Many of us enjoy a drink without giving it a second thought. For most of us, drinking is a recreational activity that enables us to socialize and let our hair down. For others, however, it’s a dangerous habit, which takes over their life. Addiction is something that you may assume affects other people. But research suggests that it can happen to anyone. More than 2.5 million people in the US are treated for alcohol dependence every year. When you hear the word addict, you probably conjure up images in your mind. The sad truth is that addiction is poorly understood.
Why do people become addicted to alcohol?
If you’ve ever had an alcoholic drink or two, you’re probably familiar with the feeling it gives you. For a period of time, you’re carefree, you feel confident, and you don’t have to think about things that may be stressing you out or getting you down. For some people, this feeling becomes addictive. A drink is no longer something to enjoy with friends. It becomes an outlet, an escape or even a coping mechanism. Some people use alcohol to numb physical or mental pain or to distract them from day to day life. As you drink more, your body gets used to alcohol, and you need more alcohol to achieve the same high.
There are countless reasons why people turn to drink. Some of the most common include debt and money worries, unemployment, bereavement and loss, and relationship breakdown. Stress, anxiety, and depression can also lead people to the bottle.
How can you spot the signs of addiction?
Addiction has a detrimental impact on most aspects of your life. You’re not addicted to drinking if you go out and have a couple of drinks every weekend. You have an addiction if your world revolves around the next drink and you drink even though you’re aware of the negative consequences. If you’re lying to people about your drinking habits or you’re putting drinking ahead of spending time with your family, concentrating at work or looking after your health, this is a clear sign of addiction. Other indicators may include getting into debt, becoming isolated, and suffering withdrawal symptoms when you don’t drink.
What to do next
If you’re worried about somebody close to you, try and approach the subject very sensitively. They may be receptive to your concern. However, they may also get offended or try and deny any problems. Be patient, and let them know that you’re there to talk to if they need you.
If you’re worried about how much you drink, and you’re struggling to cut down, seek advice. You can visit your doctor or contact charitable organizations. Treating alcohol addiction is not easy, but it is possible. There are various options including medication, psychological therapies, and rehab centers. If you search online, you’ll be able to find more information about facilities, such as details by Clearbrook Treatment Centers. Often, the most effective solution is a mixture of treatments, which are designed to stabilize both physical and mental health.
Alcohol addiction is a real problem. It’s time to stop dodging the subject, and start talking more openly about addiction. If we do this, we can help those in trouble.