Monthly Archives: November 2014

Alcohol Addiction

addiction to alcoholAlcohol is one of the most universally addictive substances available. Every region of the world that makes alcohol available for purchase has been found to have alcoholism present within its population, and Canada is no exception. Alcoholism, or alcohol addiction, is defined as alcohol abuse that is so persistent within an individual that their body has become dependent on it. Once a person has grown dependent on alcohol, it is very difficult to stop consuming it, on a physical and on a psychological level. Typically, Canadians should submit to treatment, for example a Calgary alcohol addiction treatment program, to rid themselves of alcoholism. The best way to avoid alcoholism is to be knowledgeable about it and be diligent in never abusing alcohol.

Often, people do not even realize that they are slipping into an alcohol addiction until they are already dependent on alcohol. It does not set in overnight. Alcoholism usually begins with experimentation and testing the limits of how much alcohol one can drink. Often it is a result of life circumstances as well. When someone is struggling through stress or negative emotions in their life, they begin to drink heavier. Or, if someone is simply being influenced by people who drink heavily, they will begin to drink heavier themselves. Alcohol provides a euphoric, mood altering feeling through the effect it has on the brain. Because people naturally develop a tolerance to alcohol, they need to gradually increase their consumption of it over time in order to continue experiencing the euphoric feelings it creates.

There in lies the addictive behavior. Many people crave the euphoric feelings alcohol gives them too intensely, and pursue the feelings even at the cost of ever-increasing alcohol consumption. The desire to feel intoxicated is so strong that people will pursue it even when their alcohol consumption is destroying their health, relationships and responsibilities. Physical damage begins to take place to their body, their loved ones become hurt and confused by their behavior and distance themselves from the alcoholic and the individual’s work or school performance begins to suffer. This is the picture of alcoholism that is all too well know to many people around the world.

Alcoholism Denial

denial of alcoholismDenial of alcoholism is not a biochemical condition, but rather a psychological condition. It is, however, a very common aspect of alcohol addiction. A large majority of people who have struggled with alcohol addiction recall being in a state of denial. This condition involves telling yourself that you are not an alcoholic when, in fact, you are. The reason a person would do this is fairly self-explanatory with any understanding of addiction. All forms of addiction are detrimental to the addict, so much so that the destruction becomes apparent to other people. Even the addict is beginning to understand the consequences of their addictive behavior. However, at this point, they love the object of their addiction and are willing to invest much of themselves into protecting it.  One method of ensuring their loyalty to the addiction is denial.

If someone is able to convince themselves that their addiction is not hurting them or anyone else, they can feel free to continue their addictive behavior. This is a very attractive option for some addicts, and it is a choice that is highly misunderstood. Those who do not understand addiction or resent it due to bad personal experiences with it tend to view denial as pure selfishness. True denial of alcoholism can be compared to denial of having cancer. It stems from fear. An alcoholic is deeply frightened of the thought of having to cope with the world sober in a similar way as a person might be afraid to cope with the world unhealthy. They are also afraid of the fierce withdrawal symptoms they will be met with if they separate from alcohol. This is the nature of addiction. Addicts are afraid of what will happen to them if they stop serving their addiction.

Denial of alcoholism is a serious psychological condition and often requires the services of a professional interventionist in order to break. If you need help breaking someone’s denial of their alcoholism, reach out to the alcohol addiction treatment network in your area.

Alcohol Tolerance

tolerance to alcoholThere is some confusion over exactly what a tolerance to alcohol is and where it comes from. Some people mistakenly believe that alcohol tolerance refers to something genetic or some kind of useful ability to resist intoxication, when in fact, alcohol tolerance is not a healthy condition to fall into at all. What alcohol tolerance actually is is the point where a person’s body has become so used to alcohol that it has become reliant on it, as well as becoming resistant to its effects. Alcohol has addictive qualities, but it is also a toxin to the body when consumed too heavily, which means that anyone who has become tolerant to the effects of alcohol has a high level of toxicity within their body.

Alcohol tolerance develops through a process over a period of time rather than developing quickly. Tolerance and substance addiction are not the same thing, however, tolerance is always present in substance addiction. The basis for alcohol tolerance begins when a person discovers that the effects of alcohol are desirable, and they want to keep experiencing these effects whenever they choose. As they pursue these effects over time, they will discover that they need to keep increasing the amount of alcohol they consume in order to continue feeling these effects. This discovery may be subconscious, but the decision to increase alcohol consumption is consistent.

Alcohol is something the human body becomes used to and dependent on overtime. As the body continuously receives more and more alcohol, it will change its chemistry to treat the alcohol like a necessary chemical, which is the truest definition of alcohol tolerance. It is a condition that can only be increasing, decreasing or non-existent, never balanced. Tolerance to alcohol is harmful for the human body and brain. If you or someone you are close to has built a tolerance to alcohol, it is highly advisable that substance abuse treatment is sought right away.

Alcohol Withdrawal

withdrawl from alcoholWhat goes up must come down. This adage plainly represents the state of withdrawing from alcohol. To be an alcoholic is like being in a dream state. There is no denying that waking from it is going to be unpleasant. Alcohol withdrawal is what a person goes through when their body has become dependent on alcohol and then alcohol is eliminated. There is nothing enjoyable about it. Not only will you be forced to take inventory of the ways alcohol has damaged your life, but you will be experiencing unpleasant physical symptoms that can range anywhere from headaches and lethargy to full blown seizures. The worse the alcoholism, the worse the withdrawal symptoms, which give you an accurate understanding of the toxicity level within your body.

Withdrawal symptoms can be minor or they can be serious, depending on how severe the alcoholism is. A person who is only mildly or moderately addicted will experience symptoms such as sweats, headaches, restlessness, difficulty sleeping and nausea. A person who is a severe alcoholic will endure harder symptoms, such as tremors, flu like symptoms and in extreme cases, even seizures and unconsciousness. There are documented cases of people dying due to severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Because these symptoms can pose a health threat to the recovering addict, it is highly recommended by medical and mental health professionals to undergo a medically supervised detoxification when quitting any kind of substance abuse addiction.

The length of time it takes to withdraw from alcohol depends largely on the individual’s personal biochemistry and on the severity of the alcoholism. Generally speaking, the worse the alcoholism, the worse the withdrawal symptoms. Everyone’s body chemistry is different, and some people have deteriorated worse than others due to their alcohol addiction. Their withdrawal symptoms will tend to be worse than others. The average length of withdrawal is a few weeks, but can be as fast as several days or as long as several months.