The Basics of Alcohol Dependency

How do I stop drinking alcohol? It’s what most alcoholics will ask at one time or another as they go through this difficult journey. Alcohol treatment is within your grasp when you seek help from White River Recovery, a substance abuse rehab in South Africa.

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Having to depend on any substance, whether it is alcohol or drugs, is no way to live. It might get you through the day, but continued abuse might prevent you from seeing a tomorrow. Being dependent on any kind of substance, whether it is drugs or alcohol, can have a drastic effect on your life.

It can start with a simple, indulgent drink at dinner or the occasional party. You feel good, relaxed, at ease and without a worry in the world when the alcohol is in your system. The question you need to ask yourself is how much is too much?

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Just as with any addiction, it isn’t a matter of values or character. Even the strongest character is susceptible to alcohol abuse when the circumstances are just right, in a very wrong kind of way.

Many addicts turn to alcohol to numb themselves or to have the opposite effect, which can be to give them confidence that they would otherwise lack. Not all who become addicted to alcohol do so because they have emotional life issues. Some use alcohol to have a good time but they don’t quite know where to stop, or how to stop drinking alcohol.

What is Alcohol Addiction (alcoholism)?

When you’ve decided to start the process of finding out how you can stop drinking, the first step on the road to recovery is to accept that you have a problem. When you are drinking alcohol habitually in excessive amounts, and find that you cannot go without it, you might have a problem.

There is a difference between drinking moderately and drinking habitually.

Moderate drinkers generally don’t have a problem and will indulge in one drink a day, normally as a way to unwind.

Habitual drinkers tend to go way overboard and might even end up drunk, every day. They might even begin their day with a drink and then just go from there. Not all alcoholics will drink until drunk, but what all have in common is their uncontrollable need to drink.

There is also a difference between addiction and abuse. Those who abuse alcohol can still turn back with experiencing any physical effect.

Those who have gone beyond the point of no return are termed dependent because their bodies and minds are physically dependent on alcohol. Without their daily dosage, they can start to experience the effects of withdrawal.

If you feel you have a problem with alcohol and that it’s time to empty the bottle, know that there is a way out, a way to stop drinking alcohol.

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Even the worst addict has beaten their alcoholism and turned their lives around. And so can you.

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How do you know that you are addicted?

Addiction to alcohol doesn’t present the same symptoms as drug addiction and as such, it can be a lot more difficult to diagnose. While hardcore drugs are never socially acceptable, alcohol is, and that is exactly the problem. Drinks are often at the centre of social occasions and you can even be pressurised into having a drink when out. As such, it is difficult to tell whether you or someone close to you, simply enjoy a drink or is actually suffering from alcoholism.

But although a lot of the symptoms are difficult to see, there are a few that are quite noticeable. Those include:

  • High tolerance for alcohol which means you don’t get a hangover.
  • Drinking at times that would never be appropriate, such as early in the morning.
  • Only wanting to be involved in social situations where alcohol is present and then avoiding those occasions where there won’t be.
  • Stopping contact with loved ones.
  • Changing all your friends, generally ditching those who are not drinkers in favour of those who are.
  • Depending on alcohol in order to get through day to day life.
  • Hiding the fact that you are drinking.
  • Increased drinking, which can include drinking more often as well as drinking larger quantities.
  • Depression or any other emotional issues.

Should you start to notice any of these symptoms in yourself or those you love, it might be time to reassess your life and ask why the need for alcohol is so consuming. As with any kind of addiction, the problem will only get worse when left untreated. When caught and treated in time, the bigger consequences of this difficult addiction can be avoided. But that is not to say that those who have been struggling for a long time can’t beat it.

Why do some become alcoholics?

There are a number of reasons why someone becomes addicted. The addiction could be psychological, biologically, or socially driven.

Psychological

Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression can push a person to abuse alcohol. Alcohol can sooth the feelings associated with this mental troubles and eventually become a complete coping mechanism.

Biological

Some of us are more predisposed to alcoholism than others. Our genetic makeup can have an effect on whether or not we become addicted to alcohol.

Social

Drinking on social occasions can become more problematic when you start going overboard. This is known as binge drinking. It’s not an everyday occurrence but it is something that happens every time you have a social event.

And just as people drink for different reasons, there are different alcohol treatments used when quitting alcohol.

You don’t have to live your life dependent on alcohol to get through each day. There is another way to live and it starts by seeking the right help. If after reading this you know that you want to stop drinking alcohol and enter an alcohol recovery program that will turn your life around, you need to get in touch with us.