What Is Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol addiction is a substance use disorder caused by chronic alcohol
abuse. Chronic alcohol abuse causes changes to a person’s brain
chemistry. These changes cause individuals to begin depending on alcohol
in order to function “normally.” This, in turn, causes people
to be willing to do just about anything to continue drinking alcohol.
Research indicates that everything from socioeconomic status to race, sex,
and genetics can predispose a person to alcoholism. Psychological and
behavioral health factors may also subject an individual to alcohol addiction.
Causes of Alcohol Addiction
Various risk factors may cause someone to start abusing alcohol. Often,
this process happens gradually, and the person may not even realize they
have a problem until they try to cut back or stop drinking only to find
that they are unable to do so.
Some risk factors for alcohol addiction and alcoholism include:
- Binge drinking
- Having a parent or other family member that suffers from alcohol addiction
Mental health disorders, such as
- Having more than 15 and 12 drinks weekly for males and females, respectively
In some cases, mental health and social issues such as stress, low self-esteem,
and peer pressure can cause a person to start abusing alcohol. Recognizing
the early signs of alcoholism is often a challenge because of how common
it is in many cultures, including the United States, where consuming large
quantities of alcohol while socializing is considered “normal.”
What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Alcoholism?
Like other substance use disorders, alcoholism affects each individual
differently. As such, the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse and alcoholism
differ from person to person. That being said, there are some commonalities.
Some common signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction include:
- Increased irritability
- Hiding alcohol or lying about drinking
- Poor memory or coordination
- Consistently consuming alcohol
- Poor personal hygiene
- Inability to control anger
- Trouble at work or school
- Drinking alcohol at odd times and places
- Strained relationships with others due to alcohol use
- Increased frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption
- Lack of interest in things that one was formerly interested in
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not consuming alcohol
- Repeated, unsuccessful attempts to cut back or stop drinking
- Using alcohol to self-medicate or control mental health symptoms
- Needing more alcohol to achieve the same effects (increased tolerance)
If you have noticed any signs of alcohol abuse or alcoholism in yourself
or a loved one, now is the time to consider seeking help. The longer alcohol
abuse and addiction goes on, the more difficult recovery becomes. Regardless
of the severity of the issue, know that healing
is possible—and Grace Land Recovery can help.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
One clear sign that someone is on the way to developing an alcohol addiction
is dependency. Alcohol dependence is marked by the experience of withdrawal
symptoms anytime a person cuts back on drinking or stops consuming alcohol
altogether. For example, people who suffer from alcohol dependency will
feel tired, anxious, and nauseous when they are not drinking.
Once an individual has stopped drinking altogether, withdrawal symptoms
may last from six hours to several days. Common alcohol withdrawal symptoms
include increased blood pressure, nightmares, tremors, irritability, sweating,
Note that there are mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms that can continue
for weeks. Delirium tremens are among the most severe alcohol withdrawal
symptoms. People that suffer from delirium tremens experience tactile
hallucinations, seizures, extreme agitation, and other serious symptoms.
This is considered a medical emergency, and one should seek medical attention
right away if any signs or symptoms of delirium tremens are present.
The Effects of Alcohol on Your Brain & Body
Alcoholism may lead to loss of coordination and memory. Prolonged consumption
of alcohol will interfere with the cerebral cortex, limbic system, and
cerebellum. The result is an impaired signaling pathway in the brain,
which can lead to an array of cognitive and behavioral problems.
Chronic alcoholism can cause a person to develop pancreatic cancer, hepatitis,
liver cirrhosis, fibrosis, stroke, and cardiomyopathy in the cardiovascular
system, among other serious illnesses and conditions. It is best for those
who suffer from alcoholism to seek professional help right away.
Due to the negative effects of chronic alcohol abuse on the brain, it becomes
increasingly difficult to figure out how to beat alcoholism or how to
help an alcoholic as time goes on and the abuse continues. Overcoming
alcoholism can also be more challenging when a person consumes higher
quantities of alcohol more frequently.
are options for those struggling with all forms of alcohol abuse and addition.
Whether you are having trouble limiting your intake of alcohol or your
loved one is severely addicted to alcohol, Grace Land Recovery is here
to help. Our Memphis alcohol addiction treatment program is based on a
whole-person approach that promotes healing from the inside out. We don’t
just focus on addiction; we also treat underlying trauma,
co-occurring mental and behavioral health disorders, and other issues that drive or exist alongside addiction.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Alcohol Treatment
It’s nearly impossible to overcome any addiction without attending
professional treatment at an addiction treatment center. Depending on
the individual, inpatient rehab may be the best choice. Residential treatment
allows individuals to have access to 24-hour care and support as they
navigate the recovery process.
In other cases, outpatient treatment may be the best option for the individual.
In contrast to residential treatment, outpatient treatment does not require
you to live fulltime at an addiction treatment center. Instead, you attend
varying levels of treatment during the day and return to the comfort of
your own home at night. This option is best for those who have sufficient
at-home support to maintain sobriety during the evenings and at night.
A great alternative to inpatient treatment is partial hospitalization.
Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are a type of outpatient addiction treatment for individuals with moderate
to severe substance use disorders. PHP treatment requires patients to
attend alcohol and drug rehab for approximately five to eight hours a
day, five to seven days a week.
One benefit of outpatient rehab, such as partial hospitalization or
intensive outpatient treatment, is that it allows patients to leave the treatment facility after they
have completed therapy or any other time they are not actively being treated.
This means that individuals who take part in outpatient alcohol treatment
can tend to their everyday responsibilities while simultaneously receiving
the high level of care and support they need.
How Our Alcohol Addiction Treatment Program Works
Here at Grace Land Recovery, our professional rehab specialists develop
specialized and individualized treatment plans for patients based on their
unique needs. Our treatment plans are comprehensive and can work to assist
you on your journey to overcoming alcoholism.
Prior to attending treatment for alcoholism, you will undergo a full physical
assessment. Our physicians will work to detect any underlying physical
health issues, such as liver failure. If necessary, we may recommend clinical
detox, which allows individuals to stop using alcohol in a safe, supervised
environment. Detox can also help ease some of the discomfort associated
with alcohol withdrawal.
Additionally, you should undergo a mental health assessment before we begin
treatment. This allows us to identify any co-occurring mental or behavioral
health disorders you may be struggling with. A dual diagnosis, meaning
a diagnosis of a mental/behavioral health disorder and a substance use
disorder, will prompt our team to tailor our treatment recommendations
to meet your specific needs.
Here at Grace Land Recovery, we offer various alcohol and drug abuse treatments
with various different approaches. For effective recovery—and to
minimize the chances of relapse—we also provide an individualized
combination of these approaches to our patients. Not all alcohol abuse
treatment methods are useful for every patient. The standard treatment
plan for substance addiction involves a blend of outpatient and inpatient
rehab programs, medication, individual and group therapies, and counseling.
What Is Alcohol Detox?
Detoxification, or detox, is the process of ridding the body of all unwanted
substances. When detoxing from alcohol, it’s best to taper one’s
consumption rather than stop altogether. “Tapering” is the
process of gradually lessening the amount of alcohol consumed until the
individual no longer consumes any alcohol. The purpose of tapering is
to avoid shocking the body while detoxing. Suddenly stopping all alcohol
not recommended for those with moderate to severe alcohol addiction, as this
can have numerous negative effects.
People who are detoxing from alcohol will likely experience moderate to
severe withdrawal symptoms. If your withdrawal symptoms are severe during
alcohol detox, the medical staff at our professional detox facility can
provide appropriate medications to ease these symptoms.
What Is Outpatient Alcohol Treatment?
Outpatient alcohol treatment can vary greatly in the amount of time and
dedication required. Most outpatient alcohol rehab programs last for a
At Grace Land Recovery, we offer several types of outpatient treatment
for those struggling with alcohol abuse and alcoholism:
Partial Hospitalization: As previously mentioned, partial hospitalization is a form of outpatient
alcohol treatment that requires patients to attend rehab for around five
to eight hours a day, five to seven days a week.
Intensive Outpatient Program: Another form of outpatient alcohol treatment offered at Grace Land Recovery
is our intensive outpatient program (IOP). IOPs require patients to attend
rehab for at least a few hours a day, several times a week.
Standard Outpatient Treatment: Finally, standard outpatient program (OP) treatment requires that patients
attend rehab for approximately a couple of hours a day, once or twice a week.
Generally speaking, the greater the time commitment, the more intensive
the treatment program. At Grace Land Recovery, we offer a variety of treatment
options for those struggling with all types of substance use disorders,
including mild, moderate, or severe alcohol addiction.
Achieve Sobriety at Grace Land Recovery
Here at Grace Land Recovery, we prioritize the needs of each of our patients.
To help ensure all of our patients’ needs are met, we offer various
evidence-based rehab programs and addiction therapies. We also make sure
that all of our treatment plans are specialized by substance and individualized
for each patient.
To learn more about our facility and the therapy, rehab programs, and services
contact us today at
(901) 519-2655. We’re here to help you achieve sobriety and improve your life.