Alcohol is among the most addictive substances in the world, next to heroin, cocaine, and nicotine. Millions of Americans struggle with alcohol—some after their first drink. With so many people falling into the grips of alcoholism, it’s essential to recognize how addictive alcohol is to avoid falling into a pattern of alcohol abuse. For many, trying to quit drinking once they are addicted is dangerous without alcohol addiction treatment.
If you or a loved one struggles with alcohol, it’s time to get help. At Right Step Hill Country in Texas, we know how important it is to have a compassionate team to support you as you begin the road to recovery. With accessible, evidence-based treatment, you can lay a strong foundation for a sober future. Get started today by calling 1.844.675.1628.
How Addictive Is Alcohol?
For many people, alcohol is a harmless way to relax and have fun. However, alcohol can be so addictive that about 15 million adults in the United States suffer from alcohol use disorder (AUD). This disorder means that they drink excessively, cannot control how much they drink, and continue to drink even when it causes problems in their lives.
AUD is a serious condition that can lead to a wide range of health problems, including liver disease, cancer, and stroke. It can also cause financial problems, relationship difficulties, and job loss. If you or someone you know is struggling with AUD, getting help as soon as possible is essential.
Why Alcohol Is Addictive
Many factors contribute to why alcohol is addictive. One reason is that it’s easy to get and legal for people over 21 to drink. Alcohol is also socially acceptable, which makes it easy to drink without social consequences.
Another reason alcohol is so addictive is that it acts on the brain similarly to other drugs like cocaine and heroin. Alcohol causes a person to feel relaxed and happy by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that’s responsible for feelings of pleasure.
Over time, the brain becomes tolerant to alcohol, which means that a person needs to drink more to get the same effects. This tolerance can lead to dependence and addiction.
Signs of Alcohol Addiction
If you’re wondering how to tell if someone is addicted to alcohol, there are several signs you may notice. These include:
- Drinking more alcohol or for a longer period than intended
- Being unable to cut down or stop drinking
- Spending a lot of time drinking or recovering from a hangover
- Missing work, school, or important activities due to drinking
- Drinking in dangerous situations, such as while driving
- Continuing to drink despite problems it causes in relationships
These symptoms will only become more severe the longer a person struggles to stop drinking. Unfortunately, trying to quit alone can be isolating and even dangerous. Withdrawing from alcohol is intense and draining on the body, resulting in several side effects.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
The clearest indication of alcohol addiction is the onset of withdrawal symptoms when someone tries to stop drinking. As a person becomes more tolerant and dependent on alcohol, changes in their brain and body make quitting seemingly impossible. Signs of alcohol withdrawal include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Delirium tremens (DTs)
DTs are a severe form of withdrawal that can occur in people who have been drinking heavily for many years. DTs cause a range of symptoms, including confusion, sweating, shaking, and hallucinations. In some cases, DTs can be life-threatening.
The best way to treat alcoholism is by checking into an alcohol detox center in Texas. You can receive professional, around-the-clock supervision and medication-assisted treatment. You are more likely to complete detox successfully with support from treatment specialists.
Start Your Treatment for Alcoholism at Right Step Hill Country
Even though it is widely accepted and the drinking culture remains strong, alcohol is addictive and leads many people to the cycle of addiction every year. Thankfully, alcohol addiction treatment can give people hope for a sober future.
At Right Step Hill Country, our detox and residential treatment programs help the people who come through our door find a way to lay a solid foundation for a healthier, happier future. When you start with us, your treatment plan may include:
- Alcohol detox
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Aftercare planning
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Expressive therapies
Don’t let alcohol continue to run your life. You can find relief; you just have to take the first steps. Make the first one the right step and call 1.844.675.1628 to get started today.