Many people consume alcohol. There isn’t anything wrong with having a drink every once in a while at social events or drinking to unwind and relax, but, some people do overindulge in drinking. Still, how is it determined that someone is an alcoholic? There isn’t a blood test that you can take to see if you are addicted to alcohol. However, someone can have symptoms that suggest they are an alcoholic.
What is addiction?
Something is considered an addiction when someone engages in a behavior or substance to the point that they are continuously compelled to keep using the substance or repeating the behaviour because of the way it makes them feel. In other words, when someone keeps doing something because they like the high they get from it, or it makes them emotionally numb, this is considered an addiction. There are behavioural addictions such as gambling, and there are also substance addictions like alcohol and drugs.
Are you addicted to alcohol?
An addiction to alcohol is called alcoholism. Very few people who have substance abuse problems will admit that they have a problem, especially to themselves. But denial like this is what prevents people from getting the help that they need to recover from their addiction.
Clinically, there are signs and symptoms that medical professionals look for to diagnose someone with an addiction to alcohol. These symptoms are:
• They have a family history of alcoholism
• They may drink longer than they want to
• They drink more than they intend to drink
• They are not able to stop drinking when they would like to
• Recovering from drinking takes longer than it used to
• They crave alcohol when they are not drinking
• They withdraw from commitments because of their drinking
• Personal relationships suffer from their drinking
• They give up things they used to consider important so they can drink more
• Drinking and driving has been an issue
• They continue to drink even though it has made them sick or has done damage to their body
• They often don’t tell others how much they drink and drink more in private so that others don’t realise how much they are drinking
• They must drink more than they used to to get the buzz they are used to
• Alcohol has taken over their life
• They show withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking
To be formally diagnosed as an alcoholic, a person must exhibit at least two of these symptoms. Multiple symptoms mean that the alcohol addiction is severe and treatment is needed immediately.
Withdrawal and detox
Alcohol can be psychologically addicting as well as physically addicting. The act of drinking can become habitual in one’s mind, but the body can also get used to the alcohol as well. The body will get so used to alcohol that it will convince the brain that it needs alcohol to function. People who are severely addicted to alcohol will often feel the need to drink to feel a sense of normalcy, but they will rarely get a buzz like they used to.
When someone is physically addicted to alcohol, they will go through withdrawal when they stop drinking. Withdrawal symptoms are a sign that someone has an addiction to alcohol. The following are withdrawal symptoms.
• Nausea and vomiting
• Sweating, especially at night
• Uncontrollable Shaking
• Restlessness and Insomnia
• Depression and Anxiety
• Mood swings, often angry or agitated
• Difficulty focusing and remembering, often feeling confused
• Heart palpitations (heart speeds up for no reason)
• Jaundice (change in complexion or skin color)
• Hand tremors
• Dilated pupils
• Decrease in appetite
• Clammy skin
If you experience any of these symptoms any time you stop drinking, this is your body’s way of warning you that you are addicted to alcohol, and it is time to get help. A detox centre is one of the best places that you can go to receive treatment for alcohol addiction. It is possible for someone to cut down on their drinking or to stop drinking entirely on their own. However, if you are having withdrawal symptoms or feel that you may be addicted to alcohol, then you should discuss quitting with a physician or detox worker before you suddenly stop. The longer someone has been drinking, the harder it is for them to stop drinking “cold turkey,” and the worse their withdrawal will be. Severe withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures or a stroke, may occur.
If someone needs medical supervision around the clock to help them detox from alcohol, then their best option would be to complete an inpatient alcohol detox treatment programme. During inpatient detox, medical assistance will always be on standby in case the patient has an emergency. Detox centres are essential for helping people get through withdrawal. Detox treatment provides patients with encouragement and emotional support through the withdrawal and treatment process. Often, medications such as antidepressants or anti-nausea medications are used to help treat withdrawal symptoms. The main focus of detox is to help the patient through their withdrawal, so they will be able to go to a rehab programme after detox. A detox treats the withdrawal symptoms, but it does not manage or cure addiction.
Detox treatment and rehab for alcohol addiction
Detox and rehab treatment for alcohol addiction may sound complicated, but it is beneficial. People who complete inpatient rehab treatment are less likely to continue drinking. They will also be less likely to go to the doctor or emergency room for alcohol-related accidents or illnesses. Post-rehab patients have stated in the past that their moods improve after they quit drinking and they experience less anxiety and depression. People who stop drinking are also less likely to get in trouble with the law. They will have fewer accidents at home and work. Their performance at school or work will also improve. Their attendance at school and work will also improve. Post-rehab patients have also reported that their relationships improve after treatment, and they have fewer altercations and more interactions with their family and friends.
Reading the list of benefits should be an incentive for many to at least consider quitting drinking alcohol. Addiction itself can be terrible, and the withdrawal from alcohol is definitely uncomfortable and can even be exhausting. But keep in mind that after detox and rehab, you can have a better life without alcohol.
If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, or if you know someone who is, please do not hesitate to seek help. You can contact us today either by telephone or through our website. We will be more than happy to discuss the detox and rehab treatment options that we provide, and help you determine what would be the best option for you. Our detox treatment staff is ready to help you in whatever way that they can. They will work with you to help you make it through the tough parts so that you can live a clean and sober life and be happy and healthy!
Request a callback
Speak to us today and get confidential advice from our medical experts. We’re here to help
Alcohol Addiction FAQ's
Where can I find my nearest rehab centre?
We offer locations for alcohol rehab centres nationwide, call our team on 0333 444 0434. They will be able to advise you on treatment options available in your area.
How soon will you be able to get me into rehab?
This all depends on your personal circumstances. We ask that you contact our team on 0333 444 0434 so that we can fully understand your situation and needs.
We’ll talk you through a short telephone questionnaire designed to help us provide you with the best possible care.
We then set a date and time for your admission and you can look forward to a new start in life.
Could my mental Health be linked to my addiction?
Absolutely yes, so many people are not even aware they have a mental health problem and many people don’t make the connection in children and mental health. The alcohol can become a ‘solution’ for a persons mental health. At the start it will seem as if the alcohol is quieting the mind, but in time as the addiction progresses it will only add to any mental health problems the person has. It is also difficult to diagnose a person with mental health while under the influence of alcohol.
Is it true that alcohol affects sexual performance and harm an unborn babies?
As well as being directly related to many serious diseases, drinking large amounts of alcohol can also lead to poor sexual performance, and it can harm an unborn baby. If you have an alcohol related problem, there are many ways in which you can get help to reduce your drinking, and there are also many services that you can use that will help you stop altogether. Definition The problems associated with alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, are wide ranging, and can be physical, psychological, and social.
Is rehab a cure for addiction?
There is no definitive cure for addiction. However, rehab can provide patients with the skills needed to successfully manage their addiction and remain sober. Recovery from addiction is never over and patients will need to work on their ability to avoid relapse for the rest of their lives. A high quality addiction rehab programme sets patients up for this process.
Am I an alcoholic? What is the difference between casual drinking and alcohol addiction?
Most people can enjoy a casual night out with friends, have one or two drinks and then stop, and they might not drink again for several days. They enjoy a drink, but they don’t NEED it.
If you feel that you would like to talk to one of our experts and see how we can help you, call us on 0333 444 0434.