What is Alcoholism?
The most severe form of alcohol abuse, alcoholism is the inability to manage drinking habits. It is sometimes called alcohol use disorder. There are three categories for alcohol use disorder, mild, moderate, and severe. Every category of alcoholism has its own symptoms, and they can cause harmful side effects. If alcohol abuse isn’t treated, it can spiral out of control. So what is alcoholism? What are the signs of alcoholism?
Those who are struggling with alcoholism might feel like they are unable to function properly without alcohol. A variety of issues can result, such as problems with professional goals, overall health, and relationships. As time passes, the serious side effects of alcohol abuse that is consistent can worsen significantly and produce life-altering, damaging complications.
Many people who are struggling with alcohol abuse or alcoholism fail to seek treatment in a timely manner. There are several different treatment options available. Treatment centers will come up with personalized treatment plans to help you overcome alcoholism and gain long-term sobriety.
Different facilities can address the different needs of those who suffer from alcohol abuse. The sooner help is sought, the quicker you can get on the road to recovery and regain control of your life.
The Warning Signs of Alcoholism
There are several warning signs of alcohol abuse. These signs are very telling and noticeable. When alcohol addiction is treated in its early stages, the odds of a successful recovery increase significantly. Here are some common warning signs of alcoholism:
• The inability to control alcohol consumption
• Putting alcohol first with personal responsibilities later
• Craving alcohol
• Different behavior after drinking alcohol
• Spending a significant amount of cash on alcohol
• Having the urge to drink more
If you think your alcohol consumption is negatively affecting your life, you should find treatment options to help you receive so you can stop your alcohol abuse and regain control of your life. With the guidance of a physician, you can get the medical care that you need to stop drinking.
Alcoholism has serious effects on your overall health and addressing the problem sooner than later can help you get your life back on track and live a fulfilling life.
What Causes People to Drink?
There are several different things that can increase the odds of alcohol abuse. People who use drinking to suppress their problems or relieve stress can develop a gradual dependence on alcohol. Drinking during more difficult times, such as after the death of a loved one or a job loss, might lead to long-term alcohol abuse. While there are countless reasons that people start drinking, some of the more common causes people drink include:
• To relieve stress – Relying on alcohol to relieve the stress encountered daily increase the likelihood of developing an addiction to alcohol.
• Feel good – Drinking might give some people a break from reality. It gives the drinker a sense of relief from the underlying issues that they might be trying to escape. But continual alcohol use to make it through the day or the week can result in a serious drinking problem.
• Dealing with loss – Losing a friend or relative can take a significant toll on a person mentally, emotionally, and physically. While alcohol might ease the grief that you are suffering at the time could lead to a drinking problem.
• Overcome anxiety – While there are those who are naturally anxious and worry perpetually, they find drinking to lower inhibitions and make social situations more comfortable. Continuing drinking over time can lead to addictive behavior.
Health Complications of Alcohol Abuse
Drinking too much either just once or long-term can seriously affect your health. Some of the effects of drinking might be minor, but there are some that are severe or even life-threatening. Short-term effects can be dangerous as well. As an example, drinking can affect your reaction time resulting in poor coordination and slower reflexes.
These are some reasons why drinking and driving are so dangerous because driving can alter the perception of distance and speed, putting you and others at serious risk. Here are some short-term effects of alcohol abuse:
• Reduced brain activity
• Slowed reaction time
• Blurred vision
• Poor reflexes
• Lowered inhibitions
• Difficulty breathing
Your long-term health can also be affected by drinking too much. There are some side effects that might not be obvious for years. Professional medical care is necessary to ensure they are diagnosed properly and treated. Here are some long-term medical problems caused by alcohol abuse:
• Bone loss
• Liver disease
• Bain defects
• Increased cancer risks
• Complications from diabetes
• Vision damage
One of the most important decisions you will face is the choice to seek help for alcoholism. There are different treatment options available that are based on the severity and frequency of alcohol abuse. Recovering from alcoholism is a process that continues after completing rehab.