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When looking for addiction treatment for you or a loved one, the type of therapy pays a large roll in success.
The Importance of Alcoholism Treatment
Alcohol abuse is the patterned use of alcohol in which abusers drink alcohol in an amount – and at a frequency – that may be harmful to themselves or to the people around them. Alcohol addiction is a chronic – often progressive – brain disease that causes obsessive alcohol seeking and consumption, regardless of the consequences suffered by the drinker. The best way to combat abuse and addiction is through accredited alcoholism treatment.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse & Addiction?
Alcohol addiction and abuse involve some of the same signs and symptoms. However, alcohol addiction—commonly referred to as alcoholism—is the most serious form of drinking. In addiction, the symptoms are more severe and there is physical dependence on alcohol, which increases the need for alcoholism treatment.
We’ve split signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse and addiction into two sections.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse
A person who abuses alcohol may display any of several common signs and symptoms, including:
- Neglecting Responsibilities: school, work, family
- ‘At-Risk’ Behaviors: driving under the influence, engaging in unprotected sex, associating with people and situations that place the person at risk for physical or emotional harm
- Legal Issues: arrests for driving under influence, domestic violence, disorderly conduct, and theft
- Relationship Issues: fights with family and loved ones, divorce, and the loss of old friends
Common Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction (or alcoholism) is the most damaging form of drinking alcohol. Alcohol addiction involves some of the same symptoms of alcohol abuse, but the symptoms are more severe and physical dependence upon alcohol develops.
A person who has, or is developing, alcohol addiction may display any of several common signs and symptoms, including:
- Tolerance Increase: larger and larger amounts of alcohol may be needed to reach the same level of intoxication that the drinker could reach with smaller amounts when drinking began
- Loss of Control: people struggling with alcohol addiction may often find themselves drinking more alcohol than they planned, promised, or intended
- Cravings: people with alcohol addiction will find themselves obsessively thinking about alcohol, and may feel a strong sense of urgency or “need” to get a drink
- Life Alterations: life for people suffering from alcohol addiction becomes less about living, and more about planning around where and when to get the next drink, as well as the amount of time needed to recover from drinking
- Dangerous and Harmful Behavior: even though continued drinking creates problems with mental and physical health (like blackouts, mood swings, and paranoia), people with alcohol addiction will continue drinking regardless of the consequences
- Withdrawal Symptoms: Withdrawal may occur if alcohol is denied or unavailable. Signs of withdrawal syndrome can include anxiety, jumpiness, shaking, trembling, sweating, nausea, insomnia, depression, fatigue, loss of appetite, and even seizures. Alcohol withdrawal can be deadly. If you or someone you love is showing signs of alcohol withdrawal, you should consider seeking medical assistance immediately followed by effective alcoholism treatment. You can find more information here
How Does Alcohol Abuse & Alcohol Addiction Affect The Brain?
There are many factors that influence how alcohol abuse and addiction will impact the brain, including:
- How much and how often a person drinks
- The age drinking began
- The length of time the person has been drinking
- Family history of alcohol addiction
- Pre-natal alcohol exposure
Alcohol abuse and addiction can impact the brain of the drinker and result in:
- Temporary memory impairment (even after only a few drinks)
- Nerve pain
- Panic disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Personality disorders
- Thoughts of suicide
- Emotional impairment
- Problems with gait and balance
- Brain damage
As the drinker continues to abuse alcohol (or to sink further into alcohol addiction) the degree of impairment may become more severe, and may become permanent. Seeking alcoholism treatment before it’s too late is vital.
How Does Alcohol Abuse & Addiction Affect The Health of the Body?
Separate and apart from the impact on the mind, failing to receive qualified alcoholism treatment can increase a person’s risk of:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Heart disease
- Liver disease (like cirrhosis)
Advanced Health’s New Jersey drug and alcohol rehab is licensed through the New Jersey Department of Human Services Office of Licensing, is a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, and has received the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal for Quality in Behavioral Healthcare.
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Advanced Health & Education
Advanced Health and Education can help anyone recover from addiction or substance abuse. We offer customized treatment and a balanced application of support and accountability that will help you end your addiction.