Alcohol can seem fun and fancy initially, but once you’re trapped with its addiction, it can prove to be more deadly than drugs. The number of deaths from alcohol is rising despite our understanding of the concept of alcohol addiction. This has gone way beyond problematic. This is an epidemic. We are not in control. And we can be.
Alcoholism, now known as alcohol use disorder, is a medical disease that affects people from all spheres of life. It is a serious condition in which a person has progressive need to consume alcohol even though it encompasses negative health outcomes like bad hangovers and alcohol-induced accidents, as well as social impacts, such as doing or saying some irreparable thing. The signs and symptoms depend on the amount and frequency of consumption intake. The early red flags during the path of becoming an alcohol addict should not be ignored, either by the user or the family. Treatment should be taken as early as possible.
What are the red flags leading to alcoholism?
While there is no exact formula for determining whether or not someone is an alcoholic, symptoms often co-occur. One symptom can cross over another and fuel up the problem.
You may have an alcohol use disorder if you’re:
- drinking alone or in secret
- not being able to limit how much alcohol is consumed
- blacking out and not being able to remember chunks of time
- having rituals and being irritated if someone else comments on these rituals, for example, drinks before, during, or after meals, or after work
- losing interest in hobbies that were previously enjoyed
- feeling an urge to drink
- feeling irritable when drinking times approach, especially if alcohol is not, or may not be, available
- storing alcohol in unlikely places
- gulping drinks down to feel good
- having problems with relationships, the law, finances, or work that stem from drinking
- needing more alcohol to feel its effect
- experiencing nausea, sweating, or shaking when not drinking
Having more than one symptom in the past year is known to be a mild alcohol use disorder. If you’ve had four to five, it’s a moderate disorder. If you’ve had six or more, that’s severe.
An alcohol use disorder is also about:
- How often you drink
- What the effects are
- What happens when you try to cutback
What health obstacles are involved in alcoholism?
Alcoholism can also cause:
- diabetes complications
- sexual problems
- birth defects
- bone loss
- vision problems
- increased risk of cancer
- suppressed immune function
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
It’s important to treat alcohol addiction at its early stages to avoid these complications.
The first step is to acknowledge that there is an alcohol dependency problem.
Next is to get the help that can be getting counseling or joining a rehab.
The following are recognized treatment options for alcoholism:
- Make yourself a priority: For treatment to work, the first step is whether the person with an alcohol addiction wants to get sober or not. Force cannot be used if the user is unwilling to quit drinking. The favorable outcome can be achieved only if the person desires to get better.
- Counseling: Counseling can be quite helpful to tackle alcohol addiction as the user can openly share their problems and a plan will be devised as a solution.
- Detoxification: Many medicines can prevent withdrawal symptoms that can occur after you quit alcohol. This is known as the detoxification step.
- Rehab: A common initial treatment option for someone with alcohol addiction is an outpatient or inpatient rehabilitation program. The period of the program depends on the intensity of the addiction. It can help tackle the person’s symptoms and emotional challenges.