Treatment for alcohol addiction can be tricky. While alcohol is perfectly legal and accepted by society, it also causes a huge problem for many people. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, in the united states alone 17.6 million people suffer from alcohol abuse or are dependent on drinking. That is one out of every 12 adults. Several million of those people take part in risky binge drinking that can lead to many issues including death. It is clear that alcohol abuse is a problem, and it is important that you know the signs and get help for you or a loved one as soon as it is needed.
When to Seek Treatment for Alcohol Addiction
Whether it is you or a loved one, if you are wondering if you or they need treatment for alcohol addiction, chances are you are probably right. If you feel like something it is off, or you have ever had regrets about drinking too much it is important to recognize the problem and get help before it spirals out of control. We aren’t talking about having an extra glass of wine you regret, but drinking heavily and to the point where you partake in regretful behavior or even worse don’t remember something you did.
Here are some of the top indications you need treatment for alcohol addiction:
- People are you have expressed concern. Do friends and family members ask you about your drinking or plead with you to cut it out? If this is happening, you should pay attention. They are most likely observing destructive behavior that you may not even be aware of.
- You hide your drinking. One clear sign that you are drinking too much is that you drink secretly. For example, a person in a domestic partnership might keep bottles of alcohol in hidden spots to secretly take swigs when their significant other isn’t paying attention. This behavior means that you are aware of the fact that you are drinking too much, and don’t want to deal with the repercussions or ridicule of doing so. Instead, you do so in secret.
- You would rather drink alone than participate in hobbies you used to enjoy. When Friday night rolls around, would you rather meet up with friends or stay at home with a bottle of alcohol and your television? If you begin to strongly favor spending time with the bottle over anything else, you should recognize this as an issue.
- You drink at inappropriate times. Do you “need” to drink before a social event, even if it a child’s birthday party? If you use alcohol as a crutch to get through things that most people can get through sober, this signals a dependence on alcohol.
- You have gotten in trouble because of drinking. Have you gotten a DUI, or gotten fired from work or suspended at school for coming in drunk or hungover? This is a serious problem and one that will not be tolerated in regular society. If this is happening, it is essential to get help as soon as possible.
- You need a drink first thing in the morning. When “regular” people have a few drinks the night before, the next morning another drink is usually the furthest thing on their mind. For an alcoholic, it will be the first thing. It is a myth that having a beer will cure a hangover. Instead, it will just delay the inevitable and contribute to further alcohol addiction.
- You regret your drinking or actions while drinking. Alcohol can be extremely scary. People fight, things get destroyed, flirting and sexual behaviors take place, and you can completely black out and forget about everything that happened. If this happens to you, you know how incredibly scary and uncomfortable it can be.
- You feel the effects when you quit drinking. During a hangover, a non-alcoholic might feel slightly tired, a bit of dehydration, or a headache. Nothing a healthy breakfast and some water and coffee won’t cure. For an alcoholic, alcohol withdrawals can be incredibly unpleasant and in extreme cases, deadly. Symptoms include a racing heartbeat, vomiting and diarrhea, intense anxiety, delusions, tremors, and seizures.
If you think you need treatment for alcohol addiction, don’t hesitate. The sooner you get help, the better off you will be. No matter how bad your drinking may seem, you can always get help and go back to living a normal, happy, and healthy life.