Dependency and addiction can plague people’s lives. They affect everyone around the person concerned. Sometimes these issues go on for years, or a lifetime, if left untreated. No one ever intends to become dependent on anything. The nature of addiction, and human beings, is that people believe that they are in control, until one day they no longer are.
However, not everyone ends up dependent on substances. Some enjoy drinking with no problems ever. Some others develop bad habits that can be turned around. Today, alcohol is misused more than any other substance. It is something that is widely socially accepted in the western world, although it is related to unsociable behavior frequently.
If you, or someone you know, has developed a drinking habit that is growing bigger, then it could be helped by getting away. Here is what you need to watch out for, and what can be done to improve the lifestyle of a habitual drinker.
How common are alcohol use disorders?
It is said that around six percent of all adults in the US have an alcohol use disorder. This mainly affects men, perhaps due to perceived expectations of them, or through lifestyle choices. One in twelve men has a problem with their drinking habits, whereas only one in twenty-five women are recognized as having an alcohol use problem.
In 2019, more than 43% of all liver-related deaths were from alcohol misuse. This issue doesn’t just affect adults either, and there are sadly hundreds of thousands of American children between the ages of 12 and 17 with alcohol use problems too.
For most people, drinking is something that they enjoy with friends. It can be very enjoyable to take a glass of wine after a long day at work, or a couple of beers when watching the game. However, for some people, control over their drinking habits can slip.
How can you recognize when your drinking has become a bad habit?
Spotting when a casual drink turns into a habit, and then into a problem, is not always easy. Even for the person involved.
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reports that 15 or more drinks a week for men constitutes heavy drinking. For women, it is far less at only eight alcoholic drinks per week.
Binge drinking is classified as four or five drinks on one occasion for either sex. This is something that many would consider fairly standard for a Friday or Saturday night out. Especially younger drinkers and college students
This is one of the problems with recognizing alcohol addiction. Many people look at the government guidelines for safe drinking and feel that they are too low, and therefore they don’t have a problem.
You might be acquiring a bad habit if you are spending more time drinking than normal. Or any of the following:
- If you can’t face going home without stopping at the bar first.
- You have trouble sleeping without getting in a couple of drinks first.
- You are spending more cash on alcohol than before.
What symptoms should you look out for?
Apart from changes in your daily routine, and how you spend your time, there are physical symptoms too.
When drinking habits start to become a problem, the individual will often exhibit some physical symptoms. These can include sweating when they are not drinking, or feeling nauseous. Anxiety is a very common symptom, as is irritability, and depression.
However, someone on the way to a bad habit might not be this far on the road yet. If you can spot that you are drinking more than usual, then you can make a change to improve your lifestyle now.
What help is there for alcohol misuse?
There are a number of ways that alcoholism can be treated, including the 12 steps, and prescription drugs. Patients with serious alcohol problems might need to be admitted to the hospital for treatment as going cold turkey can be dangerous.
However, help is available for anyone, and that means someone who is only just beginning to develop a bad habit. Some people find that just switching their lifestyle around and introducing more exercise can improve things. Others use yoga and hypnotherapy.
One way that has proved very successful for many is to attend alcohol rehab, for professional help. There are many benefits to this, and you don’t need to have a serious problem to attend, although they are set up to deal with addictions and substance dependencies.
What does rehab do for their patients?
Depending on the nature of the problem, rehabs can help a person turn their life around in many ways. Rehab will help an individual become sober and stay that way.
Someone with a drug or alcohol problem may go through detox before attending an intensive in-house program. This way the patient moves through drug or alcohol rehabilitation with a better chance of successful sobriety.
Alcohol rehab can also help patients with weight management, and to stop smoking. Ongoing medical treatment is part of the complete rehabilitation program.
For many people, rehab is the most effective remedy for addictions. This is because it offers a long-term solution and not a quick fix.
Will rehab stop someone from misusing alcohol?
As with any addiction, the key to recovery is to admit there is a problem and to want to make a change. This is true whether it is a compulsion to eat, a shopping addiction, or the incessant need to be online all day and night.
Rehab can be disconcerting to some at first, due to the length of treatment. It isn’t unusual for treatments to start at three months in length, and get longer. This is because it takes time to treat the patient properly, to become sober, and then to plan for the future.
Detoxing, and treatment to get sober, are one thing. Remaining so is another. In rehab, a program will be put into place to deliver a plan that allows for continued recovery.
The health benefits of going through rehab
Studies have shown that patients attending rehab are less likely to relapse later on, compared to those who try to stop drinking alone.
Cutting out alcohol can lead to a variety of health benefits including the reduced chance of liver disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and throat cancer. Actually, alcohol is related to cancer in numerous areas of the body including the liver, colon, rectum, and voice box.
Even reducing your alcohol intake can lead to weight loss, more energy, better focus, improved sleeping habits, and you might look more attractive. Heavy drinkers often have blotchy, puffy appearances. You might think you are God’s gift when drunk, but you almost certainly look better when sober.
Giving up alcohol may be one of the choices you need to make to obtain health, happiness, and vitality in life. If you don’t feel that you can do it on your own, then rehab might help you to change your life.
Alcohol can indeed make a night out more enjoyable. People bond over drinks and after-work get-togethers. Sports games on TV are often lubricated by a few beers, and BBQs might not seem the same without booze.
However, in some people’s lives there comes a time when the fun is no longer there, and the need for alcohol has taken over. Fortunately, there is assistance for anyone who wants help. Start with your regular physician who can discuss your options, including rehab.