Alcohol is a clear and colorless substance that’s found in various drinks, such as beer, wine, and other such beverages. It is legal to use alcohol; however, despite the fact that this substance is legal, it is often the cause of problems within people’s lives. Therefore, many individuals often have to seek an addiction treatment program that helps them recover.
The truth of the matter is that alcohol use is commonly the beginning of the road to alcohol misuse. Of course, people do not start drinking with the intention of becoming dependent on alcohol. But, in many cases, alcoholism is the result of continued and regular drinking.
Many people develop a dependence on alcohol rather quickly while it may take a little longer for others. In any case, though, it’s important to realize that alcohol dependence is very serious.
When a person becomes addicted to this substance and depends on it, the consequences can be completely life-changing in a negative way. So, it’s best to seek help from a professional treatment center if you or someone you care about is dealing with alcoholism.
How Does Alcoholism Develop?
The National Institution of Health (NIH) comments on the complex nature of alcohol use disorder, saying that alcoholism actually “results from a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors, some of which have not been identified.”
While it’s true that not everyone who drinks alcohol becomes dependent on or addicted to it, a large number of the U.S. population has found themselves having a little too much alcohol too often.
So, how does this happen? How does occasional alcohol use become alcohol misuse and addiction? And why does this happen to some people but not others?
Well, specialists and professionals have found many different contributing factors when it comes to the development of alcohol addictions. In many cases, alcoholism can develop as a result of contributing to mental illness like depression. Alcoholism and depression are common co-occurring conditions.
In other words, there are several different reasons why some people develop substance use problems. Each individual is different and unique. So, there is a unique combination of contributing factors in each case of alcoholism.
Regardless of the causes of addiction, however, the process of development is similar in each situation. Often, people use alcohol in an attempt to feel the euphoric results of alcohol. Eventually, their bodies and minds become dependent on that feeling.
In order to continue experiencing the pleasant effects of alcohol, people will continue to consume the substance. This results in alcohol dependence and, possibly, addiction.
Signs & Symptoms of Alcohol Misuse and Addiction
People who have become dependent on or addicted to alcohol may show different signs of this problem in their lives. They might experience specific symptoms that come with excessive alcohol use.
As a result, those who have developed alcoholism may deal with many negative changes, including physical, emotional, and mental changes.
Some of the common emotional signs and symptoms of alcohol dependence are:
- Lack of motivation
- Emotional withdrawal
- Feelings of guilt or shame
- Feelings of anxiousness
- Hopelessness or helplessness
Physical and mental effects of alcoholism include:
- Heart problems
- Liver damage
- High blood pressure
- Lack of coordination
- Weakened immune system
- Cognitive problems (memory loss, impaired thinking, delayed reactions, etc.)
Those who are suffering from an alcohol use disorder may have a hard time staying focused and concentrating. They may fall behind at school or work. Some may miss important appointments or stop tending to their responsibilities.
But, some may appear to function as normal, keeping up with family responsibilities and going to work and school without fail. But, they may still be struggling with some of the effects of alcoholism, including depression and anxiety.
Many times, those who are addicted to alcohol struggle to explain or even understand what they are feeling. It can be challenging to connect to loved ones. Sometimes, individuals struggle with feelings of guilt and they may feel ashamed because of their alcohol problem.
As a result of these negative emotions, many individuals feel like they can’t reach out for help. They might feel afraid to do so. Some may try to end substance use on their own, deciding to quit alcohol use “cold turkey”, or without treatment. But, this can be very dangerous and, in some cases, life-threatening.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
People in withdrawal can experience symptoms like:
- Sleeping problems
- Feelings of anxiety
- Bodily aches and pains
Sometimes, withdrawal can become extremely uncomfortable for those who are going through it. After all, when a person is addicted to alcohol, it means that his or her body depends on the substance. It relies on alcohol in order to function, even though alcohol tends to disrupt normal functionality.
So, when people stop using a substance that their bodies are used to, their bodies tend to go into a sort of shock (withdrawal).
In some cases, withdrawal can be very intense and pose a major threat. This type of withdrawal can even be life-threatening in some cases. The brain and central nervous system (CNS) of a person who suffers from alcoholism will experience somewhat of a ricochet or rebound effect.
After all, continued alcohol use can suppress the natural responses and functions of the brain and CNS. But, when the individual stops using alcohol, the body is unsure about how to function properly. As a result, it experiences something similar to a shock, in the form of withdrawal.
Suddenly stopping the use of alcohol can be dangerous. This is why professional detox and treatment are so important. So, if you are suffering from an alcohol use disorder, it is best to get help right away. Choosing to get treatment from a rehabilitation facility can literally save your life.
Alcohol Detox and Treatment at Sana Lake
At Sana Lake Recovery Center, we work to promote healthy and addiction-free lives for our members. In order to facilitate this, we offer various types of therapy and treatment programs.
Sadly, many young people are suffering from substance dependence. Alcohol use disorder is certainly among the challenges that young adults are facing. That’s why we offer treatment that can help people who are dealing with the effects of alcoholism.
Most young adults face many changes and obstacles throughout this period of life. This can cause stress, anxiety, and uncertainty to develop. Unfortunately, these difficulties often lead young adults to seek comfort in alcohol use. This can cause alcoholism to develop. But, a treatment that is designed to meet the needs of young adults can offer the support and guidance people need as they work to overcome alcohol addiction.
Seniors may encounter challenges and life changes that are different from most young adults. Intense loneliness and depression may both occur in the lives of older adults as their friends or spouses may pass away due to age-related complications. This grief and loss can cause many older individuals to feel overwhelmed.
Unfortunately, these emotional changes can cause alcoholism to develop. But, thankfully, there is hope for senior men and women who need help overcoming alcohol use disorder. A program that works to meet the specific and unique needs of aging individuals can be exactly what seniors need in order to end substance dependence.
A detox program helps to cleanse the body of any toxins that alcohol may leave in the body. This process helps to end physical alcohol use and dependence. Then, the next phases in the continuum of care can help to free individuals from mental and emotional substance dependence.
Detoxification is often the first step of treatment for addiction. Those who are suffering from alcohol dependence should seek professional guidance and supervision as they end alcohol use. This will help to ensure that people have the help they need as they go through the withdrawal process.
Also known as inpatient treatment, this addiction treatment program is intensive. Those who go through a residential program live at their treatment center as they receive help for substance dependence. This enables them to have 24/7 access to certified substance use counselors. It also means continuous support from an understanding community that is alcohol-free.
While in residential treatment, individuals can benefit from varying types of therapy. These include individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and more.
While not as intensive as residential treatment, these programs can help individuals who are not quite ready for outpatient treatment.
A partial hospitalization program, also called a PHP, can help those who are suffering from mental health disorders in addition to substance dependence. These co-occurring disorders can create serious challenges in the lives of those who suffer from them. So, it’s important for people to receive dual diagnosis care in order to overcome addiction and manage the symptoms of mental illness.
An intensive outpatient program, or IOP, can help recovering individuals who do not require around-the-clock care but may still need a somewhat intensive treatment. IOPs help to identify and address any co-occurring issues, the goals of recovery, and any other necessary steps throughout the treatment process.
Like residential treatment programs, both PHPs and IOPs involve various therapies and treatments. These help people to develop the skills they need as they build a life that is free from addiction.
Often one of the final steps of the treatment process, outpatient treatment offers an even less intensive option than PHPs or IOPs. Outpatient treatment does not require people to live at a facility. Instead, people can either continue living at home or in a sober living environment. Those in outpatient programs may also be able to hold jobs or tend to family or home-related duties.
However, despite its less intensive approach, outpatient treatment can still be quite effective. Those who go through an outpatient program still benefit from an array of therapeutic approaches. They can also continue to get support and assistance from certified peer support specialists.
Allow Sana Lake Recovery Center to Help You Today!
Struggling with a substance use disorder can make life very challenging. Many people find themselves feeling lonely and unable to overcome alcohol dependence in their lives.
If you are dealing with alcoholism, you may feel alone in your struggle. Perhaps your family and friends are unsure of how to help you. Or, maybe you are concerned about whether treatment can actually help you.
Here at Sana Lake, we understand the challenges of overcoming alcohol dependency. It’s not easy to stop using a substance that your mind and body have become dependent on.
But, our compassionate team is dedicated to helping to save and change our members’ lives for the better. You don’t need to go through this alone. You can end alcohol addiction in your life. Just contact us today to learn how we can help!