Despite the fact that drinking is a cultural normal in today’s world, alcohol abuse can have severe impacts on a person’s life. Alcohol addiction can change the personal, professional and social life of anybody. As alcohol gradually starts controlling the human mind making the person addicted to it. But when does a casual drink turn into a substance abuse problem? What are the symptoms of alcohol addiction and what is the right way to deal with such problems? Find the answers to these questions and more in the following lines.
Causes of Alcohol addiction
A person doesn’t get addicted to alcohol intentionally. It all happens gradually when the person doesn’t limit himself at drinks. Having alcohol at parties occasionally is normal, but it may become addiction if you start drinking regularly. The alcohol you are having may start controlling your mind as when you drink more the chemical starts changing in your brain. This chemical change is actually a pre-sign of addiction. It will force you to drink more and would stop you from quitting it.
Signs of alcohol abuse
While each addiction is different, there are some universal warning signs that indicate when a person has an alcohol abuse problem.
- Social and professional life impact: when one’s drinking habits affect personal relationships, or interfere with work school or extracurricular activities.
- Risky behavior: when one frequently puts themselves at risk while intoxicated, either by engaging in dangerous activities or by performing tasks that are dangerous when intoxicated, such as driving or operating heavy machineries.
- Cravings and withdrawals: cravings are the subtlest withdrawal symptom, as they are the body’s way of asking for the substance to which it became addicted. However, there are also more serious withdrawal symptoms that can appear such as shakiness, anxiety, depression or nausea.
- Increased alcohol tolerance: like it goes with all drugs, the body develops a certain tolerance in the long run, requiring more and more of the substance to which it is addicted.
- Low self-control: manifested either by an inability to stop drinking, or by becoming defensive in regards to the alcohol abuse.
- Blackouts and aggressive behavior: many alcoholics experience frequent blackouts while intoxicated, and it is not uncommon for them to become violent or aggressive while under the influence.
- Making excuses: the person starts making excuses to drink more. They start finding ways to drink ignoring the advice of family.
These are the most common symptoms, but any situation in which a person endangers themselves or the people they love while intoxicated is a sign of trouble.
Long term effects of an alcohol addiction
Aside from the psychological and social effects, alcohol abuse will also take a toll on one’s body in the long run. The following are among the most common side effects of long term alcohol abuse:
- Liver damage
- Heart and brain damage
- Memory loss and dementia
Overcoming an alcohol addiction takes more than a single treatment, since this is rather a journey of recovery, which can be different for each individual. However, since the addiction manifests itself as brain diseases, a dual diagnosis treatment performed by both medical and mental health professionals can increase the chances of recovery. For example, Nexus recovery Services has the most comprehensive Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Los Angeles. Their recovery programs include a wide range of treatments such as:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy – a psychotherapy method that focuses on negative modifying behaviors, emotions and thoughts
- Motivational enhancement therapy – a therapy program focused on finding the right motivation for each individual addict
- Psychodynamic Therapy – a program that focuses the unconscious processes that drive a person’s behavior
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – a type of cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on helping patients learn new skills in order to lead a more fruitful life
- Gestalt Therapy – a form of therapy focused on resolving the patient’s past conflicts and their relationship with the world around them
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing – a type of therapy that uses bilateral stimulation to help patients process distressing memories
- Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy – a form of psychotherapy focused on helping patients resolve the emotional and behavioral problems that keep them from leading a happier life
- Family and group therapy
- Holistic therapy – this can include numerous positive activities such as art, surf, music, yoga and meditation, with the purpose of helping patients achieve mindfulness and awareness in order to lean happier and more peaceful lives
As you can see most treatments have a psychotherapeutic nature, but patients must also be assisted by medical professionals in their recovery journey, especially if they suffer from certain health problems that need to be constantly monitored. For chronic addictions, it is recommended for patients to enroll in a full hospitalization program in nexusrecoveryservices.com, to benefit from all available treatments and to minimize the chances of relapse. The best way to avoid the worse situation is start controlling your drinking habits as prevention is always better than cure.