When Should I Stop Drinking?
10/27/18: Alcohol Addiction
You might be wondering whether you should stop drinking for many reasons. Maybe you fought with a friend but can’t remember why because you were heavily intoxicated. Maybe you’ve neglected your parking tickets because you’d rather spend money going out and have found yourself with a suspended license. Maybe you went out drinking, decided to drive, and wrecked your car. Or maybe it’s as simple as feeling tired at work after one or two drinks the previous day.
Your health could very well be suffering physically, even just from casual drinking. Alcohol can shrink the frontal lobes of the brain, dehydrate your body, and lead to sexual dysfunction. The subtle consequences of alcohol abuse include mood swings, memory loss, headaches, and hangovers, which tend to get worse and last longer as you age and increase intake.
What Do I Need to Know About Alcohol Addiction?
More than 88,000 deaths are attributed annually to alcohol-related issues in the United States. Alcohol ranks as the third highest lifestyle-related cause of death. About 40 percent of U.S. hospital beds are taken by people suffering from alcohol-related health conditions.
Alcohol addiction can cause social problems, psychiatric problems, financial problems and gastrointestinal problems such as pancreatitis and gastritis. Dementia, neuropathy and stroke often result from alcohol abuse.
Alcohol dependence or addiction often generates more severe symptoms and consequences. People build up a tolerance to alcohol over time, and a person can find that one or two drinks soon feels like nothing, finding themselves at the bottom of an empty bottle. However, despite a tolerance, the body still experiences alcohol-related function inhibition such as slurred speech, mood swings, slower reaction times and faulty judgment.
Signs of alcohol abuse include:
- You drink to relieve stress.
- Everything you do socially involves alcohol.
- Hangovers slow you down in the morning.
- You can’t stick to the limits you set.
- Alcohol-related issues cause problems at work.
- You've begun to sneak alcohol or hide your drinking.
- Your physical appearance has deteriorated.
Alcohol addiction isn’t hard to define or realize yourself. If alcohol is causing problems in your life, you’re heading toward dependence and addiction. You don’t need to hit rock bottom before getting help.
There is never a quick solution to treating alcohol dependence: addictions are aggravated by multiple problems including mental disorders, work problems, family issues, and pretty much anything else that causes significant stress or anxiety. Treating the root cause of alcohol dependence is just as, if not more, important as treating the addiction itself.
There are many benefits for stopping or reducing your drinking. Your health will recuperate, and your attitude and mood will improve to be more like your normal, happy self. Other benefits of quitting drinking include:
- Saving more money because you’re not spending significant amounts
- More restful sleep.
- Engaging with people socially in meaningful ways
- Generating more time to work on hobbies, projects or time with family and kids.
Alcohol recovery is a process that usually involves setbacks and relapse. Some people get discouraged when they relapse, but you can recommit to sobriety each time you fail. If you slip up, it shouldn’t discontinue your efforts of remaining alcohol-free. The important thing is that you are maintaining your will to keep recovering, despite the setbacks that present themselves.
What if a Loved One Has a Problem?
Ultimately, each person must recognize and treat their own addictions. But that doesn’t mean you can’t help others in seeking sobriety. If a loved one is suffering, you can speak up and encourage them to find treatment. Try including them in activities that don’t involve drinking.
Supporting a loved one is critical for long-term success because a full recovery usually takes multiple attempts and a plan/strategy. You can’t convince someone to get help and assume that the rest will fall into place. Make an effort to monitor your loved one’s progress, and offer to go to meetings with them. Provide them with as many means of support as you can, and help them as you would want them to help you.
Should I Get Help?
When you decide to get help or want to encourage a loved one to do so, it’s usually a gradual process and not an immediate, all-encompassing realization. Only you can decide when you’re ready to admit that drinking is costing you in many ways. Maybe you can no longer recover from your hangovers as you did when you were younger. Perhaps you were ahead of the curve at work and went out to celebrate only to find yourself behind schedule the days following.
If you’ve become dependent on alcohol, you might become aware of these physical symptoms when you stop drinking:
- Restlessness and anxiety
- Elevated heart rate and blood pressure
- Difficulty sleeping
- Shaking and sweating
- Nausea or vomiting
- Trouble concentrating
These symptoms are correlated with the different levels of alcohol addiction. Maybe you only succumb to alcohol-related peer pressure occasionally, but even this type of social drinking can result in DUIs, accidents and reduced performance at work. If you’re struggling with alcohol, it’s recommended that you take a far step back and analyze the situation in its entirety. If anything is leading you to believe that you should quit drinking: quit.
The first step is admitting the problem. You might be able to join a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous, but if your symptoms are extreme, consider finding in a treatment program.
Arizona Addiction Recovery Center offers multiple treatment programs and therapies to help with alcohol addiction. If you think you should stop drinking, contact us for help today and let’s determine what your next step should be together.
Content for Arizona Addiction by Cohn Media, LLC. Passionate and creative writing and broadcasting, covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment and technology. Advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best. www.cohn.media
Content for Arizona Addiction Recovery Centers created by Cohn Media, LLC. Passionate and creative writing and broadcasting, covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment, technology and advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best. www.cohn.media
If you or someone you know needs help with addiction, contact 602-737-1619 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get the help you need. Our acclaimed recovery environment merges upscale, luxury accommodations with affordability, clinical expertise and an unwavering commitment to patient care and aftercare.