Scientists have not been able to establish that alcohol necessarily causes addiction. I have personally known many responsible drinkers who knew when to stop and exactly how much is enough. However, if you have a tendency to become addicted to substance use, you better stay off the bottle. Initially, it may not seem so much like alcohol addiction, but eventually, you would find it increasingly difficult to lay your hands off the bottle. In this post, we look deeper into alcohol abuse and addiction to understand the real reasons for addiction.
There are some common traits in people who end up getting addicted. People who suffer from depression, anxiety, behavioral disorders, high stress levels, and loneliness are more susceptible to getting addicted to alcohol than people who consume alcohol in order to get the occasional “happy high”. Alcohol, in layman’s terms, helps us “loosen up” and have fun. However, this feeling of loosening up, in scientific terms, is caused due to secretion of a hormone called dopamine, which sends signals of “pleasure” to the brain. Over a period of time, one gets addicted to this feeling of “loosening up”, and hence, alcohol addiction follows.
So, How Exactly Do You Know Whether You are a Responsible Drinker or an Addict? IS There a Way to Tell an Addict Apart From a Social Drinker?
Whenever one goes overboard with alcohol addiction, it can be easily spotted. However, it may be too late to wait for such a time. There are ways to identify addiction in its rudimentary form. For instance, if you know a friend who has this peculiar habit of downing that one drink before sleeping, he is probably getting addicted. The severity of addiction may not be harmful, but such dependence on alcohol can be alarming. People who need a drink after a stressful day at work or people who need to gulp down a glass of wine with food in order to “enjoy the meal” show dependency on alcohol in its rudimentary form. Just to be sure, ask such people to skip a drink when they feel like having it the most- if they are unable to keep off the bottle, chances are that they are addicted.
I Know I Am Becoming Addicted- What Do I Do Now?
If you or someone close to you is showing signs of addiction to alcohol, you should get an assessment done. Professional medical assessment is the best way to understand the exact severity of alcohol addiction and dependence. Most alcohol rehab programs have different plans for people with varying levels of dependency on alcohol.
After assessment, you should choose whether to do a self-rehab program or to enroll with a professional alcohol addiction program. While in the rehab program, you would need to cope with withdrawal symptoms. Some programs may also require administration of medicines and beta stoppers- try staying away from them. Alcohol addiction is essentially a lifestyle issue and should be tackled at that level. You should also sign up for help groups in order to learn from others’ experiences.
With all this information at your disposal, I am sure you would be able to lead an addiction-free and healthy lifestyle.