Are You Drinking Too Much? Understanding Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction is something you hear about on a regular basis in the United States. The fact is that alcohol is all around you, from backyard barbecues to what is likely a whole aisle of wine, beer and spirits in your neighborhood market.

Social drinking or having a glass of wine with dinner might be generally healthy, but for some people, the drinks don’t always stop when the party is over. Much more common than you may expect, these same people can develop what is referred to as alcohol addiction over time.

Learn more about alcohol addiction and what the signs of alcohol abuse are. You’ll also learn how you can begin to seek help and begin recovery before problems gets any worse.

Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

The signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction are not always immediately clear. The nature of addiction makes it easier to believe there is no problem and many people believe they are just drinking socially.

Some of the most common signs of alcohol addiction include:

  • Tolerance to alcohol. Drinking a cup of coffee daily can build up a caffeine tolerance, just like regularly consuming alcohol. In addicts, this tolerance keeps increasing. Many people at risk for alcohol addiction will notice that they can consume far greater quantities of alcohol with far fewer effects than the average drinker. Alcohol tolerance is the number one risk factor when it comes to alcohol addiction.
  • Needing to drink at inopportune or unsafe times. Addiction leads to poor choices. Signs of addiction including choosing inappropriate places to consume alcohol, such as drinking at work, while driving, or other situations that are clearly unsafe.
  • Neglecting your responsibilities to drink instead. Calling in sick to work due to drinking, attending work late or avoiding family gatherings that don’t involve alcohol can be signs of addiction.
  • Hiding your drinking. Heavy drinkers often don’t want to let others know how much they drink because they fear judgment. People rarely hide actions they are proud, and good choices are usually shared. If your drinking is being hidden, this may be a sign of potential alcohol addiction.
  • Losing touch with friends and family because of your drinking. Whether you no longer contact people because you would prefer to drink more than they want, or they don’t contact you because they don’t want to be around your addiction, losing touch with people that care about you is a common sign of alcohol addiction.

Why is Quitting So Hard?

Many people who develop an alcohol addiction attempt to quit cold turkey on their own. The problem is that quitting generally isn’t just about willpower. Recognizing that you have a problem is a start, but without support it is very easy to begin drinking again -- and soon.

If you’ve developed a physical addiction to alcohol, going cold turkey could actually be unsafe. Major side effects like nausea, vomiting and even seizure can occur, especially among long-term alcoholics. In extreme cases, sudden withdrawals can even cause death. Trying to quit on your own can be dangerous and unsuccessful, which is why it is important to get professional support.

Getting Help

When you want to quit drinking, seeking help from friends and family is the first step. You'll be surprised how many people will be happy to support you. You may even know some recovery addicts that you hadn't even realized.

Finding an inpatient rehab therapy center like Beachway Therapy Center can help you quit in a safe and effective manner. For many alcohol addicts, inpatient rehab is what helps them quit and sustain their sobriety.

When you enter a drug or alcohol rehab program, you’ll have people on your side who understand addiction and have the resources to help you quit -- safely. From initial detox to counseling that will allow you to live a healthy, happy and productive life without alcohol once you leave treatment. Inpatient therapy is one of the most powerful tools available in the fight against addiction.

Suffering from alcohol addiction is all too common in the United States, and many people each year deal with serious consequences because of their long-term drinking. You don’t have to be one of those people.

Reach out for help today and you can begin to turn your life around and live the way you want. Alcohol doesn’t have to be in charge of your future any longer. Take control and get the help you need today.

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