Alcohol Addiction

Men’s Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center in Austin, TX

When it comes to alcohol consumption, there’s a fine line between social drinking and addiction. And while some people drink regularly and never develop addiction, others are predisposed to addiction. Something as innocent as weekly happy hours can turn into a dangerous and destructive habit.

With alcohol readily available across the world and it being so easy to obtain, alcohol addiction can be easy to develop. Many people associate the word ‘alcoholic’ as a stereotype to someone that struggles holding a job, has issues coping, might be homeless, stolen items or money to buy alcohol or has been convicted of a DWI charge. Therefore if you feel you don’t fit that stereotype, you probably aren’t an alcoholic, right?

There are many forms of alcoholism so it’s important to note that this stereotype isn’t necessarily always true. There isn’t anything wrong about having a drink with your friends or perhaps for a celebration of some sort unless you have religious or personal restraints. However, the problem begins when someone abuses the substance.

Signs of alcohol abuse might be drinking alone in secrecy, making drinking a priority over important responsibilities, having a drink first thing in the morning, feelings of guilt from drinking, a continuation to drink regardless of health, financial and family problems, extreme mood swings, drinking to de-stress, withdrawal symptoms, and an inability to stop drinking.

An alcoholic may justify their drinking for a particular reason and further develop a dependency on drinking. Some of the more common various reasons as to why alcoholics justify excessive drinking might be to relieve stress, to feel good, cope with loss of someone close to them or to overcome anxiety.

There are many health complications that an alcoholic can suffer from. The short-term effects of alcohol abuse can very well be just as detrimental as long-term effects. Short-term effects may include: slow reaction time, poor reflexes, blurry vision, difficulty breathing, restlessness and reduced brain activity. Additionally, consuming too much alcohol for long periods of time can affect long-term health as well, such as: liver disease, heart problems, brain defects, bone loss, vision damage and heart problems.

When alcohol becomes an obsession, it can be difficult to focus on the pleasures in daily life. With the help of a treatment program and ongoing support, even deep-set instances of alcoholism can be addressed and resolved.

Alcoholism is certainly serious, but it’s also manageable. Individuals with this condition can receive the psychological support they need to change their drinking patterns and their lives, and that work can start right now by reaching out for help. After seeking help through a detox program and making it through the withdrawal stage, it’s highly recommended that the next step is to seek treatment for alcoholism in order to find a solution that allows a user to live a life without the use of drugs.

Any Lengths Retreat is an all men residential treatment facility that utilizes the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) 12-step program in order to stay sober and treat addiction with an optimal method of recovery. We believe that working a solid 12-step program is the solution to recovery and to live a life of sobriety.

Determining whether or not you or your loved one has a drinking problem is not a black and white matter. There tends to be a gray area in which many users get lost. Below, we’ll cover what alcohol addiction is, the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse and what you can do to recover.

What is alcohol addiction?

Alcohol addiction happens when someone becomes dependent on alcohol to cope with daily life. When people are stressed or struggling with depression, they usually look for something to make them feel good. Unfortunately, that nightly glass of wine can quickly become a source of comfort, which then becomes more than one.

What are the signs of alcohol addiction?

At first glance, you probably wouldn’t know that someone has an alcohol addiction. However, over time and with continual use, the signs do eventually make themselves apparent.

Below is a list of common signs of alcohol addiction:

  • Blowing off spending time with loved ones to drink
  • Lying about what you’re doing to hide the fact you’re drinking
  • Using alcohol as a way to deal with stress
  • Finding it difficult to stop drinking
  • Drinking to help you go to sleep
  • Feeling ashamed or embarrassed that you’re drinking too much

If you find yourself or someone you know exhibiting one or more of the above-mentioned behaviors, it may be time to intervene.

Effects of Alcoholism

Overconsumption of alcohol affects everyone differently. Chronic alcoholism, if left unchecked, damages the liver over time, leaving it scarred. This scarring (or fibrosis) can impair its efficiency in removing toxins from the body. This condition is known as cirrhosis, which cannot be reversed and in advanced cases, may require a liver transplant. To a lesser extreme, alcohol abuse can cause alcoholic hepatitis, which is when the liver becomes inflamed.

Symptoms of late-stage liver disease include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Ascites (abdominal fluid build-up)
  • Edema (swelling) of the legs
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin/eyes)
  • Confusion
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Itching
  • Spider veins

Alcohol affects more than just your physical condition, however; it also affects you mentally. If too much alcohol is consumed long term, it can cause the frontal lobes of your brain to shrink, leading to depression, anxiety, mood swings, aggression, sleep disorders, and memory problems.

Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

When people drink more than their fair share of alcohol, it can cause an overdose. Alcohol overdose puts your life at risk and should never be taken lightly.

Here is a list of symptoms to look out for when someone overdoses on alcohol:

  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Slow breathing (<8 breaths per minute)
  • Blue or pale skin color
  • Hypothermia
  • Loss of consciousness with inability to waken

Call 911 right away if someone experiences any of these symptoms, as alcohol poisoning can be life-threatening. While you wait for help:

  • Stay with the unconscious party in case they get sick.
  • If they have to lie down, turn their head to the side to prevent choking on vomit.
  • Try to keep them awake if you can.
  • Be prepared to give information to the EMTs and/or hospital personnel, such as how much the person drank, when they had their last drink, and how long they waited between each drink.

Becoming Sober

When left untreated, alcohol addiction can ruin lives. From marital problems to loss of employment, addiction has a rippling effect. And while it may seem like there’s no way out, that’s simply not true. When you or someone you love makes the decision to stop, it’s the first step in recovery.

But it’s also important to note that with recovery comes the possibility of relapse. Relapse occurs when someone uses alcohol after receiving treatment. It essentially makes all the effort someone puts into being sober worthless.

The key to remaining sober and avoiding a relapse is seeking help. Even if you or someone else completes an alcohol treatment program, it doesn’t necessarily cure the addiction. It is merely a stepping stone towards a complete recovery. Staying sober is a life-long process, and there’s nothing wrong with reaching out for a helping hand.

Alcohol addiction doesn’t need to ruin your life. The first step is admitting you need help and asking for it. When you’re to take that first step, we’re here for you. Call now to speak with someone who has been through it and recovered from itat (866) 433-1992 for a private consultation.