For Those Addicted To Alcohol
How To Help Someone Addicted To Alcohol
Learning how to help someone addicted to alcohol can be challenging. But by providing assistance before, during, and after treatment, a positive support system can help a person to stay sober.
When a loved one is struggling with addiction to alcohol, it’s difficult to understand how to help them. Your loved one may deny the addiction, and become defensive when asked about it.
Some who attempt to help may inadvertently contribute to the loved one to stay addicted, even when they are trying to help. However, there are a number of ways you can help your loved one when they are addicted to alcohol.
What Are The Signs Of Alcohol Addiction?
When those close to an individual begin to notice that a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, a number of signs may become apparent.
Some of the signs of alcohol addiction include:
- increased tolerance to alcohol
- poor performance at work or school
- reckless behavior as a result of drinking
- damage to personal relationships
- neglect of personal responsibilities and hobbies once enjoyed
- experiencing legal problems as a result of actions while intoxicated
The signs of addiction may be subtle at first, but more may appear over time. No individual has the same experience of addiction to alcohol as another, and a person may be attempting to hide these signs.
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What Is High-Functioning Alcoholism?
High-functioning alcoholism can be more difficult to detect. A person with high-functioning alcoholism ly still performs well in work or school and has no difficulty with interpersonal relationships, or legal problems.
They may go to lengths to hide alcohol at home and rarely display signs of intoxication.
In reality, their tolerance becomes higher and higher, and they ly drink more amounts of alcohol to achieve the same effects.Since alcoholism may not impact their responsibilities, it is easier to hide the problem. Someone with high-functioning alcoholism may not even realize they have an issue with alcohol addiction.
No matter the visibility of problems a person displays with alcohol, close friends and family members may still be able to detect there is a problem. But when one is able to function fairly normally in everyday life, the individual may be more reluctant to admit there is a problem at all.
Codependent Relationships And Alcohol Abuse
Codependent relationships are understood as when a partner or friend enables another person to stay addicted to alcohol. They do this in a number of ways, often at their own emotional and mental expense.
The following are signs that a person is in a codependent relationship with someone addicted to alcohol:
- supplying alcohol or money for the person addicted to it
- experiencing anxiety when unable to satisfy the addicted person’s desires
- making excuses for the behavior of the person addicted to alcohol
- abandoning one’s relationships and responsibilities
- continuing to provide support despite experiencing emotional and mental issues
They may fear that the relationship with that person could come to an end if they address the abuse of alcohol, and will go at any length to prevent that from happening. Rather, they will continue to help that person continue to be addicted, usually without realizing what they are doing.
How To Approach Your Loved One About Alcohol Addiction
While difficult, an important first step in helping a person you care about entering treatment is addressing the problem directly. One way of doing this is by staging an intervention, where the impact of one’s alcohol addiction can be addressed.
Staging An Intervention
The goal of an intervention is to help the individual enter treatment. Often, a person with alcohol addiction at the center of intervention will deny there is a problem. This is why the effects of their actions on others should be addressed, in order to reveal that their problem has become a problem for others.
An intervention should consist of a group of loved ones with concern about another’s alcohol addiction.
It can be beneficial to have a professional counselor or specialized interventionist on hand to facilitate the discussion.
This group can help reveal the impact that the addicted individual has had on their lives as a result of addiction, as well as demonstrate their impact as a support system.
It is important to explicitly state the effect that one has had on another while actively addicted. For example, rather than saying that their loved one has a problem, they should express the emotional toll that they have experienced as a result of the addiction.
If the person has been aggressive, violent, or emotionally abusive while intoxicated, those staging an intervention should mention that they have felt hurt and saddened by these actions. This would be more effective than outright blaming a person for their actions.
Seeking Treatment For Alcohol Abuse
Those who have helped stage an intervention can help a loved one to seek out treatment plans. It can be difficult to know where to begin.
The following are questions one can ask when seeking treatment:
- Should one seek out an inpatient or outpatient program?
- Is the treatment plan individualized?
- What types of medical professionals run the program?
- What are the expectations of the person seeking treatment?
- What kind of relapse-prevention plans are available?
- Is aftercare an option?
Being Supportive During Treatment
The intervention session is only the beginning of the treatment program. It is important for family members and friends to be available throughout an individual’s time in recovery.
For example, a treatment center may offer family counseling sessions to address issues such as codependent relationships. Support can be provided in other ways, such as help with monetary expenses related to treatment. If the individual is attending an outpatient program, friends or family members can help in other ways, such as providing transportation.
Depending on the recovery program, there may be the option to attend visiting hours. This can help the person in treatment to remain connected to their outside life throughout the program and know that they have the support they need.One of the most important factors in being supportive is understanding the factors behind what creates addiction and makes people stay addicted.
It’s important to continually seek out educational resources that will help you to better understand what your loved one is going through.
Some treatment centers may offer seminars, support groups, or reading materials that can help to develop this knowledge.
Support After Treatment For Alcohol Abuse
After a treatment program has been completed, friends and family members can continue to extend support. If the person is not admitted to an aftercare program, such as a sober living facility, they might stay with family.
The family members would be responsible for creating an environment that would help with maintaining sobriety. For example, an alcohol-free household would help to limit the temptation of using.
Medical professionals believe that a positive support program is a large part of success in sobriety. And even when relapse happens, it’s crucial to stay supportive. There is no one method that works for becoming sober from alcohol. What works for one individual may not for another.
The road to sobriety is full of challenges, and by meeting those challenges with your loved one, you will be helping them toward success. Extending patience and understanding to your loved one will help the most.
For more information on ways to help your loved one who is addicted to alcohol and treatment options, gives us a call today at RehabCenter.net.
How on earth did I get addicted to alcohol, that wasn’t supposed to happen!
How on earth did I get addicted to alcohol, that wasn’t supposed to happen!
I remember my first dalliance with alcohol, I was about ten years old. We had just moved into a new house. To my younger brother and I, it was cool, because it meant significantly bigger bedrooms.
But that was about it, we were perfectly happy with the old house, to be honest.
A big deal
However, it was a huge deal to my parents, it had pushed them to the limit financially and there were many times where they thought they had bitten off more than they could chew. It was their dream house and looking back I now understand just how special that first night in 4080 Coniscliffe Road was.
Everything was new!
All the chintzy seventies style plastic furniture of our old house had been dumped. My parents had obviously taken the decision that only the best would be allowed in the new house. None of the old ‘hand me down’ junk from our former lives would be allowed.
A part of this new opulence was a huge mahogany drinks cabinet. It was so fancy that it even had a light inside that came on when you opened the door. I was fascinated by that, and how the golden glow made the liquor bottles radiate and glow.
As though they were teasing me, forbidden fruit and not for the s of me or my brother.
Curiosity killed the Craig
One of my strongest character traits is my absolute insistence on finding out how things work. I was never able to accept reasons ‘because I say so’ as the final word. I always want to know why, how, when, what and who says so! This aspect of my being has brought me a great deal of success over the years.
It’s only fair to point out that it’s also got me into a lot of trouble too. But you can’t have one without the other in this life.
The whole majesty of the drinks cabinet was a constant thorn in my side. I would watch my parent’s friends and family come visiting to see the new house. Before they stepped any further than the entrance hall they were offered something from the magical ‘adults only’ cabinet.I never saw anyone ever decline the offer and nobody claimed to be addicted to alcohol either.
My ten-year-old self came the conclusion that whatever was in those bottles must be bloody amazing stuff. I fully understood the consequences of accepting the serpent’s offer of a tasty apple from the tree, but the pull of adventure and new experiences was too strong.
There was never a passing thought of getting addicted to alcohol.
Bring the King a drink boy!
When my father sat down in his new armchair one night, quite clearly the king on his throne, and he called out for his firstborn. I rushed to his side to find out what his majesty wanted. When he told me to go bring him a glass of whiskey from the drinks cabinet my eyes lit up, so I quickly blinked them close to conceal my sneaky plan.
Slyly looking over each shoulder I opened the magical glowing cabinet and grabbed the whiskey decanter. I was shocked by how heavy it was. The golden liquid was glowing in the light emanating from the cabinet.
In that moment if I had had to bet my life on that liquid tasting amazing, I would have done so in a heartbeat. I had all the evidence to support that theory. I had seen the grown-ups go crazy for this stuff.
This was going to be the best thing I had ever tasted. You can forget about your boring Wham Bars and Snickers. That was child’s play, and I was about to become a man.
The best thing ever
I slowly raised the whiskey glass to my mouth and breathed in. I was shocked quite frankly it smelt worse than my Dad’s feet after a full day at work. Perhaps it smells bad but tastes amazing I thought (genius that I am).
Gently I lifted the glass and took the sort of gulp I was used to taking from the bottles of Sprite in the refrigerator.
This was a mistake, a big mistake.
In less than a second, my mouth was on fire, I wanted to scream or gasp for air but I had a gob full of poison so it was impossible.I never even considered that I wouldn’t be able to swallow it. I couldn’t spit it back in the glass, because how would I explain to my mom in the kitchen why I was pouring my father’s expensive whiskey down the sink?
I held the burning sulfur in my mouth for four or five hours, or so it felt. Before I could take it no more and proceeded to spray the filthy fluid all over the new furniture. I don’t need to tell you how much trouble I got in because of that little misadventure.
That’s not the point of this story
The thing is with alcohol is it taste vile, smells disgusting and makes us feel terrible. All this is an undeniable truth and something we learn from a very early age. Yet, despite all that, we still force ourselves to get addicted to alcohol.
When I left high school and went to college I was stunned by how much freedom I got.
Yeah, we were expected to go to lessons but nobody called your mom if you skipped one or ten. I went to a pretty hard-core college with some very streetwise kids. I was a wet behind ears kid with very little experience of real life.
My brother and I had been sent to very expensive, well-respected schools and there was never any trouble or hint of real life creeping in. It was an idyllic childhood in many ways.
However, the perfection caused me several significant problems. Because I had spent my entire childhood in a single-sex school, I had no idea how to talk to girls, never mind ask one out for a date. I also had no concept of rebellion or anarchy.
A good boy gone bad
I was a good boy suddenly in a very corrupt crowd, and I absolutely loved it.
I was often invited to skip class and go to the pub, an invitation I accepted so often that I don’t really remember going to any lessons beyond Media Studies, I d that! The brazen rebellion of it all, skipping college lessons, raising one finger to the man, it all seemed so cool!
I didn’t join the guys in the pub because I d to drink, I still didn’t even the taste of beer.
Sometimes when nobody was looking I would ask the barman to put a splash of lemonade in it to take the edge off. I couldn’t do that very often because being accepted as ‘one of the gang’ was more important than the vile taste.
Addicted to alcohol and the path from problem drinking
But isn’t this how most people start on the alcohol path. Not really liking it but not wanting to feel left out. Drinking to be a part of the cool gang. This is how the drug gets you! It seems such a crazy notion that you could ever get hooked on this filth that you don’t even entertain it.
But you see that guy slumped in the park swigging booze a brown paper bag or your aunty Jean who always gets drunk family parties and ends up dancing on the tables until she falls off and hurts herself?
Before they got addicted to alcohol, they all started out the exact same way!
There was a point where they were in control and then that changed. No notice, no expectation, it just happened one day.
One day it just happened to me, and one day it happened you too
It’s not important how you got here addicted to alcohol, but only what you do next.
I quit drinking because it never stopped being that horrible, vile tasting poison that it was when I was ten years old. I had simply stopped seeing the reality, I was sinking in quicksand and making out it was all my choice.
If you want my help to also stop drinking the attractively packaged poison on a daily basis, click here now.
By the way, please and share this blog and help other stay clear of getting addicted to alcohol – Google hates me at the moment, I need your help.
Why Do Only Some People Become Addicted to Alcohol?
The fact that some people are able to take substances without becoming addicted has long been a hot topic of research. This difference between individuals could suggest a biological or genetic marker for the development of addiction, which could therefore lead to a much more effective approach to treatment.
A new study has looked at the mechanism of addiction in mice, by looking at how much specific alcohol-exposed mice continued to drink and comparing this to their brain’s response to the substance.
There have been similar theories about which humans are susceptible to addiction, but these usually encompass a wide range of biological, psychological and sociological factors.
Theories About Addiction
The fact that not everybody who consumes a specific substance becomes addicted is an anomaly, which is actually a source of hope in scientific study.
This is because if the same substance is given to two people and they both react differently, it implies that some variation in their psychological or genetic makeup is making one individual more ly to develop addiction.
If this variation is identified, then it could lead to a more detailed understanding of the neurology and psychology of addiction, which could therefore help with treatment.Although genetic factors are generally thought to play a role in the development of addiction, most researchers believe that environmental factors play a part as well.
It’s estimated that between 40 percent and 60 percent of the risk of addiction comes from an individual’s biology, although this includes the effects of the environment on the “expression” of certain genes.
Biological effects are evidently important because there is a widely reported genetic link, whereby somebody is more ly to become addicted to drugs if an immediate family member also was.
The other factors that can lead to drug addiction are more varied, spanning individual, family, peer and community links.
This means that, for example, if a child has friends who abuse substances, that child is more ly develop a problem as well.
Similarly, things poor social skills can lead people to rely on substances to compensate in social situations. Factors such as growing up in poverty are also traditionally related to a risk of drug abuse.
The Problems and New Research
The main issues with this multi-faceted viewpoint on drug addiction are that they aren’t clearly actionable from a treatment perspective.
It may well be that being a poor, aggressive teen with substance-abusing friends makes it more ly that you will develop an addiction, but there is little anybody involved with treatment can actually act on.
This is the major benefit of genetic markers; they are much easier to measure objectively, which could lead to a novel treatment for drug addiction.The new study looks into the effect of the locomotor response in mice exposed to alcohol. This response is generally related to the potential for addiction, and essentially quantifies the degree to which an individual is affected by a specific drug.
The theory is that the greater the locomotor response, the greater the risk of developing a long-lasting addiction.
The tests on drugs such as cocaine and amphetamine have confirmed this effect, but it’s never been specifically studied with relation to alcohol.
“We know that some people are much more vulnerable to alcoholism than others, just some people have a vulnerability to cancer or heart disease,” said Jeff Weiner, professor of physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, which conducted the study. “We don’t have a good understanding of what causes this vulnerability, and that’s a big question. But if we can figure it out, we may be able to better identify people at risk, as well as gain important clues to help develop better drugs to treat the disease.”
In order to ensure the mice were a closer model to the human population, they were bred to have a greater degree of genetic variability. There were basically two groups of mice in the study–those that received a saline (placebo) solution each day and the mice that were given alcohol.
Weiner said the study model focused on how individual animals responded to alcohol. Typically, when a drug alcohol is given to a mouse every day, the way the animals respond increases–they become more stimulated and run around more.
“In high doses, alcohol is a depressant, but in low doses, it can have a mellowing effect that results in greater activity,” he said.
“Those low dose effects tend to increase over time and this increase in activity in response to repeated alcohol exposure is called locomotor sensitization.”
The first part of this study looked at the locomotor effect of the alcohol injection, showing that the brains of the mice that didn’t display a locomotor sensitivity to the alcohol actually responded similarly to those who received the saline solution. The researchers reported a huge degree of variation in the sensitivity to alcohol, and the effect of this was tested in the second part of the research.
In order to determine whether a mouse’s sensitivity to the effects of alcohol had an impact on whether it continued to drink, the researchers allowed the alcohol-exposed mice to choose whether to drink more alcohol.
The researchers found that mice that weren’t as sensitive to alcohol drank about as much as the control group, whereas the sensitive mice drank much more. These same mice also had deficits in neuroplasticity, which is the ability of the brain to adapt its structure its experiences.This has also been linked to addictions to substance such as cocaine, so it could also help to explain addiction as a whole.
“We found that this loss of the ability of brain cells to change the way that they communicate with each other only occurred in the animals that showed the behavioral response to alcohol,” Weiner said.
“What this suggests for the first time in the alcohol addiction field is that this particular deficit may represent an important brain correlate of vulnerability to alcoholism. It’s a testable hypothesis.
That’s why I think it’s an important finding.”
The new research is an important step in understanding all of the various biological factors that could lead to drug addiction. The topic is still a fertile area for research, because the more we come to understand how different substances interact with the brain, the more we’ll be able to help those suffering from addiction with targeted treatments.
How Long Does It Take To Become Addicted to Alcohol
Many individuals believe that there is a specific threshold for how much or how long they can drink before becoming addicted to alcohol. This mentality comes from the knowledge that
smoking one cigarette does not make you addicted to nicotine or drinking one cup of coffee does not make you addicted to caffeine.
Alcohol addiction is also known as alcohol dependence or alcoholism. It can be a serious problem that can escalate quickly without warning. Individuals can become dependent on alcohol by binge drinking for an extended period of times. It can also be developed when individuals experience negative life events that prompt excessive drinking in order to cope with the issues.
There is not a medically established timeline for when a person can become addicted to alcohol. Alcohol can affect each person in a unique way. Some people may only be able to have a typical glass of wine before feeling the effects while others can drink an entire six-pack with no real effects.
Much other scenarios, there are a variety of factors which contribute to a person’s ability to develop alcohol addiction or become an alcoholic. These factors include:
- The age of the individual when they begin drinking
- The frequency of drinking
- The quantity of drinking in a single setting or binge drinking
- Emotional factors such as anxiety or depression
- A family history of alcoholism
- Presence or introduction of tragic or life-altering events
These are just some of the numerous factors which can increase a risk of developing alcohol addiction.
How do you know when you are addicted to alcohol?
As with other forms of the disease, there are symptoms and warning signs that can signal an individual if they are addicted or becoming addicted to alcohol consumption. These symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on the individual’s lifestyle and habits.
Some of the signs of a developed or developing alcohol addiction can include:
- Needing to drink more to feel the same effects
- Experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms after remaining sober for several hours
- Feeling the ‘need’ to wind down, destress or cope with life events
- Drinking throughout the day or finding a ‘reason’ to drink earlier than normal
- Drinking even though it may cause problems in your family life, work life, or social life.
- Being unable to control or limit your drinking.
- Avoiding activities or events unless you can consume alcohol before or during the event.
Alcohol addiction or dependence can impose serious risks to your health and well-being. If you find that you need to drink several nights a week or every weekend, you may be at risk for numerous health issues as well as developing a dependence on alcohol.
The Center for Disease Controls advises that women should not drink more than 1 drink a night or 7 drinks over the course of a week.
For men, the guidelines for moderate alcohol consumption is no more than 2 drinks a night or 14 drinks in a week.
If you wish to limit your risks of developing alcohol addiction, it is important to stay within the suggested medical guidelines for drinking in moderation.
One drink according to these guidelines can be:
12 ounces of beer
8-9 ounces of malt liquor
5 ounces of wine or
A 1.5 ounce shot of liquor
What to do if you believe you are becoming addicted?
Alcohol addiction can create additional issues, such as experiencing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are one warning sign that an individual is experiencing alcohol addiction. These symptoms can include:
- Rapid or increased heart rate
If you are concerned about the level or frequency of which you drink, it is important that you evaluate your options.
It is important to note that you should consider the guidance of a licensed, medical professional if you are experiencing severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, to limit the risks to your health. The information in this article is not that of a licensed medical professional.
Many programs and options are available for reducing your addiction.
- Alcohol tapering is a process in which you gradually decrease your frequency and quantity of alcohol over time. Alcohol tapering can be a way to minimize risks associated with alcohol withdrawal while also providing you the opportunity to regain control of your developing addiction.
- Sobriety programs Alcoholics Anonymous can offer you a regular, routine setting in which you can maintain your account for your drinking while receiving the support of those who understand what you are going through. Many cities offer numerous AA meetings each week.
- Professional Counselling can be an option if you find that you are drinking due to stress, anxiety, depression or related issues. A licensed therapist or counselor can help you by providing new coping skills and identifying the source of your drinking. They may also be able to refer you to psychiatric help if you should need medication to alleviate these symptoms.
- A medical detox is where an individual rapidly detoxes from alcohol under the strict supervision of a medical professional. Detox can be dangerous and should only be done when there is a licensed medical professional available to monitor any risks that may develop. Many hospitals and clinics will offer programs for medical detox which not only minimize the severe risks of detoxing rapidly but can also offer additional medications and support for maintaining sobriety.
- Rehabilitation clinics often offer a combination of the previously discussed options to create a tailored sobriety program. This can include group therapy meetings, individual counseling sessions, medications and detox options. Rehabilitation clinics are typically focused on removing a dependence on substances and substance abuse and aid individuals in maintaining life-long sobriety.
If you or someone you love is experience alcohol dependence, addiction, or alcoholism, it is important to take the necessary steps to reduce the long-term risks to health and well-being. There are a variety of options available for treatment and recovery, be sure to evaluate your individual needs, consult medical professionals when needed, and find the support of friends and family.
Can you get addicted to alcohol?
Yes. Alcohol can be addictive for some people.
In fact, nearly 17.6 million adults in the US struggle with alcohol addiction or abuse. Alcohol stays in the system 24 hours after a drinking session, but may take a week or so to leave the body if you are a problem drinker.
Even if you aren’t physically dependent on alcohol, drinking too much can easily lead to alcohol abuse.
So how much drinking is too much? What’s the difference between alcohol abuse and addiction? How can you go about quitting or cutting back your alcohol intake? Keep reading for answers to these questions and more.
What’s in alcohol?
Alcoholic drinks contain a chemical called ethanol, or ethyl alcohol. Ethyl alcohol is produced by the fermentation of yeasts, sugar, and starch. The amount of alcohol found in different drinks varies. For example, wine is more alcoholic than beer.
But distilled spirits and hard liquors such as vodka can be so strong that a drinker may only be able to tolerate a small amount before becoming intoxicated. The CDC considers a “standard” drink anything that contains 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol.
That would be the equivalent of:
- 12 ounces of beer
- 8 ounces of malt liquor
- 5 ounces of wine
- 1.5 ounce shot of an 80-proof liquor
What does alcohol do in the body?
The effects of alcohol are not limited to any one system of the body. When you drink, alcohol impacts every internal organ. Alcohol depresses the central nervous system, causing drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, loss of coordination, and behavioral changes.
Alcohol also impairs judgment and coordination, making it impossible to drive safely. In large quantities alcohol causes nausea, vomiting, loss on consciousness, and sometimes even death.
Alcohol consumption can also be especially dangerous for pregnant women, as alcohol abuse causes serious birth defects.
How do you get addicted to alcohol?
Many people drink socially and never become alcohol addicts. While moderate alcohol use is perfectly safe (and may even have some beneficial health effects), nearly 17.6 million adults in the US struggle with alcohol addiction or abuse. Individual reactions to alcohol can depend on a number of factors, including:
- a family history of alcohol abuse
- physical condition
- the use of drugs or prescription medications
What does it mean to be addicted to alcohol?
Men are considered heavy drinkers if they have more than 4 servings of alcohol in one day, or more than 14 per week.
Women, since they tend to be physically smaller and able to become intoxicated more easily, are considered heavy drinkers at more than 3 alcohol servings a day, or 7 per week.
Heavy drinking doesn’t necessarily make you an alcohol addict, but it does up your chances of addiction to 1 in 4.It’s important to note here that alcohol abuse is different from alcohol addiction. Alcohol abuse can easily become an addiction over time, but abuse is not addiction.
While abusing alcohol can cause you to fail to fulfill your personal and professional responsibilities, can put you in dangerous situations, and can cause relationship problems, it doesn’t necessarily become a physical addiction in all people.
An addiction manifests as a strong, uncontrollable craving for alcohol, an inability to limit drinking, and withdrawal symptoms.
Who gets addicted to alcohol?
People from all walks of life can become addicted to alcohol. Research has found that women with antisocial behavior patterns and highly impulsive personalities are more ly to get addicted to alcohol than those with healthy patterns.
Men and women are both more ly to become addicted to alcohol if they have high levels of anxiety, or a family history of alcohol abuse.
One factor that actually protects against alcohol addiction is when an individual has a healthy social support network.
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How to avoid alcohol addiction
You can avoid getting addicted to alcohol by moderating your intake and being careful not to drink heavily. Drink slowly and pace yourself. Have juice, water, or another nonalcoholic beverage between drinks. If you have alcohol addicts in your family, you might want to consider quitting drinking entirely.
Do you have problems with alcohol?
If you have a problem with alcohol, whether you are addicted or just drink in risky situations, there is help. And it is possible to quit drinking without AA.
You can tackle your addiction yourself by finding alternative activities, avoiding people and places that make you want to drink, and have a plan in place in case you’re tempted. Enlist friends and family to help support you in cutting back or quitting.
You might want to consider therapy or joining a support group to help keep you accountable. Finally, alcoholism may be a tough habit to break, but give an alcohol abuse treatment program a try and see how much it can help.
Please leave us your questions about alcohol use, abuse and addiction below. We will be happy to try to answer your questions personally and promptly. Or refer you to a resource who can help.
Reference sources: Risk factors for alcohol dependence: a case-control study
NIAAA publication: Rethinking Drinking
CDC publication on Alcohol and Public Health
Why People Become Addicted to Drugs & Alcohol Part 1
The question, “Why do some people become addicted to drugs and alcohol, and others do not?” has puzzled many addicts, non-addicts, researchers, and medical professionals. After many years of research, researchers have notice that there are mainly five factors that determine the chances of a person becoming addicted to drugs, alcohol, or both.
The Genetic Factor
Drug addiction is a disease, and scientist years ago started looking at it any other illness, and asked the question, “Does genetics matter?” The question has lead to research worldwide, and researchers are still trying to find out if there is a genetic factor in determining the chances that a person will develop an addiction to either drugs or alcohol. Scientist in the past few years began isolating certain genes that might be the ‘Addiction Gene’. The ‘Addiction Gene’ is supposed to be the gene or genes responsible for why some people become addicted to drugs and alcohol.
The research is still in the beginning stages, but there have been major breakthroughs throughout the world by leading researchers.Some genetic researchers believe they have found the gene sequence that is responsible for why some people become addicted, but this is still debatable.
More years of research will be needed to know for a fact if there is a genetic factor in determining the chances of someone becoming an addict.
Many drugs and alcohol addicts also suffer from other mental illnesses. It is estimated that 35-50% of addicts suffer from at least one other mental illness as well. Two of the most common are: anxiety and depression.
Sometimes, these illnesses are the reason why the person turned to a substance to begin with.Some people who become addicted to drugs or alcohol will use the excuse that it is fine, because they need it, or because they have an illness; such as, depression or anxiety.
People who become addicted to drugs or alcohol normally have an excuse; many people blame it on an existing illness.
Anxiety can be hard for a person to deal with, most of the time a prescription medication is given to help, but sometimes this is not enough and the person will start to abuse their prescription or turn to other drugs or alcohol to help.
Also the reverse is true; sometimes, drug and alcohol use or addiction leads the person to develop anxiety.It is interesting to note, top researchers from the U.S.
and Switzerland discovered that the top medications prescribed for anxiety, such as Xanax and Valium, had a calming effect similar to that of opioids. The calming effect happens due to an increase in activity in a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA for short.
This means that both medications and opioids both activate the pleasure hormone, dopamine, and this hormone can become addicting for many people. This could be the reason why so some people become addicted to medications for anxiety.
Depression may be one of the most common mental illnesses known to man. Everyday more and more people are diagnosed with depression worldwide.
Researchers say that 15-25 percent of people addicted to drug and alcohol also suffer from depression; others say it is much higher. Sometimes, the feelings and the emotional state that comes along with depression leads a person to start using drugs or alcohol to begin with.
Some people will become addicted to the medications that were prescribed to them, because the feelings that they create.Some addicts start off with the prescriptions that were given to them by a doctor, overtime some will start to believe that it is not enough.
They will want the feeling produced by the medication to be increased, or will try to find a substance that can produce an even greater high.
Sometimes, it is the medication that is prescribed to help the person deal with depression, which leads them to drugs or alcohol; this is another reason why some people become addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Age When First Used
Statistically, the earlier a person begins using drugs or alcohol, the higher their chances of abusing or becoming addicted to them in the future.
Most addicts that get treated for addiction report that they started using one or more substances at an early age. Most addicts begin in their teenage years, but some begin earlier than that, and some later in life.
To most researchers the age of first use does seem to be a factor in why some people become addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Why People Become Addicted to Drugs & Alcohol Part 2