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Alcohol

When “Just One” Becomes an Alcohol Addiction

 

It seems so simple, so normal. Every day, millions of people across the world enjoy alcoholic drinks. For most people, a cocktail, glass of wine, or a couple of beers serve as a relaxing ritual, a way to unwind after a long day.

But maybe it’s not like that for you anymore. Maybe you caught a glimpse of that look on your significant other’s face when you poured your second. Maybe friends have started dropping hints that your drinking has turned the corner to become an all-out alcohol addiction. And maybe even just the promise of a drink waiting for you has started to take on a level of urgency that’s got you concerned, too.

Alcohol addiction’s a tough one. You look around and see pretty much everyone nursing a beer, raving about some new cocktail, or joking about whether wine in fact counts as a fruit.

They all seem fine. They drink a little, get loosened up, take the edge off, and nothing more. Nobody’s giving them the stink eye. Nobody’s cutting them off or trading furtive looks behind their back.

But that’s what’s begun to happen with you. And while you might blow off their concerns as nothing, maybe there’s a part of you that’s secretly growing concerned.

Some people can take it or leave it, enjoying an adult beverage or two and then moving on without a second thought. Other people are wired differently, though, and for them, one or two is never enough. Alcohol is just as addictive as many illegal drugs and can be just as dangerous. Thankfully, the medical community now recognizes that alcohol addiction is a disease and not a lifestyle or a moral failing.

Therefore, alcohol addiction can be treated.

Alcoholism Begins in the Brain

 

When we drink alcohol, our mental processes slow down and personal inhibitions fade away. We feel relaxed, at ease, the edges smoothing out a bit. However, it also releases endorphin chemicals that stimulate the mind.

Alcohol, like other drugs, creates a higher level of endorphins than the body can naturally produce.As a result, the mind can become quickly dependent on alcohol to feel happy and normal.

This connection was noted in a study published in Science Translational Medicine, in which they stated that alcohol consumption also activated higher activity in opioid receptors in the brain.

Alcohol’s Impact on Your Body

 

The mind and the body are tightly connected, and when the mind becomes reliant on alcohol, the body soon follows suit. As a result, it can be difficult for a person who is addicted to alcohol to feel healthy when they are sober. The body starts to associate the feelings of being tipsy or drunk with feeling good, feeling sociable, and feeling like ourselves. The body and mind associate the chemical reactions produced by drinking with normality – and we crave more to feel alright.

That’s when a dangerous shift happens. We move past social, casual drinking – and into much more frequent consumption. The body adapts, and we need more and more, more frequently.

If you suffer from any of these symptoms, there's a chance you may be addicted to alcohol:

Drinking by yourself or outside of social situations
Personal or legal problems associated with drinking
Suffering from physical or mental pain when you don't drink
Heavily ingesting alcohol on a daily basis
Thinking about alcohol excessively

 

If you have diagnosed yourself with these symptoms, there's no need to panic. It is possible to beat alcohol addiction. The first step, though, will be to get through the difficult process of physical withdrawal.

Withdrawal… Kind of Sucks, to Be Honest

 

We have seen hundreds of people go through withdrawal, and we know it’s not easy. In fact, many people continue to drink simply to avoid the pain withdrawal causes. It can take a while – often more than a week.

In the first few hours of withdrawal, you might suffer from anxiety, intense cramps, and nausea. During the next 24-72 hours, you might experience high body temperature, unusual heartbeat, confusion, and agitation.

The last, and most severe, stage includessymptoms like fever, seizure, hallucinations, and increased confusion and agitation. These symptoms can last for up to 72 hours.

However, these symptoms can be minimized by going through a withdrawal program. Skilled experts can help you taper off your dosage with a replacement medicine and guide you to an alcohol-free life.

Ready to Take the Next Step Toward Beating Alcohol Addiction?

Do you need help beating your alcohol addiction before it ruins your life?

There is a brighter tomorrow for you – you just need a little help to get there.



Our caring addiction treatment specialists will help you find an inpatient alcohol addiction treatment program that’s
a good fit for your needs – and we’ll coach you through the process so you can start feeling better fast.