Alcohol is the most commonly used drug, and it’s also the “most harmful drug to society”, according to a study by WebMD. Alcohol Addiction is linked to over 60 related diseases, responsible for over 95,000 deaths a year (in the united states alone!), and the only addiction that has potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms to a person in good health. All of these concerns, but it’s still legal and widely used around the globe. The withdrawal symptoms of alcoholism are so severe that it’s highly recommended you use a medically assisted drug addiction treatment center when it’s time to detox.
Do you have questions about alcohol addiction? In this post, we will cover the basics of alcohol addiction, how much alcohol is considered excessive, and how to find support.
What is Alcohol Addiction?
When many people hear about alcohol addiction, the first thing that comes to mind is the question, “what is considered an alcohol addiction?” To put it simply, alcohol addiction is exactly what it sounds like. Alcohol addiction is a chronic condition that is characterized as substance abuse and a mental health disorder. Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is fairly common and it is recommended to seek help through a drug and alcohol rehab.
Alcoholism can make a person become both emotionally and physically dependent on being able to drink alcohol. Whether you, a friend, or a family member that struggles with alcohol addiction, it’s something that negatively impacts everybody involved.
What is Considered an Excessive Amount of Alcohol?
In a society that normalizes excessive drinking, it can be hard to understand how much alcohol is considered too much. The amount of alcohol that’s considered excessive may be less than you think.
The NIAAA or National Institute on Alcohol Abuse or Alcoholism defines heavy alcohol use as:
- More than four drinks on any day for men
- More than three drinks for women
On a weekly basis, heavy alcohol consumption is defined as:
- Fifteen or more drinks per week for men
- Eight or more drinks per week for women
Moderate drinking is defined as:
- Two drinks per day for men
- One drink per day for women
For reference, 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 8 ounces of malt liquor makes up one drink.
According to the CDC, excessive Drinking is defined as:
- Binge drinking
- Drinking while pregnant
- Drinking while under the legal drinking age
How Do I Know if I Have a Problem with Alcohol?
- Drink excessively (as defined by the guidelines above)
- Have an emotional or physical dependency on alcohol
- Find that alcohol is interfering with your work, education, career, relationships, social life, wellbeing, or any other important areas of life
- Experience cravings for alcohol (a strong urge to drink)
- Experience withdrawals or withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking or decrease the amount you drink
- Need to drink more than you used to in order to get the same effects
- Continue to drink despite the negative impact that it has on your personal or professional life
- Struggle to limit your drinking
You may be struggling with alcohol addiction. Consult a medical or mental health care professional if you’re struggling with alcohol or think that you might be.
Is it Possible to Find Help for Alcohol Addiction?
If you struggle with alcohol or believe that you may have alcohol use disorder, it is absolutely possible to find the help that you need. When the effects of alcohol wear off and you realize that you’re struggling, you may wonder where to start in terms of how to find help.
There are many drug rehab centers that offer a variety of treatment options specifically for alcohol use disorder. Alcoholism treatment is a long term process and it usually happens in steps. The typical treatment plan for alcohol abuse usually goes in this order:
- Residential Detox
- Inpatient treatment
- Outpatient Treatment
- Support Groups
Treatment programs are focused on dropping the level of care as progress happens. The residential detoxification program is necessary to keep you safe because detoxing from alcohol can be dangerous or fatal. After you go through the detox process, it’s best to stay in a sober living environment with a consistent regime of counseling and therapies. After you finish the inpatient treatment you’ll be ready to go back out into the world, but may still be expected to receive one-on-one counseling sessions, or attend group therapy sessions.
Your New Life
You don’t have to suffer in silence anymore, and you are not alone. Alcohol use disorder is considered a very common condition, and it is treatable. Addiction itself is not a choice, but recovery is, and you can come out on the other side.
It’s possible to break the chains of addiction. The healthy choices you make moving forward will brighten the prospects of your future in addition to laying a new foundation for the rest of your life. Call Opus Health at 949-625-4019, or check our admissions page to learn more.