What Everyone Needs to Know About Alcohol Addiction


Alcohol addiction
Does alcohol addiction have you trapped in a bottle?

Moderate social drinking usually isn’t problematic, but there are 18 million Americans who take this to a whole new level. They’re suffering from Alcohol Use Disorder. When someone has a mild case of this disorder, you may not even notice it. You also may not recognize it for other reasons such as being unaware of alcoholism’s signs and symptoms.

How Alcohol Addiction Occurs

While we know that alcohol is addictive we may not understand why only certain people become addicted to it. This has to do with how alcohol impacts the brain and whether alcoholism causes brain damage. 

When you first start drinking alcohol, your brain releases dopamine which produces pleasurable feelings. Some people notice these associations and continue drinking to induce pleasure. Eventually, they build up a physical tolerance to alcohol so they need more of it so they can get the desired effect. When you want to stop drinking, you won’t be able to do so abruptly since your body now depends on the alcohol so it can feel normal.

Why Some People are Predisposed to Alcoholism

There are a few reasons some people become addicted to alcohol while others don’t. These causes of alcoholism include:
  • Genetics: If there’s a history of alcoholism in the family, it’s more likely to become addicted.
  • Environment: When you’re surrounded by friends or family who drink, you’re more likely to do so yourself.
  • The age when you first drank alcohol: Research shows the younger you are when you had your first drink, the more likely you are to become an alcoholic. 
  • Mental health issues: People with a diagnosis of depression, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are more likely to self-medicate with alcohol and other substances.

How to Know if You’re an Alcoholic

While these things are factors of alcoholism, you will know that you do have an issue when you see any of the following signs in your life. You:
  • Have a bad habit of drinking more alcohol than you intend to drink.
  • Can reduce the amount of alcohol you drink or abstain from it.
  • Have problems at school, work, or home because of how much alcohol you consume.
  • Use alcohol in dangerous situations (e.g., while driving).
  • Crave alcohol when it isn’t available.
  • Lose interest in everything but drinking so you become socially isolated.
  • Hide your drinking from others.
  • Spend a lot of time drinking, thinking about alcohol, or recovering from drinking too much.
  • Experience an increased tolerance to alcohol.
If despite these negative consequences, you continue drinking, then you know you definitely have a problem.

The Withdrawal Symptoms of Alcoholism

Recognizing signs of alcoholism can be a scary thing in your life. If you’re ready to get sober, it’s important to enter detox with caution. You’ll experience a variety of physiological and psychological symptoms, some of which may be life-threatening. These symptoms include:

  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors (Shaking)
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Visual and/or Auditory Hallucinations 
  • Seizures

Treatment of Alcohol Addiction 

alcohol addiction
Hope exists for alcohol addiction.
When you’re a moderate to heavy drinker, your first step towards sobriety is attending a medically supervised detox center. This is important because detox can be fatal. While in medical detox, you’ll be supervised and monitored to ensure your safety. Medication will be available to help mitigate withdrawal symptoms. You’ll also have the support you need to make it through this challenging time. 
Once you’re through detox, you may wish to contact me. I’m a recovery coach (a.k.a., sober coach). Although I’m not a therapist or a medical professional I can support you throughout your aftercare plan. We can work together to ensure your continued sobriety, so contact me today.