Alcohol addiction should be taken just as seriously as addiction to other substances. Just because alcohol is legal, doesn’t mean it isn’t addictive. Alcohol addiction could happen to anyone considering that the consumption of alcohol is considered to be normal within the world. It is important to talk about this addiction and how to get treatment.
Here at My Recovery Source, we want to provide information and resources for our clients when it comes to alcohol addiction. Within this article, we describe how alcohol is addictive, what some of the first signs of alcohol addiction are, early signs of alcoholism, how to receive help when struggling with alcohol addiction, and how we can help.
Is Alcohol Addictive?
Alcohol can be addictive. Very addictive. For some adults, moderate alcohol usage is not usually half, but for about 18 million Americans, they have an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Around 10% of adult males and 5% of adult females have an alcohol use disorder, and their AUD leads to health problems and social problems (home, work, school, the law, etc.,).
An alcohol use disorder means that when they drink it causes distress and harm. An AUD ranges in severity, from mild to very severe depending on the symptoms. AUD is a disease that can cause cravings (a strong need to consume alcohol), loss of control (not being able to stop drinking), negative emotional state (feeling anxious and irritable when one is not consuming alcohol).
What Are the First Signs of Alcohol Addiction?
The early signs of alcohol addiction/abuse include drinking more than planned, continuing to drink alcohol despite the negative consequences or the concerns of others, frequent attempts to cut down or quit consuming alcohol without success. Individuals will then build a tolerance to alcohol the more that they drink. This would then cause them to develop a dependency on alcohol and would require individuals to drink more alcohol to get the desired euphoric feeling that they get when they are intoxicated. After a while, the alcohol abuse will get worse and the individual will become preoccupied with alcohol consumption to the point where they lose control. This may be followed by blackouts in which an individual may completely forget what occurred when they were drunk, even though they were conscious while they were drunk.
Lastly, in early signs of an alcohol problem, individuals will also experience personality changes and can even become more aggressive. Their ability to function in day-to-day life will become deteriorated, meaning they may not even be able to hold a job or maintain certain relationships. Heavy drinkers may also have other side effects such as panic attacks, hallucinations, confusion, tremors, and even seizures.
Some questions to ask yourself or a loved one when assessing the signs of being an alcoholic:
- Have you experienced times where you ended up drinking more or longer than you had intended?
- Have you tried to shut down or stop drinking before but you could not?
- Have you spent a lot of time drinking? Have you gotten sick or had other side effects when drinking?
- Have you experienced a craving or a strong urge to drink alcohol?
- Have you continued to drink even though there have been negative consequences within your social life?
- Have you given up certain activities that were important to you so you can drink?
- Has your drinking put you in situations that have increased your chances of getting hurt?
- Have you continued to drink even though alcohol has been making you feel anxious or depressed or has caused another health problem?
- Have you continued to drink even though having a memory blackout?
- Do you have to drink more to get the same effect that you had experienced previously?
- When you are not drinking or when the alcohol effects wear off do you experience withdrawal symptoms such as having trouble sleeping, shakiness, anxiety, irritability, restlessness, depression, nausea, sweating, etc,?
How to Get Help With an Alcohol Addiction
In receiving help with your alcohol addiction it may be crucial to reach out to someone who you trust. This individual could be a family member, a friend, an acquaintance, a co-worker, etc. If you don’t really have someone that you can reach out to you can start by researching different treatment programs within your area.
My Recovery Source provides an easy to navigate database for individuals to research different treatment facilities that are in their area and that also meets their individualized treatment needs. After narrowing down your treatment options, you will want to pursue them. It’s critical to seek the help from professionals when wanting to stop drinking.
How My Recovery Source Can Help
Here at My Recovery Source, we understand that addiction is not an easy thing to go through, and sometimes it can be hard to find support throughout your addiction. We want to make sure that we are constantly taking you seriously even if others aren’t. We want to provide our clients with a way to search for individualized treatment options that fit their needs. Reach out to us today to find a treatment program that works for you or your loved one!