Alcohol addiction is more commonly known as alcoholism and its correct clinical term is “alcohol dependence”.
However you choose to name it, alcoholism is a potentially fatal condition with no known cure. Medically recognised as a primary disease, symptoms of alcoholism include a mental craving and ultimately a physical compulsion to keep on drinking despite the actual or potential negative consequences.
The Signs & Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction
If you are wondering if you or a loved one could be an alcoholic, here’s a simple way to find out. Here are 4 of the most common symptoms of alcohol addiction:
Craving alcohol is way more intense than simply looking forward to a glass of wine over dinner.
It begins in the recesses of the mind, and results in an obsessive desire to have that first drink.
Regardless of the circumstances an alcoholic finds themselves in – and regardless of their better intentions – this urge is uncontrollable, and to the sufferer, the only remedy is to get it over with and have that drink.
The first drink brings a profound sense of relief to the alcoholic. They have “obeyed the thirst”. It does not always mean they have enjoyed the drink. In many cases, the first drink is an object of resentment. The suffering alcoholic is not unaware that they are under the control of something other than their own willpower.
A surprising characteristic of craving is the measures that the alcoholic tries to take to postpone the first drink. Everything from limiting times, places and people may be used in an attempt to exert control. However, once the disease has progressed sufficiently, one measure after the next will be given up, such is the distracting intensity of craving.
Loss of Control
Simply put, once the first drink is taken, there is no predicting where it will end. Alcoholics all have accounts of how they landed up in strange places, doing strange things, having lost count of how much they have had to drink. The only predictable outcome of this loss of control is how unpredictable the outcomes will be.
In more advanced phases of the disease, this includes blackouts, whereby the sufferer genuinely has no memory of substantial periods of time.
Dependence is characterized by withdrawal. Once dependence has set in, the loss of control takes on physical characteristics. Typically, these include the “shakes” – medically known as delirium tremens (DTs), nausea, sweating and anxiety. Once dependence has set in, withdrawal from alcohol must be medically supervised.
The human nervous system is nothing if not adaptable. In the case of alcohol, the entire body of the alcoholic requires progressively more alcohol to achieve the desired results. As with dependence, this phase of the disease is extremely dangerous, as damage to the liver and the brain are risks that the alcoholic is in no position to control.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment
The best and safest way to treat alcohol addiction is to get professional help as soon as possible. It’s an extremely serious illness and the longer it’s left untreated, the worse it will become.
Alcoholics should be encouraged to engage in more long-term treatment. It is at this juncture that the alcoholic needs to realize that the problem is no longer in the bottle, but in themselves.
Alcohol addiction treatment will focus on education about the disease of addiction, addressing denial of the problem, addressing current life problems consequential to the disease, one-on-one counselling and guidance, and facilitation into long-term support groups to help the alcoholic maintain sobriety.
We can provide you with immediate admission into the best private alcohol addiction treatment centres in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Thailand. Call us now and let one of our counsellors provide you with free, expert and confidential advice.
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