Alcohol addiction is a very serious issue in the United States today that often requires a strong alcoholism treatment plan to overcome. As many as 18 million Americans regularly consume excessive amounts of alcohol, with many of them developing full blown alcoholism.
Alcoholism is when the body and mind can no longer function without alcohol, where the person suffers intense cravings, agitation, and anxiety when they do not have access to alcohol for a long enough time. Alcoholism can be deadly – organ failure, brain damage, and death are all very real possibilities if someone’s addiction to alcohol is left untreated. It is for these reasons that alcoholism treatment is essential.
If you or someone you know might be suffering from an alcohol dependence find help as soon as possible for addiction recovery. Alcoholism treatment combined with support from friends or loved ones is the key to a life of sobriety. Call today at (203) 885-1746 for help finding drug treatment centers,
As mentioned, alcoholism is when physical dependence on alcohol sets in. Intoxication brings a pleasurable feeling the brain that people seek for various reasons, be it for fun, to experiment, or to avoid the stress and anxieties of their daily life.
Not everyone who drinks alcohol will become addicted, but alcohol is absolutely an addictive substance, and consuming it regularly or in large quantities is courting disaster. Alcoholics develop a tolerance to alcohol, meaning they must consume more and more of it to achieve the desired pleasurable effect.
Symptoms of alcoholism include sweats, poor hygiene, insomnia, changes in weight, mood swings, and sometimes even hallucinations and nightmares if the disease is allowed to progress. Alcoholics often cannot maintain close relationships or focus on their careers, and depression often follows as a result. Alcoholics are also at higher risk of suicide.
One of the early signs that addiction may be starting to take hold is consistent alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse is different than full-blown alcoholism: alcoholism is an addiction to alcohol, whereas alcohol abuse is any act of consuming alcohol in quantities beyond what is safe.
Binge drinking is a form of alcohol abuse, where a person consumes large quantities of alcohol in a short amount of time to achieve intoxication. Blackout drinking is another form, where a person drinks so much they pass out, or can no longer remember what occurs to them. Young adults and teenagers are especially prone to alcohol abuse at parties and social gatherings, though the behavior is not uncommon among adults.
As a rule, alcoholics lack self-control and are generally unhealthy. Addiction cannot be beaten with mere willpower. Addicts suffering from alcohol withdrawal experience cravings so intense they can sometimes turn violent, as well as vomiting, gastrointestinal distress, and sometimes fatal organ failure due to the shock of no longer having alcohol in their system.
There is only one safe option – rehab, which helps millions of addicts across America each year. Alcoholics Anonymous alone lays claim to roughly 1.3 million members, many of whom continue to volunteer in the program years after achieving sobriety.
Addiction recovery follows four basic steps:
The first is the initiation phase, where the addict is introduced to the program and begins the process of medical detoxification, or letting alcohol purge from their system. This is an unpleasant process, with vomiting, severe cravings, and emotional distress all common symptoms that can last over a week.
Next comes the early abstinence phase, where the patient learns coping mechanisms and new skills they can use to avoid relapsing into addiction. This period involves extensive therapy, both in group and private sessions, to identify “triggers”, or dangerous situations where a person is likely to relapse, such as going to a bar with a bunch of rowdy friends.
After this phase comes the maintenance phase, where the patient gradually segues back into normal life. Most programs require the patient to maintain contact with a sponsor, a person who is personally invested in the patient’s recovery and remain available to offer support and guidance during rough periods.
Finally, the advanced recovery stage begins, where sobriety has become a habit and the patient can successfully manage their urges on their own. Addiction is never fully cured, but the patient can be trusted to make good choices on their own.
Addiction treatment is a life changing experience, and almost always for the better. If you suspect someone of being at risk of alcoholism, please suggest an alcoholism treatment program to them at once.