The Implications of Alcoholism


One of the more common addictions is alcoholism. On a broad scale, alcoholism is a person’s inability to control their drinking, despite the problems it may cause in their personal and professional lives. Alcoholics have a physical need and desire to drink alcohol and can’t control how much they consume. They are dependent on alcohol.

While there are many signs that suggest alcoholism, it’s important to remember that alcoholics are often the last to realize they have a problem because they’re in denial. We may be able to easily diagnose an alcohol problem (over time), but they may not see anything wrong.

Causes

While a heroin addiction can begin after just one use, alcoholism can take months to years to fully develop into a disease. It typically starts with regular consumption that, over time, can alter brain chemicals responsible for dopamine production and impulsiveness. Alcohol raises the dopamine in our brain, which creates that feel good feeling. That alcoholic is trying to achieve that feeling and needs more alcohol to get there as they build a tolerance. This leads to excessive drinking and eventual alcoholism.

Other environmental and genetic factors include:

  • Genes: if there are family members that struggle with alcoholism or alcohol dependency, it’s more likely someone else in the family will become an alcoholic
  • Access: if alcohol is cheap and accessible, the individual may be more likely to develop alcoholism
  • Low self-esteem and depression: individuals may use alcohol to cope with their mental illnesses
  • Metabolizing alcohol: individuals that require more alcohol to experience the feel good feelings have a higher risk of developing alcoholism

 

Symptoms

Like every other addiction, there are symptoms of alcoholism to watch out for if you’re concerned someone you know may be an alcoholic. Some of these warning signs include:

  • Drinking alone and in secret
  • Hiding alcohol in unlikely places such as under the bathroom sink or in dresser drawers
  • Needing to drink
  • Chugging alcohol to get drunk quickly (to experience “feel good” emotions)
  • Problems with money, relationships and work due to drinking

 

Treatment Options

With all recovery options, the first step is to admit that the individual has a problem. This is often one of the more difficult steps, but most necessary. Where they go from here is entirely up to them. There are so many options for treatment, but, ultimately, the alcoholic need to do what is best for them. Some great options for recovery include:

  • Counseling
  • Treating the underlying problems first (depression, self-esteem, anxiety)
  • Recovery centers
  • Support groups (AA)
  • Detoxification
  • Remaining abstinent once sobriety is achieved

Addiction is a serious health problem that oftentimes requires the help of friends, family and a treatment center. Red Hawk Recovery offers a solid solution in Atlanta for sober living. Reach out today at 865.441.1020 or 404.906.8646.

 


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