Overcoming Alcohol Addiction

Around 14.1 million adults and 414,000 adolescents in the United States had an alcohol use disorder in 2019. In Colorado, where The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake is located, the prevalence of past-year alcohol use disorder was 14.6% (or 86,000 people) in 2019. This rate is higher than both the regional average (11.7%) and the national average (9.8%).

  • The more specific, realistic, and clear your goals, the better.
  • Make it clear that drinking will not be allowed in your home and that you may not be able to attend events where alcohol is being served.
  • Drinking alcohol causes your brain to release dopamine and more endorphins.
  • Reward and pleasure centers in the brain become overloaded, causing cravings for those emotions again.

This means that people with genetic or family risk factors who begin drinking large amounts of alcohol early in life may quickly escalate from experimenting with alcohol to developing an addiction. On the other hand, people who begin drinking later in life and do not have a strong family history of alcoholism may be able to drink in moderation and never develop an addiction. Recovering from alcohol addiction or heavy drinking is not a quick and easy process.

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The brain releases endorphins when we drink alcohol, which is why we can feel confident, happy, and light when we’re drunk. A 2012 study found that some people’s brains release more endorphins despite drinking the same amount of alcohol as others. As these people get a significant surge of happiness and more pleasure out of drinking, they can be at a higher risk of developing alcohol addiction. High blood pressure is another effect of alcohol addiction that can occur because of chronic abuse. Excessive ethanol consumption will lead to health issues with the cardiovascular system because it increases one’s heart rate and places more stress on their body, leading to hypertension.

why is alcohol addictive

In general, the longer and more intense the alcohol use, the longer and more intense the treatment you’ll need. But regardless of the treatment program’s length in weeks or months, long-term follow-up care is crucial to your recovery. Both the volume of lifetime alcohol use and a combination of context, frequency of alcohol consumption and amount consumed per occasion increase the risk of the wide range of health and social harms. The risks increase largely in a dose-dependent manner with the volume of alcohol consumed and with frequency of drinking, and exponentially with the amount consumed on a single occasion.

The Blurred Lines Between Alcohol Use and Alcohol Addiction

Comprehensive programs that include medical detox, individual therapy, group therapy, and evidence-based treatments can provide the necessary support for individuals overcoming alcohol addiction. At this point, many people are dependent on alcohol not just to feel good but to not feel bad and to avoid withdrawal. The final stage of alcoholism is when the person must drink regularly in order to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms. By the time a person reaches this stage, they are experiencing both physical and mental health deterioration—the outlook is bleak if they don’t get help. Now that we understand why alcohol is addictive, what help is available for those struggling with alcoholism? Our Chicago rehab center offers various forms of substance-specific treatment, including an alcohol addiction treatment program that’s specially made for people with this drug use disorder.

  • You receive 24/7 care from medical staff who monitor your vital signs and attend to any medical emergencies.
  • Alcohol use can actually make physical changes in the brain’s chemistry and functioning, which plays a big part in what makes alcohol addictive.
  • At this point, a person becomes preoccupied with alcohol and how to get more of it and constantly looks forward to the next time they’re going to drink.

Depending on how bad their alcohol abuse has been or if medically-assisted alcohol detox will be needed for withdrawal symptoms, entering into a treatment center may be a necessary option. Professional medical staff can assist in the difficult process of withdrawal, making the transition into sobriety less daunting. People who have experienced physical, emotional or sexual abuse or other forms of trauma are at higher risk for alcoholism. Often, drinking begins as a negative coping method to decrease the discomfort linked to the trauma experience. This can explain the overlap between PTSD and alcohol use disorders. Gender can also play a role in whether a person develops an alcohol use disorder.

How is alcohol use disorder diagnosed?

These symptoms are often distressing enough to where the person will keep drinking to avoid them. At this point, the individual would require an intensive PHP or residential treatment program to get sober. AUD is a spectrum https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/why-is-alcohol-addictive/ disorder that can be mild, moderate, or severe, and encompasses the conditions that some people refer to as alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, and alcoholism. Alcohol addiction refers to the moderate to severe form of AUD.

  • Also, a healthy diet can help undo damage alcohol may have done to the person’s health, like weight gain or loss.
  • Adolescents don’t drink as often, but much of what they consume happens through binge drinking episodes.
  • Alcohol reduces the body’s ability to heal because ethanol reduces white blood cell production, which is necessary for fighting infections.






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