Alcoholism affects 15.1 million adults in the U.S., or roughly 6.2% of the adult population. People who suffer from alcoholism are both physically dependent on alcohol and psychologically addicted. Knowing how to identify alcoholism can help you determine whether it may be time for you or your loved one to seek professional treatment at an alcohol rehab center.
What Are the Signs of Alcohol Dependence?
A person can become physically dependent on alcohol when they drink high amounts of alcohol on a regular basis and develop a tolerance. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines tolerance as the need to use higher amounts of drugs or alcohol to feel the effects of a substance. A person who becomes alcohol-dependent will experience a set of withdrawal symptoms when suddenly stopping alcohol use or reducing the amount they normally use.
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may include:
- Dilated pupils
- Shaking and tremors
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid heart rate
- Irritability and mood swings
- Inability to think clearly
- Nightmares and night terrors
- Anxiety or nervousness
What Are the Signs of Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol addiction is different from dependence in that addiction is characterized by a set of compulsive behaviors that cannot be controlled. People who suffer from addiction generally have issues at work, home, and school, and also tend to experience legal and social problems. The National Institute of Health reports that those who suffer from addiction will crave and seek drugs and alcohol despite the risk of ruining their relationships, losing their jobs, or getting into trouble with the law.
Signs of alcohol addiction may include:
- Drinking higher amounts of alcohol for longer than planned.
- Numerous failed attempts at reducing or quitting alcohol use.
- Devoting more time to drinking or recovering from hangovers than to other activities.
- Experiencing cravings or strong, uncontrollable urges to use alcohol.
- Suffering problems with family, career, or education on behalf of alcohol use.
- Giving up favorite activities or hobbies in favor of drinking.
- Engaging in dangerous or risky situations while drinking or after drinking.
- Continuing to drink even though it contributes to anxiety, depression, or other health problems.
- Spending more time alone or with new or different friends.
Treating Alcoholism at Alcohol Rehab
Alcoholism must be treated both physically and psychologically in order for someone to experience a successful, long-lasting recovery. Alcohol dependence and withdrawal can be safely treated using alcohol and drug detox, while alcohol addiction can be treated using a range of behavioral therapies at an alcohol or drug rehab center.
Alcohol detox allows you to withdraw from alcohol while receiving 24-hour medical care, monitoring, and supervision. During an alcohol detox, you may receive medications such as diazepam that reduce shaking, tremors, and other symptoms of withdrawal. This reduces the risk for complications like seizures so you or your loved one can experience a safer, more comfortable withdrawal.
Treatment at alcohol rehab usually involves a range of behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, family behavior therapy, contingency management, motivational enhancement, and 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous. The NIDA reports that these types of therapies can modify attitudes and behaviors surrounding drug abuse and help people achieve long-term abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
Getting Help for Alcoholism from ARC
America’s Rehab Campuses offer medical detox and alcohol rehab programs for those who are suffering from alcoholism and who need professional help. With beautiful recovery centers for treament like drug rehab in Tucson, Arizona, and alcohol rehab in Phoenix, Arizona, ARC is devoted to helping people experience safe, relaxing, and fulfilling recoveries from substance use disorders. Call ARC today at 833-272-7342 to begin the recovery process.