What are the signs of alcohol addiction?

During the last two weeks, we’ve been discussing the signs and symptoms of addiction.  First, we addressed which criteria must be met in order to be diagnosed as having an addiction, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).  We also put a spotlight on narcotic addiction and what signs and symptoms might emerge from it.  Yet, there’s another type of addiction that is widespread in our country and that’s addiction to alcohol.

Alcohol’s effect on the brain
In a study reported by WebMD, research shows that drinking alcohol releases endorphins in the brain, which cause the drinker to feel pleasant:

“[H]eavy drinkers released more endorphins in response to alcohol, and they reported feeling more intoxicated than the lighter drinkers after drinking the same amount of alcohol. The findings suggest that people whose brains release more natural opioids in response to alcohol may get more pleasure out of drinking and may be more likely to drink too much and become alcoholics, researcher Jennifer M. Mitchell, PhD, of the University of California, San Francisco, says.” 

In studying alcohol’s powerful effect on the brain, it becomes much clearer why some people are very susceptible to alcoholism.

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What to Look For:
If you suspect that your loved one may be addicted to alcohol, be on the lookout for the some of these common signs of alcohol addiction:

Breath frequently smells like alcohol
Red cheeks and nose
Unusual weight loss
Upset stomach
Slurred speech
Impulsive or risky behavior
Excessive sweating
Liver damage

You might also notice the following behaviors in a loved one who suffers from alcohol addiction:

Make many excuses to drink (in celebration, in response to a bad day, etc.)
Violence after drinking
Blacking out
Drinking alone
Drinking in the morning
Arrests for driving while drunk
Poor performance at work or school

The First Step
The first step to overcoming an alcohol addiction is to educate yourself about the nature of the addiction.  The fact that you are reading this right now means that you or your loved one might soon be ready for rehabilitation.   The more you know and understand about addiction, the better equipped you will be to help both yourself and your loved one during and after recovery.

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If you are seeking drug and alcohol addiction treatment for yourself or your loved one, call Phoenix Recovery Center today.
It is our mission to provide professional, caring treatment for both men and women suffering from drug and alcohol addiction in Maryland and the mid-Atlantic region (Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, and Washington, D.C.).  We maintain a safe and clean facility, and have excellent, certified staff.  As a recovery center, we want to equip each and every one of our clients with the knowledge and support systems they need in order to get clean, stay sober, and live a joyful life, free from addiction.  We work with families to help stop the cycles of addiction and the enabling patterns which prevent their loved ones from finding sobriety.  We also establish aftercare for our patients upon completing treatment to help them continue down their path of sobriety.




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