What Is Alcohol Addiction?
Overcoming an alcohol addiction can be extremely difficult. Not everyone who consumes alcohol becomes addicted. Alcohol addiction refers to psychological and physical dependence. Today much research has been done on genetics and alcoholism, many scientists and doctors agree that some individuals are more susceptible to alcohol abuse. Alcohol stimulates the part of the brain which causes pleasure, this leads an individual with a strong desire to repeat the process. Conquering addiction takes strength, willpower, and professional assistance, but it can be done.
What Damage Does It Cause?
Alcohol abuse can cause serious damaging effects on the body. Unfortunately, once addicted the brain becomes dependent leading to psychological issues as well. One drink turns into many until the consumer is intoxicated to the point of blacking out. Along with nausea, slurring of speech and sleep disruption, alcohol could have permanent damage to your organs. Below is a list of serious effects alcohol abuse can have on your body:
- Central Nervous Damage
- Alcohol abuse affects the brain which makes it harder to talk and have coordination. Severe nervous damage can lead to pain and seizures.
- Liver Damage
- Alcoholism creates fatty deposits to build in the liver which creates inflammation. This can lead to hepatitis and liver failure which will result in death.
- Immune System
- Alcohol abuse leads to a weakened immune system. This will make you more susceptible to viruses and bacteria.
- Drinking alcohol is the second biggest factor in contracting throat and mouth cancer.
- Sexual and Reproductive Damage
- Alcohol abuse leads to impotence in men and infertility in women. It also causes stillbirths and infants to be born with fetal alcohol syndrome.
Alcohol addiction also causes social damage. It can lead to driving under the influence which can lead to a car accident or at the very least legal issues. It can cause violence in the home and unemployment.
What Are the Treatments?
Alcoholism is a lifelong struggle. Although there are systems in place to help you conquer your addiction. There are different treatment options available to you. Choosing the right method should be a decision you make with your doctor’s, loved ones and therapists. Treatment programs include inpatient, outpatient, and sober living homes. The first step is reaching out and seeking help.
Although all treatments will include group therapy, detoxification, and counseling. Each program handles treatment differently. Inpatient alcohol rehabilitation offers more intensive around the clock care. Outpatient allows you to continue to go to work and attend therapy and counseling part-time. Sober living homes allow a more relaxed environment although, you will be living at the center. Most programs last 30 to 90 days with an option to stay longer in special cases.
What Is the Statistics On Recovery?
Although statistics favor inpatient versus outpatient care when it comes to maintaining sobriety, the choice is up to you. According to a recent study 1 in 10 people have beat addiction. That means over 24 million people have been able to conquer addiction. This study is an important step to show that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and with proper guidance and help you can beat alcoholism.
In conclusion, the road to recovery will seem slow and intense. Group therapy and detoxification can be overwhelming. There are treatment centers that have a holistic approach to recovery and have non 12 step treatment if that is what you desire. Taking it day by day and speaking to professionals and loved ones, will give you the emotional support that is vital to recovery. Everyone has a unique story and your treatment and recovery will also be unique. Focus on yourself and sobriety.