The disease of alcoholism affects millions of Americans every year. Everyone with this addiction struggles with at least some consequences of it, but still fail to acknowledge the damage it is doing in their lives. Alcoholism is a progressive disease, meaning it slowly takes control of a person’s life until their physical being, finances, psychological health, and relationships are affected. Treatment is imperative for alcoholism, because without professional help, most people will not continue living sober for very long.
Alcohol addiction often sneaks up on people. Someone might start by going out with friends to have a few drinks. As they drink more frequently, the person can quickly develop a tolerance so that each time they go out, they drink more to get the same effects. Alcohol might also begin to fill a need, such as helping the person relax or be more personable in social settings. It might numb their physical or emotional pain or make it easier to face life in general. The problem is that when alcohol is abused and used to self-medicate, it becomes a very powerful addiction. Pretty soon the causal drinker will drink even when it isn’t appropriate, or will make bad decisions because of their drinking.
The Difference between Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Alcohol addiction starts out as alcohol abuse. Those that abuse alcohol are not necessarily addicted to it, but will show some of the signs of addiction. Over time, a person who abuses alcohol can become an alcoholic, which is classified as the inability to stop drinking. Those that are alcoholics will be hungover often, be able to drink large amounts of alcohol, fail to pay attention to responsibilities, experience medical complications related to the disease, and not be able to stop drinking without feeling withdrawal symptoms. People in this stage will need detox before they enter treatment.
Alcohol addiction brings with it many risks, including drunk driving, accidents, making poor decisions, alcohol poisoning and overdose. But the drinker won’t see any of these things happening. They will only see their desire for another drink, thinking maybe a drink will fix this problem too.
Effects of Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol dependence changes a person’s body and mind. As the body begins to get accustomed to a certain level of blood alcohol content, it becomes physically dependent on alcohol. The person may suffer from problems with the liver, heart, stomach, nervous system, and brain because of alcohol dependence. If alcohol is stopped suddenly, the alcoholic can go through some serious and sometimes deadly side effects.
Side effects of alcohol detox:
- Tremors, convulsions, or uncontrolled shaking
- Profuse sweating
- Extreme agitation or anxiety
- Nausea or vomiting
At this point, many alcoholics have lost many of the things that were once important to them. Their job, career, house, financial security, friends, and even family might walk away because of the alcoholism. Still others endure tumultuous relationships for years or decades because of alcoholism.
There is hope for alcohol addiction recovery. Recovery isn’t easy, but with the right program and support system, sobriety is completely possible. At Community Rehab we focus on helping you become the person you were meant to be, not by changing you deep down, but by helping you clear away the extra baggage that has been dragging you down. We work with clients individually and in small groups to help them learn how to live a sober life, without the control of drugs or alcohol. Learn more about our program here.
Our treatment services are designed to bring out your true authentic self without the drugs and alcohol.