Alcohol addiction is not an uncommon issue and it is characterized by an unhealthy dependence on alcohol that interferes with one’s daily functioning. Fortunately, should you or someone you know be facing a problem with alcohol abuse, alcohol treatment centers are within reach and offer an opportunity to access recovery and various resources to living a life free of addiction.
What Is Alcohol Addiction?
Simply put, alcohol addiction, alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder (AUD) is the desire for alcohol and the incapability to stop drinking regardless of the damaging effects on a person’s health and life.
According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), alcohol addiction is considered a mental health disorder where alcohol causes lasting changes in the brain’s functioning, creating a dependency on alcohol. It is a progressive disorder, meaning its impact on an individual’s health and life worsens with prolonged use. This is why recognizing it as a problem and getting treated as soon as possible is key to overcoming alcoholism.
The prevailing risk factors for developing an alcohol addiction include:
- Binge and heavy drinking
- Drinking before the age of 15
- Having a family history of alcohol issues
- Co-occurring mental health conditions
- A history of traumatic experiences
What Are The Signs?
Symptoms of alcohol abuse can vary from mild to extreme and often are very different for each individual. Additionally, alcohol abuse negatively impacts individuals and their mental, physical, and social health. The following general, physical, psychological, and social signs are indicative of a developing or existing alcohol abuse problem:
- Regularly drinking more than planned
- Failed attempts at stopping bad drinking behavior
- Finding that you need to drink more in order to feel a buzz
- Feelings of withdrawal when not drinking and constantly craving a drink of alcohol
- Continuing drinking habits even though you know it’s negatively impacting your health
- Drinking more than usual
- Spending more time and money on alcohol use
- Taking more time to recover from the effects of alcohol
- Showing signs of intoxication, for example, garbled speech or poor coordination
- Decline in self-care and hygiene
- Smelling of alcohol
- Substantial weight changes
More prolonged use of alcohol will result in signs such as:
- Cardiac problems
- Liver issues
- Various cancers
- A vulnerable immune system
- Quick mood changes
- An increase in irritability, anger, and aggression
- Lack of responsibility
- A heightening of anxiety
- Delusional thinking or even hallucinations during times of withdrawal
It’s also worth noting that these psychological signs can often mask other mental health conditions or amplify current disorders.
- Spending more time alone or in new and changing social groups
- An increase in dishonesty
- Not following through with plans
- Growing conflicts with those around you
- Declining performance in work, school, or sport
Usually, people struggling with alcohol addiction are often inconsistent and unpredictable in their social exchanges.
How Alcohol Addiction Affects Everyday Life
Unfortunately, when someone is suffering from alcohol use disorder, it becomes the main focus of their life. They start to spend more time and money on buying and drinking alcohol. Sadly, this means they have less time to devote to doing the things they used to love.
Family, hobbies, and work eventually take a back seat to alcoholism. Lying can become a habit. Money earmarked for household necessities will often be used on alcohol instead. These behaviors usually lead to conflict within the family. Keeping a regular schedule becomes more difficult for those suffering from AUD as recovery from being drunk or hungover takes more time. Among others, being intoxicated can also lead to an increased risk of injury to oneself or harming other people.
How Can A Treatment Program Help?
Not all hope is lost. Those living with alcohol addiction can find the road to health through professional help at an alcohol addiction treatment center. These treatment centers are specifically designated for people facing similar problems. Here, individuals can find a sense of community as they take steps towards recovery. Long-term recovery is attainable with a personal addiction treatment plan.
The American Psychiatric Association has put together standards for measuring whether or not one can benefit from a treatment program. And if you meet the criteria for needing a treatment program for alcohol use disorder, you should consider contacting an alcohol addiction treatment center for help. At The Rubicon, we offer individualized care for those struggling with addiction. The first stage to expect at an alcohol addiction treatment center is the withdrawal process. Everyone will experience this differently, but it often includes insomnia, fever, anxiety, vomiting, headaches, and more. These symptoms shouldn’t last more than 48 hours. After this stage, you’ll resume inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment. These rehabilitation programs aim to help you work through the root cause of your addiction in a safe space. The final stage is the encouragement to partake in outpatient addiction treatment in the form of support group programs that help reduce your chance of relapsing.
What Do I Need to Know to Get Started?
If you’re not sure if you need treatment, take The Rubicon’s self-assessment to determine if our program would be helpful to you.
How The Rubicon Can Help
At the Rubicon, we have a 3-day outpatient approach drug abuse treatment that will help you start your recovery, and it includes:
- Awareness: How has substance abuse affected your life and the life of those around you? How has addiction impacted your personal and relationship values? And, how have your addictive patterns of behavior impacted your life?
- Action Planning: A plan to maintain your recovery on a long-term basis. A plan to establish and maintain a supportive network of relationships throughout your recovery. And, a plan to establish and maintain ongoing activities to avoid a relapse.
- Wellness: This phase addresses a plan to establish and maintain your physical and emotional well-being throughout recovery.
As a team of trained professionals, we offer a highly personalized, collaborative approach to substance abuse treatment. We are committed to addiction treatment and provide caring and compassion in an outpatient clinic setting.