Understanding Alcohol Addiction and Treatments

Alcohol addiction is a serious problem. If you are dealing with this issue, you can learn a lot by reading this article. Hopefully, you will gain more understanding of this addiction. We will be sharing the available treatments for alcohol addiction.

Also, read along to know about how you can stay clean when you have stopped the habit of drinking alcohol. Let’s begin by understanding what is alcohol addiction

Related article: The Five Common Signs of Alcoholism: Top Five Redflags You Should Know 

What is Alcohol Addiction?

Throughout a heavy intake of alcohol, a person may become reliant on it, and the chances of an individual becoming more and more dependent on drinking alcohol associates with many different determinants. These factors include social status, genetics, the kind of family an individual has, as well as the manner as to how the person grew up. 

A person’s emotional well-being can also play a massive part in the risk of alcohol abuse. Exposure to alcoholism at a very young age or those people with a history of alcohol abuse in the family are likely to be facing a more significant risk of becoming addicted to it. 

Individuals who are suffering from depression or mental breakdown can also lead to considerable risk. It is because these people affected by loneliness or mental illness believe that alcohol assists them to feel at ease.

People with mental illnesses, hence, tend to drink liquor to self-medicate. Any of these circumstances mentioned above can indeed put you at a higher risk of becoming an alcohol addict.

Instant Effects of Alcohol

Known as a Central Nervous System (CNS) depressant, alcohol slows down bodily and mental operations. With the person’s first alcohol drink, he can feel a smooth decline in feelings of stress or anxiety. 

A lot of people praise alcohol and call it a social lubricant. It suggests that people who drink alcoholic beverages tend to feel more confident in meeting new individuals. It is also that they’re not that concerned with how others perceive them.

Since alcoholic beverages are legal and universally accepted in our society, it can be challenging to recognize the difference between casual drinking and abuse. In general, when drinking alcohol results in adverse outcomes, then we can consider it as abuse, and some of these negative outcomes of drinking alcohol include:

  • Physical injury or sickness
  • Struggling relationships
  • Problems at doing the job
  • Financial crisis

However, when alcohol abuse becomes more habitual, then it might escalate into alcohol addiction

Related article: Five Warning Signs of Alcoholism

What are the manifestations of alcoholism?

Symptoms of alcohol addiction can vary between people, but tolerance is usually the initial sign of addiction to alcohol. You need more of your usual drink to feel the very same effects that you used to. Also, you may observe that you can drink much more alcohol than others without that feeling that you’re drunk. 

Another vital sign of alcohol addiction is experiencing withdrawal symptoms the moment you wake up. You might feel that you want to have your first alcoholic drink as soon as possible to calm yourself and help you get through the day.

  • Additional warning signs of alcoholism include:
  • Requiring to drink alcohol to relax
  • Missing time from school or work because of unhealthy drinking habits
  • Exhibiting a lack of enthusiasm in things you enjoyed before
  • Experiencing alcohol blackouts after drinking
  • Developing a considerable tolerance to alcohol
  • Making explanations for your drinking habit
  • Agonizing about running out of alcoholic drink
  • Drinking more alcohol than you plan to
  • Facing legal problems as an outcome of drinking alcohol
  • Lying to your family about your inappropriate alcohol intake
  • Experiencing issues in a relationship due to addiction in alcohol
  • Exhibiting symptoms of withdrawal between drinks
  • Hiding alcohol beverages in many different places in your household or car
  • Performing dangerous acts, such as drinking while driving or drinking alcoholic beverages while pregnant

If you start to display any of these symptoms of alcohol addiction, then you need to seek an alcoholism treatment program as soon as possible to help you defeat the addiction. With proper support, you can move a step closer to a sober, healthy life.

Related article: How Does Someone Become an Alcoholic?

How can alcohol abuse include periods of intoxication and withdrawal symptoms?

It results in alcohol intoxication when the volume of alcohol in your bloodstream rises. The higher a person’s blood alcohol concentration is, then the more damaged a person becomes. Alcohol intoxication creates behaviour concerns, along with alterations in mental health. 

These signs may include unstable moods, slurred speech, inappropriate behaviour, impaired memory, impaired attention, impaired judgment, weakened, and poor coordination.

A person can also experience “alcohol blackouts” in which a person doesn’t remember any events that transpired. Also, take note that extremely elevated blood alcohol levels might lead to a state of comatose or worse, death.

Alcohol withdrawal happens when alcohol drinking has been consistent, substantial, lengthy and is then significantly reduced or suddenly stopped. 

Withdrawal symptoms can happen in several hours to even five days later. The signs can be critical enough to damage a person’s ability to perform at work or even in social conditions, and the manifestations include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Hand tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Agitation and restlessness
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Occasional Seizures

Related article: Are You an Alcoholic? Know All the Potential Effects of Alcohol Addiction

Knowing if a person is suffering from alcoholism

You can distinguish a person suffering from alcohol addiction. It is when that particular individual craves alcohol consistently and can’t stop drinking even if it breeds social or personal harm.

Signs of alcoholism include steadily drinking more alcohol than intended, desiring to stop drinking but just can’t, developing an alcohol tolerance, experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit drinking, letting individual and social responsibilities struggle to drink, and spending a tremendous amount of time striving to get and drink liquor.

High-Functioning Alcoholic

An additional note, there is also a particular kind of alcohol addiction identified as high-functioning alcohol addiction. Individuals who are high-functioning alcoholics can keep their addiction from meddling in their personal and professional lives. 

High-functioning alcoholics realize they have a drinking problem until they suffer from severe alcohol-related outcomes. The threat of high-functioning alcohol addiction is that it can last for many years without a person noticing they have an addiction problem, ever.

As adults, it is indeed a challenge to decline from drinking alcoholic beverages, especially after a long, tiring, extremely stressful day. On the other hand, if your habit of drinking ends in repeated notable discomfort and problems performing in your day to day living, then you likely have alcohol use sickness. 

It might vary from mild to severe, but even a mild sickness has the potential to escalate and lead to grave concerns, so early therapy is of utmost importance. 

Why Do People Get Addicted to Alcohol?

Nearly all adult gatherings provide some alcoholic drink choices. Wedding receptions usually involve proposing a glass of champagne to celebrate the new future of the couple. 

A lot of people also love to celebrate particular events such as birthdays, Christmas, New Year, and many more, with alcohol. Even dinner plans and dinner gatherings often involve at least a bottle of alcoholic drink.

Over time, because of the constant urge to drink, people may become established that any social occasion utterly needs to have alcohol. As an effect, the ideas to drink alcohol can become uncontrollable. And, sadly, boozing to excess usually follows.

It’s not that simple to figure out when your alcohol intake has moved past the line from social or moderate drinking to a drinking problem. Drinking alcohol is so well-known in several cultures. The results differ so broadly from a person to another. It is not always simple to determine if you already have a drinking problem. 

However, if you drink alcohol to avoid feeling awful or to cope with problems, then your risk of becoming an alcohol addict rises significantly.

You may know what alcohol addiction is, but how does it commence? What drives an individual from having casual drinking to full-scale alcohol addiction? Sadly, the explanation is not that easy.

Alcohol addiction is a consequence of a mixture of social, environmental, psychological, and genetic factors. The more risk constituents a person has, the higher the chance that the individual is to become an alcoholic. And usually, those risk determinants are totally out of the person’s power.

Related article: Reasons Why Teens Experiment with Alcohol and Drugs

Why is Alcohol Addictive? 

Physical Aspects

Taking alcohol triggers the release of endorphins and dopamine within the person’s brain. Both of these chemicals are the ones responsible for producing feelings of happiness and pleasure and function as a natural pain reliever. 

Research also reveals that genetic factors play a card when concluding how alcohol acts in the brains of many people. Mainly, the brain of some people released more satisfaction elements in its response to alcohol, and this effect makes them more vulnerable to physical dependency.

Alcohol intake can indeed cause physical modifications in a person’s brain both in functioning and chemistry, which plays a massive component in what makes alcohol irresistible. Alcohol floods the brain’s pleasure and reward centers, and the user feels desires to repeat those experiences of satisfaction. 

Although someone might have the plan to stop, alcohol can still compromise impulse restriction as well as decision-making ability, which causes relapse more likely to happen. What begins as alcohol abuse can swiftly and effortlessly develop to alcohol dependence.

Psychological Aspects

Alcohol addiction, like other obsessions, is eventually a learned response, and an individual’s beliefs and thoughts come to play a role. For instance, someone who doesn’t buy the idea in recovery and treatment is unlikely to establish the effort needed to complete therapy. 

Also, don’t slash out the developmental maturity of a person because it can also be a relevant factor.

Stress and anxiety also play a significant role, particularly in alcohol addiction, with alcohol giving a brief and harmful answer from those uneasy feelings or pressures. This coping process can become a practice that seems extremely difficult to break. 

Additional to drug and alcohol rehabilitation, psychotherapy can assist with the stress-reduction approach and motivation and need to be one component of the healing process. Also, bear in mind that people who are alcohol dependent have higher tendencies of other psychiatric diseases than the overall population. 

Stressful Situations

While not every individual looks for alcohol to reduce stress, some people usually do. When a particular person has a stressful work, for instance, they might be more susceptible to drink alcohol heavily. 

It is frequently the problem with certain professions such as nurses and doctors because their day-to-day experiences can be remarkably stressful. To reduce this risk factor, think about taking the opportunity to de-stress using healthy habits, like exercising, taking a rest, or even reading a book that stimulates your interest.

Family History

In particular situations wherein your parents and relatives are into the habit of consuming large volumes of alcohol, then your risk of becoming an alcohol addict automatically rises. 

A chunk of this theory is because of genetics, but the other aspect has got to do with the environment you are currently in. Spending more time around people who practice heavy drinking or alcohol abuse can lead you to act the same.

Drinking Alcohol at a Young Age

Those individuals who start drinking at an unusually young age have a higher chance to develop an alcohol problem or even a physical dependence on alcoholic drinks as they grow older. 

Not hardly is this because alcohol drinking might become a comfortable practice, but also due to the tolerance levels of the body might increase.

Mental Well-being Issues

Bipolar disorder, loneliness, anxiety, or any other mental health problems can double the risk of alcohol addiction

It is straightforward to look for alcohol when an individual is feeling lonely or anxious, and the fleeting effects of alcoholic beverages may appear to ease those uneasy feelings momentarily. This habit can resort to drinking way much more, which then leads to addiction in alcohol.

Related article: Do Something When You See the Frightening Signs of Alcoholism Today

Withdrawal Symptoms

Individuals who are dependent on alcohol and abruptly stop drinking undergo a process of detoxification that can have many physical and psychological manifestations. These symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Hand tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Insomnia

The process of withdrawal is complicated and very challenging to go through, as the body and brain beg the volume of alcohol they are used to receive. 

Avoiding these withdrawal effects is an excellent motivator for an alcoholic person to continue to drink. This notion can produce a vicious series, where the alcoholic person drinks to dodge the pressure of withdrawal.

Many determinants play a specific role in an individual’s risk of alcohol addiction. Always remember that it is crucial to recognize your chances of becoming an alcoholic. You should also execute those healthy habits to lower those risks as much as possible.

How do You Know You’re an Alcoholic?

Most people enjoy a glass of wine or two at social gatherings or a cold bottle of beer after a workday. However, are there times when you can’t survive a day without alcohol in your system? You’re aware that you’re drinking in excess, yet you still do it anyway. 

In North America, 15.1 million people struggle with alcoholism, with 3.3 million deaths resulting from alcohol abuse. This problem stretches across various age groups, and that makes it very alarming. 

If you do drink alcohol, how can you determine that you’re an alcoholic? An alcoholic, or a person with Alcohol Use Disorder, is someone who can’t control his alcohol consumption. The substance occupies your thoughts, and it causes adverse effects in your life. Read on to know more to know if you or someone you know is an alcoholic. 

Stages of Alcoholism

Alcoholism has phases, and you might not be aware that you have Alcohol Use Disorder. Check the stages and see if you’re on the way to being an alcoholic. 

Stage 1

Do you find yourself drinking more alcohol, yet you don’t get drunk as quickly as before? A higher tolerance can mean that you’re going through stage one, or the pre-alcoholic stage. Assess your reasons for drinking, and this can determine if you’re on the way to stage two.

Stage 2

Have you experienced getting so drunk and blacking out? It is a sign of an early alcoholic stage. You become dependent on alcohol. You know that your growing dependence can cause other people to worry, so you hide alcohol and withdraw from other people. 

Stage 3

If your relationships are affected by alcohol abuse, you’re on the middle alcoholic stage. Your body also changes negatively. You might experience weight loss or weight gain, and stomach bloating. 

Stage 4

Heavy drinking is a part of your life, and this can be your priority. Your life probably won’t be going well by this time. You might have lost your job, or you don’t have a social life anymore. You can also get severe or fatal diseases caused by alcohol abuse at this point. 

Other signs that you’re an alcoholic

If you’re not sure that you’re going through the stages, maybe these other signs will help you. You can determine if you are a social drinker, or you have Alcohol Use Disorder.

You hide when consuming alcohol

Do you prefer drinking alone? Maybe it irritates you when people comment that you’re drinking again. To avoid having people tell you off, you’d rather hide and drink by yourself. You don’t call up your friends anymore because they don’t drink as much as you do.

It can lead you to be isolated from your family and friends. Since you’re alone most of the time, you don’t like spending time with them. It can put a strain on your relationships. Alcohol is now your companion, not the people who love you and care for you. 

You want to drink alcohol frequently

Do you think of alcohol even when you’re doing other things, such as when you’re at work or the gym? It can be a sign of Alcohol Use Disorder. If you do, you’re probably going to make excuses for you to drink.

You’ll think of ways to pass it off as something else. You might say that you need a drink to help you relax because you’re stressed, or you want to feel good about yourself. An alcoholic will never run out of excuses to drink even when other people will tell him to stop. 

You consume alcohol excessively

How much is too much when it comes to alcohol drinking? It varies according to what you regularly drink. A serving is 12 ounces for beer, 8-9 ounces for malted liquor, 1.5 ounces for brandy and similar drinks, 2-3 ounces for a liqueur, and 5 ounces for wine. 

However, it’s not about how much you drink in a day. It can also be how frequent you drink. Maybe you drink in small amounts, but you drink at least five times a day. Perhaps you’ve already noticed that you feel adverse effects but can’t stop drinking even if you want to quit. 

You blackout and you can’t remember what you did

Are there times when you were so drunk, and you can’t remember what you did? You wake up somewhere, and you can’t recall how you ended up in that place. These lapses in your memory should alarm you, mainly if it keeps happening again.

Alcohol causes your blackouts. It can occur when your body’s alcohol content reaches 14% above. When you wake up, you might find it hard to talk or stand. Your vision can also get blurry, and you can’t make sound decisions. 

What’s more alarming is that blackouts can be permanent. If your blackout is partial, things can trigger your lost memory, and you can still remember things. A complete blackout means that whatever you do, you’ll never retrieve your lost memories. 

You include alcohol in your daily routine

Do you include alcohol in your regular activities? You drink when you get home, or after eating a meal. It’s okay if you do this sometimes, but what if you do this every day? You also get annoyed when people tell you that you’re drinking too much. 

It can also affect your relationship with others because your irritation with people can lead to conflicts. You’d say that you don’t need alcohol, but the signs say otherwise. If a day goes by and you can’t stay away from alcohol, that’s a sign. 

You experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms

Withdrawal is a challenging experience. If you tried to stop drinking, and you have experienced some of these symptoms, you can be an alcoholic. Minor hand tremors, sweating, mood swings, headaches, and nausea are signs of alcohol withdrawal. 

Stage 4 alcoholics can experience delirium tremens or severe alcohol withdrawal delirium. It can include confusion, agitation, seizures, mood changes, deep sleep, and even excitement. 

Alcohol Use Disorder affects a lot of people worldwide. If you think that you’re an alcoholic, assess yourself and check if you see any signs. If you do, it’s best to cut back as early as possible before your progress to the severe stages of Alcohol Use Disorder.

Related article: Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal: How Serious are they and How do they Affect You?

How to Stop Drinking Alcohol?

Merely thinking about the idea of having to stop drinking alcohol can be a long and tough scheme. Usually, we may believe that it is impossible, but it is entirely not.

If you are eager to stop boozing and now ready to get the assistance you require, you can heal from alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. You can do this regardless of how heavy you drink or how helpless you may seem. 

Besides, you don’t need to remain steady until you reach the lowest possible level because you can start a change at any specific period. Whether you desire to quit alcohol drinking altogether or cut down your boozing to healthier volumes, this article can assist you in starting heading to the path of recovery now.

Accept the Drinking Problem

If we put our drinking habits into consideration, we sometimes ask ourselves: Am I an alcoholic, or a casual drinker? As the traditional adage goes, the first step towards acceptance is acknowledging that you have a problem.

Ask the appropriate question. 

Stop questioning yourself as to whether or not you are an alcohol addict. If you are asking yourself this question, then you seemingly are one. Instead, try asking yourself if drinking is stopping you from having the life you desire. If your answer is “yes,” then the first step is over since you admit the problem.

Cease yourself from comparing. 

Noting the similarities and dissimilarities between yourself and others will only cause you harm because their lives are not yours. Bear in mind that you are a person with a different, yet complex experience. Comparing your drinking habits to that of other people will only lead you to self-rationalization.

Picture yourself in the future. 

Imagine yourself several years from now with your current drinking habits. Now, ask yourself, are you okay with what you see? If you think not, then you might have a concern regarding alcohol. It is always better to admit it so that you can start fixing it.

If you don’t have any boozing problem, but your loved one has, then these following approaches might help you. These steps can assist you in shedding light on your loved one’s drinking problem. Written below are some suggestions on how you can support an alcoholic to stop drinking.

Allow them to talk comfortably

Have them feel free to talk about the causes that contribute to their problem in drinking.

It is particularly unlikely for people to drink utterly to drink. Usually, people who have a drinking problem struggle with anxiety or loneliness and they drink to ease their uneasy feelings. 

It is essential to acknowledge that you believe there might be an underlying concern about mental health that results in alcohol drinking. But try not to appear accusatory, particularly if the person doesn’t recognize that he’s suffering from stress or sadness. Instead, kindly ask them if they believe there could be a particular cause that leads them to drink. 

Promote communication with your loved one

This method might cause a difficult discussion for both the drinker and yourself, but it is crucial. You may call this as an intervention, or merely a conversation. Interventions usually are more serious and have more people taking part in it, so it depends on the kind of situation. 

Whether a free conversation or a serious intervention, the aspired result is still the same. It is to bring awareness to a loved one’s unhealthy drinking problem, and wish that the individual can acknowledge where the concern is coming from.

Don’t hesitate to offer support

Sobriety and healing will become a lot less stressful if a person knows he has a reliable support system. Be firm in leading them to a treatment program you believe may be an excellent fit. There is a wide array of information about rehabilitation, and it might be confusing to decide where to begin, particularly in the early phases of sobriety. 

If you can make that assignment a bit manageable, then your loved one will try to encourage themselves. It is to take good advantage of the work you put for the individual’s well-being.

Ask people who had the same problem

In situations wherein you know persons who have happily quit drinking, try to speak with them. Ask these individuals how they eventually came to terms with their drinking issue and how they were able to address it. 

Without a doubt, what goes smoothly to a single person will not certainly go easily for everyone. On the other hand, if you believe their experience seems comparable to that situation of your loved one, then ask them if they would be open to having a talk with that person for you.

Do not pass disappointment or judgment

Making a person with drinking problems feel more regret or lowering their self-confidence will only do no good specifically in a situation like this. Keep in mind that alcohol addiction is a sickness. 

So, if you are fortunate enough to not suffer from any significant loneliness in life, do your very best not to display any judgments or disappointments. Be kind and understanding when someone you love is coping with it. 

Not merely do you not realize it firsthand, but you might also do more injury than good. Humiliating a person suffering from alcohol addiction will only make them return to practices that hide their emotions, which is, of course, drinking. 

Become the positive reinforcement at all times, and never think about the approach of shame and judgment because it will only make things worse.

Nearly all people with alcohol issues don’t choose to execute a considerable change so suddenly or modify their drinking practices overnight. The path to recovery is a slow, continuous process. In the initial steps of change, denial is a huge obstacle, which is why a person must learn to admit first. 

But, even after acknowledging you have a drinking issue, you may create excuses and avoid the problem. It is critical to recognize your uncertainty about quitting drinking. You may not be sure if you are willing to change or you are struggling with your decision. It might help to reflect on the benefits and drawbacks of each choice.

Related article: Effects of Alcohol on Mental Health

What are the Treatments for Alcohol Addiction?

Alcoholism, or alcohol addiction, has been deemed as a brain disease and cannot be treated by willpower. Though it may be possible, the chances are slim because your brain can have changes caused by alcohol that makes it harder to quit. You have to know what kinds of treatments are available and there is a lot to choose from.

Discipline

As the famous line goes, “It all starts within yourself,” and this may also be true with alcoholism. Though again, there might be a slim possibility, at least you’ve got that motivation in you to quit. There are a lot of stories from former alcohol addicts who quit because there was something that motivated them. Maybe you can find yours, too.

Professional Care

Perhaps the best first step in your treatment. You can always go to an expert even for mild cases wherein you abuse alcohol but aren’t dependent on it. Usually, three symptoms might tell you it’s time to seek professional help:

  • The feeling of having to drink
  • Not being able to control how much you drink
  • Not feeling good when you cannot drink

There are a lot of care experts who can help you out with your alcoholism. Be sure to decide whether you want to lessen your drinking habits or completely stop drinking. There are a lot of treatment plans for each alcoholic abuse.

Alcohol Addiction Expert

When thinking of seeking professional care, your doctor would be the first to come into mind. Other than the fact that your doctor can refer you to the most appropriate expert, they can also do the following:

  • Assess the individual’s drinking pattern
  • Construct a proper treatment plan
  • Figure out a patient’s overall health
  • Examine if there are needed medications

Behavioural Treatment Expert

Behavioural treatment, commonly known as alcohol counselling, is a type of alcoholism treatment that includes seeking out help from health professionals. You may go to experts like a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or an alcohol counsellor. This treatment focuses more on the factors that lead to heavy alcohol consumption, and this includes:

  • Identifying the needed support to stop or lower down drinking habits
  • Creating a better peer support system
  • Setting achievable accomplishments
  • Endure, or better yet, avoiding relapse triggers

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, is a type of behavioural treatment that focuses on an individual’s way of thinking and processing of thoughts that lead to excessive drinking. It can be done one-on-one with your therapist or maybe in a small circle. CBT can also help you cope up with your body’s stress that may lead to relapse.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy

From the name itself, it suggests boosting your motivation to stop drinking. It also includes the benefits and disadvantages of seeking treatment and creating an ideal plan in making changes to your drinking habit. Also, a part in boosting self-esteem and identifying factors that can help you stick to the goal.

Marital and Family Counseling

This type of treatment involves the active support of people closest to you who can be of great help with your treatment process. It includes your spouse and other family members who can significantly influence you with your decisions and improve family relationships. With this, studies also show that this is a more effective way of ending your drinking habits compared to people who undergo individual counselling.

Brief Interventions

Brief Intervention treatments are short and time-limited counselling usually one-on-one or small group sessions. This treatment aims to provide you with information on your drinking habit patterns and what the risks might be. After identifying, you will work then with the counsellor to formulate solutions on how you can achieve your goal.

Detoxification

Getting the alcohol ejected from your body is a crucial step when wanting to eradicate alcoholism which usually takes days. It is ideal to go to a hospital or a rehab center because alcohol addicts tend to experience withdrawal symptoms, especially for those who have been drinking for years. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Nonetheless, undergoing detox in hospitals or treatment centers guarantees you a safe journey throughout the process. Doctors and other experts will keep an eye on you and give you certain medications to help you.

Medication

If there’s one thing about drugs, it’s that there’s no “cure” to alcohol addiction. However, medicines can undoubtedly help you in recovering. Currently, there are three medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help you combat alcohol usage disorder.

Acamprosate (Campral)

Acamprosate makes the maintaining of abstinence easier by repairing the natural balance of chemicals in the brain, or so-called neurotransmitters. However, before taking this medication, make sure that you are under counselling and is no longer drinking alcohol. Though, if in case, you’ll start drinking alcohol again, do continue taking the medication and tell your doctor promptly.

Disulfiram (Antabuse)

Disulfiram is an effective medication that makes you feel sick when indulging in alcohol. This drug aims to stop the breakdown of alcohol in your body. In turn, this causes unpleasant effects on your body as it is rejecting alcohol. This include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Chest Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Breathing Difficulty

Naltrexone (Revia)

Naltrexone should also be available for recovering addicts along with counselling and support. This medication should also not be used as treatment if you still are a heavy drinker. What Naltrexone does is that it decreases the craving for alcohol and the satisfaction you get from consuming one. It somehow reduces the “good feeling” you get when you are drinking.

Generally speaking, there certainly is never an easy way out of alcohol substance abuse and addiction. Always be mindful of the symptoms and observe yourself. Seek out the help of other people and get treated. Don’t wait for the time when everything’s too late, or a relationship with someone suffers from brokeness.

You can go to care experts and professionals who can tend to your needs. Yes, recovery may take a long time, but it will always be fulfilling to finish the process and tell yourself you’ve succeeded. Get help now.

Related article: The Most Important Truth About Alcohol Abuse That Will Make You a Victim

How to Stay Clean and Sober from Alcohol?

Every alcoholic who is new to recovery knows that there’s a struggle after quitting the addictive behaviour of drinking alcohol. Even if you want to stop your alcoholism altogether, there are withdrawal symptoms that push you into relapsing. 

According to research, 80 percent of alcoholics who have been sober for a long time had at least one relapse in their recovery process. The rest had many relapses before they find long-term sobriety. 

The good thing is that you can do something to avoid having a slip back into your alcohol addiction. If you want to stay clean and sober from alcohol, you must follow these tips for your freedom from alcohol addiction. 

Related article: Choosing an Addiction Treatment Centre

Stay Away from Your Old Habits

Getting rid of your old bad habits is difficult. However, you can do it if you have the willpower to change for the better. Just keep in mind that you need to adopt a new lifestyle now and that you don’t want to be dependent on alcohol anymore. 

One step that you must take is to stay away from past routines that enable you to remember and crave for alcohol. Also, you must avoid your old drinking buddies who are obstacles to your recovery. 

Try to make friends with people. 

Do so with those who are taking the same path to recovery. It is so that you can share experiences and you won’t feel alone in your journey. Being with your family can also help in making some changes in your lifestyle.

Moreover, you must develop a structured schedule every day or every week to make your life more organized. Make sure to create short- or long-term goals so that you have something to focus on in life. Experts say that having a secure way of life paves the path to long-term sobriety. 

Do Some Physical Workout

Many people who become addicted to alcohol for a long time have poor health and are not in their best physical shape. If you’re one of this group, it’s time that you do some exercise and workout to get yourself physically active. 

Becoming physically active is an excellent way to help you have a healthy lifestyle after alcohol addiction. It also helps you reduce stress and withdrawal symptoms after quitting alcohol, which are primary triggers for relapse. 

Get a Job or Do Something Meaningful 

If you’ve struggled with alcohol dependence for a long time, you’re likely in financial ruins right now. In this case, it’s time to get back on track and find a job that will help you recuperate financially. 

Getting a job and having something meaningful to do in life also helps you avoid relapse. Many alcoholics who always fell into the trap of going back into drinking had work-related problems and financial issues, which are triggers for slipping back into old drinking habits. 

Likewise, finding a job is essential in recovery as it helps you to focus on something. Aside from the fact that it helps you get your finances in order, having a meaningful job enables your mind to get rid of your former cravings. 

Just keep in mind that you don’t have to hasten things to find a job. Sometimes the process can add up to your stress and possibly contribute to your relapse. Take it one step at a time until you find work that fits for you. 

Join a Support Group

It’s an excellent idea to join an alcohol abuse support group to help you in your recovery. When you find a connection with people who are going the same path to recovery as yours, you will find the journey immensely comforting and worthwhile. 

Joining a support group for people who are struggling with alcohol dependence will allow you to learn experiences and strategies to cope with the problem. It’s also an excellent way to get rid of emotional baggage within yourself by sharing with them your experiences. And they will understand you because alcoholics go through similar experiences as yours. 

The most popular support group for recovering alcoholics is Alcoholics Anonymous. However, you can find other available support groups that will help you in your recovery. 

Seek Out Long-Term Treatment

Seeking out long-term treatment can help you face and understand the reality of alcohol addiction. Also, learn coping skills to help manage your cravings and avoid dealing with self-destructive behaviours. 

For a long-treatment of your alcohol addiction, you need to undergo therapy sessions with qualified mental health professionals. They should have experience dealing with patients struggling with substance abuse and addiction issues. 

Deal with Your Past Failures

A lot of people who are going through recovery are carrying emotional pain and suffering from their past mistakes. Their past failures can often cause them to feel guilty and ashamed. Feelings of shame and guilt can be toxic and destructive when you’re trying to stay clean and sober. Most of the time, they can also be the reason for relapse. 

Recovering alcoholics can experience negative feelings about their past behaviours as well as negative beliefs about their self-worth. They may suffer thinking about the people that they have harmed in the past because of their addiction. 

If you want to have long-term sobriety, you need to learn from the past but not dwell in it. Live in the present moment, and think of the better things that you can do now to live a life that’s worth living. 

Keep Calm

Many recovering alcoholics have some problems dealing with anger. They may feel restless and emotional at times that can be destructive to themselves and the people around them. Having emotional and anger issues is one of the symptoms of withdrawal. 

So, if you want to get on the path to recovery, you must learn to manage your destructive emotions. Stay cool and keep calm when stress hits you. Learn coping techniques on how to deal with anger appropriately to make your recovery process successful. 

Takeaway

Staying clean and sober is not easy for many recovering alcoholics. But some ways can help them overcome their addictive impulses to help them change for the better.

Getting rid of old habits, finding a balanced lifestyle, getting a meaningful job, joining a support group, seeking out long-term treatment, dealing with past failures, and staying composed are the ways to successful recovery from alcohol addiction.

Related article: Alcohol Addiction Treatment: Is There a Way to Change?

Top Reasons to Stop Drinking Too Much Alcohol

Drinking alcohol is enjoyable at first before the continuous hangovers take over. The advantages of quitting significantly outmatch the advantages of drinking. Quitting alcohol may seem impossible. It is particularly hard for people who are already addicted to it. In many cases, the alcoholic believes that there is absolutely no point in life without alcohol. As a result, they still continue to drink despite all the negative impacts it has on their life.

A lot of men and women are locked up in the prison of alcoholism. Fortunately, quitting is still possible even though being sober appears to be a distant reality. But the truth is that it only requires a number of definitive actions. Also, the advantages of quitting drinking too much alcohol are remarkable. People can enhance their lives in so many ways by not drinking anymore. Here are a few of the advantages of quitting.

As you stop drinking alcohol, you will feel far better.

Alcohol is not a health-giving substance and people today have a tendency to overlook that. Sure, there is proof that a drink or two can prevent specific diseases but prolonged drinking and binge drinking is downright harmful. When someone drinks too much, their body must work overtime to process the substance. The liver goes into overwork to process it.

As the brain attempts to calibrate itself, it will go haywire in the process. And so will the lungs and the heart as it will then pump at irregular levels. This is not the way that the body is intended to function.

Those people who do not drink, on the contrary, are inclined to be a whole lot healthier such that they are not vulnerable to alcohol’s impact on the body since the body is spared from processing compounds that are poisonous. The body can concentrate its energy on different important functions. Because of this, the body and the mind can work at most optimum levels.

There are a lot of benefits when you give up drinking, one of which is in line with your mental health. Drinking does not only affect physical health but mental health as well. Drinking moderately can help alleviate stress but in excess, it can cause individuals to make regretful decisions in life. These regretful choices are called moral hangovers in which drinking too much often results in undesirable and regrettable behaviour.

Consequently, guilt and shame often accompany drinking that after a certain period of time, this may have bad effects on the person’s mental health. For this reason, the elimination of guilt feelings will be one of the greatest advantages of quitting alcohol. But of course, sober individuals do crazy things that they will regret as well; however, in the absence of alcohol, these regrets will be minimized.

The period of time that a person will feel better after they quit drinking differs from person to person. An individual usually starts to feel better over the first couple of weeks since alcohol does not remain in the body for quite long. Even habitual alcoholics may detoxify in a matter of a week or so that they ought to begin to feel better should they eat healthily and exercise.

Drinking has emotional or psychological side effects as well and these are not as easy to repair. Whether an alcoholic has a co-occurring condition such as stress, their illness will still be there once they quit drinking alcohol. The removal of alcoholic drinks will help them reach a place of equilibrium should they devote to sobriety and consult with a physician for assistance.

Quit drinking alcohol and it will make you look younger.

Alcohol makes people look old; it is not good for the skin since it is a diuretic which makes the body dehydrated. It makes the skin less elastic and dries out without appropriate hydration. It also triggers inflammation of the body tissues and that is the reason that whenever they drink, some people have flushed faces because the skin on becomes inflamed. Usually, the redness goes off as the alcohol is flushed out of the system. But eventually, continuous inflammation will harm their skin.

Moreover, research indicates that drinking makes the cells of the body age fast. It decreases the lifespan of the cells from the skin, heart, liver, and other organs. If the body of a person is very unhealthy to generate new cells, the ageing process shall be more evident. Their organs and skin will begin to deteriorate much more rapidly.

So what does the face of an alcoholic look like? Each drinker differs, some are fortunate enough to have genes that are great, therefore alcoholic beverages may not have drastic impacts on their skin. However, in many individuals, alcohol reduces collagen levels. Collagen is a protein which strengthens the tissue and also links skin cells that if it breaks down, the skin gets loose and saggy.

Aside from that, jaundice can also be caused by alcoholism. The signs of jaundice include yellowish eyes and skin. This condition happens when the liver is too frail to process toxins properly. Some toxins have been sent to the bloodstream and spread throughout the entire body if the liver cannot filter them out. And when the toxins reach the eyes and skin, both begin to have a yellow colour. So, people should avoid alcohol if they want to have the most healthy skin possible.

Money-wise, being sober can save you a lot of money.

The advantages of being alcohol-free go beyond the physical; it also has financial benefits. Those who drink, after all, are well aware that the price of alcohol can accumulate. A bottle of wine or a couple of beers will only cost a few dollars but if a person drinks on a weekly, or daily basis then the cost will add up over time. And of course, drinking is frequently accompanied by poor choices. If any legal problems, like a DUI, happens, they are likely to suffer huge financial setbacks.

Money spent on drinks in the pub can accumulate over time. If a person drinks just two of these beverages and goes to the pub once a week, they wind up spending more than $500 each year! That amount can be spent on things that are far more important and satisfying. Former alcoholics discover that their pockets are thicker once they cease to drink alcohol. Even occasional drinkers can gain from the benefits of stopping.

A person who is sober can connect with people more.

A lot of people nowadays have become isolated because of their drinking problem. It causes people to feel lonely, embarrassed, and guilty. Obscured by alcohol, they oftentimes forget there are individuals on the planet that would like to love and associate with them. Experts indicate that alcohol dependence stems from the absence of connection. Alcohol and drugs provide a sense of equilibrium to addicts. By using drugs or alcohol, they could feel connected. It delivers a type of security to alcoholics; after all, alcohol cannot judge anybody.

Anti-social people, who try to guard themselves against emotional distress, use drugs and alcohol as a method of preventing debilitating feelings and self-awareness. Of course, their drug of choice and the relationship between an addict isn’t real, nor it is healthy. Everybody longs for personal and human connection, and sobriety provides that. Among the advantages of not drinking alcohol is that the security of drunkenness is eliminated, forcing individuals to form genuine connections with those people around them.

Since alcoholism is very isolating, most of the recovering alcohol addicts have a difficult time throughout the first days of being sober. Former alcoholics are made to face their reality which can oftentimes be overwhelming. Luckily, there are lots of resources for newly sober individuals. There are organizations that have been formed to provide a place for alcoholics to reconnect with others.

Some of these organizations are based on the concept that compassion is the secret to sobriety. To be able to avoid a relapse, alcoholics need to learn how to accept others and themselves. Addicts that spend some time reconnecting with other people and interacting without being judged will help a whole lot of individuals to get sober. But sometimes these programs are not appropriate for everybody. Some alcoholics can do better without it. However, for all those people who took advantage of the program, it is a world of companionship that opened and provided them with a fresh lease on life.

Quitting alcohol can help you lose weight.

Alcoholic drinks are high in calories but these are empty calories. The human body processes and stores alcohol in the form of sugar, which will subsequently be converted to fats. Individuals who drink too much usually take more weight around than those who do not. As a matter of fact, research points out that too much alcohol consumption is closely connected to obesity. The longer a person drinks, the more probable it is that they will get added undesirable weight.

But of course, some people have quick metabolisms than others so it cannot be concluded that there is a direct connection between the weight and the amount of alcohol consumed. Their personal preference with regards to drinking can affect the weight since the sugar content of some beverages is higher. However, if an individual is seeking to eliminate some weight then they ought to begin by quitting alcohol. After all, losing weight is one of the great benefits of quitting alcohol.

How long after quitting alcohol can you lose weight?

The weight reduction timeline changes from person to person. Some individuals burn calories and process glucose quicker than others. Quitting alcohol may be an excellent way to lose weight but to really eliminate the weight, people ought to embrace a healthy diet and lifestyle. This really is actually the very best method to eliminate weight after placing the alcohol aside.

One of the greatest benefits of quitting is that the appetite for carbs lessens. It is very common for people to grab for food that is high in carbohydrates to treat a hangover. This is due to the fact that the comedown in the carb-rush causes blood sugar to fall, which activates the brain to crave for more carbs. Therefore, if an individual will be able to prevent high-carb foods as well as refraining from alcohol, then weight reduction will be faster.

Quitting alcoholic drinks can minimize the risk of a heart attack.

Drinking can cause serious damage to the pulmonary system and the heart especially to those people who are more prone to these conditions. The chance of cardiovascular disease can also increase. Among the health benefits of quitting alcohol is reducing such risks. There are a lot of people who suffer from heart disease and over 500,000 individuals are diagnosed with it annually. Experts say that the danger of heart failure is almost two times as high in heavy drinkers or those who consume more than 14 drinks a week. So, one of the best advantages of stopping alcohol is a much more healthy heart and a longer lifespan.

Why is alcohol not good for your heart?

The issue with drinking is that it raises the amount of fat in the blood; particularly it increases the number of triglycerides that could result in increased cholesterol levels. Fatty blood is not good for your heart as it slows down the rate of movement of the blood in the body which will cause the heart to work hard more to pump the blood. With time, higher cholesterol might lead to lots of different ailments and heart failure. To keep a healthy heart, males should consume no more than two drinks a day while the ladies should not have more than one.

Quitting gives you time to pick up an old hobby or take on a new one.

Drinking takes a considerable amount of time and attending parties, clearly, is time-consuming in itself. However, adding up all the time that it requires to find alcohol and add the time it takes to decrease the alcohol intoxication in the body, it definitely eats a lot of time. As a matter of fact, it has been so time-consuming that a great deal of recently sober people has trouble occupying their time. They don’t understand what to do if they do not need to consider drinking.

But, taking up a new hobby is essential for remaining sober. Some alcoholics turn to workouts, others concentrate on music, and some would rather fish, garden, or read. It does not matter what kind of hobby a former alcoholic prefers, so long as it offers something to occupy their thoughts.

As they say that boredom is damaging to the road to sobriety, those who actually enjoy an activity will naturally be very excited to secure the positive effects of not drinking. They will have more energy and time to concentrate on doing what they enjoy without being disrupted by hangovers and booze. Anyone who said that quitters will never win did not have the opportunity to enjoy the advantages of giving up on drinking alcohol.

Once you are sober, you can correct the mistakes of the past.

Everybody has done something that they are sorry for and heavy drinkers have a tendency to do things that make them more miserable. Among the advantages of stopping is getting the opportunity to compensate for all those things they have done and also to apologize. In many instances, alcoholics could have behaved in a manner that resulted in friends or their loved ones to distance themselves. But once the individual stops drinking and provided that they remain sober, maybe those people might forgive them.

One of the good things about quitting alcohol is having the ability to start anew. But if there are still traces of the past, then it is difficult to maneuver towards the future. Sobriety provides individuals with the chance to do the things right and start over. It may be a familiar tune, but it is still true: alcoholics are presented with another chance at life by sobriety. Without the burdens of fatigue, sickness, and hangovers, recovered drinkers have time to put effort on their goals.

No matter what an individual’s goals are, the very best approach to reach them is to totally remove alcohol in their system. They will realize that it will open up to all kinds of physical, financial, and emotional access which would not exist if this is not the case. And, to say the least, those who stop drinking will surely reap the benefits of living a longer and healthier life.

Signs of Alcoholism

The Five Common Signs of Alcoholism: Top Five Redflags You Should Know 

Alcohol is currently the world’s third-leading cause of global problems such as diseases and injuries. Not to mention the social and psychological impact this kind of problem can cause in the life of an alcoholic. Because of this massive global burden, alcohol rehabilitation exists.  

In Canada, alcohol is considered a socially-accepted type of drink and has become an important part of many Canadians’ daily routine. Surprisingly, about 80% of Canadians drink and most would usually associate drinking with pleasurable events like music festivals, parties, watching sports or simply relaxing. Canadians also drink to celebrate important occasions and events like weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, promotion, awards, etc.  All of these are often celebrated with a “toast” of alcohol. 

The True Nature of Alcohol 

While many people in Canada treat alcohol like food, everyone should have familiarity with this kind of drink especially on its true nature and potential effects especially when consumed excessively over time.  Alcohol is known as a mind-altering drug or substance and there are many different kinds of health issues that are associated with drinking alcohol. There are low-risk drinking guidelines observed by many people today but these do not necessarily mean that drinking alcohol is harmless. 

Today, more than 3 million Canadians are at risk of acute illnesses and injuries caused by drinking alcohol. On the other hand, about 4.5 million people in the country are at risk of chronic health problems like cancer and liver disease. Children grow up and exposed to alcohol consumption and about 3,000 babies are born each year with a disorder known as a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. 

Alcohol-Related Morbidity and Mortality in Canada 

In the country, alcohol is known to be one of the most common causes of diseases among Canadians. It is the top risk factor for the people of Canada that belong to the 15-49 years age bracket. In the year 2002, alcohol was pointed out as the cause of 4,258 deaths in the country. These deaths were commonly due to alcoholic liver diseases, vehicular accidents and suicides. 

The Red flags or Signs of Alcoholism 

Red flags are warnings of danger or a problem. The following are the most common signs or red flags of alcoholism: 

    • Lying About Drinking. This is a point when an alcoholic denies. Commonly, a person drinks secretly and lies about how much he consumes. This can be tough and difficult to spot. 
    • Neglecting Responsibilities. An alcoholic usually finds it hard to follow and grow through his normal responsibilities. This is commonly due to the shifting of his priorities, setting alcohol drinking as his primary focus. 
    • Drinking Alcohol o De-Stress. When a person reaches for a bottle of alcohol and drinks it during a stressful situation, this is an indication that this person has a problem. The use of alcohol to cope can cause serious risks. 
  • Regular and Frequent Backing Out. This is a period wherein an alcoholic experiences episodes of total or partial memory loss. This is the result of excessive consumption of alcohol.  
  • Alcohol Dependency. A person who is alcohol-dependent needs to consume more and more alcohol to get drunk. He usually suffers from withdrawal symptoms and consistently fails to cut down or stop his drinking. 

When a person manifests these red flags, there is a need for him to be rehabilitated.  

 

Stop Drinking

What Happens to Your Body When You Quit and Stop Drinking?

Stop Drinking

When you stop drinking and go back to a healthy and alcohol-free lifestyle, there are various changes that you will feel in your body. Canada is one of the countries that have been grappling with alcohol addiction and dependence. The initiatives taken to finally put an end or moderation to drinking problem are becoming more and more accessible to Canadians in different provinces and territories. What exactly happens to your body when you finally decide to quit or cut down on your drinking?

Physical Changes When You Stop Drinking

A lot of Canadians are dealing with the drinking abuse dilemma and it is affecting different people from varying age groups and economic backgrounds, among many others. It helps to know the different changes that a drinker would physically experience and these could serve as motivations in order to quit drinking for good:

Body Clock Returns to Normal

Many people who are suffering from drinking abuse have trouble going to sleep or having sufficient sleep as drinking increases the alpha wave patterns of the brain. The pattern serves as a type of cerebral activity which happens when the person is resting but awake. The increase of such brain activity results to disrupted sleep. Better sleep is guaranteed when you stop drinking and it also results to better concentration, improved mood, and a boost in your mental performance.

Pounds will Fall Off

One of the best ways to shed those extra calories and pounds is to quit drinking. When you stop drinking, you are reducing your intake of calories that you unknowingly consume when you drink alcohol. One margarita, for instance, has over 300 caloric contents which are mostly derived from sugar. Men who drink alcohol take in up to 400 calories while women have additional 300 calories when they don’t drink moderately. Simply quit drinking if you want to lose weight with minimal efforts.

Reduced Risk for Cancer

Alcohol use is connected to increased cancer risks particularly for the liver, mouth, rectum, breast, and colon. Over-consumption of alcohol is linked to the malfunction of the major body organs and exposes the body to the toxic materials and free radicals that come with the alcohol you drink. Stop drinking and you would also reduce the risks of acquiring diabetes since some alcohols also have higher sugar content.

Appetite Moderation is Guaranteed

Quitting drinking doesn’t mean that you would lose your appetite all together. In only reduces your appetite as alcohol drinking is one of the factors that drive a person to excessively consume food. Alcohol basically heightens an individual’s senses particularly their sense of smell and triggers of hunger pangs and cravings. Start with an alcohol-free lifestyle to have a great dietary regimen.

Canada is facing a huge problem with excessive drinking and the abuse of this substance is affecting Canadians in the health and social aspects. When you stop drinking, you experience a smorgasbord of physiological health benefits that bring back your total wellness inside and out. Find an alcohol abuse treatment facility now.

Addiction Recovery Vancouver

Personalities to Avoid During Addiction Recovery

Not everyone is going to understand or support an addict’s goal to quit their bad habit; in fact, some people might try to harm an individual’s chances of getting better. Someone who is in recovery from an addiction will be warned to avoid specific places and things, but sometimes it can be hard to avoid certain people.

Keep in mind that not every personality type is going to be good for your recovery, regardless of what they say or how you feel about them. Your recovery is the most important step in your personal process, and it is completely acceptable to choose only the most supportive people until you’re ready to be around others.

The following are the suggested personalities to avoid during addiction recovery:

Present Users & Abusers

It’s no surprise that being around people who use substances can make it tough for someone to avoid temptations. In this case, consider staying away from friends who don’t support your journey, or friends who aren’t willing to enjoy a sober night with you.

In the case of substance abusers, it is possible for these groups to be very bad influences on a recovering addict. Often they will try to talk an individual into going to a party or testing their ability to “have just one”. These personalities either don’t understand someone’s goal to quit, or they are envious of their ability to do so.

The Negative Nancy

Some people just cannot help their negative personalities, and oftentimes you’ll notice that you feel down after just a few minutes of being around them.

These personalities are no help for a recovering addict, since they rarely see the positive in their accomplishments, let alone those of others. Avoid people with negative personalities, who may undermine your success or make you second guess your decisions.

Pay attention to how you feel when you’re around every individual, and use that information to choose who you surround yourself with on a daily basis.

The Mom Figure

Some people aren’t supportive enough, and some people go a little overboard. Personalities to avoid during addiction recovery include the mom figure whose excessive attention to you may actually harm more than help you.

It’s amazing to have close friends and family who care about you and your progress during recovery; however, having them care too much can be a problem as well.

As a recovering addict, it is your responsibility to get back out into the world as a functioning individual in society. Having someone who babies you and holds your hand too much is actually slowing down your individual growth in sobriety.

Not only will they try to make decisions for you, but they may also bring too much attention to your situation, which may discourage you as well.

The Critic

Even if you’ve managed to break a bad habit and stay sober for months or years, the critic will always find something else they think is wrong with you. Nothing is ever good enough, and this can often lead to a recovering addict feeling similar emotions.

Avoid the critic personality at all costs; chances are everyone else is already doing it, too.

Conclusion

Anyone who makes you feel negative or uncomfortable in any kind of way shouldn’t have a spot in your life regardless; however, if you’ve got friends or family that you can’t shake, these are the personalities to avoid during addiction recovery.

If you must, bring them back into your circle when you are confident enough in yourself that nothing can stop you.