In today’s society, many individuals deal with stress that overcomes them mentally and emotionally. While sometimes individuals seek to ease their pain by using illegal drugs, there has been a steady rise in alcohol abuse. We are going to cover the important notes that one needs to know about alcohol addiction.
What is alcohol addiction?
Alcohol addiction (which is also known as alcoholism) is when someone abuses/consumes alcohol on a consistent basis and depends on it to relax themselves. Alcohol is technically not an illegal drug as anyone of the age 21 or over can purchase it with ease. While alcohol is not an illegal substance, it is still just as dangerous as illegal drugs/substances are. Because it is so easy for anyone of age or underage to obtain, the problem becomes harder to control and monitor.
Many individuals can consume alcohol in moderation and be completely fine. However, when an individual begins to abuse alcohol, that is where the problem starts. When individuals consume alcohol at the rate of unhealthy and dangerous, they are not only putting themselves at risk, but others as well.
The most common moving violations that involve alcohol and driving are DUI (Driving Under the Influence), and DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired). While it may seem like both are the same, there are differences between a DUI and a DWAI.
A DUI is when an individual has a BAC (blood alcohol content) level above the legal limit set by the city/state statute that is unsafe to drive a motor vehicle. The average BAC that all states set the limit for DUI charges are .08% level. At the latter level (or higher), a DUI can be considered a misdemeanor charge.
A felony DUI is a very serious charge that an individual can be given a lengthy jail/prison sentence. The felony DUI can stem from an individual already having DUI charges and/or the result of causing property/harm to an individual other than themselves.
DUI’s and DWAI’s come with a variety of punishments depending upon the specific situation. A DUI/DWAI punishment can include (but not limited to) suspension of an individual’s driver’s license, fines, and/or jail and prison sentences. The legal system has also taken measures to help individuals that may have mild alcohol addictions and looking to recover to beat their addiction.
Thanks to modern day technology, an individual who does not have their driver’s license/privileges revoked may be able to opt into a car breathalyzer. The car breathalyzer is programmed into the car and the engine, which means that an individual cannot start the motor vehicle without blowing into the car breathalyzer. If any trace of alcohol within an individual’s BAC is traced, the motor vehicle will not start. Unfortunately, individuals do try to bypass the car breathalyzer by having someone else who is not under the influence blow into the car breathalyzer. If anyone is caught providing a fraudulent breathalyzer test, they can face criminal charges (such as tampering), which will not come with any leniency.
Why do individuals abuse alcohol?
There are a variety of reasons as to why individuals choose to use alcohol as their means of self-medication. Many individuals turn to alcohol as a means to relax their minds from the stress that they may be going through. At first an alcohol addiction may start off as moderate consumption of alcohol, however, when the feeling becomes dependent upon is when it becomes bad and unhealthy.
Alcohol affects individuals differently depending upon the amount of alcohol that is consumed, their diet, their height, and their weight. For example, research has shown that a male of 5’8 can drink the same amount of alcohol that a 5’8 female of the same weight differently. This research is done by looking at the BMI (Body Mass Index) of the average males and females.
Food diets may be different between males and females. On average, males eat more heavy foods on a consistent basis than a female may. An individual (male or female) body may react differently, which is why alcohol addiction has to be taken on a case by case basis. When individuals are consuming alcohol at a moderate level, it is recommended that they eat a healthy meal before and/or during their time of consumption. Eating food allows for the body to absorb the alcohol appropriately. Two average size beers with the alcohol content of 3.5% or more may affect a different person with a different BMI (the same goes with hard alcohol such as whiskey and vodka).
Another reason that many individuals abuse alcohol is the feeling that individuals have. For example, many individuals want to subdue their depression by drinking alcohol to the point that they feel good. Many individuals that suffer from PTSD or postpartum depression/anxiety rely on alcohol to make them feel better.
It is a known fact that new moms face a lot of problems after the birth of their newborn child/children. Changes to their bodies becomes a mental state fight that is normal, yet controllable (in many cases). Unfortunately, when a woman does not feel like she is attractive or healthy like she thought before her pregnancy, that can cause her anxiety and depression. Alcohol is one of the easiest accessible [legal] supplements] available, a woman who is experiencing depression, PTSD, or postpartum depression can make them turn to alcohol as a stress reliever.
Many individuals (males and females) who have served in the military to any degree also endure PTSD, postpartum depression, and postpartum anxiety. Due to the severity of the memories that they have during their time-serving the country, when they come back home it may be hard for them to adjust back to a normal life. As stated earlier, since alcohol is technically legal (even though it is looked at as a drug as well) individuals of the army/military will fall to over-consuming alcohol to ease their minds. While alcohol addiction has become a common normality for those in the army/military, it is not something that is being overlooked. There are many programs available for these individuals in the worst case scenario that they either need help with their depression/anxiety, and different ways to help them besides abusing alcohol.
What are the symptoms of alcohol?
While individuals may think that alcohol is harmless and a temporary fix of release, there are a variety of symptoms that comes with alcohol addiction. Alcohol abuse can cause an individual to not think rationally as they would in a normal mindset. Alcohol addiction comes with a variety of symptoms during and after the addiction.
In regard to an individual’s body, one 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 signs of knowing if an individual has an alcohol addiction.
Another line of symptoms from alcohol addiction includes the behavioral mindset of an individual. These symptoms include wild agitation, self-harming thoughts/actions, extreme compulsive behavior, and lack of restraint. Many individuals act differently when it comes to the over-consumption of alcohol. In a very normal state, an individual may be really nice, calm, and collected. However, because alcohol affects the ability for an individual to think normally and rationally, their behavioral attributes may change as well.
From a psychological stand point, an individual who suffers from alcohol addiction can include fear, delirium, and sense of being unwanted (or not loved by those around them). Psychologically when an individual is going through alcohol addiction, some individuals around them may be judgmental towards their addiction. Even though an alcoholic may feel as if they are not doing anything to anyone else with their over-consumption of alcohol, it does emotionally hurt others.
Other symptoms that are really common include having a slurred speech, problems with having normal coordination (including basic walking, driving, and decision making). and physical substance dependence. Once an individual becomes too dependent on the feeling that alcohol may provide to them, it can become really hard for them to let that feeling go.
How can an individual be helped with alcohol addiction?
Overcoming alcohol addiction can be a difficult task. To stop drinking alcohol cold turkey is one of the most dangerous routes to take. If not properly detoxed off of alcohol in a medically supervised setting, one may experience seizures which could lead to death. It is strongly advised that once seeks out professional care when detoxing off of alcohol.
Another common way to help yourself or a loved one through alcohol addiction is attending AA (Alcohol Anonymous) classes. Some individuals would like to keep their problems to themselves, however some individuals are better with hearing others stories as well. AA meetings help individuals know and think that they are not alone in this addiction. When an individual knows and feels the support of others that are not judging them because of their bad choices, they can have a better feeling of overcoming their alcohol addiction during the process.
Are you an individual that is going through an alcohol addiction or seeking to help a loved one through alcohol addiction? We are here to assist you in the best ways that we can. We believe that anyone that 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.