What are the Signs, Symptoms, and Complications of Alcohol Abuse Disorder?
Alcohol abuse and addiction are rampant across the United States. Unfortunately for people who struggle with this addiction, their drug of choice, alcohol, is everywhere. Alcohol is easy to obtain, and the majority of American adults consume it. Alcohol also plays an active role in many cultural milestones, such as weddings, funerals, birthdays, sporting events and more.
For those addicted, it’s incredibly difficult to avoid the presence of alcohol and remain sober, but it can be done. Everyday, people get help for alcohol addiction and make a full recovery. But what are the signs and symptoms of addiction family members and loved ones need to watch out for?
What are the symptoms of alcohol abuse?
It can be hard to determine when someone is in the early stages of active alcohol addiction. Because the substance is culturally acceptable to imbibe, many people are laboring under a mistaken assumption that alcohol isn’t a problem for their loved one, especially if their loved one is still able to hold down a job and maintain an outward appearance of sobriety. But the following symptoms are indicative of an alcohol abuse problem.
- Hiding and being secretive about how much alcohol they’ve consumed
- Appearing drunk or smelling like alcohol at inappropriate times
- Sleeping or passing out at inopportune times
- Slurring speech
- Glassy-eyed appearance
- Problems maintaining self-care and personal hygiene
- Mood swings
- Getting into fights or accidents
- Feeling financial strain because of alcohol
- Missing essential events, work, or school because of alcohol
- Trying to quit alcohol unsuccessfully
- Feeling withdrawal symptoms when abstaining from alcohol
- Intense cravings for alcohol
- Feeling the need to drink to deal with stress
Even though it is legal, alcohol is a poison. Consumed in large amounts for an extended period of time, alcohol will cause severe and potentially deadly health effects if an abuser is unable to abstain. Furthermore, alcohol is incredibly dangerous for a developing fetus. Pregnant women who consume even small amounts of alcohol can severely harm their baby’s health, and cause them long-term disability or even death.
What is liver disease?
The liver is a primary organ system that acts as a filter for the blood. Everything a person consumes that gets into the bloodstream will make its way to the liver for filtering. With harmful substances like alcohol, the liver becomes severely stressed trying to clean the blood of this toxic substance. Long-Term alcohol abuse can cause the liver to produce fatty deposits, which hinder its ability to function correctly, and can cause painful swelling in that area of the body. Fortunately, fatty liver can be reversed if a person reaches sobriety before more severe liver diseases take hold.
Cirrhosis is another liver disease caused by alcoholism. The liver becomes scarred from too much alcohol consumption, severely hampering its ability to do its job. Too much scar tissue can cause liver cancer and ultimately, liver failure. But with treatment for alcoholism, liver diseases can be reversed or at least halted in about half of all cirrhosis cases. The liver is one of the few organs in the body that can replace damaged cells with new, healthy cells.
What is acute pancreatitis?
Acute pancreatitis is another health risk associated with alcohol abuse. With acute pancreatitis, the pancreas, a significant gland, becomes swollen and inflamed. This condition causes severe stomach pain and discomfort. If a person abstains from alcohol, the swelling will go down, and the pancreas will return to its normal state. However, left untreated, acute pancreatitis can lead to bleeding in the pancreas, infection, and cyst formation. Untreated and severe pancreatitis can damage organ systems such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys.
What is fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)?
FAS is a congenital disorder affecting thousands of infants in the U.S. every year. FAS is 100% preventable and is the direct result of a pregnant woman consuming alcohol during gestation. Babies born with FAS will experience severe, irreversible physical and mental disability and will need lifelong, round-the-clock care for their condition.
Alcohol, while it’s consumption is an accepted cultural pastime, is still a poison and a highly addictive substance. Left untreated, alcoholism will kill the abuser. Fortunately, there is help available. Medical detox centers and rehab facilities are staffed with knowledgeable doctors and therapists who are trained and qualified to treat alcoholism. Millions of people who’ve abused alcohol have gone on to make a full and life-long recovery from the disease with the help of professionals.
Early Signs of Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol abuse is the #1 addiction in the United States. Because alcohol is legal and socially acceptable, many who become addicted to alcohol do not realize they are dependent. Alcohol addiction ruins not only the lives of those who’ve become addicted but also their families, children and even affects entire communities. The serious consequences of alcohol addiction can be far-reaching.
At Casa Capri’s women’s only alcohol rehab, we can help you or your loved one quit drinking for good and build a happy, meaningful sober life. Our uniquely designed addiction treatment programs are customized to treat not only alcohol addiction but also underlying and co-occurring issues. It’s about healing in body, mind, and soul.
Some early signs of alcohol addiction may include:
- Lying about or hiding the drinking
- Drinking to relax or feel better
- Being unable to stop
- Drinking in dangerous or risky situations
- Neglected responsibilities
- Constant use of antacids or acid-reducers.
- Trouble in relationships
- Increased tolerance; being able to drink more than previously
- Withdrawals; shaking, sweating, anxiety
- Unsuccessful attempts to quit or cut down
- Blackouts; inability to remember events that occurred while drinking
- Legal issues like DUIs
If you or a loved one has shown an inability to control your drinking, please give us a call at 855-816-8826. Our expert staff is available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and support you as you begin this healing journey.
Complications and Side Effects of Alcohol Addiction
Women who become addicted to alcohol often don’t see they have a problem, even when it’s obvious to friends and family. The fact that drinking is legal and encouraged at nearly every social occasion further complicates matters for those with alcohol abuse disorder.
Prolonged use of alcohol has detrimental effects on the body. Withdrawals can be fatal and diseases such as esophageal and stomach cancer, liver disease and acute pancreatitis are also deadly. Drinking and driving is another serious issue that affects both people addicted to alcohol and other drivers on the road. Anyway, you cut it, alcohol addiction kills.
Stopping alcohol abruptly causes intense withdrawal symptoms. These include tremor, nausea, anxiety, headaches, seizures and insomnia. Since alcohol withdrawal can be lethal, a medically supervised detox is essential. At Casa Capri’s alcohol detox you or your loved one will be under a doctor’s care 24/7 and unlike a cold and impersonal hospital detox, you’ll be kept safe and comfortable in our homey, nurturing space while you detoxify your body. There’s no better time than now to call us and begin the journey back to health, back to happiness and back to life. Our intake team is always available to take your call so don’t wait; 855-816-8826.
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