What Is Chronic Alcohol Abuse?
Chronic alcohol addiction is typically what one thinks of when they conjure images of what an alcoholic is: typically male, homeless, overly aggressive, peddling for beer and alcohol on the side of the road, and are unable to keep a job or take care of familial obligations because of their excessive drinking habits. But what is chronic alcohol abuse, really?
Chronic alcohol abuse is one of the last stages of alcoholism. Chronic alcoholism has three main central components of the condition: physical dependence, mental dependence, and tolerance. Those suffering from the last stages of alcoholism are unable to stop on their own because their bodies have become physically dependent on alcohol to function normally. Along with physical dependence, those suffering from chronic alcohol addiction are unable to mentally live without alcohol. Alcohol becomes their means of comfort and stability, even as it destroys their relationships with friends, family, work associates, and academic pursuits.
Those with a genuine chronic alcohol addiction will experience withdrawal symptoms once they stop drinking. Alcohol detoxification is one of the most dangerous substances to undergo withdrawal. It’s critical to always enroll in an accredited alcohol treatment center to prevent the chances of fatality during withdrawal. Those who attempt to withdrawal from alcohol at home are prone to relapse quickly and can suffer medical complications which can become fatal.
Chronic Alcohol Abuse Symptoms
Many who leave alcohol use disorders untreated will develop co-disorders late in the stages of alcoholism, which include liver damage, heart failure, the development of cancers, chronic anxiety, depression, and permanent brain damage. Recognize the signs before they happen and identify chronic symptoms of alcoholism before your alcohol use disorder becomes severe:
- Drinking alone
- Depending on alcohol in times of stress
- Turning to alcohol as a means of entertainment
- Only associating with drinkers
- Drinking early on in the day and late into the night
- Disavowal of family and professional responsibilities
- Severe personality shifts
Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Alcohol Addiction
Once alcoholism has been firmly established, enrolling into chronic alcoholism treatment is necessary to prevent further damage to the one addicted to alcohol and their loved ones. Chronic alcoholism doesn’t only affect you, but has measurable influence on children and loved ones. Chronic alcoholics pass down their genes of addiction and make their children more likely to become alcoholics themselves. In fact, growing up with a parent with an untreated alcohol use disorder makes children at severe risk of associating chronic alcohol consumption as normal, and even expected behavior.
The following are common symptoms of chronic alcohol addiction:
- Body tremors and convulsions
- Excessive sweating
- Extreme anxiety disorders
- Auditory & visual hallucinations
- Liver disease
- Heart failure
- Permanent brain damage
- Erectile dysfunction
- Delirium tremens
- Infertility for both men and women
Chronic Alcoholism Recovery
Chronic alcoholism treatment is crucial to secure before the late stages of alcoholism are achieved, however, overcoming chronic alcohol dependence is possible with extensive alcohol addiction treatment. Those who have battled with addiction for a testament of years are able to recover and return to living normally without the crutch of alcohol after completing treatment and continuing therapy. Once alcohol detoxification is completed recovering addicts are able to attend residential alcohol addiction treatment to get to the bottom of the innate causes of addiction.
Addiction, to either alcohol or drugs, stems from deep emotional scars which have not been aptly addressed. During therapy addicts learn how to communicate and resolve the underlying issues of addiction in order to move forward in their lives. Working extensively with counselors, recovering alcoholics learn how to change their behaviors and penchants to use alcohol as a crutch.
Treating the physical and mental dependency for alcohol may be supplemented with medically assisted drug treatment. A newly popular medication used in chronic alcoholism treatment is naltrexone. As a non opiate substance, naltrexone does not have a risk for abuse and is used to help recovering addicts cope with the initial cravings for alcohol. As the body relinquishes its physical attachment to alcohol one’s tolerance levels deplete. It’s critical to remain in a 24 hour medical institution as relapse during this time is common, and can be fatal as a result of alcohol poisoning. Knowing when to get treatment is half the battle, many suffering from chronic alcohol addiction are afraid of undergoing the withdrawal process. But now with the advent of medically assisted drug treatment, alcohol detoxification is safer, symptomless, and more effective.