Alcohol Addiction: Understanding Alcohol Abuse & It's Symptoms
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Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction does not always get the same scrutiny as drug use because alcohol is legal. But alcohol abuse results in almost 100,000 deaths in the U.S. every year. This makes alcohol abuse the third leading preventable cause of death. If you or someone you love is living with an alcohol use disorder, Riverwalk can help.

The use of alcohol is more socially acceptable than drugs, but this does not mean it is safe. Make no mistake. Alcohol is a drug. Alcohol abuse destroys families, devastates lives and causes chronic illness and death. But an alcohol use disorder does not need to be a death sentence. It does not need to condemn anyone to a life of misery. There is a way out of the alcoholic spiral and even a way to repair much of the damage that has been done.

Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Symptoms of alcohol dependence may include the following:

Tremors and shaking the morning after drinking
Alcohol-induced conditions and illnesses such as liver disease
Memory lapses caused by blackouts while drinking
The appearance of withdrawal symptoms when drinking stops
Increasing tolerance to alcohol that requires more consumption
Failure to attend to responsibilities because of alcohol use
Inability to control how much one drinks
Making excuses to drink

If you or someone you care about is exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, it should be cause for concern. Entering treatment for an alcohol use disorder is easier than you think. Alcohol abuse can have tragic consequences. If you have enough concern to be reading this page, then chances are you or someone you know could benefit from some help.

Make the call. We can help!

Where is the Line Between Alcohol Use and Alcohol Abuse?

How do I know if I am an alcoholic? This is perhaps the most common question asked by a person who is beginning to question their drinking behaviors. The answer to this question can be complex. But labels are not important. The bottom line is the effects and consequences. For men, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming more than 15 drinks a week. It is possible to have an alcohol use disorder when drinking less than that, however. For example, binge drinking even 6 or 7 drinks once a week is cause for concern. People who binge drink are especially susceptible to alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol poisoning signs and symptoms include the following:

Confusion
Vomiting
Seizures
Slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute)
Irregular breathing
Blue-tinged skin or pale skin
Low body temperature (hypothermia)
Passing out (unconsciousness) and can’t be awakened

If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning, please call 911 immediately.

Getting Help for Alcohol Addiction

Sooner or later, alcohol addiction will impact almost every area of your life. Even if you believe you are a “functioning alcoholic” and you have managed to hold onto your job and your marriage. No one escapes the consequences of an alcohol use disorder. Whether it’s liver damage or a DUI or something else, the thread always begins to unravel somewhere. Always and every time. The good news is that you have the power to stop alcohol abuse in it’s tracks. You don’t have to go it alone, in fact you shouldn’t. If you think you may have a problem with alcohol, let’s talk.

Recover at Riverwalk

Most of our friendly staff are in recovery themselves. All of us understand addiction intimately and have a personal connection to recovery. We are ready to help, or just listen if that’s what you want. If you are watching someone you love struggle with alcohol, we can help there too. We will provide guidance and insight into interventions and other methods to help “raise the bottom” to compel someone to accept the help they need. The road to a solution begins with a conversation. You will begin to feel better the moment you start to talk to us. This isn’t a burden you need to bear all on your own. Treatment for alcohol addiction is available at Riverwalk Recovery. We work with most private health insurance providers and have reasonable self-pay rates. Let’s talk about what we can do together.