You Can’t Have An Alcohol Addiction – Or Can You?

You Can't Have An Alcohol Addiction - Or Can You | HealthSoul

A police officer has never labeled you as someone driving under the influence. You’ve never been so desperate as to steal in order to take a drink. You function, have a home, maybe even work productively. There is no possibility that you suffer from alcohol addiction – or do you? The “stereotype” for alcoholism isn’t always a viable resource; there boast as up to five specific “types,” you’ll find alcoholism in varied forms. Most don’t understand how that one drink when the day is over with a coworker can evolve into what friends and family want to call an addiction. How do you know when you’ve genuinely reached that stage?

What Constitutes Being An Alcoholic

When you drink alcohol beyond what you can control or voluntarily stop indulging, you have become an alcoholic. In many instances, these individuals find themselves drinking daily with substantial quantities than most people can consume and habitually intoxicated.

The addiction is defined by “Alcoholics Anonymous” as ( quote) “a physical compulsion, coupled with a mental obsession to consume alcohol” (end quote). The person will find ways to satisfy their urge for the beverage even when they know they should not.

Alcoholism does not have a definitive cause recognized currently. The brain’s chemical makeup transforms when an individual drinks such a large quantity or so frequently with “alcohol use disorder.” Alcoholism is categorized as an addiction. Alcohol is an addiction, meaning there are no singular causes. Alcohol has the capacity to raise dopamine levels in the same fashion and to the same levels as other sorts of drugs, with the brain classifying the behavior as it would with a reward.

As time goes, the substance becomes something that is craved with the person responding to the craving based on several variables like psychology, environment, genes, stress, or avoiding it. Look at this guide on alcohol, “explained.”

Casual Drinking vs. Abuse

Unless they have personal or religious limitations, most people enjoy a few drinks either in a social situation or perhaps with dinner, which is not typically an issue. The problem is when alcohol becomes abused.

“Alcoholism” and “alcohol abuse” are verbiage that is used interchangeably. Still, the term “alcoholism” is specific to substance dependence or addiction, meaning the person consuming the drinks has a psychological or physical compulsion to do so. Abusing the substance relates more to a behavioral pattern of excessive consumption despite adverse repercussions. What constitutes heavy drinking:

  • Under Age 65 (men): two drinks per day or over 14 drinks each week
  • Over 65 (men/women):  one+ drinks per day or over 7 drinks each week

Binge drinkers will consume large quantities in a single sitting.

  • Men: 5+ drinks within a two-hour timeframe
  • Women: 4+ drinks within a two-hour timeframe

Drinking alcohol, whether abuse or alcoholism or even on what would be considered a “not heavy” scale, can begin to affect mental and physical health. Some of the most significant impacts are on relationships.

It affects parenting skills, finances, careers, hygiene, and on. Ailments that can develop can range from high blood pressure, depression, liver disease, cardiovascular disease, seizures, cancer, pancreatitis, weakened immunity, scarring of the liver, or cirrhosis.

What Are Some Warnings You’ve Developed An Addiction

Many people who consume alcohol have a difficult time admitting they have a problem, especially if they find they’re able to perform well with their jobs, at home with their families, take care of the household, basically function.

They genuinely don’t recognize they have an issue until things begin to fall apart. But no one wants it to get to that level. It’s essential to see the problem before it escalates so that you can seek help and prevent consequences. Let’s check out some warning signs to pay attention for:

  • Not finding interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Craving alcohol
  • Finding ways to consume the substance alone or secretly
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not drinking
  • Avoiding responsibility in order to drink
  • Becoming defensive or feeling guilt about consumption
  • Despite escalating financial, health, or family issues, drinking is the priority
  • Irritability and mood swings are becoming extreme
  • Seeking out a drink upon rising in the morning
  • Cannot stop and have little control over how much is consumed

In the world we live in currently, stress is becoming a chronic situation. Many people will take a drink when they get home from work in an effort to relax. Today, more people are struggling with this addiction, making it vital that you recognize the signs and realize you’re not alone if you do have an issue.

Individuals from all walks of life all over the country battle alcoholism, and these same people reach out for assistance when it becomes more than they can do on their own. Find a narrative on the 12-steps of recovery.

Are Alcoholism Effects Reversible

Having a mental or physical dependence on alcohol designates alcoholism. When alcohol becomes something that you obsess over continually, considering when you’ll have the next drink or if you’ve attempted to drop back to a smaller quantity with no success, you’ve likely become addicted.

The substance is a drug, and alcoholism is reliant on people becoming dependent on that substance. The more you consume, the body becomes tolerant, and the dependence grows stronger with any attempts to stop at that point resulting in withdrawal symptoms.

These become worse over time with the potential for fever, confusion, agitation, hallucination, and seizure in the worst situations. This is why medical assistance is critical when attempting to break free from alcoholism.

Some people need a few drinks to feel intoxicated, with some having the effects after merely one. (Drink= beer, 12 oz; wine, 5 oz; spirits 1.5 oz.) Despite excessive consumption and the harm associated with such, effects can be reversible in many cases if problem drinking is recognized and treatment is sought with a reputable recovery program (check out Taylor Recovery Sugarland) in the early stages. In this way, you avoid many of the emotional, mental, and physical repercussions.

But there comes the point where the consequences can be too severe. Cirrhosis and liver failure are excessive drinking complications that deem permanent. Despite these types of results, there is still hope, and you should not avoid treatment as there are many options available to enhance your overall quality of life. It is never too late to reach out, get help, and stop the habit.