Alcohol addiction is a chronic, self-diagnosable disease characterized by uncontrolled drinking and preoccupation with alcohol. This is a very common condition and people need to be aware of its destructive consequences. An alcoholic person is considered so when he drinks more than 5 glasses a day and in case of women, more than 4 glasses a day. Battling alcohol addiction is a serious business that requires both emotional support and extensive therapy. End your alcoholism today before you become another sad statistic.
Why Is Alcohol Addictive?
Alcohol makes people feel good by stimulating the release of naturally-occurring opioids called endorphins. When you drink a glass of alcohol, two key areas of the brain responsible associated with the rewarding “sensation” are swarmed with those endorphins, thus the “high” feeling that you get from drinking.
Heavy drinkers get even “higher” when consuming the same amount of alcohol than light drinkers. This is the reason behind craving more and more alcohol, to multiply this euphoria.
Alcohol Addiction Facts
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, these are some of the haunting facts related to alcohol addiction:
- In 2012, 24 percent of people who are 18 or older reported that they engaged in binge drinking. Most of the cases of reported alcohol dependency (especially in teens) result from indulging in binge drinking experiences.
- Over 17 million Americans (18-older), alone, report alcohol abuse disorder.
- One of the scariest statistics of alcohol addiction is the impact that it has on children. In the U.S, over 10 million kids are dependent on alcohol.
- Alcohol is the third preventable cause of the death in the U.S with approximately 80,000 deaths per year from alcohol-related causes.
Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction
You have alcohol addiction when your drinking habits are destructive to you and people around you. When you can’t set limits to your alcohol consumption even when it is affecting your health and your state of mind, you’re an alcoholic. Other symptoms and signs include:
- Neglecting daily activities at home, school or work to go drinking is a major sign.
- Using alcohol carelessly and in dangerous situations like drinking and driving, operating machinery, or mixing alcohol with prescription medications.
- Having problems in familial or intimate relationships due to excessive alcohol use.
- Drinking your sadness, stress or problems away. It never works that way and only deepens your alcohol dependence.
- Showcasing behavioral changes including aggression, quick irritation at minor things, lack of restraint and agitation.
- Overwhelming feelings of loneliness and general discontent.
- Physical changes include: sweating, constant nausea and vomiting (might lead to dehydration), repetitive blackouts, dizziness and shaking.
- Fear and delirium.
- Slurred speech.
- Feelings of guilt about your drinking and having to hide it from others.
Treatment For Alcohol Addiction
Treating alcoholism only succeeds when your drinking habits are precisely defined: hazardous, harmful or dependent. It also depends on whether you would like to spend the rest of your life sober (abstinence), or would only like to downsize your drinking levels.
Counseling is the first and foremost step on the road to recovery from alcohol addiction. Your therapist could try various interventions including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), alcohol self-help groups (Alcoholics Anonymous), extended brief intervention (EBI), psychotherapy, aversion therapy, behavior therapy and family therapy.
In case of medication therapy for treating alcoholism, this will help you detoxify your body off alcohol at home. Drugs like the tranquilizer, chlordiazepoxide, help easing off withdrawal symptoms from alcohol. The withdrawal symptoms are very dangerous in most cases of recovering alcoholics and can take up to six months to wear off.
In severe cases of alcoholism, immediate admission to the hospital or a rehabilitation facility is recommended. This is due to withdrawal symptoms being too much for the alcoholic to handle on his/her own.