Alcohol Addiction and Abuse

Enjoying the occasional glass or two of alcohol can be harmless and may even be healthy. There is some evidence that certain types of alcohol – especially red wine – may be beneficial to your health when consumed in moderation. Alcohol abuse, however, can lead to physical and mental health problems.

Alcohol abuse isn’t always easy to notice, but if you’re drinking as a coping mechanism or to avoid feeling bad, it’s best to speak to an addiction therapist, because you may have entered dangerous territory. A drinking problem can sneak up on you without you even noticing. It’s important to know if you’ve crossed a line, and then to monitor and reduce your intake. Understanding the problem can help you to cut back or quit altogether before long-term complications develop.

Alcoholism (which is also referred to as Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)) is a general term that refers to any consumption of alcohol that leads to physical, mental and behavioural disorders. Alcoholism can be broadly split into alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. Alcohol abuse is characterised by engaging in high-risk behaviours. Alcohol dependence is characterised by an irresistible physical or mental need for alcohol. If you’ve developed any form of alcoholism, you are likely to develop an increased tolerance for alcohol, and withdrawal symptoms can occur when you stop drinking.

Alcoholism can negatively impact your body, affecting your heart, brain, liver, pancreas, and immune system. Common illnesses linked to alcoholism include liver cirrhosis, irregular heartbeat and cancer.

In summary, alcohol abuse is compulsive consumption of alcohol to excess, despite awareness of its negative consequences. Alcohol dependency is a physical and/or mental dependence, which can result in withdrawal symptoms if you try to quit drinking. Alcohol dependence is classified as a chronic disease with progressive and possibly fatal symptoms.

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In 2013, 139,000 deaths from alcohol abuse were recorded globally, while another 384,000 people were diagnosed with liver cirrhosis as a result of excessive consumption of alcohol.

If you suspect you have a drinking problem or know a loved one who does, don’t wait for things to get worse. Contact a substance abuse counsellor, who can provide effective and confidential addiction treatment to help you kick your habit and get your life back on track.

Effects of Alcohol Abuse and Addiction

Not everyone who abuses alcohol will become a full-blown alcoholic. Nonetheless, it’s a risky habit that can lead to a variety of illnesses and social issues. Alcoholism can develop suddenly, due to a stressful change, such as a job loss, breakup, or bereavement. It can also creep up on you after years of social drinking, during which your alcohol tolerance gradually increases. If you binge drink or alcohol is a part of your daily diet, there’s an increased likelihood of developing some form of

alcoholism. Alcohol abuse and dependency can negatively impact all aspects of your life. Long-term abuse can result in serious or even fatal health complications by affecting your brain and practically every other organ in your body. Excessive drinking can also harm your finances, emotional stability, career, and relationships with family, friends and colleagues.

The social consequences of alcohol addiction can be just as devastating. Alcoholics are more likely to have problems with domestic violence and to struggle with unemployment. Drinking heavily, compulsively and frequently places an enormous amount of strain on the people closest to you.

Don’t let alcohol take control of your life. Fight back today by getting help with alcoholism at an addiction treatment centre near you.

Recognising the Onset of a Drinking Problem

Compulsive and obsessive drinking is often heralded by a variety of changes in your personality and the way you think. If you or a loved one have begun developing substance dependence from alcohol abuse, you will likely notice the following symptoms:

  • An inability to control how much you drink in a single sitting.
  • An inability to control when you drink, which will lead to you abusing alcohol at all times of the day, including in inappropriate environments.
  • Experiencing uncontrollable urges to drink.
  • An increased tolerance for alcohol, which leads you to drinking higher quantities before you can achieve the desired effect.
  • Feeling that you can’t function normally without having a drink, so that you drink to feel ‘normal’ or ‘good’.
  • Hiding alcohol around the house, in your car, at work, or other locations you frequent.
  • Drinking alone in secret.
  • Severe irritability when you can’t get a drink, especially at moments when you are experiencing strong cravings.
  • Continued abuse of alcohol, even though you are aware that it is negatively impacting your personal or professional life.
  • Abandoning activities you once enjoyed, in favour of drinking.
  • Experiencing blackouts – periods of time following drinking bouts when you can’t remember what you did or who you were with.

Do You Have a Drinking Problem?

You might find it difficult to realise that you have developed a drinking problem, or you might suspect, deep down, that you have a drinking problem but not want to face up to it. As drinking is a common feature of many cultures around the world and because alcohol affects each individual differently, it can be tricky figuring out when you’ve crossed the line between social drinking and problem drinking.

Consider whether you have experienced or displayed any of the following:

  • Feeling ashamed or guilty about your drinking, and feeling the need to hide the habit
  • Lying to others about your drinking
  • Friends, family or others raising issues about your drinking
  • Feeling an urge to drink in order to feel better
  • Experience blackouts after binge drinking
  • Drinking in dangerous situations, such as whilst driving or operating other machinery
  • Drinking in higher quantities and more frequently than you intend

Simply put, if your drinking is causing problems in your life (or causing problems for those closest to you), you probably have a drinking problem.

How Much Drinking is Too Much?

What counts as too much drinking will vary from individual to individual, due to differences in physiology and tolerance levels. However, if you are unable to control your drinking and your habit is causing complications for you and others around you, then you are probably drinking too much.

What are the Risks?

Moderate or light drinking might be beneficial to your health, but drinking excessively and compulsively can lead to a variety of health issues, including risks to your mental and physical well-being. Excessive drinking can also lead to behavioural disorders that will compromise your relationship with others.

Common risks associated with alcohol abuse include financial problems, emotional instability, and damage to your career and

relationships, along with health problems such as cancer, sexual impotence, liver disease and cardiovascular illness.

Risks Associated with Drinking Problems and Alcoholism

There is a wide range of health risks, both physical and psychological associated with alcoholism. These include:

  • Liver diseases – such as hepatitis or cirrhosis.
  • Brain disease or brain damage, such as the development of Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome or dementia. Alcoholism can also damage the central nervous system over time and even lead to seizures.
  • Cancers, including cancers of the bowel, liver, pancreas and other parts of the digestive tract.
  • Cardiovascular disease, which can result in a stroke or heart attack.

Stages of Alcoholism

Alcoholism often results from a gradual decline into alcohol dependency. Alcoholism typically develops through several stages:

Early-Stage Alcoholism: Drinking goes from being a casual, social activity into something you feel you cannot do without. It becomes a daily habit, which you use to cope with anxiety, stress or other personal issues.

A clear symptom of early stage alcoholism is an increase in the frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption. There may be few other obvious signs, although when challenged about your drinking, you may deny it or become defensive.

As consumption increases, your liver adapts to cope with higher levels of alcohol, leading to an increase in your tolerance.

Middle-Stage Alcoholism: As addiction progresses to the middle stage, your drinking increases further as you become dependent on alcohol to function normally. Controlling your drinking becomes very difficult, as you experience powerful cravings for a drink and might physically need it to stave off painful symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms may occur between six to 24 hours after your last drink and can include tremors, restlessness, headache, nausea, vomiting and insomnia. Psychological symptoms such as mood swings, depression and feelings of guilt or shame can also occur.

You might begin drinking early in the day and hide alcohol in secret places, where it can be easily accessed. Middle-stage alcoholics are also prone to irritability or anger when confronted about their drinking habits.

End-Stage Alcoholism: This stage of alcoholism is extremely dangerous. A full recovery from addiction can still be made at this stage, but it is more difficult. Also known as the deteriorative stage, in this phase alcoholics have become consumed by their drinking and suffer severe mental and physical damage. Drinking is round-the-clock and quitting feels impossible. Professional intervention, detox and rehabilitation are required, because withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening if such an addict tries to quit ‘cold turkey’.

Late-stage alcoholics may be homeless and have lost their family and job. Severe damage is likely to have been sustained to the stomach, liver and brain.

At any stage of alcoholism, compassionate specialists can help you make a full recovery.

Alcohol Addiction: Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of alcoholism can differ from individual to individual. The symptoms can be separated into physical and psychological, and some of the more commonplace include:
Physical symptoms:

  • Cancer
  • Cirrhosis
  • Coma
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Shakiness
  • Increased tolerance
  • Tremors
  • Withdrawal symptoms

Psychological symptoms:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Cravings
  • Depression
  • Exhaustion
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Inability to quit or control drinking
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Confusion
  • Increased aggression
  • Decreased inhibitions, leading to risky behaviour

Health Problems Associated with Alcoholism

Aside from physical disorders caused by the abuse of alcohol, your drinking habit can also put you at risk of injuries and brain damage. It can also lead to birth defects in the case of pregnant women.

Injuries

Alcohol abuse reduces your inhibitions, which can lead to you participating in risky behaviour that may result in physical harm or causing accidental harm to others. This is especially likely if you are operating a vehicle, heavy machinery or dangerous equipment whilst intoxicated.

Injury stemming from alcoholism can also be brought about by deliberate self-injury whilst intoxicated. This might be inflicted by burning or cutting oneself, pulling out hair, hitting walls with bare fists or exhibiting other forms of harmful behaviour.

Brain Damage

Alcohol abuse over time can cause mild to severe damage to the brain, due to the neurotoxic effects of alcohol on the brain. Some of this brain damage may recover over time, once a person quits drinking, but some may be irreversible. Brain damage can lead to complications such as depression, anxiety, dementia, psychosis and confusion.

Birth Defects

Women who abuse alcohol during pregnancy increase the risk of fetal alcohol syndrome. Fetal alcohol syndrome can cause physical abnormalities and developmental difficulties. Foetal exposure to alcohol can adversely affect brain development and even cause miscarriage. Associated defects can include developmental problems for the brain and nervous system, the eyes, lungs and heart.

Behavioural Problems Associated with Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol abuse can lead to behavioural disorders. Impaired judgement is one of the greatest risks of alcohol abuse; it can lead alcoholics to harm themselves or others, and also reduces sexual inhibitions, which can lead to risky sexual behaviours that result in unwanted pregnancies or contracting sexually-transmitted infections such as HIV.

Behavioural problems caused by alcohol abuse can negatively impact the lives of

addicts and those around them. Aspects of life commonly affected include relationships, school, and work. The severity of behaviour disorders can range from mild to severe, depending on the intensity of addiction amongst other factors.

Some commonly seen behavioural traits arising from alcohol abuse include:

  • Conduct Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
  • Self-harming or cutting

Alcohol and Medicine Reactions

Different types of medication (including herbal remedies) can react negatively with alcohol. This is why it’s generally recommended to avoid taking alcohol at the same time as medication. Common medicines (including over the counter drugs) that interact badly with alcohol include:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Anxiety or depression medicine
  • Aspirin
  • Cold and allergy medicine
  • Cough syrup
  • Pain medication
  • Sleeping pills

If alcohol is mixed with contraindicated medication, it can lead to problems such as:

  • Abnormal behaviour
  • Accidents
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Fainting
  • Headaches
  • Loss of coordination
  • Nausea and vomiting

There may also be complications such as liver damage, heart problems, depression, impaired breathing and internal bleeding. Some drug-alcohol reactions can be fatal.

Alcohol and Other Illicit Drugs

The effects of taking illegal drugs when drinking is unpredictable, but mixing such substances with alcohol increases the dangers of drug abuse. Mixing drugs and alcohol can exaggerate their effects, leading to health complications. The safest thing to do is avoid the use of illegal drugs, especially when drinking.

Alcohol is a depressant and when combined with stimulants such as cocaine, can lead to unpredictable results. The stimulant will try to speed up your body functions, while the depressant tries to slow brain/central nervous system functions, putting your body under stress. If you mix alcohol with another depressant – heroin for example – their effects may be amplified and can be dangerous and even fatal.

In summary, alcohol and illicit drugs make for a potentially lethal cocktail.

Alcohol Addiction in Women

Women become more impaired than men when drinking the same quantity of alcohol. Women generally weigh less and have a higher percentage of body fat than men, which increases the concentration of alcohol in the bloodstream after drinking.

Research has also shown that women become more easily intoxicated one to three days before the start of their menstrual period. Another reason why alcohol affects women more intensely is that, compared to men, they produce less of the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase. This enzyme breaks down alcohol before it gets into the bloodstream, so having less means that more alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream.

Alcohol Addiction in Older Adults

As you age, your body’s tolerance for alcohol significantly reduces. Older adults, therefore, experience the effects of alcohol more quickly than if they were younger. This places older adults at higher risk of injury if addicted to alcohol. Aside from injury, there’s also the increased risk of health problems.

Some health problems that older alcoholics might face include:

  • Damaging interactions with medication
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver problems
  • Memory problems
  • Mood disorders
  • Osteoporosis

Overview of Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol’s effects vary from individual to individual, but are typically determined by the following factors:

  • How much you drink
  • Your age
  • How often you drink
  • Your health status
  • your family history (especially concerning addiction)

Drinking too much can lead to a range of problems, including reduced inhibitions, confusion and slurred speech. Severe alcohol abuse can lead to more serious consequences, such as:

  • Memory or concentration problems
  • Coma
  • Breathing problems
  • Death

Chronic severe alcohol abuse can lead to conditions such as Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, and increased risk of cancer.

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Mental Health Issues and Alcohol Use Disorder

Mental health disorders and alcohol addiction co-occur frequently. Surveys have shown that compared to non-alcoholics, the odds of developing an anxiety or a mood disorder is 2.6 and 3.6 times higher, respectively if you are dependent on alcohol.

The co-occurrence of mental disorders and alcoholism has far-reaching implications, which involve:

  • Greater risk of interpersonal, psychological, and social problems
  • Impaired decision making
  • Increased risk of relapse
  • Increased risk of self-harm (including the risk of suicide)
  • Poor response to therapy

A co-occurring disorder also increases the likelihood of polydrug abuse; that is, abusing multiple substances simultaneously. Polydrug abuse often occurs as addicts try to self-medicate to achieve relief from the symptoms of a psychiatric illness or reduce the adverse effects of medicines used to treat mental or behavioural disorders.

Alcohol Addiction Statistics

Statistics show that worldwide, alcohol kills more adolescents than every other drug combined. Alcohol abuse among teenagers contributes to the three leading causes of death (accidents, homicides and suicides) among 15 to 24 year olds.

Illegal drugs are 7.5 times more likely to be used by youths who abuse alcohol. They are fifty times more likely to use cocaine, compared to youths who don’t drink.

One survey indicated that 32% of heavy drinkers over the age of 12 are also illegal substance abusers.

In 2005, of the almost 4 million Americans who had treatment for substance abuse, 2.5 million of them were specifically treated for alcohol abuse. Meanwhile, between 2005 and 2006, there were almost 190,000 alcohol-related hospital admissions in England.

In the US alone, there were 12,998 alcohol-related traffic deaths in 2007, and there are roughly 1.4 million arrests for drunk driving in the US every year.

According to the United States Department of Justice, about 40% of violent crimes involve perpetrators under the influence of alcohol. In England, there were 6,570 deaths in 2005 and 8,758 in 2006 with causes directly linked to alcoholism.

In the whole of Europe, alcohol abuse plays a part in 1 in 10 premature deaths and illnesses each year. Globally, 39% of traffic deaths in 2005 involved alcohol, while 40% of violent crimes that same year occurred under the influence of alcohol.

The Hidden Costs of Alcoholism

Alcohol addiction is a costly habit to maintain – not just financially, but also the toll it takes on relationships, your social life, and at work.

Your family relationships and friendships are likely to suffer due to your addiction. Education and employment are also likely to suffer.

How to Approach and Help an Alcoholic

Approaching a loved one and advising them to get treatment for substance addiction is a challenge. Most addicts fail to realise they have a problem or simply choose to ignore it. This isn’t necessarily their fault, as addiction has a way of changing the way people think. When approaching a loved one about getting treatment for addiction, you have to do so carefully in order to get through to them.

Useful tips for getting your loved one to face up to alcoholism include:

  • Avoid being confrontational or accusatory, as you can cause a loved one to become defensive and avoidant. Some might even lash out. Show compassion while trying to talk a loved one into getting addiction treatment.
  • Do not get into an argument with an addict, and remain calm at all times whilst trying to convince a loved one to get help. Speak in a calm tone and try to reason with them.
  • Explain to a loved one how their addiction is negatively affecting the lives and happiness of those around them. Most of the time an addict is blind to how their actions are hurting those around them.
  • For best results, don’t confront a loved one about addiction on your own and be sure to speak to them when they are sober.
  • Last but not least, don’t give up. Convincing an addict to quit substance abuse often takes more than one go. Keep at it and remain compassionate in your approach.

If you would like professional help with convincing a loved one to quit, look for an expert interventionist.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol abuse and addiction over a long period of time put you at high risk for severe medical consequences. But trying to quit alcohol suddenly – after becoming physically dependent – can also be dangerous. This is you are recommended to access proper medical care and supervision once you decide to quit drinking. Common alcoholism withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Tremors, convulsions, or uncontrollable shaking
  • Profuse sweating
  • Extreme agitation or anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Delirium tremens (a constellation of the above symptoms]

Alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances to withdraw and detox from. If you are ready to quit, contact a substance abuse counsellor to arrange for professional treatment that’ll not only keep you safe but also boost your chances of making a full recovery, while minimising the chances of long-term complications.

Alcohol Detox and Addiction Treatment

Medically assisted detoxification is essential for safe withdrawal from alcohol dependence. Detox is the first step in recovering from alcohol addiction. Because detox is often accompanied by extreme withdrawal symptoms, you might not be very keen on going through it. Medical supervision can help ensure the detox process is as comfortable and stress-free as possible by supervising a medically assisted detox. It can significantly reduce withdrawal symptoms during the detox process. Monitoring and management by professionals also reduce your chances of relapsing after treatment.

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Cutting Back vs. Quitting Alcohol Altogether

When attempting to quit alcohol, you can either go ‘cold turkey’ or gradually wean yourself off. Quitting cold turkey involves abruptly stopping drinking alcohol. This method of quitting an addiction can be dangerous and can also lead to severe withdrawal symptoms.

On the other hand, you could try gradually reducing the quantity of alcohol you consume over a period of time until you completely

stop. With this approach, you are less likely to experience severe withdrawal symptoms, which might make it more suitable if you are trying to quit on your own, but be aware that cutting back is almost impossible for alcoholics.

Regardless whether you’d prefer to quit suddenly or gradually cut back, it’s best if your detox is managed by medical professionals who will monitor your health and ensure there are no complications as you work towards recovery.

When Is It Time for Alcohol Addiction Treatment?

You don’t have to wait for the situation to worsen before you seek professional medical assistance for the treatment of alcoholism. If you suspect that you or a loved one is addicted to alcohol, it is best to visit a treatment clinic immediately for an evaluation.

The sooner you address addiction, the sooner you can begin recovery and limit the risk of long-term health complications. Symptoms that indicate you need prompt alcohol addiction treatment include:

  • Feeling ashamed or guilty about your drinking, and that you need to hide your habit
  • Lying to others about your drinking
  • Having friends or family raise issues about your drinking
  • Feeling an urge to drink in order to feel better
  • Experiencing blackouts after binge drinking
  • Drinking in dangerous situations, such as whilst driving or operating other machinery
  • Drinking in higher quantities and more frequently than you intend

Treatment Setting: Inpatient or Outpatient?

If your addiction is severe and you’re suffering from co-occurring disorders, you are probably better off getting treatment at an inpatient facility, where you can benefit from a medically assisted detox, as well as 24/7 care from medical professionals. An outpatient treatment facility may be better suited for individuals with less severe addiction, who’d prefer to receive treatment compatible with their daily activities, such as work or college.

At an inpatient facility, your recovery can be monitored in a controlled environment, helping you to stay focused on sobriety and avoid stressors and triggers that would normally cause you to drink.

Tips for Selecting Alcohol Treatment

A variety of factors should be taken into consideration when selecting alcohol treatment. To pick the treatment that best suits your unique circumstances, think about:

  • Cost of treatment
  • Duration of treatment
  • Location of treatment facility and how much privacy it offers
  • The treatment environment
  • Types of treatment available (look for individualised treatment)
  • Aftercare services

Types of Professionals Involved in Alcohol Treatment and Care

Specialists you might encounter when getting treatment for alcohol addiction include psychology specialists, who oversee the psychological aspects of therapy, and medical professionals such as physicians, who administer medication and oversee the physical aspects of treatment (especially for withdrawal symptoms).

Options for Alcohol Treatment

At a good rehab facility, you should have access to some or all of the following types of treatment:

  • Traditional rehab – uses medication and psychotherapy to address addiction
  • Holistic alcohol treatment – typically doesn’t use medication
  • Teen-specific treatment – designed to care for adolescents suffering from substance dependence
  • Executive alcohol rehab – designed for executives and businesspeople who want to overcome addiction
  • Dual diagnosis treatment – cares for addiction alongside co-occurring disorders
  • Luxury rehab – features first class convenience and pampering for addicts in recovery
  • 12-step programmes – such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

The Detoxification Process

The detoxification process clears all alcohol-related toxins from your system, so you can be physically ready for rehab. During detox, you are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms, which can range from mild to intense in terms of discomfort.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms typically begin within five to 24 hours after your last drink. During withdrawal, you may feel irritable, restless and agitated. The professionals overseeing your treatment and the withdrawal process will try to keep you as comfortable as possible.

Symptoms such as nausea, impaired judgement, seizures, high temperatures, hallucinations, and sensitivity to sound may be experienced during detox. An inpatient facility can provide round-the-clock treatment to minimise your discomfort and prevent life-threatening complications.

An inpatient detox programme will provide 24-hour care with physicians and other treatment professionals monitoring your withdrawal symptoms and recovery progress. If your addiction and withdrawal symptoms are especially bad, medication can be prescribed to assist with withdrawal from alcohol and facilitate detox. Medications commonly used in such a scenario include benzodiazepines, Baclofen, Antabuse, Clonidine, and beta blockers.

Long-Term Alcohol Rehabilitation

Detox alone isn’t sufficient to make a full recovery from alcohol addiction. If you don’t go through long-term alcohol rehabilitation (after detox is complete) the chances are high that you’ll suffer a relapse. With long-term alcohol rehabilitation, you can learn how to better handle cravings and identify the stressors and triggers that drive you to drink. This knowledge will help you stay sober long-term.

Comprehensive long-term alcohol rehabilitation programmes often include:

  • Therapy designed to address the core issues that fostered alcohol abuse, as well as develop skills to prevent relapse.
  • Family involvement in alcohol addiction treatment. This may be accomplished through family therapy.
  • 12-step groups or other support groups that can provide a strong social support system of other recovering alcoholics.
  • Treatment of co-occurring psychological disorders.

People who treat their recovery as a lifelong process through long-term alcohol rehabilitation have a higher chance of not relapsing and staying sober.


FAQs

Why Is Alcohol Addictive?

When you drink, dopamine levels in your brain are elevated, triggering pleasurable sensations. Drinking can boost these feelings and increase self-confidence. Dopamine levels drop as alcohol clears from your bloodstream.

Frequent spikes in dopamine levels due to alcohol abuse can cause your brain to become habituated and stop producing normal levels of dopamine on its own. The more you drink, the more tolerant to alcohol you’ll become, leading to substance dependence and addiction, as your body comes to rely on alcohol to function normally.

When the effects of alcohol wear off, you may suffer withdrawal symptoms that range from mild to life-threatening.

What are Heavy Drinking and Binge Drinking?

Heavy drinking is the consumption of high volumes of alcohol over a long period of time. Binge drinking is consuming large amounts of alcohol in a single sitting. Binge drinking often results in black-outs.

What is Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol addiction is a physical and/or mental dependence on alcohol that can result in withdrawal symptoms if you try to quit drinking. The condition is typically identified by a compulsive physical and psychological need to consume alcohol, even when you know you shouldn’t.

What are the Symptoms of Alcoholism?

Symptoms of alcoholism generally include:

  • Acknowledgement of side effects or medical complications of alcohol abuse, but still being unable to quit
  • Increased tolerance of alcohol and gradual rise in the amount of alcohol being consumed
  • Reduced attention to personal and professional responsibilities
  • Repeated unsuccessful efforts to reduce alcohol consumption
  • Significant hangovers and increasingly drawn out recovery from the after-effects of alcohol abuse
  • Withdrawal symptoms when unable to consume alcohol

Will I be Able to Quit Alcohol?

Yes. With professional assistance, you can successfully quit alcohol. A full recovery from alcohol addiction usually requires medically assisted detox as well as long-term rehab in either an inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment facility.

How Long Will It Take to be Free from Alcohol Addiction?

How long it takes to overcome alcohol addiction will differ from individual to individual. Once you quit alcohol, withdrawal symptoms will begin to taper off and reduce in intensity after five to seven days. Psychological side effects may continue if not properly treated.

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