Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol use disorder affects more than 15 million people throughout the United States, making it one of the most common diseases in the country. Individuals that struggle with alcohol use disorder often display different signs of their use over the period of time that their alcohol use is occurring. When those symptoms begin to multiply, it is indicative that the alcohol use disorder is becoming more severe.

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What to Look For

Depending on how often an individual is abusing alcohol, how much of it he or she is consuming, and at what pace the use is occurring, each individual with alcohol use disorder can display his or her own set of symptoms unique to his or her relationship with alcohol.   Some of the most common symptoms of alcohol use disorder can include the following:

  • Secretive behaviors surrounding drinking (such as drinking alone)
  • Being unable to stop drinking once started
  • Making excuses to keep drinking
  • Changes in behaviors
  • Mood swings
  • Increased irritability and agitation
  • No longer upholding responsibilities at home or work
  • Being hungover often/feeling hungover when not
  • Decrease in personal hygiene
  • Sleeping problems
  • Changes in appetite

These are merely just some of the signs that one can display when struggling with an alcohol use disorder.

Diagnostic Criteria for Alcohol Use Disorder

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), two of the following symptoms occurring within a 12-month period of time is indicative of alcohol use disorder:

  • Alcohol is frequently consumed in larger amounts or over a longer period of time than intended
  • There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful effort to cut down or control drinking
  • A significant amount of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain or use alcohol or recover from its effects
  • Craving alcohol use
  • Recurrent drinking resulting in failure to fulfill major obligations or responsibilities at work or home
  • Continued drinking despite chronic or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused by drinking
  • Social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or decreased due to alcohol use
  • Recurrent alcohol use in situations where it is physically dangerous
  • Alcohol use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurring psychological problem that is either caused or exacerbated by drinking
  • Withdrawal, as defined by either a,) the characteristic withdrawal syndrome for alcohol or b) alcohol (or relatively close substance, such as a benzodiazepine) is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms
  • Tolerance, as defined by either a,) a need for markedly increased amounts of alcohol to achieve intoxication or desired effect or b) a markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of alcohol

When an individual is diagnosable for alcohol use disorder, the next step is to reach out for professional help. Addiction treatment can immediately work to prevent further repercussions and eliminate the risk of overdose, as well as focus on the underlying issues related to a patient’s alcohol use disorder. And, while some people have been successful at stopping alcohol abuse cold turkey, the majority of people require professional help, starting with detox, such as that offered at JourneyPure.

How We Treat Alcohol Use Disorder

At JourneyPure, we offer a number of different programming options for those who are looking to recover from alcohol use disorder, including detox, residential treatment, intensive outpatient programming, and outpatient treatment. When an individual comes to us for care, we first provide him or her with a full assessment and evaluation so that we can best understand what his or her treatment needs are. Once we place the patient in a program that is best for him or her, we can begin to implement his or her individualized treatment plan.

When a patient is physically dependent on alcohol, we place him or her in detox so that he or she can be monitored on an around-the-clock basis. This is extremely important because those who need to detox can suffer extreme symptoms that can cost them their lives if they are not receiving the appropriate treatment. At JourneyPure, we have an experienced medical team that oversees all treatment of all patients so that they can get stable and move into the next phase of their treatment.

Each patient has different treatment needs, however, all patients will participate in individual therapy and group therapy. Each one of these therapies is designed to help the patient get to the root of the cause of addiction, address the issues that have kept him or her actively using, and begin developing new ways to overcome challenges and remain sober. Individual therapy allows for this growth in a private setting where just the patient and one of our compassionate therapists to work together, while group therapy occurs in the company of other patients. Both therapies have proven to complement each other well, which is why we utilize them as the foundation of our therapeutic services.

Additionally, patients can engage in more specific therapies, such as eye movements desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and experiential therapy.

During a patient’s treatment, he or she will also be prescribed any medications that can help his or her physical and/or psychological wellbeing. It is common for those in recovery from alcohol use disorder to be prescribed naltrexone, which is effective in decreasing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. When medication and therapy are combined, patients can get on track towards establishing a solid recovery.

The JourneyPure Difference

At JourneyPure, we dedicate ourselves to the betterment of our patients. With a holistic approach to care, we do not just treat the physical symptoms of addiction, rather the psychological, emotional, and spiritual symptoms as well.

If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol use disorder, contact us right now. We can develop a treatment plan that can address the most pressing issues in ways that bring mental and emotional clarity. We will work with you or your loved one to establish attainable treatment goals and a strong support system, as well as improve upon the relationships within you or your loved one’s lives.

Do not wait any longer. Reach out to JourneyPure right now. We can help.

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