Alcohol rehab is needed, when one develops alcohol addiction. The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines alcohol addiction as a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.

Signs of Alcohol Addiction that can lead to Alcohol Rehab

dual-diagnosisAlcoholism is the most severe form of problem drinking. Alcoholism is above alcohol abuse, but it also involves another element: physical dependence on alcohol. If you rely on alcohol to function or feel physically compelled to drink, you’re an alcoholic. HelpGuide provides the following breakdown, to help determine if alcoholism has developed.

Tolerance: The 1st major warning sign of alcoholism

Do you have to drink a lot more than you used to in order to get buzzed or to feel relaxed? Can you drink more than other people without getting drunk? These are signs of tolerance, which can be an early warning sign of alcoholism. Tolerance means that, over time, you need more and more alcohol to feel the same effects.

Withdrawal: The 2nd major warning sign of alcoholism

Do you need a drink to steady the shakes in the morning? Drinking to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms is a sign of alcoholism and a huge red flag. When you drink heavily, your body gets used to the alcohol and experiences withdrawal symptoms if it’s taken away. These include:

  • Anxiety or jumpiness
  • Shakiness or trembling
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache

In severe cases, withdrawal from alcohol can also involve hallucinations, confusion, seizures, fever, and agitation. These symptoms can be dangerous, so talk to your doctor if you are a heavy drinker and want to quit.

Other signs and symptoms of alcoholism (alcohol dependence)

  • You’ve lost control over your drinking. You often drink more alcohol than you wanted to, for longer than you intended, or despite telling yourself you wouldn’t.
  • You want to quit drinking, but you can’t. You have a persistent desire to cut down or stop your alcohol use, but your efforts to quit have been unsuccessful.
  • You have given up other activities because of alcohol. You’re spending less time on activities that used to be important to you (hanging out with family and friends, going to the gym, pursuing your hobbies) because of your alcohol use.
  • Alcohol takes up a great deal of your energy and focus. You spend a lot of time drinking, thinking about it, or recovering from its effects. You have few if any interests or social involvements that don’t revolve around drinking.
  • You drink even though you know it’s causing problems. For example, you recognize that your alcohol use is damaging your marriage, making your depression worse, or causing health problems, but you continue to drink anyway.

Signs of Alcohol Abuse: Is Alcohol Rehab needed

PAWSAOften times, when we are in the stages of alcohol abuse, we are often oblivious to our risky behaviors and actions. Participating in alcohol abuse, can be dangerous, but is pushing the boundaries between a heavy drinker and alcoholism. Alcohol rehab, can often times create an opportunity for an individual to assess their alcohol abuse before it turns to alcoholism. WebMD list the following alcohol abuse symptoms.

  • You have problems at work or school because of your drinking, such as being late or not going at all. 
  • You drink in risky situations, such as before or while driving a car.
  • After drinking, you can’t remember what happened while you were drinking (blackouts). 
  • You have legal problems because of your drinking, such as being arrested for harming someone or driving while drunk (intoxicated).
  • You get hurt or you hurt someone else when you are drinking. 
  • You keep drinking even though you have health problems that are caused or made worse by alcohol use, such as liver disease (cirrhosis).
  • Your friends or family members are worried about your drinking.
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