ALCOHOL ADDICTIONFirst consumed in 7,000 B.C. China, alcohol distilling and distribution has grown into a $500 billion industry. Over 15 million people in the United States alone suffer from alcohol addiction. The severity and symptoms of alcohol addiction vary widely and impact people of all backgrounds. Although many studies suggest that alcohol consumption can have some health benefits, if you are addicted, the negative consequences far outweigh the benefits.
ALCOHOL AND THE BRAINAlcohol affects neurotransmitters in the brain, much like many other addictive substances. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that send messages to the neurons in your brain. This process controls your behavior, movement, speech, and thought. GABA, a neurotransmitter, is produced when you drink alcohol. GABA helps control perceptions of fear and anxiety. This influx of GABA suppresses glutamate (which governs learning and memory). Alcohol consumption also leads to increased production of dopamine, the chemical in the brain responsible for pleasure and reward. Too much alcohol use increases the production of GABA, glutamate, and dopamine, making the brain slow its natural production of the chemicals. The body begins to need more alcohol to supplement the low level of natural chemicals. This, in turn, leads to an increased tolerance. This cycle continues until alcohol is needed to complete even simple daily tasks.
IDENTIFYING ALCOHOL ADDICTION
- Loss of control over how much they drink
- Daily drinking and obsessing about alcohol
- Denying that drinking is a problem
- Increased risky behavior (drunk driving, promiscuous)
- Increased guilt and shame
- Secretly drinking to avoid detection
- Blackouts and binge drinking
- Inability to imagine a life without alcohol
PHYSICAL EFFECTS OF ALCOHOLAlcohol abuse has many side effects - weight gain, lowered immune system functioning, and higher blood pressure and cholesterol. Severe alcohol addiction greatly increases the risk for:
- Liver issues and cirrhosis
- Loss of brain cells
- Nerve damage
- Cardiac problems
- Skin issues
- Chronic illnesses
GETTING HELP FOR ALCOHOL ADDICTIONTree House Recovery offers a highly adaptive program that is designed to meet each individual’s specific needs. Our eight interconnected treatment modalities revolve around healing you as a whole person, not just addressing the symptoms of addiction, We are dedicated to your complete and lasting recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with an alcohol addiction, call us today at 855-969-5181 and let us help you take the first step towards recovery.
UNDERSTANDING ALCOHOL ADDICTIONKnowing what to look for is essential when identifying an addiction to alcohol. Socially accepted drinking can make it difficult to recognize when there is a problem. Familiarity with the signs of addiction will help you distinguish between normal and problem alcohol use.
Distancing oneself from family and friends is a common sign of alcohol addiction. Red flags include loss of interest in social activities and spending a lot of time alone.
As alcohol addiction progresses, it becomes harder and harder to manage daily responsibilities. Financial issues, poor hygiene, and issues are work are all warning signs.
Hiding alcohol, sneaking around, and leaving empty bottles strewn about are all common signs of alcohol addiction – pay close attention to bottles around the bedroom.
When abused, alcohol created significant and deadly physical consequences. Red flags include shakiness, moodiness, and strange sleeping patterns.