What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a laymen term to describe an alcohol substance use disorder. Alcoholism involves the compulsion to drink even when there are consequences or a desire to stop. Many times, detox or treatment is needed to stop drinking. An individual struggling with alcoholism is not likely to feel in control of his or her life, often being motivated by alcohol itself. However, some alcoholics’ lives look fine on the outside and admitting there is a problem can be difficult.
An individual who is suffering from alcoholism may not feel as if they have a choice when it comes to obtaining and consuming alcohol. They may experience physical, mental, and emotional withdrawal symptoms if they abruptly attempt to eliminate alcohol consumption. Without the proper tools, resources, and support, overcoming an alcohol dependence becomes increasingly difficult, if not impossible.
What Are the Causes of Alcohol Addiction?
There is rarely one sole cause of addiction, since substance use disorder typically emerges from various triggers and environmental factors. An addiction to alcohol may be caused by a traumatic incident, an untreated co-occurring mental health condition, a family history of alcoholism, or other stressors. Some of the most prevalent issues that may lead an individual to develop an addiction to alcohol include:
- Genetics: Having a family history of alcoholism or any type of addiction can significantly increase your risk of developing an addiction or affliction to alcohol yourself. Up to 51 genes are associated with alcohol dependence, which can be passed down through generations.
- Environmental Factors: The environment and your surrounding atmosphere plays a major role in determining whether or not you are more susceptible to potential addiction. This includes living near bars or liquor stores and being exposed to advertisements involving drinking.
- Income: Many assume that individuals living at or below the poverty line struggle the most with alcohol use disorder, when in actuality, people from more affluent areas are more likely to drink. A recent Gallup poll showed that 78% of people with an annual income of $75,000 or higher consume alcohol, while only 45% of those with an income of $30,000 drink.
- Trauma: Experiencing trauma is one of the biggest risk factors of developing an addiction to alcohol as well as other drugs or prescription medications. Untreated and unaddressed trauma can cause an individual to escape in drugs and alcohol rather than to confront and treat the trauma they have experienced.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction?
The signs and symptoms of alcoholism may vary from person to person. It may trigger different emotions, responses, and behavior based on internalized issues or struggles someone may be experiencing at the time. Some of the most obvious mental and emotional symptoms of alcohol addiction include:
- Memory impairment and/or temporary blackouts
- Irritability, anxiety, and mood swings
- Lack of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Secretive behavior in regard to drinking in an effort to conceal the extent of their alcohol abuse
- Drinking to “unwind” or “decompress”
- Putting more energy into drinking than spending time with friends and family or taking care of responsibilities
- Failure to discontinue drinking
Additionally, physical signs are likely to manifest with acute alcohol intoxication, including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bloodshot eyes
- Smelling like alcohol, especially on their breath
- Excessive sweating
While many may associate withdrawal with drugs like heroin and benzodiazepines, alcohol withdrawal symptoms are some of the deadliest of them all. That’s why it is so important to be slowly weaned in order to prevent life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. These include:
- Hallucinations (visual and auditory)
- Nausea and vomiting
What Are the Benefits of an Alcohol Treatment Program?
Zero-tolerance environment: Being sober and being surrounded by other sober people is imperative in early recovery. A zero-tolerance environment is also necessary for mental clarity, even after completing the initial detoxing process. You can also feel at ease knowing you are less likely to find relapse and as many temptations during your recovery process.
Various treatment options: From our intensive outpatient program, individual counseling, and cognitive behavioral therapy, there are many different forms of treatment provided at Alpha 180.
Aftercare: Alpha 180’s transitional aftercare program with housing allows for long-term recovery support. Using an aftercare program is optimal for anyone who has struggled with relapse or for those who are still hesitant about re-entering society without support.
How Does Alpha 180 Help with Alcoholism?
Seeking proper treatment for alcoholism is not always easy, especially for those new to a rehab facility. Alpha 180 is optimal for young men who are searching for aftercare following the completion of an inpatient treatment program for their substance abuse.
With Alpha 180, take advantage of our intensive outpatient program, ongoing therapy, academic services, and sober living programs for those who are searching for long-term treatment solutions. Whether you are looking to build your support group with others who have gone through similar situations, or if you are interested in an intensive outpatient program to help keep you on track, Alpha 180 has treatment programs and therapy options that are sure to deliver the help you need. We’re here to show you that addiction is nothing to be ashamed of, especially once you have made the decision to face your struggles head-on. Contact us today to get on the path to recovery.