Alcohol Addiction: An Incredibly Easy Method That Works For All
Alcohol is known to be one of the legal and social acceptable substances when it is consumed in moderation. It is mainly formed by a process called “fermentation” when the bacteria and yeast naturally break down the sugar in the fermenting substance. However, the level of the alcohol content of the result depends on the period of the fermentation process. Examples of alcoholic beverages are wine, liquor, and beer with varying alcohol levels.
Alcohol can intoxicate and become additive, whichever one is taken. There are many effects of alcohol, and it becomes dangerous when it is addicted. When alcohol is consumed, it acts on the central nervous system as a depressant.
Many people take alcohol for a purpose or because of one situation which later leads those to uncontrolled situations. The working principle of alcohol when it is taken involves lowering the respiration and blood pressure of the drinkers to make them feel relaxed and more confident to handle an assignment or make some situations easier. To them, it increases their morale, lowers their inhibitions, or gives them boldness to face challenges.
However, this content will look in-depth into meaning, types, causes, treatment, and other issues related to alcoholism. Is alcohol abuse and addiction the same? Here, we go.
What Is Alcohol Abuse and Addiction?
It is of worth note, that alcohol abuse and addiction are two different things. One may lead to another as a result of lackadaisical attitudes or carelessness, and people with alcohol abuse may not necessarily get addicted to alcohol if it is consumed in moderation.
Alcohol abuse can be described as a continuing act of consuming alcohol regardless of the outcomes. A person with alcohol abuse is a heavy drinker who keeps consuming alcohol without control and not mindful of the results. He or she may not drink frequently but may drink occasionally, say once in a week or at an event. However, if care is not taken in the process, it may lead to addiction.
Alcohol addiction is also known as alcohol disorder or alcohol dependence. It is an act of drinking so much alcohol that your body finally becomes addicted or dependent on it. At this stage, you can’t do without alcohol, and it turns to be a necessity in your life. Regardless of its adverse effects in their lives, they keep drinking to satisfy their pleasure or have the taste every time.
Types of Alcohol
Any substance that undergoes fermentation must have an element of alcohol no matter how small or large, and they can all be addicted if taken in excess. Alcohol can be found in different liquid substances and below are some of the common types:
- Beer: It usually has a low or moderate alcohol content, ranging from 2% – 12% depending on the types of beer. It is made from the fermentation of hops, yeast, and barley with sugar and as well as other ingredients such as flavors. Depending on the brew, a serving of beer is about 10 to 12 ounces. This alcoholic beverage is popularly enjoyed in social places such as clubs, sporting events, parties, or any beer outlets or even at home.
- Wine: This class has a higher content of alcohol by volume compared to beer with a serving having about 4 – 6 ounces as against beer alcoholic content of 10 oz. Wine is made from fermenting grapes, and it is usually regarded as “classy” drink used to commemorate special occasions and widely sold at expensive restaurants and bars.
- Liquor: This is a coverage term used to describe any other drinks that contain alcohol. They are also made from the same process of fermentation of certain ingredients like fruits, grains, and agave. Liquor can be taken as a shot or served mixed with cocktails or juices. A serving is usually 11/2
Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse and Addiction
Alcohol abuse symptoms are in the form of warning signs indicating that damage is ongoing in mind, legal situations, health, relationships, and the general state of life. When many of these signs and symptoms are showing, overlooking them may pave the way for addiction, and this may finally lead to family destruction or death. How can one differentiate between the symptoms of alcohol abuse and addiction? Each of symptoms is as listed below:
- Alcohol abuse symptoms: Its symptoms are not as severe as alcoholism and can be treated and stopped if giant steps of treatment are taken on time. The signs and symptoms include:
- The person with alcohol abuse drinks uncontrollably more than his or her body can take occasionally.
- Alcohol starts to interfere with the person’s school, work, and other activities as it takes most of the person’s time.
- There are cases of injuries and accidents after drinking.
- There are blackouts or memory losses.
- Fighting, and many other misbehaviors
- Alcohol addiction symptoms: Overlooking of alcohol abuse symptoms advances to alcohol addiction and many calamities follow. The signs and symptoms include:
- Alcohol addicted person can’t control the amount or doesn’t know when his or she gets drunk.
- Keeps consuming alcohol until he or she gets the usual hum like before.
- Valuable time is wasted either drinking or recovering alcohol.
- The person with alcohol addiction backs out from most daily enjoyable activities so that they can drink.
- No matter the situation or damage causing to education, relationships, career, family, the person still drinks.
- The person is characterized by early drinking, staying on a drunk for an extended period, sometimes, finds pleasure in drinking alone.
- Full of excuses for drinking.
- Always have confidence in alcohol to solve their problems or relieve stress.
- Drinker’s effort to quit drinking always proves abortive.
- Drinking becomes a life focal point irrespective of his or her financial status.
- Whenever alcohol consumption is stopped, withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, feeling sick, anxious, and shaking, crop up and the person returns to drinking.
Causes of Alcohol Addiction
Many factors are responsible for alcohol addiction. It first starts with an occasional drink and later ends up in full alcoholism. It is caused by a combination of environmental, psychological, genetic, and social factors. The more a person is subjected to risk factors, the more they are prone to alcohol addiction. However, most of the times, the person cannot control the associated risk factors.
While the highlighted below may not be directly considered as leading causes of alcohol addiction, they have been studied to play a vital role in its occurrence:
- Stressful environment: Some professions are challenging and stressful which make some of these professionals turn to alcohol to de-stress themselves after work as against other means of de-stress. It all depends on their mentality and upbringing, some do, and some do not. Some professional such as doctors or nurses (but not all) see their daily activities as being highly stressful. They usually take time out before or after work to drink alcohol in a view to lower their job risk factors or to de-stress themselves as against many healthy methods such as exercising, reading a book, taking a nap, or meditation.
- Drinking at a tender age: Initially, drinking at an early stage of life may be a way of adapting to the environment one finds his/herself due to peer pressure before it later leads to dependence. Many studies have shown that those who start drinking alcohol at their tender age have the likelihood of progression to alcohol addiction as they age. There are two reasons for this; over the times, drinking becomes an enjoyable habit for them, and the levels of tolerance of their body may also increase.
- Depression or other mental disorders: Depression and some other mental health problems such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, and much more are psychological disorders that can increase the chances of alcohol addiction. Mental disorders and alcohol addiction can coexist, as it is easy for anxious or depressed people to take on alcohol to cope with their conditions when they arise. Studies have shown depression and alcohol to be genetically linked, or one may come up as a result of the other, which can lead to alcoholism.
- Psychological causes of alcohol addiction: Many people turn to alcohol to purposely improve their moods, states, and recover themselves back on their feet. In the process of heavy alcohol, the two important brain chemicals (dopamine and serotonin) which are responsible for producing feelings of calmness, euphoria, and a sense of happiness are depleted which make alcoholics to depend on alcohol in the belief that they can reinstate feelings.
Because of its psychological dependence, the neurotransmitters are affected and withdrawal symptoms set in when the person stops drinking, and this makes the person accepts the fate of continuous drinking. Another psychological cause of alcohol addiction is blind drinking to get over life’s problems and struggles, which never help as the person who thinks this is the only way may later get addicted to alcohol.
- Taking alcohol with medication: A continuous taking of alcohol with medicine may lead to addiction to the associated effects. Some medications are known to boost the toxic alcohol effects in the body and it may be life-threatening or very harmful.
- Family history: From studies, children of alcoholics are more prone to alcoholism compared to others without alcoholic parents. These kids are also subjected to environmental factors, prone to behavioral and emotional problems as part of their parent genetics. It is not only parent or relatives, hanging out most of the time with heavy drinkers or alcohol abusers can influence you to be addicted. However, not all the children subjected to these anomalies become alcoholics, studies showed.
Treatment for Alcohol Addiction and Recovery
There are many treatments and recovery methods available for alcohol addiction, and they are ranging from safe and effective medications, counseling to get to the root reasons behind addiction, rehabilitation, and the combination of all. Overcoming alcoholism starts from effective treatment and other treatment methods to help address hidden and accompany disorders with alcohol dependence.
Below are the available treatment and recovery steps for alcohol addiction:
- Recovery from alcohol: The first phase of treating an addicted person is to undergo the recovery stage. People recovering from alcoholism tend to suffer withdrawal symptoms such as hallucinations, sweating, shaking, and seizures. This is the reason alcoholics need a supervised alcohol detox to prevent associated implication of withdrawal symptoms. This stage requires overall analyses of the treatment methods to be employed in treating your current situation.
- Detoxification (Medications) treatment: Alcohol addiction medications are employed for physical aspects of alcoholism. Medications help calm withdrawal symptoms to prevent relapse as well as assist in fighting physical reaction to drinking that desire to drink alcohol. The process is referred to as alcohol detox and recovery; avert complications and discomfort during alcohol withdrawal. Some of the common medications include:
- Disulfiram: Brings negative effects whenever alcohol is taken.
- Naltrexone: Helps minimize cravings for alcohol and reduces effects of alcohol pleasure.
- Acamprosate: Also helps lower withdrawal symptoms as well as minimize alcohol cravings.
- Behavioral modifications: This type of treatment involves modification of your behaviors and attitudes to offset your drinking habit. This has been found to help alcohol addiction’s treatment and recovery in many ways as alcohol abusers often tend to going into dependence stage as they continue in the act. Some of the behavior modifications include learning skills and coping systems to keep you busy to prevent you from alcohol immediately after your treatment.
Avoiding the environments or places that can trigger your urge for drinking is also helpful. Your healthcare professionals can refer some of these skills to be learned to help you achieve this aim.
- Counseling: There are groups or one-on-one counseling that is available to help you treat and recover from alcohol addiction. Your doctor is in the best position to refer a support group that can be of help in getting through your alcohol addiction treatment. Counseling helps in connecting you with other alcoholics and through which some of your troubling questions are answered, and you are exposed to support resources to help you manage your condition.
Rehabilitation from Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol rehabilitation involves using the combination of medication, behavioral modification, and counseling for a total recovery from alcoholism. The recovering alcoholics are given needed skills for sustaining abstinence.
It has been studied to be effective for both outpatient and inpatient based on the environment and support system. However, this is a lifelong journey depending on the individual, and it requires patience and commitment on the parts of both the alcoholics and those professional looking after them. This treatment method involves a broad-based approach such as group therapy, education programs, alcohol abstinence skill learning, and taking part in self-support groups, family involvement, and other behavioral therapies.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most common and efficient behavioral therapy over the time. It involves educating people with alcohol addiction how they can handle unbearable life events (such as losing of job or loved one) by coping and handle them with the more healthy ways other than drinking.
Nutrition for Alcohol Addiction
Poor nutrition characterizes alcoholism as one oz of alcohol contains more than 200 calories with less or no nutritional values to the body. Excessive alcohol consumption makes you lose appetite for nutritious food as your body reacts negatively to have enough food.
People with alcohol addiction usually have a deficiency of folic acid, vitamin A, B complex, vitamin C, selenium, carnitine, zinc, magnesium, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. During rehabilitation for recovery, restoring such deficient nutrients over the time is critical to your health. Rehabilitating such nutrients can be quickened by taking multi vitamin and thiamine (vitamin B-1); this also aids quick recovery from alcohol addiction.
In putting every effort to survive your alcohol addiction, overlooking a little thing can sabotage your effort if care is not taken. Below are some additional tips to help you manage your recovery approach effectively:
- Make an effort to avoid places and people who can lure you to drinking again.
- Only associate with a self-help group and non-drinking friends and family. Evil companies corrupt good manners.
- Replace your alcohol dependence with positive and beneficial hobbies, or offer yourself to be used in the religious activities or community groups.
- Exercising has been studied to release useful chemicals to the brain to help your overall brain health and body. Start exercising today.
- Manage and if possible avoid the stress that can make you think of drinking.
- Don’t keep your problems to yourself; always share them to get solutions.
While millions of people are out there struggling with alcohol addiction, only hundreds of thousands are making a move or seeking for treatment every day. Many of them have found success, and they are living a better life today.
The truth of the matter is that there is no certain cause of alcohol addiction supported by research but anyone can get trapped. The success of alcohol addiction treatment strongly depends on the individual commitment to getting better. However, early treatment has been found to be easier and controllable, yet long-term dependence can be successfully managed and treated.