Alcohol addiction, also known as alcoholism, is a disease that affects people from all walks of life. The disease causes chemical changes in the brain that affect impulse control. Alcohol addiction can present in a variety of ways. The severity of the disease, the frequency of consumption and the amount of alcohol consumed vary from person to person. Irrespective of the form the addiction takes, someone typically has an alcohol addiction if they rely heavily on alcohol.
Unlike illicit substances, alcohol is widely available and accepted. Often central to social situations, drinking is part of life for many people. As such, it can often be difficult to tell the difference between someone who enjoys a few drinks and a person with a genuine problem.
Alcoholism is characterised by a strong, often uncontrollable urge to drink. The more you drink, the more your body becomes used to its effects and the more you have to drink to maintain the high. Over time, dependence on alcohol develops and can often spiral into addiction.
Alcoholism usually refers to a physical dependence on alcohol but it can also include a psychological addiction. Being aware of the warning signs of alcohol abuse can help you to recognise if your alcohol consumption, or that of a loved-one, has crossed the line.
Alcoholism is a disease. It causes chemical changes in the brain that affect impulse control. While the severity of the disease varies from person to person, someone typically has an alcohol addiction if they rely heavily on alcohol and are unable to remain sober for an extended period of time.
Alcoholism invariably involves more than just consuming alcohol. While someone can appear to function normally, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have a problem. If life is being adversely affected and you’re unable to reduce or stop drinking on your own, it’s time to address the issue and seek help.
From consuming alcohol to cope with stress or self-medicating to mask mental health problems, residential rehab provides the opportunity to address the root of the pain that’s encouraging you to drink. An alcohol clinic setting boasts qualified and approachable staff trained to deal with alcohol addiction. From medical monitoring throughout the detox and withdrawal process to consistent, round-the-clock care, rehab allows you the space away from your everyday life and environment to focus on your recovery in a caring environment. Invariably, offering a two-pronged approach to treatment, rehab deals with both the physical aspect of addiction and your mindset towards alcohol.
You may be wondering whether your drinking has become out of control. If any of the following warning signs seem familiar, it may be time to make some changes.
You may experience occasions when you’ve ended up drinking more than you thought you would or for longer than you’d planned. Keep an eye on the amount of time you spend drinking. This isn’t just the time spent consuming alcohol, but also the amount of time it takes to recover.
You may notice that your tolerance has increased and you crave and need more booze to get the same buzz. Over time, the brain adapts to alcohol and becomes less sensitive to its effects.
Your drinking may have started to edge out activities that you used to enjoy or prevent you from keeping up with responsibilities at home, work or school.
Drinking may be causing friction in your relationships. Alternatively, it may have led you to engage in risky behaviours. Yet despite this, you still continue to drink heavily.
When the effects of alcohol wear off, you may experience a range of withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol changes your brain chemistry. When you drink heavily over a long period of time, the brain tries to adapt. If you stop drinking, the brain has to readjust the chemical imbalance, thereby, creating uncomfortable physical and emotional sensations.
Your alcohol consumption may be affecting your health. If you have tried to cut back or quit but are unable to do so alone, admitting you have a problem is the first step.
If you are concerned about a loved one you may wonder how to spot the signs of alcoholism?
Speak to one of our fully trained Treatment Advisors today for advice and support.