What is Alcohol Dependence?
Alcohol dependence or alcoholism is defined as the inability to control drinking due to an emotional and physical dependence on alcohol. Most of the time, someone who is dependent or addicted to alcohol consumption will continue to drink despite legal, financial or physical issues. It’s not uncommon for those with alcohol use disorder to begin drinking in the morning and continuing all the way through until bedtime. If the addiction is strong enough, then without continued drinking, withdrawal and unpleasant effects will begin to set in.
Often, alcohol abuse will cause severe family or relationship issues. Those with alcohol dependence often feel a sense of guilt about their drinking, especially when there is family involved. Most often, there is a desire to stop drinking or cut back, but without the proper professional help the drinking typically continues. Alcohol dependence is the most dangerous and difficult addiction to quit and withdrawal can be dangerous or lethal without medical assistance.
Identifying Alcohol Dependence
The first step in determining if you or a loved one needs alcohol addiction rehab is to determine if dependence or addiction has developed.
Some of the most common symptoms of alcohol abuse include:
- Blackouts or short-term memory loss
- Irritability or intense mood swings
- Rationalizing your drinking
- Finding or making excuses to drink
- Neglecting other responsibilities in order to drink
- Isolating from friends and family members
- Drinking alone
- Frequent hang-overs
- Changes in physical appearance
- Changes in friends
- Changes in social activities
If you or a loved one has begun to show any of the signs of alcohol dependence or abuse, it is important that you seek help from a professional rehab facility near you, such as Royal Life Detox. Because of the dangers of alcohol withdrawal, it is not recommended to try and get sober without being monitored and cared for.
For many people, alcohol consumption begins early in life – sometimes even before alcohol. Underaged drinking is highly prevalent due to how easy it is to obtain alcohol. Exposure to alcohol at such an early age can have an effect on brain development and physical development. Binge drinking in particular is often popular with young adults and teens.
Binge drinking is hard to classify in modern society, because many men and women will drink more in social settings. A man who goes to the bar with his friends to watch a football game and has a large number of drinks is not necessarily abusing binge drinking. When we talk about binge drinking from an illness standpoint, your average binge drinker will try to go as long as they can without getting drunk and then drink to excess until they black out, or get ill. The psychology or motive behind the drinking is very different than it is for someone who is a casual or recreational consumer of alcohol. Binge drinking on five or more days in the past month would qualify someone as a heavy drinker. Teenagers and young adults have the highest rate of binge drinking of any demographic. Binge drinkers have their own sort of alcohol dependence than a day-to-day alcoholic, and this type of consumption presents its own problems and dangers.
Consequences of Alcohol Dependence
Alcohol abuse can lead to a multitude of issues. Personal health, social health, and emotional well-being all suffer due to alcoholism. Prolonged drinking can have a serious toll on your health and potentially cause life threatening complications due to organ failure. Legal consequences such as DUIs and arrests have been the source of life changing consequences for some alcoholics. The emotional unrest from alcoholism takes a serious toll on one’s inner peace and sense of well-being. Families tend to suffer in particular when living with an alcoholic. The all-consuming power of addiction often destroys lives without prejudice. The kindest and most gentle men and women can become aggressive, violent or abusive due to alcohol dependence.
Detoxing from Alcohol Dependence
Alcohol dependence is a highly treatable disease. However, extra precaution should be taken when attempting to get sober. Alcohol detox is typically broken down into three stages, each characterized by a particular set of symptoms.
Withdrawal from Alcohol Abuse
First stage (8 hours after last drink):
- Abdominal pain
Second stage (24-72 hours of last drink):
- Rise in blood pressure and body temperature
- Quickening of heartbeat
- Reduced mental acuity
- Risk of death
An abrupt cessation of alcohol can cause seizures that could be life threatening. Without proper medical care and medications, a detox from alcohol could have deadly complications. For these reasons, medical detox is typically necessary to safely stop the body’s dependence on alcohol. Withdrawal is painful, and dangerous – but the professionals at an accredited medical detox facility such as Royal Life Detox can ensure that your life is kept safe.
After medical detox, quality alcohol dependence rehab will give the best chances for long-term success. Group therapy, substance abuse therapy and meetings have all proven to be successful in keeping men and women sober and happy long term.
Our Comprehensive Alcohol Dependence Treatment
Royal Life Centers offers a full-service treatment option including detox, treatment, and aftercare. We are fully licensed and accredited, using evidence-based treatment models to achieve results. We use customized treatment plans, designed specifically for your own unique needs. No two plans are ever the same. Our personalized approach to treatment ensures that you get the help you need. If you or someone you know is ready to get help for their alcohol dependence please call us today.
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