Alcohol is the most popular psychoactive substance in the United States, with 139.8 million Americans ages 12 and older drinking monthly. More than 14 million Americans have an alcohol abuse disorder, which typically requires help from an alcohol rehab center to recover from. While alcohol is legal, it is prone to abuse. Alcohol can damage your liver, as your liver is only able to filter one serving of alcohol every 90 minutes. While alcohol can induce relaxing feelings, it can also cause negative emotions, like anger and depression.
Alcohol impacts coordination and judgment, which can increase your risk of engaging in dangerous behavior. Intoxication can increase conflict, as drinking excessively lowers inhibitions and can cause anger. Alcohol is also physically addictive and can cause potentially fatal complications during withdrawal. This means it is essential to connect with an alcohol addiction treatment center.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism occurs when you compulsively drink despite dealing with harmful consequences because of your drinking and wanting to quit. Alcohol causes your brain to release a rush of pleasurable neurotransmitters, which causes your brain to associate alcohol with pleasure. This alters your pleasure and reward center, which then rewards your drinking by releasing neurotransmitters and punishes sobriety by restricting the release of neurotransmitters.
Consuming large amounts of alcohol can cause memory loss and blackouts, as well as ethanol poisoning. Ethanol poisoning requires medical treatment, as it can be fatal. Another risk of alcoholism is that driving while intoxicated can lead to injuries, death, and criminal charges.
The cause of alcoholism is unknown and anyone who consumes alcohol can develop a dependency. When you become dependent on alcohol, your tolerance builds. That means you have to increase your consumption to continue experiencing intoxication. Alcoholism can cause liver damage, including cirrhosis and hepatitis.
Signs of alcoholism include:
- Needing to drink to feel normal
- Drinking shortly after waking up
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking
- Inability to control or reduce your alcohol use
- Feeling guilt, shame, or remorse about your drinking
How Alcoholism is Treated
Alcoholism is a chronic condition, which is why completing a treatment program at an alcohol rehab center is essential to your recovery. Because alcohol is physically addictive and can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, an alcohol detox center can ensure that you remain safe and supported during early recovery.
Alcohol addiction treatment programs can occur in an inpatient or outpatient setting. An inpatient alcohol rehab center is residential and provides the highest level of care, making it an excellent choice if you have a co-occurring condition or severe alcoholism. Most addiction treatment programs at an inpatient alcohol rehab center last for at least 28 days, while long-term programs can offer treatment for several months.
An outpatient alcohol rehab center allows you to continue working or attending school during treatment. An alcohol rehab center offers both evidence-based and holistic therapies, which provide you with the tools and skills necessary to resist cravings and cope with triggers.
Struggling with alcoholism can make you feel lost, hopeless, and alone. An alcohol rehab center provides you with the support, understanding, and guidance to learn how to manage your sobriety. Because alcoholism is progressive, symptoms will continue to get worse until you receive help.