alcoholism. Other common symptoms of alcoholism include slurred speech, poor coordination (including basic walking, driving, and decision making), and physical dependence. Once an individual becomes severely dependent on alcohol it becomes incredibly hard for them to discontinue their use.
Another line of symptoms include the behavioral mindset of an individual. Alcohol abuse can cause a person to think irrationally unlike what they would in a normal state of mind. These symptoms consist of severe agitation, extreme compulsive behavior, lack of restraint, and self-harming thoughts or actions. Many of those with a drinking problem act differently when it comes to over-consuming alcohol. In a normal state, an individual may be nice, calm, and collected. However, because alcohol affects the ability for an individual to think normally and rationally, their behavior may drastically change.
Psychologically, an individual who is an alcoholic can suffer from fear, delirium, and sense of being unwanted or unloved. When an individual has a drinking problem, others around them may seem judgmental towards their addiction. Alcoholics often don’t think they are hurting anyone besides themselves. Unfortunately, alcohol abuse does emotionally hurt others who are close to the alcoholic.
Additional Information About Alcoholism
Alcohol affects people differently based on several factors. These include the amount someone consumes along with a person’s diet, height, and weight. There’s research demonstrating that alcohol affects males and females differently. This can make it hard to accurately judge an appropriate amount to drink, or to know how drunk someone is.
Sometimes a drinking problem begins when someone is trying to mask the pain of mental illness. For example, someone might want to subdue their depression by drinking to the point that they feel good. Many people suffering from mental illnesses including PTSD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or postpartum depression may rely on alcohol to make them feel better.
Alcohol addiction is particularly common among members of the military due to the frequency of PTSD. Painful memories from their time serving can make it hard to adjust when they come home back to a normal life. Again, since alcohol is legal, military members may not consider it a drug, even though it is. While problem drinking has increased in the military, it’s not something that is being overlooked. Again, alcohol treatment is available and you can click here to see our treatment options.
Overcoming alcoholism, like any other form of addiction, can be difficult. Stopping cold turkey is one of the most dangerous routes to take. After physical dependence, people are at risk of seizures, heart problems and death if they suddenly quit drinking. That’s why it’s important to consider medically supervised detox from alcohol. Seeking out professional care for alcohol detox is very much advised.
Are you someone with a drinking problem or seeking to help a loved one who is an alcoholic? We’re here to assist you in the best ways that we can. We believe that anyone who makes a mistake with alcohol addiction deserves a second chance to live a better life. To contact us for more information, please feel free to contact us via phone at 833-LA-REHAB. You can also reach us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org as well. We look forward to helping you and/or your loved one get back to having a productive and happy life without having to depend on alcohol.