Types of Addiction
Alcohol Addiction Treatment
For those struggling with alcohol use disorder, behavioral health leader GateHouse Treatment offers a way out. For individuals ready to overcome their alcoholism, we offer an approach to alcohol addiction treatment based on proven methodologies. We give our clients the tools to build a strong recovery by promoting mental health, personal responsibility, and accountability. We are personally invested in our clients’ recovery process and are available to support them each step of the way. Reach out today and find out how GateHouse can help.
What Is Alcoholism / What Is Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol is classified as a drug and falls under the category of depressant drugs, meaning it slows down vital functions. Drinking alcohol in moderation and having a drinking problem are very different things. Realizing when you or a loved one has an alcohol abuse problem is sometimes hard to face since alcohol is a legal drug. There is a relationship between alcohol abuse and mental health disorders like substance use disorder. If you or a loved one want to stop drinking, there are alcohol treatment centers available to help. Alcohol addiction can be crippling to your life and can occur even after years of regular drinking. Alcohol is one of the most widely abused drugs across the country. Abuse of alcohol can result in alcohol withdrawal, which can be fatal. A medical professional should monitor all detoxification from alcohol.
History of Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse
Throughout history, Americans have struggled to balance alcohol consumption, alcohol abuse, and alcoholism. The inauguration of Alcoholics Anonymous occurred in 1935, and the American Medical Association declared people suffering from alcohol addiction as valid patients. By 1944, alcoholism was the fourth-largest health concern in America. Substance abuse and mental health disorders that go with them continue to plague our society.
Common Street Names for Alcohol
- Liquid Courage
- Cold One
Physiology and Side Effects of Alcoholism and Alcohol Addiction
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol acts in the brain by altering levels of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that transmit signals throughout the body, controlling thought processes, behavior, and emotion. Alcohol increases the effects of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid). It also inhibits the excitatory chemical Glutamate by suppressing the stimulant chemical, raising the amount of an inhibitory compound, and causing a physiological slowdown. Alcohol also increases the amount of dopamine in the brain’s reward center, creating a pleasurable feeling when someone drinks alcohol.
The more someone abuses alcohol, the more is required to have the desired effect they are used to achieving, meaning more alcohol consumption is needed – this creates alcohol dependence and increased consumption.
Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse
Common side effects of alcohol abuse and heavy drinking are:
- Slurring of speech
- Emotional changes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Weight gain
- Blackouts (Not remembering what the drinker did while drinking)
- Increased urination
Understanding Alcohol Use Disorders
When someone consumes alcohol, they experience feelings of euphoria. Some use alcohol to “loosen up” in social situations. With repeated consumption and abuse, especially binge drinking, individuals become dependent and cannot function as they need to when alcohol isn’t in their system. Once a person reaches the point of physical dependence, they will go through a physical withdrawal, which can be fatal. All detoxification from alcohol requires monitoring by a medical professional. There are many alcohol detox programs available for those struggling with substance abuse disorders. Call GateHouse today for more information.
- There are 95,000 alcohol related deaths in the U.S. each year
- Over 3 million American teenagers have an alcohol abuse problem
- People ages 12-20 often binge drink
- Alcohol poisoning kills six people every day
- More than 15 MM people struggle with an alcohol use disorder in the U.S.
- Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities account for more than 10,000 deaths per year
- Approximately 17% of men and 8% of women will be dependent on alcohol in their lifetime
- Alcohol abuse can have long-term side effects on a person, including brain damage and liver disease
- Chronic alcohol abusers can develop alcoholic hepatitis, fatty liver, and cirrhosis of the liver
Signs of Alcohol Abuse
While every person exhibits signs of intoxication differently some of the most common symptoms of alcoholism and alcohol use disorders are:
Fluctuation of moods, depression, euphoric, overexpression of emotions, anger, violence, overconfident, boisterous, irritability, fatigue, anxiety, loss of appetite
Impulsive behavior, attention-deficient, overeating or not eating, aggression, lack of self-awareness, anxiety relief/ increased anxiety, drinking alone, legal problems related to alcohol abuse, continuation of drinking despite negative consequences, “Rituals” around drinking such as times or certain places, hiding alcohol around the house, neglecting responsibility, blackouts, increased risky behavior
Tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, compulsion to drink, nausea and vomiting, headaches, tremors, liver issues, beer belly, consumption, long recovery time after alcohol consumption, weight gain