Alcohol is one of the most widely abused substances in the world, and research shows that more than 100 million people struggle with an alcohol use disorder. Even though alcohol consumption is legal and often socially acceptable, chronic, heavy drinking can result in devastating consequences for individuals and their loved ones. But when is it time to seek help? And how can private alcohol addiction treatment provide the support you need to get your life back on track?
Understanding Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction can be insidious. It may be challenging to distinguish the difference between recreational drinking and problematic alcohol intake.
Addiction is characterized by the presence of tolerance, withdrawal, and impairment of other areas of functioning. When people are addicted to alcohol, they develop an increased tolerance for drinking. This means that they require more alcohol to function at the desired level. As a result, many people start drinking more frequently throughout the day, and they also may switch to harder alcohols to achieve intoxication faster.
Many people start ‘building’ their lives around alcohol. This phenomenon happens even if the individual wishes to stop drinking. People sacrifice work or home obligations to drink, obtain alcohol, or recover from hangovers. They may engage in risky behaviors like driving or operating other machinery under the influence. Finally, despite the negative consequences, they often experience intensely consuming cravings to drink.
Sometimes, the problem seems obvious to others. This may be the person who drinks more than everyone else at social functions. However, due to the shame and stigma of alcoholism, many people drink privately. For this reason, alcohol addiction is not always obvious. Even if you are the one struggling, it’s normal to rationalize, minimize, or completely deny the problem altogether.
Understanding Alcohol Withdrawal
When an individual decides to cut back or reduce drinking, he or she experiences alcohol withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can vary from mildly distressing to severely uncomfortable. In some cases, they can be life-threatening. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:
- Headaches or migraines
- Heart palpitations
- Increased anxiety
- Disorientation and confusion
- Fever-like symptoms (vomiting, nausea, sweating)
Delirium tremens, which are some of the most severe withdrawal symptoms, can occur in individuals who have struggled with excessive, chronic alcohol use. These symptoms may include:
- Delirium (severe confusion)
- Sudden changes in mental functioning
- Deep sleep that lasts for over a day
- Restlessness and hyperactivity
- Sensitivity to sound and light
Individuals with a severe alcohol addiction should not attempt to quit drinking without medical supervision. The withdrawal symptoms can be fatal, and it is essential to receive the appropriate evaluation and monitoring needed during this time.
Seeking Treatment: When Is It Time?
While there is no perfect time to seek treatment for alcohol addiction, pursuing sobriety allows to take the first step towards restoring both mental and physical health. Unfortunately, many people put their recovery on hold. They may make fleeting promises to themselves or others. They may make excuses about why they can’t take the time to get help.
However, when it comes down to it, alcohol addiction is progressive. That means the problem doesn’t get better on its own. The longer a person drinks, the higher is a risk for serious complications. From alcohol overdose to stroke to cirrhosis to cancer, there is no doubt that problematic alcohol consumption takes a heavy toll on the body.
Moreover, there’s a risk of interpersonal issues with loved ones, continued problems with work and school, concentration and focus impairments, and the continued misery associated with addiction.
Seeking Private Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Have you identified the problematic role alcohol plays in your daily life? Have you felt afraid that, if you kept drinking, your actions would result in more significant consequences? If so, maybe it’s time to ask for help and necessary treatment.
Private alcohol addiction therapy allows an invaluable opportunity for restoring your health. You’ll learn how to live a meaningful life without alcohol, and you’ll also learn how to fix wreckage from your past while making healthier choices for your future.
You deserve help, and we are here for you every step of the way. Reach out today to speak to one of our representatives.