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Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Alcohol makes so many appearances in our lives, from a beer or two after work to a glass of wine with dinner to a cocktail while on holiday, that it can be easy to forget that it is addictive like many drugs.

Alcohol dependence is one of the most serious national public health concerns. You can find signs of it among the rich and poor, in all regions of the country, and all social and ethnic groups. Millions of Americans are dependent on alcohol, and most of them have families that suffer and endure the consequences, often severe, of living with the illness. If you or a member of your family is addicted to alcohol, remember you’re not alone; and like many other illnesses, addiction can be treated.

What is alcohol addiction?

It refers to the compulsion to use alcohol in order to feed good feelings or avoid negative ones. This is different from enjoying a casual drink, as addiction can cause severe and lasting damage to your health and the well-being of those close to you. Alcohol addiction is an intricate problem that can difficult to detect, especially in a society where drinking a lot is socially acceptable. But is there a difference between alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence?

With alcohol abuse, the recurrent and heavy drinking makes a person likely to fall into all kinds of trouble – from physically putting themselves in harms way, like with drinking and driving, to failing to fulfil family, work, or social obligations – though they may still be able to carry on their lives with some normality.

With alcohol dependence or addiction, on the other hand, alcohol takes over the primary role in a person’s life, causing them to give up important relationships and activities because of their drinking. You know you’re addicted when you feel the need for more alcohol than usual to achieve the desired effect.

As dependence becomes more established, the individual spends more and more of their time thinking about alcohol, or participating in the necessary activities to obtain, use, or recover from the alcohol effects. Eventually, the individual person acknowledges that he or she gets the shakes when they don’t drink, causing them to keep drinking to escape the experience of these withdrawal symptoms.

Signs of alcohol addiction

The following are common signs of alcohol dependence:

  • Being anxious about when you can have your next drink
  • Insomnia, sweating, and nausea when you don’t drink
  • The need to drink more and more just to get drunk
  • Taking alcohol (or wanting to) in the morning when you wake up
  • Consuming alcohol frequently on your own, or attempting to hide your drinking
  • Relationships with family, friends, or colleagues are affected by your drinking

Negative effects of alcohol addiction

Alcohol dependence affects various people in different ways, usually with both mental and physical effects. Some dangers of alcohol addiction include:

  • Seizures
  • Increasingly poor vision
  • Malnutrition
  • Blackouts
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia

In the long-term, you may experience

  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • High risk of heart failure and stroke
  • High risk of mouth and throat cancer
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Suppressed immune system

You can get help

Alcohol dependence is a medical condition that be effectively treated. Millions of people and their families are in healthy recovery from alcohol dependence.

If you or someone close to you misuses alcoholic drinks, the first step is to acknowledge that there is in fact a problem and then seek help for yourself, your family, and your loved one. At Canadian Addiction Rehab, we can help you deal with alcohol addiction.