Many of us have had a few drinks at a party or social event, or even a few too many. But how do you know when you are drinking too much? Alcohol addiction has many tells, and knowing what to look for is vital to recognizing when someone needs help.
Signs Your Loved One Is Drinking Too Much
People who fall victim to addiction experience actual changes to their brains—changes that make them seek their drug of choice at any cost. You may have wondered how anyone could choose to use drugs or alcohol. But for people with addiction, use is not a choice. This is due to how our brains respond to pleasure and how the brain changes when experiencing new forms of pleasure.
When we use a substance, the brain experiences a pleasant reaction, usually resulting in a buildup of happy chemicals. Over time, the brain adapts to this change, needing more of the substance to produce the same happy feeling (a condition called tolerance). The person drinking becomes preoccupied with that feeling, but obtaining it becomes harder, and that’s when withdrawal happens. Withdrawal can be severe and may be what keeps many people from stopping drinking, even if they want to.
Signs of Alcohol Addiction
Signs of addiction are different for everyone but may include:
- Inability to stop, losing control of drinking
- Drinking longer than you want to
- Drinking longer than you meant to
- Drinking even when you promised yourself, or others, you wouldn’t
- Cutting back on hobbies/activities that you used to care about
- Neglecting time with friends, exercise, or nutrition due to alcohol
- Doing things you normally wouldn’t in order to drink
- Getting into accidents due to drinking
- Getting into fights/getting injured due to drinking
- Needing to drink more and more to feel the desired effects
- Feeling physically ill when not drinking
Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse
Drinking too much can have many effects on your health. Alcohol is a depressant, which means it affects the central nervous system with a sedative-life effect. Short-term effects range from moderate to severe, depending on the person, how much they have drunk in a certain period of time, their weight, how much they have eaten, and more. Some short-term effects may be:
- Distortion of vision and hearing
- Slurred speech
- Lack of coordination and perception
- Loss of consciousness
- Stomach upset
- Trouble breathing
- Vision impairment
Long-term effects of alcohol use can take a toll on your health, whether drinking all at once or drinking a lot over time. Organs affected by heavy drinking include the brain, heart, liver, and pancreas. The effectiveness of your immune system is also reduced as your overall health declines. Perhaps worst of all, prolonged alcohol use increases your risk of developing several types of cancer.
When To Seek Help For Drinking
Perhaps you’re reading this and think you may be drinking too much or may have an addiction to alcohol. Maybe you’ve had problems in your relationship, are helping family members through addiction troubles, or are falling behind in work or school due to drinking and want to find help for drinking but don’t know how. It can be tough to admit that you have a habit that has gotten out of control, that addiction is taking over your life. But you are not alone in this plight; millions of Americans have issues with drinking too much. The unfortunate truth is that only a small portion of those people receive help for their troubles with alcohol. That doesn’t have to be you. If you have experienced signs similar to the ones mentioned above, you can seek help for addiction and make the first giant step toward healing.
Treatments Available For Alcohol Use
Why should you seek help for alcohol use? In simple terms, too much alcohol can damage your health. The body can only process so much alcohol per hour; the excess alcohol is converted to toxic waste, which can cause health complications, short- and long-term. Treatment for alcohol use may start with alcohol detoxification, a process that allows the body to rid itself of toxins. Then, you can begin healing. Healing in modern times means there are many effective methods from which you can choose.
One form of therapy that has proven largely effective, especially in recent decades, is behavioral therapy. There are several types of behavioral therapy, each teaching ways to rearrange behaviors and lifestyle habits to foster sober living. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), available at Texas Recovery Center, helps individuals improve motivation, recognize and enhance their capabilities, and structure their environment in ways that steer people toward healthy choices instead of alcohol or drug use.
Other forms of treatment include counseling (at the individual, group, and family levels), support groups, and medication-assisted treatment. Some rehab centers, including Texas Recovery Center, offer programs specific to the needs of men and women. Each gender has unique healing needs, and addiction healing should address these needs. Whatever treatment you choose, be sure that you are getting a plan that fits your individual needs. Comprehensive treatment should focus on treating individuals as a whole: mind, body, and spirit.
Get Effective Alcohol Addiction Treatment At Texas Recovery Center
If you are experiencing addiction issues for the first time, you may be overwhelmed. We can help in your healing journey, directing you to all the resources you’ll need to make the best treatment decision. If you have struggled with addiction before, we know that relapse is part of healing, and we can help you through it. Contact our team at 844.230.5931 to learn more about our evidence-based treatment options, speak to an expert, or hear about the inpatient treatment difference at our rehab centers.