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Signs of Alcoholism: What to Look For

Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder

There are some significant signs you want to consider if you have difficulties with alcohol consumption. One sign is an uncontrollable urge to drink and consume alcohol. When you start drinking alcohol, your body will become accustomed to having the depressant inside your system. A time may come when you’ll physically begin to have an insatiable desire for alcohol. Afterward, the urge will become uncontrollable, and you must consume alcohol or suffer the pangs of alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Not only will you have an uncontrollable urge to consume alcohol, but you also will not be able to control how many alcoholic beverages you consume in a day. You may continue to consume more than the allotted drinks per day to get that initial high.

Heavy drinking impairs cognitive ability and reduces inhibitions. You may desire to drink and drive at the same time. You may engage in other risky and dangerous behaviors you would typically avoid while sober.

When Moderate Drinking Turns Into Heavy Drinking

Sometimes, you may just want to come home from work and unwind from all the anxieties of the day. Many people like to relax with a glass of beer or wine. However, these seemingly harmless drinking habits can get out of hand if they turn excessive.

Moderate drinking is having no more than two drinks per day for men or one drink per day for women. Each alcoholic beverage has quantity limitations. One drink includes 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of hard liquor like whiskey, vodka, or tequila, and 12 ounces of beer.

Heavy drinking can make daily functioning difficult and destroy relationships. Men who are heavy drinkers have three or more drinks per day and more than 15 drinks per week. For women, it’s more than one per day and eight drinks per week. To minimize the risk of alcohol use disorder, it’s essential to remain below these guidelines for alcohol consumption.

Alcohol Use Disorder

Approximately 16 million adults and teenagers have a medical condition called alcohol use disorder. It is a chronic disease that affects the movements and actions of the brain. The environment from which your parents or guardians raised you can have a profound impact on your life and put you at risk for AUD. In addition to this, genes from your parents and grandparents can make you susceptible to the condition. AUD is considered a brain disease. Chemical changes in the brain make it challenging to stop drinking alcohol excessively without outside medical intervention.

Drinking and Performance

Alcohol is a depressant that interferes with your work responsibilities. You may find yourself becoming intoxicated during the middle of the day just to function. You may remember that buzzed feeling and how lightweight and good you felt while you were in a state of intoxication.

As you find yourself chasing more drinks to catch that buzz, you may notice the following symptoms of AUD:

  • Blackouts
  • Heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Pancreatitis
  • Permanent loss of memory

Are You an Alcoholic?

Every year, almost 88,000 Americans die from alcohol-related consequences. Only poor diet and smoking kill more people than the over-consumption of alcohol. Out of the accidents that occur annually on the road, alcohol is involved at least 31% of the time. Experts say that alcohol use disorder affects about 16 million Americans.

If you think you may be suffering from alcohol use disorder, then consider and answer the following questions:

  1. Do you continue to drink even though it hinders your relationships with friends and family?
  2. Are you getting sick and having constant hangovers from drinking?

If you answered to any of the above questions, it might be a good time to consider medical treatment. These are some of the questions a medical professional will ask you to determine your level of alcohol consumption and the need for the appropriate type of treatment. The continued use of alcohol can cause tragic consequences and legal difficulties and even lead to death.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The full power of AUD will start after two to three years of excessively consuming alcohol. During intermittent dry periods, you will experience a few withdrawal symptoms that will become more severe as the disease progresses. Common withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Increased sweating
  • Acamprosate: Medication that diminishes a desire for alcohol
  • Naltrexone: Keeps you from getting high after drinking alcohol

After your initial treatment for detoxification, you could opt for continued outpatient treatment or continue with residential treatment. The first phase of residential treatment can last for 30 to 45 days. After you are physically stabilized, you will enter the second phase of treatment, which often includes the 12-step counseling process and additional cognitive and psychological therapies based upon your mental health history.

Alcohol Treatment Centers

Treatment facilities generally fall into two categories: outpatient and inpatient. For an outpatient program, you commute to a rehab center several days a week. This type of treatment is best for those who have work and home obligations. However, an outpatient program does not provide as much support as an inpatient program, which requires you to live at the rehab clinic for a set period of time.

In regard to success rates, inpatient private treatment centers offer the best chance for recovery. When you become a patient at a residential rehab facility, you’ll have a personalized psychological treatment plan that’s specialized for your medical and mental health condition. For example, if you had psychological trauma during childhood, your counselor will address this in the treatment plan.

Green Mountain Treatment Center

Located in scenic New Hampshire, the Green Mountain Treatment Center private residential facility is for adults over the age of 18. This is the flagship location of the Granite Recovery Centers. As you enter the facility, the staff will separate you into gender-specific living quarters for optimal recovery.

You’ll get 24/7 care as medical professionals monitor your progress daily. To aid in your recovery, clinical psychologists will discover the underlying roots of your addiction. Individualized treatment plans include the 12-step curriculum combined with clinical psychotherapies. Medical professionals will pair you with another client who has similar needs as yourself. During treatment, you’ll have access to medical detox, holistic therapies, an on-site gym, evidence-based clinical aid, chef-prepared meals, and the full continuum of care. Transportation is available.

New Freedom Academy

The New Freedom Academy also provides a serene setting for recovery within the mountains of New Hampshire. This private treatment center is in a secluded atmosphere on 17 acres of prime wooded landscape. You’ll receive individualized attention at this 20-bed facility.

The clinicians offer treatment plans that incorporate grief and loss therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapies, process groups, and motivational interviewing. While you’re recovering, you’ll be able to participate in relaxing activities such as bowling, mini-golf, and paintball. Residents also enjoy meditation, workshop programs, weekly Family Recovery Workshops, medication-assisted treatment, and more.

Get the Help You Need

It’s not easy to admit you have a drinking problem. Once you understand the symptoms of alcohol use disorder, however, you want to take steps toward sobriety. Of course, overcoming AUD is much easier with the help of trained professionals. Rehab could help you set the stage for a life without alcohol.