When it comes to alcoholism, most people think they know a lot about it. And while it may be true that we know more than previous generations did, no means do any of us know it all. The same thing that brings us information (the internet) also brings misinformation. Not every website gives proven verifiable info.
Many people still don’t understand the mental disease aspect that accompanies the physical addiction to alcohol or drugs. In this guide, we hope to highlight some of the signs or issues that come from this disease. But more importantly, we hope to show the reader how they or someone they love can get assistance with alcohol recovery.
Fact #1: Alcoholism May Be the Most Dangerous Form of Addiction
The first thing to point out is that while nearly everyone understands it’s an addiction, very few understand its dangers. Alcohol addiction is every bit as scary as drug abuse. It is equally if not more destructive due to its legality and ease of access.
It can develop for many reasons, from genetics to learned behavior to the most common; overuse. This list indicates several symptoms associated with alcoholism:
- If you need alcohol to wake up, relax, or generally feel better
- Your alcohol use is interfering with your professional and personal life
- You feel shame or guilt about your drinking habits
- You often end up drinking more alcohol than you planned to
- Friends, family, or coworkers have expressed concerns about your drinking
- You have been neglecting responsibilities at home or had poor performance at school or work due to alcohol use
- You continue to drink alcohol even though it’s harming your relationships
- You experience withdrawals (headaches, nausea, anxiety) when you go without a drink for more extended periods
- You have tried to quit drinking and have found you are unable
Fact #2: Alcohol Abuse Often Causes Social & Health Problems
Alcoholism has commonly been portrayed as light-hearted and comical; it is anything but. An actual dependence on alcohol has several adverse effects on your personal and professional life.
From the poor performance mentioned in the previous section to the inability to have serious relationships, excess use of alcohol is highly self-destructive and emotionally toxic. Failure to get into an alcohol recovery program can lead to several health concerns later on:
- Various liver disorders such as scarring, cirrhosis, cancer
- Higher risk of certain other types of cancer
- Cardiovascular issues such as hypertension
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Higher Risk of Stroke
Fact #3: Withdrawal from Drinking Can Lead to Death
While this is usually in extreme cases, it is also not uncommon. There is no more excellent feeling in the world to an alcoholic than drinking, not only the craving it satisfies but also the taste.
The problem is that once a person gets to this point, they may have developed delirium tremens, which can be fatal if not treated in a professional alcohol recovery program.
Alcoholism Fact #4: Alcoholism and Binge Drinking Can Be Two Different Things
Although these two drinking issues are not always associated, it doesn’t mean that binge drinking is any safer. This type of behavior can lead to drinking too much alcohol or drinking too fast, which can be fatal.
Fact #5: Help Exists to Assist You or Your Loved One Get Better
No matter how difficult things may seem right now, there is no reason to feel hopeless. It is very common for people to experience great success with treating their alcoholism in today’s society. There are some great resources, including:
- Various Support Groups
- Alcohol/Substance Abuse Treatment
- Detox Program
Alcohol Recovery Is a Lifelong Journey. There Is No Reason to Rush
One of the biggest misconceptions about sobriety is an “endpoint.” That somewhere down the road, you will have finished the process, and you are now entirely alcohol-free. The fact is that the temptation for an alcoholic never truly leaves. It is always there.
But it should also be noted that it does get easier to control as time passes. However, one slipup is all it takes to remind a person how severe this disease is and why constant attention to their sobriety is required.