Alcohol is one of the oldest addictions known to man. It has been around for hundreds of years as a recreational substance. Alcohol contains ethanol, a psychoactive substance that is the active ingredient in drinks such as beer, wine and distilled spirits, often called “hard liquor.”
The effect on its users is known as intoxication.
Alcohol addiction or alcoholism is a serious illness. It is a disease that completely takes hold of its victim, leaving them dependent on the substance for sustenance. Alcoholism is a progressive disease that disrupts the lives of its victim and their loved ones.
What are the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse and binge drinking?
There are several physical signs that vary depending on the progression of the illness including:
- Incoherent and slurred speech
- Delayed reflexes
- Loss of balance
- Redness of the face
- Blacking out
- Loss of consciousness
Alcohol is both legal and easy to acquire. Thus, it is difficult to see the true dangers which it possesses. A person may reach critical levels of intoxication which could lead to a depressed respiratory system or alcohol poisoning, both of which could be fatal. Alcoholism is life threatening and users become physically dependent on it, much like a heroin addict become dependent on the opiate.
What are the signs of alcohol dependence?
Alcohol abuse can quickly progress, becoming an addiction characterised by physical dependency. Here are a few of the signs of dependency:
- Hangovers take longer to recover from
- Alcohol consumption is increased due to increased tolerance
- Slacking off duties and responsibilities both in personal and professional spaces
- Unsuccessful efforts to quit alcohol
- Medical complications caused by alcohol
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms:
Once a person becomes physically dependent on alcohol they will experience sever withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop drinking. These withdrawals can be life threatening and treatment should be greatly considered when trying to quit.
Some of the effects of withdrawal include:
- Convulsions and tremors
- Shaking of the hands (this is uncontrollable)
- Extreme anxiety
- Severe nausea and vomiting
Generally, medical detox is needed to safely discontinue drinking. Alcoholism is a deadly disease and if left untreated the consequences could be insurmountable.
When someone drinks a lot and is an alcohol addict or alcoholic, the body becomes accustomed to it. As a result, more and more alcohol is needed to get the same effect. This “habit” is called tolerance. Alcohol addiction when someone drinks a lot and is an alcohol addict or alcoholic, the body becomes accustomed to it. The body undergoes severe withdrawal symptoms when the addict tries to stop drinking.
Want to know if you drink too much? Call us for a free addiction assessment.
Causes of alcohol addiction
There are numerous factors that play a varying role in alcohol addiction:
- Biological factors
Genetics may play a role. Some people have a genetic predisposition and in fact an increased chance of developing an alcohol addiction.
- Psychological factors
Some mental health problems make a person vulnerable to developing an alcohol addiction. Some people might feel more in control when abusing alcohol in difficult situations.
- Social factors
The situation or environments such as the family or the workplace can influence the use of alcohol heavily. People who are brought up in a home where alcohol abuse is normal might be more inclined to overuse alcohol.
The only way to find out why you abuse alcohol is to go through rehabilitation and really explore your use.
Houghton House provides the perfect environment for you to tackle these tough questions about your alcohol addiction and understand the true reasons for your alcohol abuse.
Contact Houghton House for more information on alcoholism and alcohol addiction recovery and getting yourself help to start a new life.
Rehab in Johannesburg office hours: 011 787 9142
24/7 emergency Rehab in South Africa helpline: 079 770 7532
Click on the green envelope below and fill in our contact form, and one of our professional staff members will get back to you via email or phone, respecting your anonymity at all times.