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Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused drugs in America. Over 50 percent of Americans above the age of 12 have tried alcohol in some capacity, but this does not necessarily make them all addicts. Alcohol addiction comes when you are unable to control how much and how often you drink. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of alcoholism and understand what can occur when you experience prolonged alcohol use.

Recognizing Alcohol Addiction

Alcoholism is often difficult to diagnose in its initial stages, because many people don’t recognize the warning signs. Casual, light drinking does not make you an alcoholic. Alcohol abuse, including frequent binge drinking, can be a symptom of a greater problem, however. Additional signs of alcoholism are as follows:

  • Frequent over-consumption
  • Attempts to hide alcohol use
  • Inability to go without drinking
  • Physical reaction to being without alcohol

Alcoholics typically do not know their limits, and continually overindulge. They may also find themselves ashamed of their condition and hide the evidence from friends and family, or simply go elsewhere do drink instead of being seen. The physical reaction to being without alcohol is perhaps the most troubling symptom of alcoholism because that means that a physical addiction has already been formed and your body is experiencing withdrawal.

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

When you eAlcohol Addictionxperience physical or emotional withdrawal, it can be incredibly distressing, even painful. Often when going through withdrawal alcoholics experience wide swings in mood, and can go from being anxious to angry to depressed quickly. Withdrawal also causes insomnia, night sweats and even tremors. For many, these symptoms can be mildly annoying. Prolonged withdrawal, however, can be dangerous. While experiencing withdrawal – through a process known as detox – alcoholics are at risk of seizures, heart problems and in extreme cases even hallucinations.

If you’ve ever attempted to stop drinking on your own, you may have experienced one or many of these symptoms. However, withdrawal isn’t the only reason people experience health issues from the use of alcohol.

How Alcohol Addiction Harms Your Health

While heart and liver complications are experienced across the board, the CDC has found that women are far more susceptible to the negative impacts of alcoholism, due to how the female body metabolizes the drug. Additionally, babies born to alcoholics are more likely to have birth defects and long-term health issues as well, especially if their mother drinks during pregnancy. Extreme alcohol use has been linked to detrimental changes in male hormones as well, and can even impact reproductive health. Alcoholics of either gender are at risk of throat, liver and mouth cancer but alcohol puts women more at risk of breast cancer, while men experience higher risks of colon cancer.

Additionally, alcoholics are more likely to experience dementia and other neurological disorders. Depression and alcoholism are highly linked as well.

Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

Treatment for alcoholism is available for anyone willing to accept it. Outpatient, inpatient and community outreach programs are the major treatment options available. Call our toll-free number and one of our counselors can help you choose the right option for you.