By |Categories: Health & Wellness|Last Updated: June 6, 2024|

In the United States, alcoholism is widespread. Most people in the U.S. are affected by alcoholism, whether by a family member, friend, or partner who suffers from this condition. This problem is so widespread due to the fact that alcohol is readily available, cheap, and socially acceptable in many situations. What many people don’t think about is how addictive alcohol can be. In 2019, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 19.3 million Americans were suffering from a severe alcohol problems. 

Alcohol addiction is commonly characterized by having uncontrollable urges to drink, despite the negative consequences that are attached to it. It can be difficult to realize you have an alcohol addiction. It can also be difficult for family members to recognize that a loved one is suffering from this disease. Alcohol addiction is a medical problem that affects the brain, the body, and the spirit. If this is left untreated, it can be physically and psychologically devastating, and sometimes even fatal. 

Preferred Med Supply has drug testing kits that can help you spot alcohol addiction in friends, family, workers, or anyone else you may suspect is drinking alcohol when they shouldn’t be. If you’re uncertain if someone you know is suffering from alcoholism, these signs can help you know if someone should get tested or not. 

How Big of a Problem is Alcoholism?Understanding Alcohol Addiction

In the survey taken in 2019 by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, it was found that 25.8% of people aged 25 and older had engaged in some form of drinking in the past month. It was also discovered that 7.3% of adults who suffered from alcoholism received help. These numbers are extremely low for a problem that is as severe as alcoholism. 

Understanding Alcoholism Abuse and Addiction

There are lots of different terminologies when it comes to describing an addiction to alcohol. Alcohol abuse refers the someone who binges drinks and isn’t necessarily addicted. Bingeing is defined as having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.8 g/dl or above. This can typically happen when someone consumes four drinks in under two hours. 

Alcoholism or alcohol dependency is when a person is psychologically or physically dependent on alcohol. This is a progressive condition that will get worse over time if no help is sought out. The American Medical Association states that alcohol addiction is a disease that has specific symptoms and requires special treatment. For most people, the most important step is realizing that there is a problem. 

How Alcohol Works

Alcohol has both stimulant and depressant effects. When a person drinks a small amount, the alcohol will cause a release of dopamine. This means feelings of pleasure and euphoria which can be addictive for a lot of people. As humans, we love to recreate this sensation which is what leads to addiction. 

When you drink more and more alcohol is when the depressant effects start occurring. Alcohol will begin to slow the Central Nervous System by enhancing the chemical gamma-aminobutyric acid. This produces feelings of calmness, sedation, and confidence. It also lowers your heart rate and breathing. 

Alcohol Withdrawal

If someone drinks for an extended period of time, the brain becomes used to alcohol and the nervous system will “overfire” to bring us back to normal. When the nervous system ‘overfires’ it can lead to a number of different withdrawal symptoms. When people experience withdrawal symptoms, they will often want to drink more in order to avoid these symptoms. 

Some common withdrawal symptoms include: 

  • Anxiety
  • Tiredness
  • Feelings of depression
  • Mood swings
  • Nightmares
  • Shakiness
  • Sweatiness 
  • Insomnia 

Serious withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Delerium Tremens
  • Hallucinations
  • Fever
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heat Problems

Without proper help, withdrawal symptoms can become very uncomfortable and can become fatal. 

The Effects of Alcoholism

Alcohol can begin to take over one’s life. They spend more time thinking about their next drink rather than doing other daily tasks. This can begin to affect their personal lives such as relationships, employment, and financial situations. 

People who suffer from addiction often neglect their family members and lose interest in hobbies they once loved. Alcoholism can also lead to legal issues such as drunk driving and increasing your risk of committing a crime. 

Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

The most effective drug rehab program will mix various treatments together to suit an individual’s needs. Many people will turn to detox centers. Most treatment centers will start with detox which helps remove the various toxins from your body. 

Overcoming Alcohol addiction may be difficult, but it can be done. Users that have overcome Alcohol addiction have done so with the help of rehab, family therapy, support groups, behavioral therapy, and dual diagnosis. 

The best way to treat Alcohol addiction is to recognize the signs early. Doing so will prevent the addiction from becoming something even worse. If you know someone that is possible using Alcohol, visit our shop page today and get an at-home drug testing kit. These kits will give you the answers you need to ensure that someone you love doesn’t go down the wrong path. 

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