It starts with just having a few drinks and being social. After a while, you build up a physical tolerance to the effects of alcohol. It now takes more drinks to achieve the same “high.” Before long, you develop alcohol dependence; from there, it’s only a small step to addiction.
Alcohol Dependence Typically Starts with a Physical Addiction
In spite of building up a tolerance and having to drink more alcohol than you did in the past, you continue regular use. Eventually, your body comes to expect the steady influx of the substance. If you go too long without it, you may start to suffer withdrawal symptoms. They’re your body’s way of reminding you to have a drink, which denotes a physical dependence.
Psychological Addiction is the Usual Next Step
It’s interesting to note that you can build a mental form of alcohol dependence even if you haven’t fully developed a physical one yet. Of course, once that process is complete, the part of the brain governing pleasure no longer responds just to natural stimuli. Instead, it now primarily connects alcohol use with pleasure. You’ve formed a psychological addiction to the substance.
A Disease Results When Alcohol Dependence Leads to Addiction
Medical professionals categorize an alcohol addiction as an atypical response, which justifies its inclusion with chronic diseases. Other examples of chronic ailments include asthma and heart disease. You’ll never experience a cure, but it’s possible to treat the condition and minimize the chance of suffering a relapse at alcohol treatment centers. Recognizing an alcohol addiction is easy.
- Irrepressible, intense cravings. When you strongly crave chocolate, you might look through your cupboards. If you’re out, you may or may not go to the store. In contrast, when you have a strong craving for alcohol, you might tear apart your house looking for even the smallest leftovers. If you don’t find any, you will go to the store to buy more – no matter how late it is, what the weather is like, or if you’ve got enough money.
- Uncontrollable use. If alcohol has already affected your health, your doctor has most likely warned you against drinking. But no matter how sick you’re getting, you continue to drink. You’ll also do so if it costs you a relationship, success in educational pursuits, or a promising career path. You may even realize you’re harming yourself, but you just don’t care.
- Addiction can be fatal. You may deny that you’re suffering from an alcohol use disorder. In spite of its interference in your daily life, you blame others for the problems it causes. Continuous use can eventually result in liver failure, heart disease, immune system suppression with subsequent infections, and pneumonia. Alcohol may also kill you by clouding your judgment, which leads to driving drunk or suffocating on your vomit after drinking too much.
Medically Supervised Treatment is the Safest Way to Deal with the Disease
Because withdrawing from alcohol can lead to strong physical reactions, medically supervised alcohol detox and rehab afterward are necessary. While your body naturally eliminates the drug over some days, it will take it a while to regain equilibrium. Depending on your overall health and the length of time you used alcohol, as well as the number of drinks you’ve become accustomed to, expect there to be a backlash. Seizures, heart attacks, strokes, and hallucinations are just some of the severe symptoms some folks struggling with the disorder may experience.
Get Professional Help Today!
In spite of uncontrollable cravings and fear of physical pain, seeking out a treatment for alcohol dependence is your best choice. With medical detox, professionals can help ease discomfort and strive to protect your body from side effects. When you call the compassionate addiction experts at Serenity House Detox & Recovery, you can get started on the road to recovery today. Call 866-294-5306 now.