Alcohol Drug Facts | A Center for Addiction Recovery

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Information provided below is courtesy of the National Institute On Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Alcohol Overview

Alcohol Addiction TreatmentAlcoholism, also called alcohol dependence or alcohol addiction, is a destructive pattern of alcohol use that includes tolerance to or withdrawal from the substance, using more alcohol or using it for longer than planned, and trouble reducing its use. Other potential symptoms include spending an inordinate amount of time getting, using, or recovering from the use of alcohol, compromised functioning, and/or continuing to use alcohol despite an awareness of the detrimental effects it is having on one's life. Alcoholism is appropriately considered a disease rather than a weakness of character or chosen pattern of bad behavior. It is the third most common mental illness, affecting more than 14 million people in the United States. Other facts and statistics about alcohol dependence include its pattern of afflicting about 4% of women and 10% of men. It costs more than $165 billion per year in lower productivity, early death, and costs for treatment. While both alcohol abuse and alcoholism involve engaging in maladaptive behaviors in the use of alcohol, abuse of this substance does not include the person having withdrawal symptoms or needing more and more amounts to achieve intoxication unless the person has developed alcoholism.

Alcohol Signs of Abuse

You may have a drinking problem if you notice these signs over time, which indicate alcohol abuse in the user:

  • Repeatedly neglecting your responsibilities at home, work, or school because of your drinking. For example, performing poorly at work, flunking classes, neglecting your kids, or skipping out on commitments because you’re hung over.
  • Using alcohol in situations where it’s physically dangerous, such as drinking and driving, operating machinery while intoxicated, or mixing alcohol with prescription medication against doctor’s orders.
  • Experiencing repeated legal problems on account of your drinking. For example, getting arrested for driving under the influence or for drunk and disorderly conduct.
  • Continuing to drink even though your alcohol use is causing problems in your relationships. Getting drunk with your buddies, for example, even though you know your wife will be very upset, or fighting with your family because they dislike how you act when you drink.
  • Drinking as a way to relax or de-stress. Many drinking problems start when people use alcohol to self-soothe and relieve stress. Getting drunk after every stressful day, for example, or reaching for a bottle every time you have an argument with your spouse or boss.

Effects of Alcohol Abuse

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Chills
  • Anxiety
  • Inability to sleep
  • Weakness
  • Depression

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms of alcohol often lead to relapse because of the bodies struggle with sobriety, which can be moderated and managed at a licensed drug rehab center.

Here are some of the symptoms that can come from alcohol withdrawal:

  • Anxiety or jumpiness
  • Shakiness or trembling
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache

For information about alcohol rehab, please contact us at 1 (800) 570-4562