Does It Physically And Mentally Hurt If You Stop Drinking
Alcohol dependence is no joke. Headaches, tremors, nausea, anxiety, hallucinations, or seizures when you stop drinking mean your body cannot function without booze. Alcohol withdrawal can become unexpectedly severe in a matter of hours. It is important that you seek professional help and a medically supervised alcohol detox if you are dependent.
Evaluating The Costs And Benefits Of Drinking
Make a table like the one below, weighing the costs and benefits of drinking to the costs and benefits of quitting.
|Is drinking worth the cost?
|Benefits of drinking
What Is Alcohol Dependence
Alcohol dependence, sometimes known as alcoholism, is the most serious form of drinking problem and describes a strong, often uncontrollable, desire to drink.
Drinking plays an important part in the day to day life of alcohol dependent people, which could lead to building up a physical tolerance or experiencing withdrawal symptoms if they stop.
There are varying degrees of alcohol dependence and they dont always involve excessive levels of drinking. If you find that you need to share a bottle of wine with your partner most nights of the week, or always go for a few pints after work, just to unwind, youre likely to be drinking at a level that could affect your long-term health.
You could also be becoming dependent on alcohol. If you find it very difficult to enjoy yourself or relax without having a drink, you could have become psychologically dependent on alcohol. Physical dependence can follow too, that is your body shows withdrawal symptoms, such as sweating, shaking and nausea, when your blood alcohol level falls.
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Alcohol Abuse Or Alcohol Dependence
The terms alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence are often used interchangeably, when in fact medically speaking, there is clear distinction between the two. Both involve the serious misuse of alcohol likely to cause real damage to health and wellbeing. But while people with alcohol abuse problems usually manage to carry on their lives with some semblance of normality, once dependence kicks in, the alcohol takes over.
Alcohol abuse refers to regular excessive drinking which has a more tangible negative effect on peoples lives2. Examples of this include failing to fulfil work, family or social obligations as a result of recurrent drinking encounters with the law or emergency services arising from excessive alcohol use or regularly combining alcohol with physically hazardous situations, such as driving or operating machinery.
If you are worried that you are abusing or misusing alcohol, visit our page on binge drinking.
Moderation Is A Hard Place To Find
Manageability is vital to the life of a person in recovery. If the goal is to drink in moderation, then I encourage folks to consider how many aspects of their life are at a happy medium. If were not able to do moderation in our careers, in our close relationships or in managing our daily lives, then drinking in moderation is more of a pipe dream than anything else.
Its worth considering not only how much alcohol constitutes moderation, but what our motives are as well. We must consider, are we drinking for enjoyment, purpose, or for affect? We put ourselves in harms way when we drink to cope with negative emotions, relieve stress, or to overcome social anxiety. I urge folks to talk this over with loved ones, not only to consider motives but also to consider how they feel about us drinking and what their concerns are.
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Is Drinking One Of Your Top Priorities
People who are dependent on alcohol would rather drink alone than spend sober time with their loved ones. They would rather spend money on the hard stuff than on food, activities, and bills. They would rather go to a late bar alone than go home with their friends. Many people addicted to alcohol experience fractured relationships with friends, family, and partners because drinking is almost always the most important thing.
How To Get Rid Of Addiction
The very first and most important step is to admit to yourself that you may have a problem. Then it’s important to seek out experts. “Come to find out where you’re at. The treatment is at the beginning, one consultation might really be all it takes,” explains the doctor.
You can visit a drug treatment center and be treated on an ambulatory basis. If the condition is more severe, it’s also possible to treat it with an intensive form.
Although breaking addiction is difficult, it’s certainly not impossible. If you resonated with the article and you feel that you might have a problem, do not hesitate to get in touch with experts to get out of it.
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How To Reduce Your Risk Of Becoming Alcohol Dependent
Taking regular breaks from alcohol is the best way to lower your risk of becoming dependent on it. If you drink regularly, your body builds up a tolerance to alcohol. Tolerance is a physiological response we have to any drug: the more you consume, the more your body needs to have the same effect. Regular drinking induces certain enzymes in your liver that break up alcohol. If you drink heavily over weeks or months, levels of these enzymes go up, your tolerance builds and you need more alcohol to get the same effects 3.
Brain systems get tolerant to alcohol too, and although you may be able to walk a straight line after drinking quite a lot, this means the brain has adapted so that next day the brain cells expect alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and jitteriness occur, and you can find yourself drinking alcohol just to relieve that.
When youre drinking most days you can become psychologically dependent on alcohol too.
Breaking your drinking cycle is an important way to test for and tackle this kind of dependence. It can prevent your body from becoming accustomed to alcohol and help to lower or reset your tolerance.
What Sort Of Problems Can Develop
The negative consequences associated with alcohol consumption depend on a number of factors, as the NIAAA points out , including:
- How much and how often a person drinks
- The age at which he or she first began drinking, and how long he or she has been drinking
- The persons age, level of education, gender, genetic background, and family history of alcoholism
- Whether he or she is at risk as a result of prenatal alcohol exposure and
- His or her general health status.
Not everyone is affected the same, but the generally accepted consequences of excessive alcohol include, according to the NIAAA:
And while those issues are all potential problems that heavy drinkers may experience, other studies show that even moderate drinkers may face some health risks: According to Harvard Health Publishing, an arm of Harvard Medical School : A 30-year British study of more than 500 individuals found that those who had the equivalent of four or more drinks a day had almost six times the risk of hippocampal shrinkage as did nondrinkers, while moderate drinkers had three times the risk.
That doesnt mean you should pour every alcoholic beverage in your house down the drain, but it should serve as a warning sign: Alcohol can be problematic, even for those who drink heavily but dont consider themselves addicted to it.
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Figure Out How Much You Actually Drink
Maybe you dont think you depend on alcohol, exactly, but you still wonder whether you might be drinking too much.
Say you dont have any cravings when you go without drinking. All the same, a quick drink often turns into three or four drinks. When youre having a good time, you find it hard to stop, especially in the company of friends having the same amount.
Recognizing And Understanding Addiction
Identifying an SUD can be a complicated process. While some signs of addiction are obvious, others are more difficult to recognize. Many people who realize they have a problem will try to hide it from family and friends, making it harder to tell whether someone is struggling.
Television, media, and film often depict people with SUDs as criminals or individuals with moral shortcomings. The truth is, theres no single face of addiction. Anyone can develop patterns of abuse or risky behaviors, no matter their age, culture, or financial status.
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So What Are The Signs Someone Is Addicted To Alcohol
It cant be stressed enough: Not everyone who drinks is addicted to alcohol, but everyone addicted to alcohol drinks. To separate the two, its important to keep an eye out for signs that someone you care about may be trudging down a path where their lives will be upended, if not destroyed, by booze.
But its important to know this: You dont have to let it get to the point where theyre asking for help. If there are signs someone is addicted to alcohol, and you care about their health and well-being, approaching them in a non-confrontational, supportive and empathetic manner might keep them from additional harm.
While addicts and alcoholics may take part in shameful actions while under the influence, being an addict or an alcoholic is nothing to be ashamed of. They are, after all, legitimate medical diseases, recognized as such by both medicine and science, and its important to understand that when looking at the scope of the problem: Theyre not bad people who need to be good, theyre sick people who need to get better. And thats where alcoholism treatment can save lives.
How Do You Know If You Are Addicted To Alcohol
Alcohol addiction can take a lot of different forms. Some people drink every day. Others binge drink and then stop for a few days. Typically, alcohol addiction begins slowly. People drink casually with friends or at parties. Then, they start relying on alcohol. Eventually, alcohol begins to take over multiple aspects of their life.
The line between casual drinking and alcohol abuse can be hard to see. While some people hit rock bottom, others are highly-functioning alcoholics, and their lives look successfully from the outside. In either situation, if alcohol is negatively affecting your life, you are likely abusing this drug.
If you are worried about your drinking, you should get help. Look at the signs and symptoms of alcoholism, and decide if they apply to you. If you no longer look forward to activities that dont involve drinking, you should get help now.
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Effects Of Alcohol On Different Populations
Alcohol affects everyone in different ways. Genes, environment and diet can influence whether a person is prone to develop an alcohol-related disease, while factors such as age, weight and sex can impact alcohols more immediate effects.
Women tend to be more vulnerable than men to the effects of alcohol due to differences in how their bodies absorb and metabolize alcohol. For women, is defined as consuming four or more drinks during a single occasion, while heavy drinking is defined as eight or more drinks per week. For men, binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks during a single occasion, while heavy drinking is 15 or more drinks per week.
The effects of alcohol addiction may also have a more serious impact on seniors, as aging changes how the body handles alcohol consumption. Alcohol abuse may worsen some health problems like diabetes, osteoporosis, memory loss, high blood pressure and mood disorders. It may also increase the likelihood of accidents such as falls and fractures.
To get help with a possible alcohol use disorder or other substance use disorder, or give us a call at .
The Definition Of Alcoholism
Alcoholism is the most severe form of alcohol abuse and involves the inability to manage drinking habits. It is also commonly referred to as alcohol use disorder. Alcohol use disorder is organized into three categories: mild, moderate and severe. Each category has various symptoms and can cause harmful side effects. If left untreated, any type of alcohol abuse can spiral out of control.
Individuals struggling with alcoholism often feel as though they cannot function normally without alcohol. This can lead to a wide range of issues and impact professional goals, personal matters, relationships and overall health. Over time, the serious side effects of consistent alcohol abuse can worsen and produce damaging complications.
You dont have to suffer from alcohol addiction in silence. There are many treatment options available to help you overcome alcohol abuse and achieve long-term sobriety. We can help you find the right alcohol rehab facility that fits your needs. to get started on your road to recovery.
The biggest struggle in my life was the constant feeling of emptiness and being alone. Substances turned on me and they were no longer fun nor a solution. My addiction put me in risky situations Quitting was out of question, I was powerless.
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Who Is At Risk Of Developing Alcoholism
Everyone is different. Many factors affect if and how quickly a person progresses from social drinking to alcohol addiction.
Here are some high-risk factors that can determine whether a person becomes addicted and how long it takes to develop alcohol dependence:
- Alcoholismruns in families. People with a family history of alcohol use disorders are at a higher risk.
- Those who begindrinking in early teens are at a higher risk of developing alcohol dependence at some point in their lives.
- There is a higher incidence of alcoholism in men, butwomen suffer more alcohol-related damage from chronic drinking.
- Everyone reacts to alcohol differently. This is influenced by age, gender, ethnicity, and body weight, among other factors.
There is no fixed timeline for how long it takes to develop alcohol dependence. Sometimes, a person can drink responsibly for decades without developing alcoholism, but then a major life event such as losing their job or going through a divorce pushes them over the brink.
Moreover, alcoholism does not happen overnight. There are threestages of alcoholism. The important thing is to recognize the signs and symptoms early and get help as soon as possible.
If you or a loved one has a worrisome drinking habit, take ourself-assessment test to find out if its time to get help.
When Is It An Addiction
When we say alcoholic, most of us imagine something very awful. “Most people who have an alcohol problem are decent people,” says the doctor. According to him, they often don’t seek out help because they don’t consider themselves to be alcoholics. As a result, they may die of bodily complications associated with alcohol, such as liver problems or high blood pressure. “It can lead to premature deaths of decent people,” adds the doctor.
There’s more and more addicts between the age 20 to 30 joining the center. He attributes this to the pressure of working conditions, amongst other things. “In the past, people haven’t had such demands in their jobs,” says the expert.
Although there’s a majority of male addicts in general, more and more female alcoholics are looking for help these days. “Women are also under a lot more social pressure. Gender equality sometimes leads to delays in entering treatment. Today, women no longer hide that they drink alcohol, it is tolerated by the society, ” he explains. He adds that drinking has not been tolerated with women in the past. People condemned women who drank alcohol, so women were usually resorting to drinking in secret.
It is considered an addiction even when a person can’t sleep without alcohol. In Western cultures, it’s common to practice an alcohol-free month when you can try out how it feels without it and whether you can make it through. If not, you may have an alcohol problem.
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What Does Alcohol Do To Us When We Drink It
Alcohol is a very simple chemical that can bring about big changes in the complex functions of the human brain. When we drink alcohol, it triggers the release of other chemicals in the body that make us feel more content and less sensitive to pain. So, it is no surprise that once we start drinking, we often want to carry on.
For some of us, alcohol becomes something we carry on consuming even though the negative consequences are plain to see.
How Long Does It Take To Get Addicted To Alcohol
Whether or not someone can become addicted to alcohol depends on individual circumstances. And even though alcoholism, an alcohol use disorder ,evolves in stages, there is no set timeline for how long an addiction could take to emerge.
âThe process of addiction to alcohol can vastly differ from person to person. An individual can become addicted to alcohol after the first sip… or on a more gradual basis after a series of events involving alcohol,â says Michelle English, LCSW, clinical director of San Diego-based rehab center Healthy Life Recovery.
In order to stop alcoholism before it causes further harm, itâs important to know the risk factors and stages of the disease.
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The Following 11 Questions Are Designed To Help You Better Understand Your Relationship To Alcohol They Will Help You To Tell If It Resembles Abuse Or Addiction Or Is If It Closer To Average
1. Do you tend to drink more than you expected to? And for longer periods of time?
2. Do you wish you could drink less, and struggle to cut down your alcohol intake?
3. Does drinking consume much of your time? In other words, do you spend a lot of your time trying to obtain, use, or recover from alcohol hangovers?
4. Do you have very strong cravings or urges to drink? Does it feel like you need it to get by?
5. Does drinking cause problems for you at work, in school, or in your family obligations? Does this happen frequently?
6. If drinking does cause these social and interpersonal problems for you, do you continue to drink anyway?
7. Have you given up activities that used to be meaningful for you? For example, have you quit a sport or left friendships because you dont seem to have the time or energy anymore?
8. Do you use alcohol even when it makes your activity physically dangerous? This could be drinking while driving, using certain prescription drugs, or working with heavy machinery.
9. Do you continue to drink even after discovering that it exacerbates, worsens, or even causes other physical or mental illnesses?
10. Are you developing a tolerance for alcohol? This could show up as a decreased effect after drinking the same quantity of alcohol that you used to use, or having to drink more and more alcohol to achieve the desired level of intoxication.