Alcohol Addiction

What Is Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol addiction is characterised by alcohol dependency and is the most serious form of a drinking problem with the strong and uncontrollable desire to drink.  It is an addiction that causes individuals to not be able to function in their daily lives without needing to drink alcohol.

Alcoholic addiction is considered a chronic illness and can be life-threatening if it is not addressed and treated promptly. In 2019, there were 7,565 deaths registered in the UK that related to alcohol-specific causes, the second-highest since the data time series began in 2001 (Office for National Statistics {2021}) therefore getting the correct help is crucial.

When defining alcohol addiction, it is important to understand that it is not a choice that can be controlled, moderated, or healed but a chronic disorder of the brain that needs to be treated and can only be abstained from not drinking alcohol again.  Which Rehab can help you get the right treatment for your addiction and take the first step to get your life back on track.

Empty wine bottles

Symptoms Of Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction can develop for many reasons with no set pattern. The signs that you have an alcohol addiction can either be very noticeable or the problem may develop over a longer period of time and therefore take longer to surface.

Some common symptoms of alcohol addiction include:

  • Constantly craving alcohol when you are not drinking
  • You are unable to control the amount you consume
  • You worry about where your next drink is coming from, planning events and schedules around alcohol.
  • The inability to stop drinking once you start.
  • The desire to drink whatever time of the day it is including first thing in the morning.
  • You experience blackouts and the inability to recall events.
  • You lie about your drinking.
  • You drink in dangerous situations such as drinking and driving.
  • You have withdrawal symptoms, such as sweating, shaking, and nausea, which stop once you drink alcohol.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

If you are dependent on alcohol, you can experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop drinking as your body goes into a depressive stat.  If these symptoms are not controlled in the right way, then your body can go into shock and the effects can cause dangerous

Physical alcohol addiction withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Hand tremors (‘the shakes’)
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased heart rate
  • visual hallucinations (seeing things that are not actually real)
  • seizures (fits) in the most serious cases
Unwell man
Woman lying on the bed curled up upset

Psychological alcohol addiction withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia (difficulty sleeping)

Treatment Options For Alcohol Addiction

Overcoming alcohol addiction should be treated under the care of experienced professionals to safeguard your health and achieve the best possible outcome to regaining control of your life.

Treatment options include:

Alcohol Rehab - Intensive treatment in an inpatient or outpatient facility

Alcohol Detox – Under guidance of medical professionals, you will go through a process where all remnants of alcohol will leave your system through a withdrawal process.

Alcohol CounsellingIndividual or group sessions to help learn with coping mechanisms to your alcohol addiction.

 

It can take between three months and a year to fully recover from the effects of alcohol withdrawal. Even then, the brain remains abnormally sensitive to alcohol. So, if you start drinking again, your high tolerance to alcohol and withdrawal symptoms can come back within a few days. That is why it is recommended that you do not start drinking again, even in moderation to prevent you from relapsing. These treatment options are here to help with this and Which Rehab can help you choose the most suitable option for you and your personal circumstances.

FAQ's

The NHS estimates that around 9% of men in the UK and 3% of UK women show signs of alcohol dependence.

Figures from alcoholchange.org.uk show:

  • 3.3m alcohol-related deaths worldwide each year – that is 6.5% of all deaths
  • Alcohol is linked to more than 60 medical conditions including liver disease, at least six forms of cancer, and depression.
  • Alcoholism is the 3rd leading preventable cause of death in the UK.
  • In England, there are an estimated 586,780 dependent drinkers. Only 18% are receiving treatment.
  • Every day 20 people die because of alcohol addiction