In a society where drinking is seen as a socially acceptable activity, alcohol addiction often goes unnoticed. Occasional drinking in social settings may soon evolve into more frequent drinking, which can eventually transform into full-fledged alcohol abuse. The progression from one stage to the next doesn’t happen all at once. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult for alcohol users and their loved ones to recognize that there’s a problem.
If you’re currently battling alcohol abuse, living an addiction-free may be difficult to imagine. However, recovery is a real possibility for each person struggling with substance abuse. In many cases, the only thing separating addicted individuals from the healthy and happy lives they want to live is a high-quality treatment plan.
With help from a dedicated staff of professionals, recovering addicts can start mapping out the road to sobriety. Our addiction specialists are here to help you adopt the right strategies and methods for overcoming your addiction one step at a time. Once you have acquired these tools, you can begin to make meaningful and lasting progress toward recovery.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re wondering if it’s time to seek help for alcohol addiction.
What Are the Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse?
Whether you’re struggling with an addictive disorder or know someone else who is, it’s crucial to be aware of the warning signs. Knowing what symptoms to look for can allow you to identify a drinking problem before it becomes more serious. In addition, familiarizing yourself with the most common symptoms will help guide you toward finding the right alcohol rehab treatment program for your needs.
To better understand the red flags associated with alcohol addiction, it’s helpful to sort them into categories. Here are the main categories of alcohol abuse symptoms and what they entail:
Mental and Emotional Symptoms
These symptoms typically include irritability, extreme mood swings, depression, restlessness, anxiety, anger and short-term memory loss. Those who drink excessively may also become confrontational around others and have a difficult time trusting them. This behavior can negatively impact the relationships they have with their friends, family members or significant other.
When a victim of alcoholism suffers from poor mental health, their loved ones are significantly impacted as well. It’s crucial for everyone whose lives have been touched by addiction to receive the help and support they need. Addiction is never an isolated problem, and its consequences can adversely affect everyone involved.
Alcohol addiction can trigger a wide range of physical symptoms as well. Some of the most commonly reported symptoms are temporary blackouts, balance problems, hearing loss, blurred vision, slowed reaction times, lowered inhibitions and irritable bowel syndrome. There are also many long-term physical effects linked to alcoholism, such as heart disease, liver disease, hepatitis, gastritis, diabetes, stroke, cancer, dementia and epilepsy.
These health complications may also be accompanied by certain physical changes in appearance. Excessive alcohol use has been strongly connected to tremors, bloodshot eyes, unexplained weight loss or gain, impaired coordination and an overall deterioration in physical appearance.
As a result of the various effects of alcohol abuse, your social life may begin to change in profound ways. For example, you might find yourself prioritizing drinking over other obligations and responsibilities, isolating or distancing yourself from family members and friends, hanging out with a different group of friends and hiding your drinking habit from others.
Many individuals with alcoholism also tend to fabricate excuses to continue drinking alcohol. For example, they might justify their behavior as a means of relaxing after a long day. Meanwhile, others may cite chronic stress or anxiety as a reason for their excessive alcohol consumption. By telling themselves these stories, addicted individuals only exacerbate their substance abuse and avoid seeking treatment.
While these symptoms help give a clearer picture of alcohol addiction, they are not a complete list of side effects. It’s important to take note of any additional symptoms that you or a loved one may be experiencing. Alcohol abuse can be displayed in any number of ways, so if you notice anything out of the ordinary, don’t ignore these red flags.
The Long-Term Consequences of Alcohol Addiction
If alcohol abuse continues to persist, the symptoms listed above may take a greater toll on a individual, as well as those around them. The impact of these consequences can also last a long time, leaving a bigger mark on a person’s life. It’s important to be aware of these long-term effects to understand the full scope of addiction.
As substance abuse accelerates, it can tarnish a person’s professional life. They might fail to show up to work on time and routinely miss their appointments. As a result, they might end up losing their job and facing financial troubles. This brings many addicted individuals to repeatedly ask friends or relatives for money to further feed their substance use problem, which can damage relationships down the road.
In addition, the effects of alcohol addiction on personal interests can be significant. Those who battle substance abuse might find themselves devoting less time to their favorite hobbies. They may also abandon the movies, books, clothes or music that used to bring them joy. This is often a result of the loss of pleasure that typically accompanies addiction.
Due to this sudden change in lifestyle choices, many people with addiction drift apart from the close friends they had before their addiction took root. Instead, they might start spending time with people who share their new interests. This can be a very dangerous habit, as addicted individuals tend to feed off of others who share their substance use issues.
Substance abuse is also known to put a significant amount of strain on families. Many family members unwittingly enable loved ones who abuse alcohol, which can exacerbate their addiction. Many alcohol users also tend to hide their addiction from the people around them. This can make it challenging for their loved ones to recognize that they have a problem and to help them find treatment.
How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Last?
When you abruptly stop consuming alcohol, your body enters the withdrawal process. What follows is a set of symptoms that vary in length and severity. These symptoms are your body’s way of adjusting to a substance-free life. While some are emotional and others physical, most alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be extremely painful to go through without professional medical care.
At first, you will likely experience a powerful craving for alcohol, as well as a host of other side effects. With time and the right medical assistance, your symptoms will eventually subside, and you can then focus your attention on your own health and well-being. This is when the road to recovery truly begins for you.
Withdrawal symptoms can appear at any point during the detox process. There are numerous factors that influence how long it takes for this to happen. Some key factors include the duration of alcohol use, the method of alcohol use and the amount of alcohol consumed. Addiction experts will also take your metabolism, lifestyle and genetic makeup into account when designing a detox plan for you.
In most cases, you can expect withdrawal symptoms to begin about 8 hours after your last drink. These symptoms normally hit their peak after about 1-3 days. However, this number is solely based on research done on the subject. Your experience is unique to you and may look very different from someone else’s. The important thing is to focus on your own path to attain your personal goals.
The total duration of the detox process is highly variable. For some patients, it only takes a few days to complete detox and begin the recovery process. Meanwhile, others might need several weeks or months to fully cleanse their body of alcohol. A trained addiction specialist will work closely with you to determine exactly how much time you need to complete alcohol withdrawal.
What Are the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?
Now that you’re familiar with the process of alcohol detox, it’s important to be aware of the most common symptoms of withdrawal. Recognizing these warning signs is crucial to receiving the appropriate treatment for your needs.
It’s worth noting that everyone experiences alcohol withdrawal differently. However, there is a core set of symptoms and side effects that most recovering addicts have in common. Below are some of the most well-known symptoms that occur during alcohol withdrawal:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Changes in mood
- Muscle pain
- Changes in appetite
Because withdrawal can affect people in such a wide range of ways, it’s imperative to keep your goals at the forefront of your mind when looking for a treatment program. Opting for custom-tailored alcohol addiction treatment helps ensure that your individual needs are met and that you’re following your personal path to sobriety. With help from highly trained and dedicated clinicians, individualized rehab treatment has the potential to significantly raise your chances of maintaining a sober lifestyle in the long run.
Taking the First Step
Before you begin working toward recovery, you first need to recognize that it’s possible to enjoy life without the burden of alcoholism. Finding the strength to ask for help is the first step toward conquering your addiction. It may seem daunting to take such a big step into the unknown, especially when your addiction feels like it has become a part of you. However, taking the initiative to begin your own recovery is vital to achieving lasting success.
At Mayflower Detox, we offer trusted alcohol rehab treatment to residents of Massachusetts. Our treatment programs are catered to each individual’s specific needs and goals. Because we recognize that addiction is a unique struggle for everyone, we provide personalized care to each patient and help them build up the strength they need to conquer their demons.
At our facility, we ensure that everyone is properly looked after and cared for, which establishes the right foundation for a full recovery. To accomplish this goal, we’ve recruited highly skilled and trained professionals who are eager to design a customized treatment plan that nurtures your recovery.
From medically monitored detox programs to relapse prevention skill sessions, each aspect of our treatment center is carefully designed to provide you with the resources you need to defeat alcohol abuse. No matter what the nature of your addiction is or what specific obstacles you’re facing, our professionals are equipped to provide the care and support you need every step of the way.
Getting the Help You Need
While the decision to begin treatment is ultimately up to you, you don’t have to go through the recovery process on your own. A team of skilled and compassionate addiction experts is readily available to answer your questions and design a treatment plan that makes the most sense for you as an individual.
Once you’re ready to seek out help for your addiction, you can find exactly what you need at Mayflower Detox. We offer a wide selection of alcohol rehab treatment programs designed for Massachusetts residents like you. No matter what your addiction looks like or how long you’ve been struggling, know that it’s never too late to get help. Our experts are available to assist you through every stage of the recovery process.
Once you make the decision to find the alcohol treatment program that’s right for you, you can discover that recovery is within reach. Through counseling, group therapy, relapse prevention sessions and more, you can slowly begin to hone the skills that you need to live an addiction-free life. No matter where you are on your journey toward recovery, know that it’s completely possible to leave alcohol rehab as a much healthier, happier and more courageous version of yourself.
To learn more about the alcohol addiction treatment process, reach out to Mayflower Detox and we’ll put you in touch with an addiction specialist today.