Alcohol is one of the most difficult addictions to diagnose, as it largely depends on the honesty of the drinker.
When you are managing to keep, many areas of life together, it can be difficult to admit that your alcohol use is a problem, even though it is causing you much internal pain, and starting to cause many external consequences.
WHAT IS ALCOHOL ADDICTION?
There are various criteria used to determine addiction to alcohol. These range from the number of drinks you have, and how regularly you drink, to the effect drinking has on your behaviour.
Addiction to alcohol is often described as having a physical dependency which generates cravings and urges for alcohol, along with constant and obsessive thoughts about drinking.
Constant use of alcohol leads to changes in the brain which can result in physical withdrawals when alcohol is removed.
At 21Renew we believe “it doesn't matter what you drink, when you drink or how much you drink, it is what happens when you drink.”
If you consistently find yourself drinking more that you planned and behaving in a way you did not intend, then you need to seriously think about seeking professional assistance.
SIGNS OF ALCOHOL ADDICTION
When you are in alcoholism, it can be hard to see that your drinking has gotten out of control. Here are some signs that you've moved from problem drinking to alcohol addiction, and it's time to seek help.
being unable to limit or control the amount you drink.
having physical urges or cravings for alcohol.
seeking alcohol to the detriment of your personal, family or work responsibilities.
spending money on alcohol that should have been spent on other living expenses.
altered behaviour after drinking.
constant thinking about your next drink.
hangovers including sweating, nausea or insomnia.
the need to drink more and more to have the same effect.
needing a drink in the morning to get started.
hiding your drinking.
fighting with friends and family about your drinking or going out.
continued drinking despite frequent attempts to give up or reduce the quantity of alcohol you consume.
SYMPTOMS OF ALCOHOL ADDICTION
Short-term effects may include bad vision, blackouts, seizures, depression, malnutrition, anxiety and paranoia.
Long-term effects may include;
permanent damage to the brain including korsakoff syndrome
high risk of stroke and heart failure and increased blood pressure.
liver disease including cirrhosis of the liver
increased risk of mouth and throat cancer
weakened immune system. Excessive alcohol use can make it harder for your body to resist disease.
Withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, depression, excessive sweating, the shakes (especially in the hands), hallucinations, problems sleeping, unstable changes in blood pressure and heart rate, agitation and irritability, feelings of fear, fever, nausea and vomiting.
Severe withdrawals may include the DT’s (Delirium Tremens), a life-threatening condition that can cause you to be restless, upset, confused, experience hallucinations and seizures.
When detoxing with 21Renew or at one of our recommended centres, we monitor and control the withdrawal process, easing these symptoms.
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY...
Making the decision to seek help is the hardest part. We know it can be daunting, but if you are reading this, then you have already made the brave first step of acknowledging you may benefit from professional help.
All you have to do to take the next step, is to pick up the phone and call us for a chat. There is no obligation to sign up for anything and we will not put any pressure on you to do so. We will just listen, share some experience and suggest some options.
Call us for a confidential chat
and to arrange a free addiction assessment:
+61 1800 300 813
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