What is Considered Alcoholism versus Casual Drinking?
As per the national institute on alcohol abuse and Addiction, alcoholism is characterized by an individual engaging in heavy drinking or binge drinking behaviors that have begun to create negative consequences within your day-to-day life. If an individual living with an alcohol addiction attempts to stop their alcohol consumption, they will experience severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms along with intense alcohol cravings. These uncomfortable and negative consequences of alcohol addiction create the cycle of substance abuse as individuals attempt to mitigate the negative withdrawal symptoms with the use of alcohol.
What Are The Early Signs of Alcoholism to Look Out For
Knowing the early warning signs of alcoholism is imperative to provide you or a loved one with the necessary addiction treatment support needed to overcome alcohol addiction before it begins to have significant, permanent negative consequences within your life.
Early warning signs of alcoholism to be mindful of within your own life or the lives of your families and friends that will indicate that is it time to address alcohol addiction within addiction treatment:
- Engaging in continued drinking even after experiencing negative consequences within your mental health including an increase in feelings of depression, anxiety, and worsening symptoms of bipolar disorder and other personality disorders
- Experiencing a loss of interest in activities that once brought you joy
- Engaging in risk-taking behavior while under the influence of alcohol intoxication such as drinking and driving or self-harm behaviors
- Running into legal trouble due to your actions under alcohol intoxication
- Being in situations where you consumed more alcohol than intended and, in some cases, experienced alcohol poisoning from your binge drinking behaviors
- Experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms when you attempted to stop your alcohol consumption
- Developing an increase in alcohol tolerance causes you to drink larger quantities to reach the same desired effects
- Having strong urges or cravings for alcohol when you stop drinking alcohol
- Transitioning from social drinking into drinking alcohol alone and isolated from others
- Lying or hiding your alcohol abuse from loved ones
- Changing social circles to one that is centered around drinking alcohol
- Exhibiting extreme mood swings or irritability
- Making excuses for your alcohol abuse to others to justify your drinking behaviors
- Prioritizing drinking alcohol over other life responsibilities including school, work, and families and friends.
How Alcoholism Affects the Brain and Body
Alcoholism can have significant impacts on a person’s physical and psychological health. Dangers associated with alcoholism are
- Effects on your brain – Alcohol will change the pathways within your brain causing significant changes in your mental health or co-occurring disorder, thought processes, and cognitive functioning.
- Significant heart damage, risk of heart disease, and rise in cholesterol levels
- Liver damage including hepatitis of the liver, liver disease, cirrhosis, and fatty liver disease
- Weakened immune system functioning
- Musculoskeletal damage of weakening of the bone structures
- Increased chances of developing cancer
How Common is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism impacts the lives of thousands of Americans each day and is more common than most people would imagine.
- In 2012, there was 7.2 percent of the American population, and nearly 17 million United States residents were living with an active alcohol use disorder.
- 11.2 million of those individuals were male and 5.7 million were women
- American adolescents were greatly impacted by alcoholism with 855,000 young people being affected by alcohol use disorders.
Start Your Alcohol Addiction Recovery With TruPath
TruPath understands the struggles that Americans face each day with alcoholism and the unique underlying causes of alcohol addiction for each individual person. Through our personalized addiction treatment program, patients will have a treatment program created that is centered around their own addiction recovery goals and needs for emotional healing and personal growth. Patients are able to participate in our continuum of care that has the ongoing support of medical professionals, addiction therapists, and fellow current and alumni patients that will be alongside you every step of the way as you enter into the lifestyle of sober living that you have been yearning for.
The team at TruPath is dedicated to supporting our patients throughout their treatment process to ensure that they find health and happiness in long-term sobriety. Get in touch with us today at (251) 501-4357 to learn more about your treatment options.