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Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Studies published by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, indicate that alcohol abuse affects 1 in 12 adults, and those numbers exclude many more who binge drink or exhibit other unhealthy drinking patterns. While individuals may legally drink alcohol beginning at age 21 in the United States, those aged 12 to 20 will consume 1 out of every 10 drinks served.

The legality, prevalence and acceptance of alcohol make determining whether an individual has an alcohol abuse problem — or alcoholism — very difficult. Simultaneously, for those struggling with abuse issues, the wide availability of alcohol and its incorporation into a variety of activities, festivities and social gatherings poses unique challenges.

Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse and Addiction

Individuals who suffer from alcohol abuse can often easily hide symptoms from family, friends and colleagues, yet signs will still remain detectable. You or your loved ones may experience any of the following symptoms.

Physical symptoms:

  • difficulty remembering or memory loss
  • inability to cut back or stop drinking
  • shaking hands
  • motor issues like frequent accidents or falls
  • difficulty driving, including tickets and accidents
  • blackouts
  • depression

Social symptoms:

  • feelings of guilt after drinking
  • hiding evidence of drinking
  • impulse control issues
  • others expressing concern about your drinking
  • sensitivity to comments about your drinking
  • causing emotional or physical harm to others, attributable to drinking
  • relationship or work problems, attributable to drinking

Alcoholism’s Long-Term Consequences

You or your loved ones may readily see signs of early-onset alcohol abuse, but symptoms of long-term abuse or alcoholism may present only to the sufferer or their doctor.

Symptoms of long-term, heavy use or alcoholism include:

  • pancreatitis (inflammation and impairment of the pancreas)
  • reduced ability to absorb nutrients (pancreatitis induced)
  • hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia or symptoms associated with diabetes (pancreatitis induced)
  • cirrhosis (inflammation, scarring and impairment)
  • increased levels of body toxins (cirrhosis induced)
  • damage to the central nervous system
  • frontal lobe damage

Symptoms of Withdrawal from Alcohol

Your decision to stop drinking will benefit your health in numerous ways, however, you will experience many symptoms of withdrawal before you begin to feel better. Your symptoms’s severity will vary depending on the length and extent of your alcohol use.

Symptoms common to alcohol withdrawal include:

  • heavy perspiration
  • irregular heartbeat
  • high blood pressure
  • a feeling of nervousness
  • shakiness or tremors
  • anxiety
  • nausea
  • seizures, hallucinations and delirium, in more extreme cases
  • delirium tremens, in more extreme cases

The Critical Need for Supervised Detox

The symptoms of withdrawal, as outlined above, can put tremendous stress on the body and mind. The elimination of alcohol can have devastating effects upon many of your body’s natural functions, including your motor functions. The symptoms of withdrawal can also impair your basic perceptions, mental functions and the quality of your thoughts.

Further, the scope and severity of symptoms can vary widely among individuals. Unsupervised, you face risks not only to your sense of well-being but also to your health and safety. A medically-supervised detox provides the safest way to absent yourself from alcohol with the greatest possible comfort, safety and highest likelihood of remaining sober.

Garden Wellness Center’s Integrated Approach to Detox

Garden Wellness Center believes that an integrated approach which treats your body’s medical needs, as well as your psychological health in consort, gives you your best chance of success. Treating one or the other segment alone leaves open a pathway for continuing addiction and abuse. You want to get better, and we want to ensure you have it all covered. We understand not only the risks but also the pain that living with addiction causes — in addition to the physical pain you likely experience every day.

With our patient, committed and compassionate therapists and staff standing by you throughout your recovery process, we can help you face and overcome the psychological underpinnings of your use. Healing these underlying psychological concerns which alcohol use has masked — and equipping you with techniques and strategies to avoid use and opt for healthier alternatives in the future — will help ensure a lasting sobriety. We hope you will choose Garden Wellness Center as your guide and friend on your journey to wellness.