The Signs Of Harmful Alcohol Use
You or someone you know might be drinking too much if they:
- have a strong urge to drink
- cannot control how much they drink
- feel physical effects like nausea, sweating, shakiness and anxiety if they stop after a period of heavy drinking
- need to drink more over time to get the same good feeling
- drink while alone, or hide alcohol from members of the household
- struggle with work, education or relationships for no obvious reason
- lie about how much they drink
- drink early in the day or are anxious about when they will be able to drink
- forget what they said or did while they were drinking
How Severe Is The Alcoholism Problem
Alcohol is easily available and a fundamental part of popular culture. Yet, when you look at the statistics on the effects of excessive drinking, they are eye-opening.
According to the World Health Organization , the harmful use of alcohol is responsible for 3 million deaths worldwide, which is more than 5 per cent of all deaths. Even more worrisome is the fact that more than 13 per cent of deaths in young adults between the ages of 20 and 39 years can be attributed to alcohol.
Alcohol is implicated as a causative factor in more than 200 diseases. It is responsible for significant social and economic losses.
Addiction to alcohol can take you by surprise. Before you know it, what starts as social drinking can turn into cravings and addiction. If you and your loved ones enjoy drinking occasionally, its good to know how long does it take to develop alcohol dependence. That way you are aware of risky drinking patterns. You know when youre crossing the line and when to cut back. And you know how tohelp a friend or family member who may be alcoholic.
Can You Be Addicted To A Person
As we ponder the definition, it strikes me that maybe were not actually talking about addiction to another person, but instead, a fixation on how we feel around certain people, or an obsession with how we influence others feelings. Can you relate to any of these types of comments?
Im exhausted and cant take on one more thing, but I dont want to make him feel bad by saying no. Ill just do it since Im better at planning anyway.
I know I shouldnt care what she thinks, but I cant help myself. Weve been friends for way too long for me to say anything.
I dont know what Id do if he ever left me. I guess our problems arent that big of a deal compared to others, so Im probably blowing it out of proportion.
A pattern emerges
Saying no carries a risk of letting somebody down and not receiving praise for our strengths. Not speaking up seems to help preserve a relationship, or at least, spares disapproval in the short term. And the fear of sitting with ourselves in quiet contemplation or risking rejection can seem much more painful than the scary thought of dealing with conflict straight-on.
In that light, it would seem plausible that it could all be narrowed down into one simple definition.
People addiction: The practice of ignoring ones personal needs, healthy boundaries, or Gods will. To interfere with somebody elses natural growth and dependence on God in an effort to avoid feeling bad.
Also Check: How To Deal With An Addict Child
Alcohol Overuse Vs Abuse
Theres a lot of mistaken all or nothing thinking about alcohol use. Many people assume there are two options: Either you dont have a drinking problem, or youre a total alcoholic whose life is falling apart. The reality is not simply black or white, but a spectrum with shades of gray. An alcohol use disorderthat is, alcohol abuse or alcoholismcan be mild, moderate or severe. People with an alcohol use disorder can be highly-functioning, highly compromised or somewhere in between.
Even a single bout of binge drinking can destroy the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, causing them to relay information too slowly and trigger mood changes. This can result in depression, agitation, memory loss and seizures. Sadly, many people die every year during bouts of binge drinking. For heavy, long-term drinkers, alcohol has been found to reduce the size of brain cells and overall brain mass. This can impact motor coordination, sleep, mood and an array of cognitive functions.
Take a self-test for drug or alcohol addiction
What Gateway Foundation Offers Clients
The effects of alcohol addiction impact all areas of life. When people are ready to make a significant change and work toward a lifetime of sobriety, alcohol treatment centers are ideal. Gateway offers clients a full continuum of care, which means that clients can find the programs that best fit their needs, their health and their schedules.
Clients can also expect to find a wide range of recovery strategies. From evidence-based to holistic, some of the most successful programs include:
Also Check: How To Not Get Addicted To Weed
Urine And Blood Tests
There are reliable tests for the actual use of alcohol, one common test being that of blood alcohol content . These tests do not differentiate people with alcohol use disorders from people without however, long-term heavy drinking does have a few recognizable effects on the body, including:
With regard to alcoholism, BAC is useful to judge alcohol tolerance, which in turn is a sign of alcoholism. Electrolyte and acid-base abnormalities including hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, hyponatremia, hyperuricemia, metabolic acidosis, and respiratory alkalosis are common in people with alcohol use disorders.
However, none of these blood tests for biological markers is as sensitive as screening questionnaires.
What Is Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction can appear through many signs and symptoms.
If you feel like drinking is the only way to wind down or release stress, if you are unable to control how much you drink, or if you feel the need to drink more alcohol to achieve the buzz you need are all examples of being addicted.
Some addicts want to drink or catch a buzz before attending parties or events. They think this will help them socialize better. And if they cant drink ahead of time, they avoid going altogether.
Some who are dependent on alcohol find reasons to drink during the day or night, they feel withdrawal symptoms when trying to not drink, or they continue to drink even though it causes rifts in relationships or interferes with working and completing other responsibilities.
Alcohol abuse disorder develops over time, and it is the brain that encourages someone to become addicted.
Recommended Reading: How To Deal With Drug Addiction In The Family
Is Alcohol Use Disorder A Disease
Alcohol use disorder is a medical condition. Its a disease of brain function and requires medical and psychological treatments to control it.
Alcohol use disorder can be mild, moderate or severe. It can develop quickly or over a long period of time. Its also called alcohol dependence, alcohol addiction or alcohol abuse.
How Do You Tell Someone They Have A Drinking Problem
This may vary from person-to-person and you may need a substance abuse counselor or the advice of someone who does interventions to guide your approach. Some signs that an individual may have a problem include: negative social, physical, and emotional changes as the disease of alcohol use disorder progresses.
You May Like: Can You Get Addicted To Advil
Treatment For Alcohol Dependence
Treatment options depend on the strength of alcohol dependence. For low level dependence, your doctor might discuss the problem with you and suggest changes you can make or recommend counselling.
Stronger dependence will need different treatments to manage the effects of alcohol withdrawal. The treatments might include:
How Does Alcohol Become Addictive
Alcohol consumption is usually a social activity. People drink because their friends, coworkers, and family are drinking. Therein lies the problem Drinking produces a sort of high that we begin craving. Whether its the feeling of fitting in, being the center of attention, forgetting about their problems for a while, or simply numbing any pain you feel, those feelings can become addictive.
The more you feed into these feelings by drinking, the higher your tolerance levels get. This begins a vicious cycle of needing more and more alcohol to reach the level that youre used to.
Don’t Miss: How Do You Know If You Are Addicted To Something
Friends And Loved Ones With Alcohol Addiction Need Your Support To Recover
Do you have a friend or loved one with alcohol addiction? Did you know that 1 in 7 adults in the U.S. is struggling with alcohol addiction? Youre not alone. Everyone knows someone who is affected. If there is alcohol addiction in your family, how are you coping with that? Addiction is a wily and devastating disease of brain reward that affects everyone touched by it. When a family member has a substance or alcohol behavior disorder, as alcoholism is now called, there is family dysfunction and often chaos. Family members often deny they have a problem when confronted or asked to stop drinking. That means angry fights, resentments as well as legal and financial consequences. Alcohol addiction is a chronic and progressive disease that wont cure itself.
Are You Looking For Addiction Help In Topeka
If you or someone you love is battling substance abuse in Topeka, please reach out to our Gold Bridge Treatment Center staff. We are one of the most trusted addiction treatment center in Topeka and want to help you begin your journey to sobriety.
Our team of addiction help specialists strive daily to be the best substance abuse treatment center in Topeka. We specialize in helping individuals make changes for a happier healthier life. At Gold Bridge, we offer group counseling, individual counseling, and inpatient treatment services.
For more information give us a call at or you can contact us online. Our facility is just a short drive away, in Louisburg, KS.
Also Check: Am I Addicted To Video Games Test
Physical Health And Safety During Detox
Mild to moderate symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be treated on an inpatient or outpatient basis, but its essential to have professional supervision during detox to monitor for potentially severe symptoms. Severe symptoms may also require management in a medical setting. During treatment, professionals can observe individuals at the start of treatment to determine the severity of symptoms, and they can continue to monitor individuals for any problems that may arise during detox. In addition to observations, medical professionals can provide patients with medications to reduce cravings and ease symptoms through the detox process. Beta-blockers can reduce tremors, slow the heart rate and reduce alcohol cravings. Anti-seizure and anti-anxiety medications can help patients avoid or reduce seizures and anxiety. The use of medication-assisted treatment can also help reduce the risk of relapse as well as the need for hospitalization.
Dual Addictions And Dependences
Alcoholics may also require treatment for other psychotropic drug addictions and drug dependences. The most common dual dependence syndrome with alcohol dependence is benzodiazepine dependence, with studies showing 1020 percent of alcohol-dependent individuals had problems of dependence and/or misuse problems of benzodiazepine drugs such as diazepam or clonazepam. These drugs are, like alcohol, depressants. Benzodiazepines may be used legally, if they are prescribed by doctors for anxiety problems or other mood disorders, or they may be purchased as illegal drugs. Benzodiazepine use increases cravings for alcohol and the volume of alcohol consumed by problem drinkers. Benzodiazepine dependency requires careful reduction in dosage to avoid benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome and other health consequences. Dependence on other sedative-hypnotics such as zolpidem and zopiclone as well as opiates and illegal drugs is common in alcoholics. Alcohol itself is a sedative-hypnotic and is cross-tolerant with other sedative-hypnotics such as barbiturates, benzodiazepines and nonbenzodiazepines. Dependence upon and withdrawal from sedative-hypnotics can be medically severe and, as with alcohol withdrawal, there is a risk of psychosis or seizures if not properly managed.
Recommended Reading: Can You Be Addicted To Ibuprofen
What Is Considered To Be An Alcoholic
There are many factors to consider when making a diagnosis of alcoholism, formally known as alcohol use disorder, or AUD. Some signs that a persons drinking is problematic include continuing to drink despite negative effects on their relationships, physical health, job or other important obligations. Alcoholism should be diagnosed by an addiction specialist who can outline an appropriate detox and treatment plan.
Getting Help For Alcohol Or Other Drug Dependence
If you think that you or someone close to you has an alcohol or other drug problem, speak first with your local doctor or call DirectLine, on .
DirectLine is a 24-hour-a-day information and advice line that is free, anonymous and confidential. You can talk to a professional counsellor who is experienced in alcohol and drug-related matters, and they can start you on the right track.
Don’t Miss: Why Are Pain Pills Addictive
Why Is Alcohol Addictive For Some People And Not Others
Alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction are common in the United States. Nearly 6% of American adults and 2% of American adolescents suffer from an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol abuse claims an estimated 88,000 American lives annually. In 2010, it cost the nation $249 billion dollars. Despite these health and economic consequences, less than 7% of American adults and 6% of American adolescents received treatment for their disease. These facts beg the question: why is alcohol addictive?
How To Get Help For Alcohol Addiction
There are multiple ways to get help from alcohol dependence, including treatment, medication, and behavioral intervention. Often, the user is one of the last to recognize or realize his or her use is a problem, often thinking I have this under control. Once an alcohol use disorder has developed, however, it can be extremely to quit without help. Fortunately, there are ways to get help.
Ethanol is abused at a higher rate than any other drug among treatment program attendees, as reported by a 2017 survey from Recovery Brands. Nearly 70% of people who took the survey went to treatment to get help with a drinking problem, and a surprising 52.87% of those who responded reported seeking treatment for a problem with alcohol more than any other substance. No matter how many substances of abuse there are, the one that causes the most extensive harm is ethanol. Fortunately, alcohol abuse treatment is only a phone call away. Speak with our recovery support specialists at Who Answers?
Read Also: What Nasal Spray Is Addictive
Sign #: You Regularly Disown Personal Needs
They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. 2 Peter 2:19
This verse from 2 Peter actually refers to false prophets, but were no more immune to giving bad advice to ourselves behind closed doors than they were in spreading misinformation and promoting self-gratification back then. I dont know about you, but I can tell myself some wild stories when left to my own devices!
Im reminded of Sarah. Shes a working mom of three, and shes been married to her high school sweetheart, Greg, for almost fifteen years. From the outside looking in, shes practically a perfect caricature of the most Christian woman most will ever know. She homeschools her kids. Dinner is on the table around 5:30 every evening, and shes up before dawn for quiet time.
What others notice is that Sarahs been running at warp speed pace for yearswith practices, travel, church events, and everything else. How does she do it? they marvel. Andwith a smile? It ended up being exactly thatSarah always grinning on the outsidethat brought her to my therapy practice one winter day.
Im so mad all the time, she vented at our first meeting.
As you might suspect, Sarah hadnt let herself fully feel an emotion in years. She couldnt allow herself to acknowledge feelings, or else shed also have to surrender the endless pace of production necessary to sustain the lifestyle she and Greg had built.
Do You Know Whats In Your Drink
First, lets get the basics sorted. Do you know whats a standard drink?
Is it a pint of beer , a can of beer , or a glass of beer ?
Does a glass of whiskey with 40 per cent alcohol by volume count the same as a glass of wine with 12 per cent alcohol or a glass of beer with 4.5 per cent alcohol?
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism , a leading authority on alcoholism, one standard drink contains 14 grams of pure alcohol, which translates to:
- 12 fluid ounces of regular beer
- 9 fluid ounces of malt liquor
- 5 fluid ounces of wine
- 1.5 fluid ounces of distilled spirits
Now that you know how much alcohol is in your drinks and what constitutes a standard drink, lets find out how many standard drinks you can safely drink without worrying about how long does it take to develop alcohol dependence.
Recommended Reading: What Are The Signs Of Opiate Addiction
Alcohol Addiction And Abuse
Start the road to recovery
Get confidential help 24/7. Call now for:
- Access to top treatment centers
- Caring, supportive guidance
Addiction Center is not affiliated with any insurance.
Common Questions About Rehab
Am I covered for addiction treatment?
Have a confidential, completely free conversation with a treatment provider about your financial options.