Alcoholism is among the top five preventable causes of death.
First Signs of Alcoholism
Below is a list of possible scenarios that, if recurrent in a period of 12 months, could be indicators of alcoholism.
If you or a loved one…
- has become unaccountable to his or her employment or parental responsibilities because of drinking
- hurts himself or herself or others emotionally, physically, or mentally while drinking
- has become careless toward the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol
- has been arrested for alcohol-related offenses
…it may be time to consider seeking help for an alcohol addiction.
The Progression of Alcohol Addiction
Alcoholism is a disease based in the brain. Initially, someone abusing alcohol drinks to achieve the high: feeling relaxed and sleepy, sometimes silly. However, in many cases, the long term effects of drinking can change the way one’s brain reacts when they consume alcohol, oftentimes evolving into a craving for the high. Genetic makeup also plays a factor in one’s risk of alcoholism.
The following are some of the typical characteristics of a progressed alcohol addiction:
- Cravings, the need to drink
- Unwillingness to stop drinking once started, oftentimes to the point of belligerence, anger or aggression
- Symptoms such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety when alcohol consumption stops abruptly
- The need to consume increased amounts of alcohol to achieve the high
If you or someone you love begins to show any of the signs listed above, the alcoholism has become extremely severe; seek help immediately, as some of these effects can be fatal.
How Alcoholism Affects Families
Alcoholism has been called a “family disease,” as it affects one out of every four families in America. Oftentimes a loved one’s alcoholism disrupts the entire family dynamic, resulting in potentially long-term effects on a person’s relationship with their spouse, children, or parents.
Unfortunately, it is children who suffer most when a parent abuses alcohol because children are the most vulnerable. Children of alcoholics are at a high risk of long term psychological and emotional effects, including low self-esteem, loneliness, guilt, feelings of helplessness, fears of abandonment, and chronic depression.
When alcoholism occurs in marriages, the inability to communicate with one another can leave severe strains on the relationship. Research shows that miscommunication in a marriage decreases feelings of trust and unity, which increases the likelihood of divorce.
Also known as dual diagnosis, nearly 9 million Americans who suffer from addiction are also sufferers of mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and compulsive behavior. Most rehab centers have mental health professionals on staff who perform evaluations to determine if the client is experiencing co-occurring conditions; when a patient is dually diagnosed, their treatment plan becomes one that focuses on both the addiction and the mental health conditions.
Although there is no cure for alcoholism, millions of people seek help to achieve and maintain sobriety. Admitting you have a problem is the first step, and Canyon Vista is here to help you continue taking steps forward on the path to recovery.