For many people in the U.S., drinking is a social event. People drink to celebrate milestones while mingling with coworkers or as a way to unwind after a long day. While most people can participate in social drinking their entire lives without any problems, others are not so lucky. Instead, they end up with an alcohol dependency that can quickly spiral into an addiction. If you are worried that you do have a drinking problem, a quality alcohol rehab in Atlanta can help you get the correct diagnosis and put you on the right path with an appropriate and effective treatment program.
What is an Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol addiction is considered a chronic disease because of the way that it affects brain function in those that suffer from it. When a person consumes alcohol, it makes their brain release a flood of the chemical dopamine, which is responsible for making us feel happy and relaxed. But those who abuse alcohol end up rewiring their brain so that, eventually, dopamine is only released when they drink. This makes your brain crave alcohol, and also makes you more likely to suffer from mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
One of the things that makes alcohol addiction a complex issue is its different stages. The right treatment for each person depends on the stage of alcohol addiction they are currently in. The different stages of alcohol addiction include:
- Alcohol Dependence
The first stage of alcohol addiction is dependence, at which point your body has become dependent on alcohol. This means that your body (and brain) are used to having alcohol in your system. If you go too long without a drink, you are likely to experience some negative side effects, including cravings, mood swings, and more. Once you are dependent on alcohol, you are likely to become fully addicted very quickly.
- Alcohol Use Disorder
The medically accepted term for alcohol addiction is alcohol use disorder or AUD. This is the diagnosis that many people receive once they seek help at an alcohol rehab in Atlanta. This serious medical condition is characterized by an uncontrollable impulse to seek and consume alcohol. People with an AUD who go too long without a drink have even worse side effects, including shakiness, depression, anxiety, and more.
Alcoholism is the most severe form of AUD. People who are diagnosed with alcoholism have typically been addicted to alcohol for a long time, and drink large quantities of alcohol every day. They are also at risk of having serious medical issues, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and liver issues like cirrhosis or liver failure. Alcoholics cannot typically go very long without a drink, and if they do, have the most severe negative side effects, which can even include seizures. People with alcoholism are cautioned against trying to stop drinking on their own due to the risk of life-threatening withdrawal. At an alcohol rehab in Atlanta, however, they can safely navigate withdrawal with the help of medical interventions that help prevent seizures.
How Can I Tell if I Need Alcohol Rehab in Atlanta?
For many people, the line between social drinking and an AUD is a very thin one that is difficult to recognize. It can be easy to excuse your drinking by saying it’s only to be social, or blaming it on stressful events in your life that you are trying to work through. However, if you do have an AUD, it is extremely important to seek help before it becomes worse. If you aren’t sure whether or not you have a drinking problem, here are some questions that you can ask yourself:
- Do you spend a lot of your time drinking or recovering from hangovers?
- Have you tried to drink less, or stop drinking entirely, but found that you could not?
- Do you end up drinking more alcohol than you mean to?
- Does the urge to drink make it hard for you to concentrate on anything else?
- Do you miss days at work or school due to your drinking?
- Are your relationships struggling due to your drinking?
- Have you given up activities or hobbies you used to enjoy to drink instead?
- Is your drinking causing issues with your physical or mental health?
- Do you drink as a way to cope with negative thoughts or emotions?
- Do you have negative symptoms, typically called withdrawals, if you go too long without a drink?
- Have you found yourself drinking more and more to feel drunk?
If you answered yes to more than one or two of these questions, there is a good chance you need the help of alcohol rehab in Atlanta.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment Options
When most people think of alcohol addiction treatment, their minds go to the 12-Step programs so often discussed in media and TV shows. But AUD treatment is much more than this. Alcohol rehabs in Atlanta offer a range of treatment options scientifically proven to help treat your addiction and give you the tools needed to avoid relapse. Many people start with medically-supervised detox before moving on to treatment programs like behavioral therapy, medication-assisted treatment, group therapy, and more. What matters most is having a treatment plan built to address your symptoms and needs, to give you get the best and most effective care possible.
Get the Help You Need at an Alcohol Rehab in Atlanta
Choosing a treatment facility for your alcohol addiction is the first step on what may be a long road to total recovery. But with the help of Emerge Healing Center, you will get the help you need with effective, scientifically-backed treatment options. Contact us today to learn more about our programs, and how we can help you to take back control of your life.