How to Know When You Should Stop Drinking

It can be hard to know when recreational drinking becomes a problem, but once alcohol addiction develops you will need professional help to get and stay clean.

How Does Alcoholism Develop?

The buzz or “high” associated with alcohol use directly affects the pleasure center of the brain. It also masks physical and emotional pain or distress. The brain will crave this relief on a deep and emotional level. Alcohol dependency can develop over a long or short period of time. While binge drinking which is drinking to get drunk is the fastest road to alcoholism, a habit of drinking just two to three drinks per day can cause a problem for some.

Results of Untreated Alcoholism

Alcoholism leads to organ failure, destruction of the nervous system, brain damage, coma and death. It will also devastate relationships, ruin finances and lead to reckless behaviors such as driving under the influence. While people may be able to maintain a relatively functional life for a time, eventually alcohol will take over. Unchecked alcoholism will destroy a person’s life long before it actually kills him or her.

How to Know When You Need Help with Alcohol

If you are concerned about your use of alcohol, ask the following questions:

  • Once you start drinking, do you find it difficult to stop?
  • Do you think about alcohol frequently?
  • Do you have more than 10 drinks per week (men) or 5 drinks per week (women)?
  • Do you feel anxiety or irritability when alcohol is not available?
  • Have you distanced yourself from non-drinking friends or family?
  • Have you forgone previously important activities or passions in lieu of drinking?
  • Have you decided to stop drinking in the past but found yourself unable to do so?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, contact a counselor or helpline to further explore your drinking habits.

Professional Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Alcoholism is defined as a condition with the following primary symptoms:

  • Cravings
  • Loss of control
  • Physical dependence
  • Tolerance

Alcohol creates both a physical and psychological need for the substance. Many people will endure the physical symptoms of withdrawal only to relapse due to emotional reasons. The psychological aspects of the disease are stronger than rational thought or will. In order to find lasting freedom from alcoholism a person must have all aspects of the disease treated. Medically supervised detox allows physicians to relieve many of the harshest withdrawal symptoms, while fully integrated and holistic rehab of the mind from the psychological aspects of addiction happens through counseling, support group dynamics, 12-step programs and other motivational and educational endeavors. This type of treatment requires caring professional help and is best accomplished in high-quality, innovative recovery programs.

Find Help to Stop Drinking

Call our toll-free helpline any time of day or night, and our specially trained alcohol addiction experts will answer any questions you may have. We can connect you with the best treatment options for your unique needs and even help with insurance issues or logistical concerns. The call is confidential and free, so you have nothing to lose. Call today, and let us help you find a bright future free from alcohol.