Alcoholism: Signs, When To Get Help, and Treatment
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Valley Recovery Center in Agua Dulce is here to help those who are addicted to alcohol and their loved ones. We understand that treating alcohol abuse involves getting to the root of the problem and we do just that.
If you or a loved one are suffering from alcohol addiction and need help now please call 1-866-381-5165 to speak with a counselor.
What Is the Disease of Alcohol Addiction?
Despite years of research and education to the contrary, many still believe addiction is a choice. There remains an unfortunate misconception that those who use or become addicted to alcohol do so out of a lack of morality or willpower. Some continue to believe that an individual struggling to defeat addiction can do so merely through conscious choice and willpower. The reality of addiction is much different. Addiction is a complex disease that changes the brain in ways that make quitting voluntarily immensely challenging. By definition, addiction is a chronic disease characterized by compulsive substance use or substance seeking that becomes difficult to control, despite obvious adverse consequences. While the initial decision to use may be voluntary, ongoing, and repeated substance use can lead to changes in the brain’s chemistry that challenge the addict’s self-control around resisting substances. The changes are persistent, which is why addiction and substance use disorders are considered “relapsing diseases.”
Alcohol has an adverse effect on the brain’s reward centers. When alcohol enters the body, the brain floods the body with dopamine, a neurotransmitter known to cause feelings of euphoria and happiness. Surges of dopamine resulting from addiction cause reinforcement of the pleasurable yet unhealthy behaviors related to drinking excessively. This leads someone struggling with addiction to repeat this behavior consistently and an effort to replicate these feelings.
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How Can I Tell If Someone Is Abusing Alcohol?
Addiction often begins as experimentation in social situations. To know when a friend or loved one is struggling with addiction, it is necessary to understand the common signs of ongoing substance use that present regardless of the substance used and those that are unique to specific substances. If someone is abusing alcohol, there are various signs to look for, including:
- Altered behaviors such as an increased desire for privacy, spending more than usual or borrowing money, and poor work or academic performance.
- Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
- Significant, unexpected changes in relationships
- Changes in physical appearances such as bloodshot eyes, poor skin tone, and disheveled appearance
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What to Do If Treatment Is Needed
Suppose you suspect a friend or loved one needs addiction treatment. In that case, early intervention is essential to ensure the ability to attain sobriety and maintain long-term recovery long after treatment ends. While you cannot force a friend or loved one to seek addiction treatment, friends and family members may choose to stage an intervention once signs of drug use arise. A properly conducted intervention might help your friend or loved one realize that addiction treatment is the next best step for not only their health and safety but for the stability of long-term relationships.
If you know (or suspect) that a friend or loved one needs treatment, provide patience and understanding. Making the decision to or accepting that you need to go to treatment can be one of the most challenging decisions a person needs to make. There is often a significant amount of soul searching that comes with the realization that you need help to defeat your addictions. Offer to help research treatment facilities or offer to go on tours of treatment centers with them. The knowledge that a strong support structure is behind them can be immensely helpful as they begin the journey towards sobriety.
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Get Help at Our Affordable Alcohol Addiction Treatment in California
Valley Recovery Center accepts most health insurance plans, making our residential drug rehab program more affordable.
Give us a call at 1-866-381-5165 to find out if a stay at our residential treatment facility is included in your insurance plan. An insurance benefits check is free, and our trained admissions counselors can help you figure out a treatment plan that works with your available insurance options.