According to a study conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearly 15 million Americans are addicted to alcohol. In addition, over 85,000 people die from alcohol each year. A CNN report revealed that alcohol is one of the most addictive substances in the world, alongside heroin, cocaine, nicotine, and barbiturates.
But how addictive is alcohol? There are several factors that determine the potential for the drug to be addictive. Also, it depends on the person using the substance. Some people can drink from time to time with no problem. Others abuse alcohol or drink every day. Still, others allow alcohol to destroy their lives. Let’s take a look below at alcohol’s properties and why it can be addictive.
When you worry about your drinking or the drinking habits of a loved one, reach out to a Houston, TX alcohol rehab center that provides comprehensive alcohol addiction treatment. Contact Right Step Houston at 1.844.768.0169 for more information.
Alcohol’s Impact on Your Life
How addictive is alcohol? One way to measure its addictiveness is by the harm it causes in someone’s life.
When you add up the physical, mental, financial, and relational harm that alcohol can do to a person’s life, it is no wonder that it is among the most addictive drugs in the world. It is not uncommon for alcoholics to spend up to $10,000 per year on alcohol. That’s just the beginning.
Alcohol can destroy family relationships, cause someone to lose a job, or lead to a wide range of health problems. A person may spend thousands of dollars on rehab, medical treatment, or legal penalties. In worst-case scenarios, an alcoholic can potentially risk taking someone’s life. The cost is simply too high.
Alcohol’s Effect on Your Brain
Answering how addictive is alcohol involves understanding the effects it has on the brain. Alcohol use triggers the brain’s dopamine system, creating a pleasurable experience.
The relationship between alcohol and the brain is that of a reward system. Every time you drink, the brain releases high levels of dopamine. This creates a high level of pleasure that the brain craves. Eventually, the brain becomes dependent on alcohol. This is how addiction forms.
When you stop using alcohol, you may experience mild to severe withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are a combination of the brain’s reaction to discontinued use and the body trying to adjust without the substance. It has a jarring effect on your physical and mental state. In essence, alcohol can take over your life. At an alcohol addiction treatment center in Houston, therapists and clinicians help you manage these withdrawal symptoms, so you can focus on your sobriety and recovery.
Trying to Quit Alcohol
Alcohol addiction is one of the most difficult types of addiction to quit.
The most extensive detox, rehab, and extended-care programs do not guarantee that you will quit alcohol for good. After the withdrawal symptoms and cravings go away, you may still have an emotional connection long after you’ve stopped drinking. Evidence-based addiction therapies help you understand what drove you to drink. At the same time, therapists work with you on building the coping skills and strategies you will need to make a lasting recovery.
Additionally, for a successful recovery after alcohol rehab, you need to develop a support network that can help you prevent a relapse. Join a support group, continue your therapy, and find a mentor. Do everything you can to ensure a successful long-term recovery.
Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction
Recognizing when there is a problem and someone needs help is vital to getting them into treatment, where they can learn to retake control of their life. Knowing what to look for is very important; some signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction include:
- A strong need or urge to drink, even in situations where it is especially dangerous
- An inability to control their drinking, even though they may want to
- Continuing to drink even when it causes problems in relationships or at work
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they don’t drink
Help is available to anyone seeking treatment for alcohol addiction, and it is safest to begin your journey to recovery at an addiction treatment center and rehab.
Get Help for Alcohol Addiction Today at Right Step Houston
At Right Step Houston. We provide detox, rehab, and aftercare for all types of addictions. Call us at 1.844.768.0169 to get started on your journey to recovery. Our caring and professional staff is ready to be with you every step of the way.