Alcohol consumption is one of the common causes of addiction and the reason for attending an alcohol addiction rehabilitation program. In 2019, more than 14 million adults and youths between the ages of 12 and 17 were addicted to alcohol. The problem can creep up from casual drinking. An occasional beer, glass of wine, or shot of liquor does not seem to hurt. However, casual alcohol consumption can eventually lead to alcoholism.
What Is Alcoholism?
Alcohol is a depressant. It slows down brain function and can make you feel relaxed, less stressed, and more sociable in the moment. But one of the dangers of drinking alcohol, even casually, is the risk of alcohol abuse. Long-term alcohol abuse increases your tolerance for drinking and may lead to dependence or alcohol use disorder (AUD). Other names for AUD are alcoholism and alcohol addiction. They all mean the individual is unable to control their urges to drink and drinks compulsively to satisfy alcohol cravings despite the adverse effects. They may also practice heavy, excessive, or binge drinking which are all causes of addiction.
Signs Casual Drinking Turned Into Alcoholism
One standard drink (14.0 grams or 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol) occasionally may not amount to alcohol abuse. Examples of a standard drink are one 12 ounce beer, five ounces of wine, or five ounces (a “shot”) of 80-proof liquor. Social drinking turns into alcohol abuse or dependence when you start drinking several times a week (excessive), heavy, or binge drink.
Heavy drinking for men is 15 drinks or more per week and 8 drinks or more per week for women. Binge drinking is classified as five or more drinks in a single sitting for men or four or more drinks in a single sitting for women, within about two hours. Binge drinking is dangerous. It causes the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level to rise to 0.08% or more, which is above the legal limit to drive.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder
Casual drinking can spiral out of control and turn into a chronic drinking problem or AUD. Common signs and symptoms of alcohol dependence include:
- Drinking becomes a priority over work, school, or family
- Justifying your drinking habit
- Drinking in secrecy
- Trouble thinking
- Frequent hangovers or temporary blackouts
- Isolating yourself from friends and family members
- Experiencing nausea, vomiting, or tremors when you don’t drink (withdrawal symptoms)
The Dangers of Drinking
Not everyone who drinks socially will turn into an alcoholic, but the risks and dangers of drinking are always there. They include:
- Brain, liver, and heart damage
- Anxiety, depression, or cognitive impairment
- Weakened immune system
- Job or income loss
- Family and relationship problems
- DUI and driving accidents
- Suicide, alcohol poisoning, or overdose fatality
An Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center Can Help You Overcome Alcoholism
AUD is a chronic relapsing brain disorder. While there is no cure for the disease, you or your loved one can successfully manage it through clinical treatment. San Antonio Recovery Center offers a residential alcohol treatment program which may be suitable for individuals struggling with a severe addiction to alcohol. Other programs, therapies, and services include:
- Detox program
- Inpatient treatment
- Intensive outpatient
- 12-step program
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- EMDR therapy
AUD needs to be properly diagnosed by our certified physician working alongside our therapist and psychologist. Your treatment plan will be tailored based on the results. It may involve dual diagnosis treatment for alcoholism and a co-occurring disorder such as drug addiction, depression, eating disorder, or anxiety. Simultaneous treatment increases your chances of recovery. During therapy, you will learn coping skills to help manage substance use triggers. We also utilize the 12-step philosophy, which can be effective in helping you live sober.
Our safe and comfortable facility is located in San Antonio, Texas. Our programs are open to men and women affected by alcohol and drug addiction. Call 866.957.7885, or contact us online to find out more and inquire about the aftercare and sober living programs for women.