What is Chronic Alcoholism?

Chronic alcoholism is also known as alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder. This occurs when a person drinks often or heavily and continues to drink even when it is negatively impacting their life and health. Many people who suffer from alcoholism / who abuse alcohol are unable to control their drinking – they might try to quit, but begin drinking again after a few hours, days, weeks, or even months. 

Over time, they will need more alcohol to feel the same effects as when they first began drinking, as they will develop a tolerance. 

How Do I Know If My Drinking Is Unhealthy?

We live in a society where drinking alcohol has become normal, making it difficult to know when our drinking turns into a problem. If drinking damages any area of your life, this could be an indicator that you have an addiction to alcohol. These areas can include work, mental health, physical health, romantic relationships, friendships, or relationships with family members. 

Some people with alcohol addictions binge drink, which means they consume five or more drinks within two hours (for men) and four drinks within two hours (for women). For example, someone might only drink on the weekends, but each time they drink they binge drink – this could be a sign of alcohol addiction. 

It’s important to point out that all levels of alcoholism, whether mild or severe, are dangerous and can damage many aspects of life, and can cause serious health issues. 

Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder

Yes, alcohol poisoning symptoms are a serious medical emergency. When it occurs, you need to seek medical attention immediately for the individual by calling 911. Even if you aren’t sure if the individual does have alcohol poisoning, you should always call for help to be safe. 

Never leave the individual alone if you suspect they are overdosing. Instead, you should stay with them until medical help arrives. As mentioned above, if the person begins vomiting, they need to be turned on their side to prevent choking.

  • Binge drinking or periods of heavy drinking

  • Excessive alcohol use

  • Spending a large amount of time drinking or thinking about drinking

  • Avoiding activities they once enjoyed

  • Only spending time with people who drink

  • Isolating

  • Experiencing health problems due to drinking alcohol

  • Trying to quit but being unable to quit

  • Continuing to drink even if it is negatively impacting their life

  • And many others

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can include a range of the following:

  • Anxiety

  • Nausea

  • Headaches

  • Feeling shaky

  • Insomnia

  • Sweating

  • Seizures

  • Hallucinations

  • Fast heartbeat

Some people might experience severe symptoms, while some might experience more mild symptoms. This will depend on their overall health and level of addiction. Physical symptoms typically last approximately one week but will vary from person to person.

What Causes Alcohol Withdrawal?

Withdrawal symptoms are caused by the body’s central nervous system being accustomed to having alcohol in its system. When someone suddenly stops drinking, the body is receiving less alcohol than it’s used to, so the brain attempts to keep the body in the heightened state that it typically experiences when they are drinking. This is when withdrawal symptoms begin.

  • Medical monitoring during the detox process for alcohol abuse

  • Medication-assisted treatment when needed to help reduce the detox withdrawal symptoms

  • Individual therapy

  • Group therapy

  • And much more

Risk Factors of Alcohol Use Disorder

There are several factors that can increase someone’s risk of developing alcohol use disorder:

  • Starting drinking at a young age

  • Having a family history of alcohol use disorder

  • Experiencing depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions

  • Having a history of emotional or physical trauma

  • Social pressures to drink

When To Seek Treatment

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, professional treatment can help. But as mentioned, it can often be difficult to know if your drinking has become a problem. If you are experiencing negative changes in your life due to drinking, or if friends and family are suggesting you need help, consider reaching out to a rehab facility.

Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

Addiction treatment is extremely effective at helping individuals overcome their alcohol addiction. The first step is alcohol detox to help you or a loved one safely withdraw from alcohol. Once complete, the next step is an inpatient rehab program

At Gloria Rehab, our alcohol addiction recovery programs provide: 

  • Medical monitoring during the detox process for alcohol abuse

  • Medication-assisted treatment when needed to help reduce the detox withdrawal symptoms

  • Individual therapy

  • Group therapy

  • Dual-diagnosis treatment to address and treat any co-occurring disorders such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health conditions

  • 12-step support groups

  • Nutritional meals

Get Help For Alcohol Addiction Today

Our team at Gloria Rehab is here to help you get your life back from alcohol use disorder and substance abuse. Our detox and inpatient rehab program offers effective evidence-based therapies for patients with a unique and individualized approach to care.

Contact us today to begin your treatment process. 

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