Alcohol is a drug that affects
a person’s mind, body and spirit. Although alcohol is a
legal drug, becoming addicted to alcohol is a very common and
problematic side effect. Alcohol addiction, also known as alcoholism
has a few very distinct symptoms associated with it. For the alcohol
addict as well as those who are involved with him/her, understanding
addiction is the initial step in learning how to get help. Alcohol
abuse addiction consists of four main components defined by
the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The major
signs are: cravings, a loss of control, a physical dependence
on alcohol and an increase in tolerance.
Alcohol addicts have cravings
for alcohol which are comparable to a person’s need for
air. A person who has become addicted to alcohol is unable to
go extended periods of time without thinking, obsessing and drinking
alcohol. This need to drink alcohol progresses over time with
the addiction itself.
Losing control does not just mean
that a person is unable to control his/her body or actions, but
is actually unable to control the amount of alcohol that is taken
into the body. Once an alcohol addict has had the first drink,
it is almost impossible for him/her to control the drinking from
that point forward. Alcohol addicts routinely promise their significant
others that they will only have a few drinks, however by the end
of the night they are totally intoxicated and unable to handle
themselves. The next day alcohol addicts may feel remorseful or
apologetic, but they are unable to stop drinking completely or
stay sober for any meaningful period of time.
Alcohol addicts also have an increased
tolerance as a result of addictive drinking. This means that as
alcohol addiction progresses the addict needs more and more alcohol
in order to feel the same effects. Alcohol addicts may feel frustration
as they continue to drink but are unable to feel the same “high”
that they used to feel.
Becoming physically dependent
on alcohol is another symptom of alcohol
addiction. People who drink alcohol excessively may try to detox
themselves once in a while, either because they have promised
a loved one, or because they honestly want to stop drinking. This
self detox process is usually unsuccessful because the withdrawal
symptoms associated with becoming sober are too painful and uncomfortable.
These symptoms can include intense anxiety, shakiness, hot and
cold flashes and nausea.
can affect anyone and does not discriminate based on age, background
or circumstances. Like other addictions, alcohol addiction is
a treatable disease, but the person who is seeking treatment must
be willing to give it up entirely. Trying to treat alcohol addition
without the help of specialists and professionals may be unrealistic
and tiresome, but getting quality treatment can have great rewards