You’re No Longer In Denial…That’s Good
If you’re ready to ask for help for your alcohol addiction, you’ve already taken the most important step towards recovery. Too many people who suffer from alcohol addiction deny it for much of their life, letting their bodies and their minds get ravaged by alcohol for years and years.
For many, denial is a defense against admitting they have a weakness. According to a recent survey, only 7.8 percent of all people with alcohol dependency were willing to admit that they had a problem. The rest of them wouldn’t admit it and as a result, they may never get the help that they need to overcome their problem.
You’ve already taken that first step and admitted that you need help and are willing to work your way towards recovery. However, before you assume that you actually have a chemical dependency, it might be wise to decide if you just have an alcohol abuse problem. The differences between the two are subtle, but are worth exploring.
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It May Only Be Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse and alcoholism are related but aren’t the same thing and people can abuse alcohol for years without developing any symptoms of true alcoholism. Signs of alcohol abuse include instances of the following occurring multiple times in a 12-month period:
- Problems at work, school, or at home.
- Drinking in spite of personal issues.
- Continued problems with the law that are related to drinking.
- Physical and emotional breakdowns have occurred and you continue to drink.
- Repeatedly drinking until you are sick or drinking for multiple days in a row.
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, you likely regularly abuse alcohol. And this creates a higher risk of developing alcoholism.
Alcoholism is a health condition in which your body has become physically dependent on alcohol in order to feel normal. Simply binge drinking every weekend is not enough: your body has to react in negative ways without a regular intake of alcohol. If you’ve ever suffered from the following conditions, you may have developed alcoholism:
- Increased alcohol tolerance, which requires drinking higher amounts of liquor more frequently in order to get “buzzed”.
- Inability to feel “relaxed” or “normal” without drinking.
- Withdrawal symptoms when you haven’t drunk, such as insomnia, anxiety, sweating, nausea, and dizziness.
- Severe instances of depression that only disappear when you drink.
- Loss of appetite, i.e. drinking your supper.
- Increased severity of headaches.
Some people who suffer from alcoholism may suffer from extreme symptoms, such as hallucinations and even seizures. These symptoms are especially related to delirium tremens, a situation that occurs when alcohol is absent from the body and it can be dangerous enough to be life-threatening.
Alcoholism Treatment Options
Treating the physical symptoms of alcoholism is relatively easy: once your body has passed through withdrawal symptoms and even the DTs, your body is clean and you can move on with the rest of your life. Some medicines, like Antabuse, Naltrexone, and Acamprosate can be used to alleviate the severity of these conditions and make your life easier.
Unfortunately, the biggest problem which you’re going to run into when treating your alcoholism isn’t physical, but mental. Many people who suffer from alcoholism also have one or more underlying emotional problems that contribute to the development of their addiction.
These problems include depression, traumatic events, bipolar disorder, or emotional immaturity. Treating them successfully requires diagnosing them and finding ways to make those issues less severe. Options as diverse as the 12-Step program, group counseling, Secular Organizations for Sobriety, and outpatient and inpatient rehabilitation centers exist to help you recover from your addiction.
Now that you better understand what you are going through and the available treatment options, you can make the full commitment to take charge of your life. That’s why you need to make sure to contact one of our treatment specialists as soon as possible to get information that can answer any questions you may have about your treatment.