In the discussion about alcoholism, there’s still far too much misinformation. Easy access to the drug, combined with its ubiquitous nature, make it difficult for people to understand its real dangers. Those suffering from alcohol dependence learn to hide the condition for a long time. What do you need to know about the disease today?
What are the Symptoms of Alcohol Dependence?
Like any addiction, dependence to alcohol is not something that happens overnight. You don’t go to bed after drinking to excess and wake up with alcoholism. Instead, its development follows a gradual process that starts out with binge drinking. From there, alcohol use becomes steadier.
Over time, you develop serious cravings for a drink when you can’t have one. You think about heading home for a drink or buying the next round. You watch the clock until you can finally have your next drink. Before long, cravings turn into compulsion.
It starts not to matter that you have a “breakfast beer” alongside the morning coffee. You might even feel a little bohemian for doing so. But you quickly lose control. You now hide your alcohol in the thermos you take to work or class.
You might even feel shame for your drinking and hide bottles from friends or family members. Quitting becomes more difficult when the body forms a physical dependence on the substance. If you go too long without it, you may exhibit painful withdrawal symptoms that make you feel terrible. These symptoms typically start when your body’s been without alcohol for eight to ten hours.
Is it Alcohol Dependence or Abuse?
It may sound like you’re parsing words, but there’s a difference between alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse. Dependence refers to the psychological or physical addiction to the substance. You believe that you must have alcohol to function or survive.
Abuse takes it a step backward. You engage in drinking behavior that is unhealthy and potentially harmful to your relationships, your job, and to others. Examples include binge drinking and unsafe behaviors that involve drunk driving. Typically, abuse is the stage just before dependence, and it can last for a brief time.
Get Treatment for the Addiction Today
The good news is there’s help available. No matter where your situation fits in with the alcohol use disorder spectrum, it’s never too late to quit. At a rehab facility, you get the help you need to stop using. Modalities include:
- Medically supervised detoxification that breaks physical dependence on alcohol.
- A residential treatment program that helps you overcome psychological addiction.
- Partial treatment, which follows with stepped down care, once you complete residential treatment.
- Sober living facility access is a step to take before transitioning back to living at home.
- Other options for aftercare might include sober companion coaching and 12-Step program attendance
The goal of any alcoholic intervention is your lifelong sobriety. Getting there takes the right combination of talk therapy, personal growth, and time away from stressors. Part of this experience is the opportunity to relax with yoga and massage therapy in a non-judgmental environment. Most importantly, you need a setting that is as confidential as it is friendly and welcoming.
At The Hills Treatment Center, compassionate therapists work with you to put together an individualized treatment plan. Don’t give alcohol another day of your life. Reach out for help simply by dialing 866-323-4665 today.