Alcohol FAQ

Alcohol Addiction FAQ

At LA Treatment Center, our goal is to help heal the underlying symptoms of alcohol addiction.

Alcohol Addiction

What is Alcohol Addiction?

At LA Treatment Center, our goal is to help heal the underlying symptoms of alcohol addiction.

Alcohol Addiction, also known as alcohol dependence, is a chronic disease in which your body becomes dependent on alcohol. When you are overtaken by Alcohol Addiction, you lose control over your drinking. You may not be able to control when you drink, how much you drink, or how long you drink on each occasion.

With alcohol addiction, the physical dependence to alcohol occurs gradually. Over time, drinking too much changes the chemical balance in your brain associated with the pleasurable aspects of drinking alcohol. Excessive, long-term drinking can affect the balance of these chemicals, causing your body to crave alcohol to restore good feelings or to avoid negative feelings.

Alcohol Addiction

What is Alcohol Addiction?

At LA Treatment Center, our goal is to help heal the underlying symptoms of alcohol addiction.

Alcohol Addiction, also known as alcohol dependence, is a chronic disease in which your body becomes dependent on alcohol. When you are overtaken by Alcohol Addiction, you lose control over your drinking. You may not be able to control when you drink, how much you drink, or how long you drink on each occasion.

With alcohol addiction, the physical dependence to alcohol occurs gradually. Over time, drinking too much changes the chemical balance in your brain associated with the pleasurable aspects of drinking alcohol. Excessive, long-term drinking can affect the balance of these chemicals, causing your body to crave alcohol to restore good feelings or to avoid negative feelings.

Signs

What Are The Signs Of An Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol addiction occurs on a spectrum, and as it accelerates in severity the risks associated with it climb proportionately. The following criteria encompass damaging patterns and behaviors which define an Alcohol-Use Disorder. Individuals with an alcohol addiction will exhibit a significant number of the following behaviors.

Do you:

Drink larger quantities or for longer periods of time than you planned on?

Find that thoughts of alcohol override any other thought in your mind?

Find that you’re drinking instead of doing things which once brought you fulfillment?

Need to drink more because what you usually drink doesn’t create the same “buzz” (tolerance).

Struggle to reduce how much you drink or find you can’t stop at all?

Drop the ball at home, school or at work due to drinking or feeling hungover?

Engage in risky or unsafe behaviors while under the influence which put your in harm’s way?

Begin to feel ill and out of sorts if you don’t drink or when the alcohol begins leaving your system (withdrawal)?

Lose a large part of your life to drinking or feeling hungover?

Keep drinking even though it’s creating tensions and issues within your relationships?

Keep drinking even though it’s affecting your mental health? Or causing you to have periods of time where you have no memory (“blackouts”).

An alcohol addiction can be difficult, and dangerous, to effectively treat on your own.

Includes

Alcohol Addiction includes the following four symptoms:

Cravings, which is a strong urge or need to drink. Cravings for alcohol can be as strong as the need for food or water.

Loss of Control, which is not being able to stop drinking. An alcoholic will continue to drink despite serious family, health, or legal problems.

Physical dependence, which produces withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, shaking, nausea, and anxiety.

Tolerance, which is the need to drink more to get the same effect.

Cravings, which is a strong urge or need to drink. Cravings for alcohol can be as strong as the need for food or water.

Loss of Control, which is not being able to stop drinking. An alcoholic will continue to drink despite serious family, health, or legal problems.

Physical dependence, which produces withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, shaking, nausea, and anxiety.

Tolerance, which is the need to drink more to get the same effect.

Research shows that the risk for developing Alcohol Addiction does run in families. The genes a person inherits partially explain this pattern, but lifestyle is also a factor. Your social life and the people you socialize with, the amount of stress in your life, and how readily available alcohol is also are factors that may increase your risk for Alcohol Addiction.

Research shows us that alcohol abuse is rising. Around 1 in 6 people in the United States have some degree of a problem with alcohol.Researchers are working to discover the actual genes that put people at risk for Alcohol Addiction.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction

There are many signs and symptoms related to drinking problems. Alcohol Addiction is considered a progressive disease, meaning that the symptoms and effects of drinking alcohol become increasingly more severe over time. People who abuse alcohol may begin to show early signs of a problem. If they continue to drink, then the symptoms progress to showing severe warning signs of alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence or Alcohol Addiction.

This description of Alcohol Addiction helps us understand why most alcoholics can’t just “use a little willpower” to stop drinking. There is frequently a powerful craving for alcohol, a need that can feel as strong as the need for food, water and survival.

People who have Alcohol Addiction or abuse alcohol often experience:

Being unable to limit the amount of alcohol you drink

Feeling a strong need or compulsion to drink

Developing tolerance to alcohol so that you need an increasing amounts to feel its effects

Having legal problems or problems with relationships, employment or finances due to drinking

Drinking alone or in secret

Not remembering conversations or commitments, sometimes referred to as “blacking out”

Making a ritual of having drinks at certain times and becoming annoyed when this ritual is disturbed or questioned

Losing interest in activities and hobbies that used to bring you pleasure

Irritability when your usual drinking time nears, especially if alcohol isn’t available

Keeping alcohol in unlikely places at home, at work or in your car

Gulping drinks, ordering doubles, becoming intoxicated intentionally to feel good or drinking to feel “normal”

Experience personality changes and can become hostile or violent when drinking

Neglect physical appearance

Neglect to eat or eat poorly

Miss work or school or other commitments

Physical symptoms

Physical symptoms of alcohol dependence and Alcohol Addiction include:

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Experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms — such as nausea, sweating and shaking when you don’t drink

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Memory lapses after heavy drinking

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Needing more and more alcohol to feel “drunk”

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Alcohol-related illnesses such as alcoholic liver disease

Causes

Causes of Alcohol Addiction

The National Council on Alcohol Addiction and Drug Dependence states: “Alcohol Addiction is a primary chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. The disease is often progressive and fatal. It is characterized by impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug…use of alcohol despite adverse consequences and distortions in thinking, mostly denial. Each of these symptoms may be continuous or episodic.”

The causes of Alcohol Addiction are difficult to pinpoint. Alcohol abuse and Alcohol Addiction cut across gender, race, and nationality. In the United States, 17.6 million people are alcohol dependent. In general, more men than women are alcohol dependent or have alcohol problems. Alcohol problems are highest among young adults ages 18-29 and lowest among adults ages 65 and older.

We also know that people who start drinking at an early age–for example, at age 14 or younger–are at much higher risk of developing alcohol problems at some point in their lives compared to someone who starts drinking at age 21 or after.

Alcohol abuse is progressive. This means that Alcohol Addiction starts relatively innocently much like moderate drinking e.g. a few drinks at the weekend. Then it gradually worsens and progresses until the sufferer is a full-blown alcoholic.

Alcohol Addiction can be treated and managed. Alcohol Addiction treatment programs use both counseling and medications to help a person stop drinking. Treatment has helped many people stop drinking and rebuild their lives. If you are seeking an alcohol treatment program, please call LA Treatment Center today at (888)200-4926.