What Is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a disease that affects millions of Americans every day. People who suffer from alcoholism tend to drink excessively even if they know it’s bad for them. They might start out with one alcoholic beverage per day, but over time they may increase their intake to three or four drinks per day. Many people think that alcoholism is something you’re born with; however, there are many different types of alcoholics. Some simply enjoy drinking too much. Others don’t know how to stop drinking after they’ve started. Still other people feel helpless and hopeless about the problem.
Treatment for alcoholism usually involves counseling, and sometimes medication. In some cases, patients may go through detoxification followed by rehab treatment.
Some Physical Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction is a serious problem in our society today. There are many signs and symptoms associated with alcohol abuse. If you suspect someone you know has a drinking problem, it is important to understand some of the physical signs and symptoms of alcoholism. Some of these signs and symptoms include rapid weight gain or loss, slow or staggering walk, inability to sleep or stay alert, unexplained bruising or marking, cold, sweaty hands or trembling, puffy face, blushing or paleness, nausea, vomiting, or excessive perspiration. These symptoms do not always occur together, however, and there may be no single symptom that indicates alcoholism.
Evaluating the costs and benefits of drinking
Alcohol causes many health problems, including liver damage, high blood pressure, stroke, and breast and colon cancers. In addition, heavy drinkers are more likely to suffer depression and anxiety disorders. One study found that quitting drinking could prevent up to $2,400 worth of medical expenses each year. But it’s important to remember that even moderate drinking — one drink per day — increases the risk of some chronic conditions. So while you might think that drinking just one alcoholic beverage a day won’t hurt you, it actually does.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who consume three or four drinks every day increase their chances of becoming obese, having type 2 diabetes, experiencing heart attacks, strokes, and hypertension. If you want to avoid those risks, stick to no more than two drinks per day. And don’t forget about the cost. A recent study showed that heavy drinkers pay nearly twice as much for healthcare compared to light drinkers.
Have an Honest Talk With Your Friends
Don’t feel obligated to explain anything to anyone. Just keep working on what you’re good at. You don’t owe anybody else an explanation.
Be open to having an honest discussion with your friends and family members. They will respect your decision if you make it clear why you’re changing.
If you want to cut down, consider talking to your close circle of friends and loved ones. Maybe they could help keep you on track.
People who struggle with alcohol often try to deny that they have a problem. They might lie about how much they’ve used, how often they use, or where they got the substance. Sometimes they even lie to themselves about why they are using.
When people think about quitting, they often say things such as “I just can’t give up my friends,” “I can’t go back to how I used to be,” or “It feels too hard.” These feelings are normal, and they will pass if you continue to talk about them.
You might hear people saying things like “I’m fine,” “Everything is okay,” or “Nothing is wrong.” These are signs that you should ask questions.
Cutting back vs. quitting alcohol altogether
If you’re thinking about cutting back on drinking because it’s causing problems at home or work, there are many different ways to go about it. You might decide to cut down gradually or stop entirely. You first have to decide if you’re the type of person that is capable of consuming alcohol rarely.
Recognize the benefits of going without alcohol
You don’t have to give up alcohol entirely to reduce how much you drink. If you want to cut back, you’ll find that you can still enjoy some drinks while doing so. For example, you can choose wine instead of beer, or stick to cocktails instead of full-strength liquor.
Set a realistic goals
Don’t set yourself up for disappointment. When you start cutting back, make sure you know what you’re aiming for. Are you looking to cut back to zero? How long do you plan to keep cutting back? What types of activities do you think you won’t miss?
Cut back slowly
Make small cuts over time. Rather than making big changes all at once, take steps toward your goal. Start by cutting out one glass of wine each night. Then add another glass every week. Gradually increase the amount of alcohol you consume each day.
Set goals and prepare for change
The world is changing rapidly. In fact, it seems like every day we hear about something new happening somewhere in the world. This constant flow of news can make us feel overwhelmed and anxious. We might even start to doubt ourselves and our ability to handle what life throws at us. But what if I told you that you could learn how to manage the stress of daily life without having to worry about the future? What if I told you that while you’re still alive, you can take control over your life? Well, that’s exactly what I’m here to do.
I want to teach you how to set clear goals and not give up if things aren’t working out exactly as planned — no matter what happens. I want to show you how to build strong relationships with those around you and how to gain confidence in yourself. And most importantly, I want to teach you how you can cope with change and uncertainty.
So, whether you’re looking to improve your health, develop better habits, or just live a happier life, I’ve got some great tips and strategies for you. Let’s begin.
How to accomplish your goals
If you’ve ever thought about quitting alcohol, now might be the perfect time to do it. But don’t just jump into cold water — write down your goals before you start cutting back or stopping drinking altogether. “Before you make any changes, think about how you’d like to feel,” says Dr. Jennifer Ashton, assistant professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. “What are your short-term and long-term goals?” If you want to stop drinking because you’re worried about health problems, Ashton recommends writing down those concerns and talking to your doctor about whether you should cut back or completely abstain.
But if you’re looking to give up booze for another reason, such as weight loss, relationship issues or financial reasons, Ashton suggests keeping things simple. “Don’t overthink it,” she says. “Just follow the five steps.” Here’s how to take action:
1. Set a goal
Write down your goals before you embark on this journey. Do you simply want to drink less? Or do you want to lose weight? Maybe you want to improve your relationships or save money. Whatever your motivation, set some specific goals.
2. Make a plan
Once you’ve written down your goals, decide how much alcohol you want to limit yourself to each week. Then, figure out where you’ll find support. For example, if you live alone, you could join a local AA group or seek help online.
3. Cut back gradually
Avoiding drinking triggers
Drinking too much can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, regret, anxiety, depression, anger, frustration, embarrassment and even physical pain. If you find yourself feeling like you’re about to start drinking, try to avoid it. Instead, focus on what you can do to prevent yourself from getting drunk. Here are some tips to help you avoid triggering your desire to drink. These strategies will help you resist the urge to drink.
Identify the triggers
Think about why you might feel the urge to drink. Are you stressed out? Do you feel lonely? Is someone close to you sick? Try to identify the reasons behinds your urges. Once you know why you want to drink, you’ll be better able to recognize the signs that you’re starting to head down the wrong path.
Sometimes getting off of alcohol isn’t as simple as making a plan and watching out for triggers. If you are physically dependent on alcohol and get withdrawals when you quit, or if you’ve tried to quit and failed multiple times, it might benefit you to get some outside help. That could come in the form of therapy, group therapy, or even Rehab.
Sea Change Recovery’s team is composed of recovering addicts that have already been through it, now living much better lives of sobriety. Regardless of whether you think rehab is right for you, we encourage you to reach out. We’re here for you.