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There are many reasons you may want to learn more about alcohol addictions and their treatment options. Maybe you want to know if you have an addiction or maybe you want to learn how to support someone through their addictive behaviors.
Addictions, in general, can have a large impact on the individual’s life and the lives of those around them. If you are worried that you or someone in your life is battling an alcohol addiction, it is pertinent that you learn the signs.
Find out more about addictions, the reasons behind addictions, and the symptoms of alcohol addiction. Learn how you can speak to a psychologist about treatment options best for you.
What is an Addiction?
The American Society of Addiction Medicine describes addiction as such:
“People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences.”
When someone develops an addiction, they forge a dependency on something. It can be on practically anything. Many people develop a dependence on things that bring them immediate joy or relief from various circumstances.
A few examples of addictions include gambling, sex, alcohol, drugs, medications, porn, social media, video games, etc. Addictions are dangerous because they are often enjoyed in moderation, and people do not realize they have an addiction until it is impossible to stop.
Reasons Someone Develops an Addiction
Many people believe that addiction develops because someone is weak or lacks willpower; however, there is much more involved in the development of an addiction.
A person’s genetics and environment play an impactful part in addiction risk. For example, someone with a parent or close family member who lives with addiction is more susceptible to dependency as well. If someone is living with a mental health disorder or illness, this may also put them at risk.
A person’s environment includes their relationships, social circles, financial status, and exposure. When an individual is surrounded by negative relationships or difficulties, this can lead to an addiction.
Symptoms of an Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction, also known as alcohol use disorder or alcoholism, is the compulsive need to drink regularly. Like other addictions, alcohol use disorder is the inability to stop drinking alcohol despite the symptoms and consequences.
The most common symptoms of alcoholism are the urge to drink and the amount of time someone spends drinking. Someone with an alcohol use disorder may notice that they spend more time with alcohol or thinking about alcohol than without it.
Because alcohol is a dangerous beverage if not consumed responsibly, alcoholics may see physical symptoms in their life. Symptoms could include liver damage, digestive issues, weakened immune system, increased risk of cancer, and feelings of withdrawal when they don’t partake in drinking.
Signs of Addiction
If you are looking for signs of alcohol addiction in yourself or others, you may first notice obsessive thoughts about alcohol. Someone who spends a large amount of time focused on obtaining alcohol may have an addiction.
Other signs could include strained relationships, financial hardships, poor job/school performance, and an unkempt appearance. If you or someone you know begins to have mood swings or a change in their normal behavior, this could be a sign of withdrawal.
Treatment Options for Alcoholism
The best thing to do if you or someone you know is showing signs of an alcohol use disorder is to seek professional help. Talking to a psychologist is the quickest and best way to get help for your addiction.
A psychologist can not only assist you in behavioral symptoms and issues but can prescribe medication to aid in the withdrawal symptoms. They can also introduce you to various rehab centers and support groups that can help you through your recovery.
While recovery from alcoholism is not an easy feat, the steps are simple when you seek help from a mental health professional. Speak to a psychologist or contact a helpline to start your healing journey!
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