If you missed Part One of this post be sure to check it out, and read about how excessive drinking does not necessarily equate to an alcohol use disorder.
How to Identify Alcohol Addiction at Its Root and Follow Up with an Addiction Detox Center
Now that we’ve cleared up excessive drinking doesn’t necessarily translate into physical and mental addiction- what about true alcohol use disorders? Those who suffer from alcohol use disorders suffer from a fundamentally different set of symptoms; excessive drinkers consume 4-5 drinks daily, yet a victim suffering from a full-blown addiction to alcohol may exceed two or three times that amount. It’s critical to understand alcohol use disorders cannot be solely measured in the amount of alcohol consumed, but the physical and mental dependence to alcohol a person has. For instance, an alcoholic will not be able to feel normal without drinking.
Most victims of an alcohol use disorder will begin drinking early in the day, in order to function throughout the entirety of their daily responsibilities and activities. Alcohol becomes a fundamental cornerstone of the day, which may revolve solely around finding a way to drink. Alcoholics are unable to regulate the amount of alcohol they consume, despite the harmful health conditions alcohol creates, and regardless of the negative impact their alcohol addiction may impact their relationships with family and friends.
Secreting alcohol is a huge red flag of an alcohol use disorder; most suffering from addiction to alcohol are ashamed of their circumstances, and will lie about their consumption in an attempt to assuage the fears of those around them. Alcoholics frequently drink alone (whereas an excessive drinker is typically drinking socially- perhaps participating in drinking games). When victims of an alcohol use disorder stop drinking they experience withdrawal symptoms- this alone dictates addiction, as this in an indicator of physical addiction.
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include chronic depression, agitation, and anxiety, hand tremors, nausea and vomiting, sweating, inability to sleep, headaches or migraines, decreased ability to function normally due to tiredness or emotional turmoil. Another telling sign of an alcohol use disorder is the presence of tolerance. Tolerance describes the amount of alcohol one consumes, yet does not experience feelings of being buzzed, or getting drunk. Victims of an alcohol use disorder will be able to drink many more drinks than their counterparts because their bodies become accustomed to the presence of alcohol.
Additionally, victims of alcoholism often feel great shame in their conditions, and may have trouble opening up to their families or loved ones about their dependence; some victims cannot admit it to themselves. Frequently, an alcoholic will resolve to stop drinking altogether, or in excess, but will often fail in the attempt, because their physical dependence make it impossible to quit alone. In fact, attempting to detox from alcohol by yourself is exceedingly dangerous, and should never be attempted without the presence of a medical professional.
Alcohol is one of the most dangerous addictive substances one can detox from, as alcohol withdrawal is often coupled with seizures, visual and auditory hallucinations, dehydration, and the potential for Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (wherein alcohol has caused brain damage, which may affect the victim’s ability to recall memories and create new ones).
At this point victims of alcohol use disorders must seek help from a certified drug treatment center and follow up with alcohol rehab programs, or risk the chance of developing cancers related to alcoholism (like esophagus and liver cancer), alcoholic cirrhosis (which is fatal), and gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining). Contacting an accredited drug treatment center is the first step towards redressing the deadly disease of alcohol addiction. Although the disorder takes a grueling toll on victims who suffer from it, families are often ravaged by alcoholism every day; children who are exposed to alcoholic parents carry a genetic and environmental disposition for abuse, and are two to three times more likely suffer from addiction than their peers.
If you know someone who is struggling to overcome the disease of alcohol abuse, don’t hesitate to contact an addiction detox center to talk about your options of drug detox and alcohol rehab programs. You can visit Harbor Village Detox’s website or call their friendly representatives directly, where they will help you to outline the recommended course of treatment for any addictive disorders. Call (855)767-8285 today!