How Do I Find Help For My Drinking Problem?

Roughly 23 million Americans were treated for alcohol abuse in previous years, and it continues to be one of the most commonly abused substances to date. Find out if you have a problem and how to get help.

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Do You Need To Find Help To Stop Drinking?

Drinking alcohol is a common activity in American and much of the world. However, alcohol is an extremely addictive substance that can cause significant negative consequences if abused.

Partially due to its sedative effects on the mind and body, 86.3% of people 18 and older drank in 2018, and 2.5 million Americans received treatment for alcohol-related conditions.

Knowing When You Need To Get Help: Are You Drinking Too Much?

Even drinking in small amounts or in moderation can pose significant health risks. It is important to understand the impact alcohol has on the mind and body.

One of the most damaging effects of alcohol is its depressive quality. It lowers inhibitions and can bring about emotions that lie beneath the surface. Furthermore, alcoholism could contribute to accidents and health risks that can be serious or fatal.

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Warning Signs of Alcoholism

Understanding the signs of your problematic drinking could save a life. Furthermore, it could signal that you may need to get professional assistance. Some of the most usual warning signs of alcohol abuse include:

  • Needing a drink to ease stress or depression.
  • Combining drugs with alcohol.
  • People expressing concerns about your drinking.
  • Getting DUIs or police attention because of intoxication.
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
  • Making excuses for drinking.
  • Spending time away from family and friends to drink.
  • Choosing drinking over other activities.

Knowing warning signs and the effects of alcohol abuse can let you know how bad your problem is. Secondly, it can encourage you to get help.

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Experiencing Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal is a direct effect of changes in the mind and body when someone stops drinking. Prolonged alcohol use can change the brain’s chemical composition, and in turn, can lead to feelings of anxiety, insomnia, hallucinations (Delirium Tremens), shaking, increased heart rate, and nausea, to name a few symptoms.

In some cases, alcoholism can be fatal. If someone facing an alcohol use disorder suddenly stop, he or she can experience withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms will vary from person to person, based on the amount and frequency of alcohol someone has consumed.

Withdrawal Timeframes

There is a timeline of symptoms related to alcohol withdrawa. Symptoms are generally most noticeable within the first 24 to 48 hours. The first 6 to 12 hours post-ingestion, individuals report agitation, anxiety, headaches, shaking, vomiting, and nausea. In the next 12 to 24 hours post-ingestion, disorientation, hand tremors, and seizures can occur. The next 48 hours include seizures, insomnia, high blood pressure, tactile auditory hallucinations, visual hallucinations, high fever, and sweating.

PAWS

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, or PAWS,  are symptoms that happen after initial acute withdrawal symptoms and can last for a few weeks to a year. Some include:

  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Chronic nausea
  • Memory problems
  • Insomnia
  • Intense cravings for alcohol
  • Delayed reflexes or poor coordination
  • Lethargy

Eating healthy, resting, and staying dehydrated can help battle withdrawal symptoms in the meantime before getting professional treatment.

Finding Help For Drinking: Examining Your Treatment Options

Discovering you or your loved one struggles with alcoholism can be shocking and disappointing for some. Regardless of the emotions someone feels, there are several options someone can take to bring about healing and restoration in the loved one’s life. Fortunately, there are several options for assistance with an alcohol use disorder. Detox, one of the most advised methods according to research, it is best done in a professional facility where individuals have hands-on support.

One of the most common methods is inpatient rehab, where individuals access 24-hour monitored care and medications to help achieve lasting sobriety. Some of the medications administered for alcohol withdrawal include:

Benzodiazepines help with calming anxiety and the nervous system and are available in short and long-acting forms. They are typically administered for 3 days. Naltrexone reduces cravings by blocking the effects of alcohol. Acamprosate restores feelings of normalcy after stopping drinking. Disulfiram creates certain reactions to alcohol intake, such as nausea, headache, facial flushing and weakness to stop drinking cravings.

Some of these substances can be habit forming, and taking them under the care of a licensed professional better helps someone take medication carefully, without overdoing their dosages.

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Find Help For A Drinking Problem Today

Alcohol-related problems can be difficult to stop, and quitting cold turkey has uncomfortable consequences. To explore more treatment methods, such as holistic care (treatments using gentle and natural components) and community-based healing (12-step groups), contact a treatment provider now. Don’t struggle alone; know you are supported in your journey.

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Author

Krystina Murray

Photo of Krystina Murray
  • Krystina Murray has received a B.A. in English at Georgia State University, has over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience, and over 15 years of overall writing experience. She enjoys traveling, fitness, crafting, and spreading awareness of addiction recovery to help people transform their lives.

  • More from Krystina Murray

Sources

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Recovery Unplugged – Harrison House of Northern Virginia

Annandale , VA

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Cove Forge Behavioral Health Center

Williamsburg , PA

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Bowling Green Brandywine

Kennett Square , PA

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MeadowWood Behavioral Health

New Castle , DE

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