Each year, more than 140 million Americans ages 12 and old consume alcohol, making alcohol one of the most widely used psychoactive substances in the country. Even though alcohol is legal and widely available and highly accessible, it can lead to alcoholism. Excessive drinking can also lead to legal problems, like DUI charges. Since alcohol decreases your coordination, impairs your judgment, and decreases your inhibitions, it can make it easy to engage in dangerous or illegal behaviors. Alcohol also can damage your liver. Abusing alcohol can cause your liver to become overworked, as your liver can only filter one serving of alcohol every 90 minutes. When you recognize that you can’t control your alcohol consumption, you may wonder, am I an alcoholic?
Am I an Alcoholic?
If you have ever wondered am I an alcoholic, you may have difficulty reducing or controlling your alcohol use. When you drink alcohol, your brain releases an overwhelming rush of pleasurable neurotransmitters like GABA. The rush of neurotransmitters is what causes the positive effects of intoxication. Once intoxication ends, you suddenly have a significant depletion of pleasurable neurotransmitters.
Alcohol has the potential to cause physical dependency, which can make you wonder am I an alcoholic if you experience withdrawal symptoms when you don’t drink. When you develop alcoholism, you can:
- Struggle to stop or control your drinking
- Spend the majority of your time drunk
- Drink as soon as you wake up
- Deny you have a drinking problem
- Feel guilty about your drinking
Showing up to work or school intoxicated can also be a sign that you have a drinking problem. Also, if you regularly wonder am I an alcoholic, it can be a sign that you are losing control of your drinking. When you recognize that you can’t control or stop your drinking, it’s important to reach out for help. Because alcoholism can cause cognitive problems, like alcoholic dementia, and organ damage, early treatment is essential.
How is Alcoholism Treated?
Once you develop a physical dependency on alcohol, you can experience troubling, severe, and even life-threatening withdrawal symptoms if you immediately stop drinking. While alcohol detox symptoms can include serious complications like delirium tremors, detox, and treatment centers can utilize medications to prevent these symptoms from occurring.
Since symptoms can begin within hours of your last drink, it’s important to reach out to a treatment center before you stop drinking to ensure you don’t experience serious symptoms. Following detox, your brain needs to re-learn how to release neurotransmitters without alcohol properly. Additionally, many people who struggle with alcoholism also develop nutritional deficiencies.
When you attend an inpatient alcohol rehab, medical professionals conduct a full physical to evaluate your overall health. If you have any comorbid conditions or an underlying mental health disorder, alcoholism can make your symptoms worse. Treatment ensures that all of your medical and mental health needs are addressed while you learn how to maintain your sobriety following discharge.
Learning how to identify your triggers and utilize healthy coping mechanism is another important part of your recovery journey. Cravings can continue for months, or even years, after your last drink.
Reach Out to Right Step Houston Today
Whenever you begin making alcohol the most important part of your day-to-day life, you may wonder, am I an alcoholic? Alcoholism can destroy your life and leave you feeling hopeless, overwhelmed, and defeated. Even though alcoholism is a chronic and incurable disease, you can successfully manage your symptoms and find recovery with treatment. Recovery starts with reaching out for help. To find out more about Right Step Houston‘s programs and how we can help you embrace sobriety, call us today at 1.844.768.0169.