Understanding Alcoholism

Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are linked, but not identical addiction issues. While treatment is recommended for alcohol abuse and addiction, those using in excess may not actually be addicted. These different alcohol issues have some things in common, such as regular alcohol ingestion and lifestyle changes to accommodate drinking. The truth is that many alcohol abusers do not actually have a full-blown addiction, but their lives are increasingly disturbed by new problems.

Occasionally, heavy drinkers find themselves crossing the line and need to seek treatment for alcohol poisoning or other side effects. Anytime an individual begins to bring casual social drinking home, and consumes alcoholic beverages on a daily basis, the risks of alcoholism increase greatly. Treatment for alcohol addiction is vital as turning a blind eye can lead to driving under the influence and other dangerous behaviors.

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Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction

It can be difficult to remain objective when dealing with personal or loved one’s alcohol addiction issues. Denial can play a big role when attempting to confront and address problem drinking. The fact that there is a very fine line between alcohol abuse and alcoholism can make it even more confusing. There are five important signs to watch for when trying to self-diagnose alcohol addiction. These symptoms often are the hallmark to alcoholism and while not every addict can be identified using these signs, they can be used to clarify the need for treatment.

  • Relationship Strain and Trouble
  • Ignoring Basic Adult Responsibilities
  • Increased Tolerance to Alcohol
  • Inability to Stop Drinking
  • Physical Effects of Alcohol Withdrawal

High-Functioning Alcoholics

High-functioning alcoholics are individuals that are able to maintain a facade of normalcy while being under the influence much of the time. Their lives seem to be under control from the viewpoint of others, however the dangerous nature of their alcoholism puts everyone at high risk. It is not uncommon to hear people diagnosed with high-functioning alcoholism to be in complete denial of the extent of the problem. Many families and friends of clients are caught off guard by the diagnosis as these individuals are able to keep up appearances.  High-functioning alcoholism is often diagnosed in clients with powerful, stressful jobs such as doctors, lawyers and executives.

Do You Need Alcohol Treatment? What to look for…

Having one drink daily isn’t typically a sign of problem drinking. The symptoms are usually much more severe and can create issues in your personal life, your career, and your health. The first way you can diagnose your problem is to watch for symptoms of the disorder. Some of the symptoms to watch for include:

  • If you drink at least once a week more than you want to.
  • If you have attempted to reduce your drinking but have failed.
  • If you continue to drink and drive even though you know the risks.
  • If drinking helps you feel less depressed or anxious.
  • If you have ever experienced a blackout after drinking heavily.
  • If you have become sick while trying to quit drinking. 
  • If friends and family are complaining about your drinking.
  • If you have lost interest in things you used to enjoy in the past.
  • If you feel you must drink more alcohol because the effects are wearing off.
  • If you have suffered from drinking problems affecting your health such as heart murmurs, liver failure, insomnia, nausea, or puking.

After looking over the list above, if you have experienced more than one or two of these, you likely have a drinking disorder or you are getting close to developing one. If that is the case for you, contact us at Coastline Behavioral Health so we can help you get on the road to recovery. Just because you drink doesn’t mean you have a disorder, so knowing the symptoms above can help you understand better if you need help. Everyone is different so just because the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Step Program is right for one it may not be for another. Our experienced and caring team will discuss your personal situation and make recommendations for the most appropriate alcoholic rehab program.

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