Substance Use

Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction

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Treating Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction with Alcohol Detox

Many people don’t realize it, but alcohol abuse still reigns as the number one addiction in the United States. Another little-known fact is that alcohol abuse is most common in males between 15 and 25. Given the number of serious consequences of its misuse, this substance can and does ruin lives daily, even in your community. Symptoms of alcohol addiction are often present in people who misuse alcohol, but outward signs are more noticeable.

Some early signs of alcohol addiction may include:

  • Lying about or hiding the drinking
  • Drinking to relax or feel better
  • Being unable to stop
  • Drinking in risky situations
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • A constant need to use antacids or acid reducers
  • Trouble in relationships
  • Being able to drink more than previously (tolerance)
  • Going through withdrawals
  • Trying to quit or cut down but not succeeding
  • Drinking to “blackout”
  • Legal issues like DUIs 

Have you noticed any of the above signs or symptoms of alcohol addiction in your drinking or someone you love? It might be a helpful indication that there is a problem at hand. Zinnia Healing’s alcoholism treatment program can help.

Call us at (855) 430-9439, and we can show you just how straightforward and encouraging our intake process is. Regain your life. Regain your freedom—with Zinnia Healing.

What Are the Complications of Alcohol Addiction?

The abuse of alcoholic beverages can be incredibly insidious. Often, people don’t want to admit they have a problem, even though it seems clear to everyone around them. Also, because alcohol is legal, the complication of availability presents itself at every party, club, or social gathering.

Complications and symptoms of alcohol addiction abound. Alcohol taken in excess is highly toxic to the human body, affecting nearly every primary system and organ. Withdrawal from alcohol can also be painful and deadly. Significant complications like acute pancreatitis, esophageal cancer, or stomach cancer sometimes develop more quickly than a person realizes. That’s not even considering all the trouble a person experiences when trying to drive or complete another task requiring concentration. The latter two can cause serious harm.

If it doesn’t kill you, withdrawal has other unpleasant side effects, such as tremors, nausea, anxiety, depression, sweating, headache, and difficulty sleeping (lasting several weeks or even months).

Discover the Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction

One in 10 American children lives in a home with at least one alcoholic parent, and more than 17 million people over 18 struggle with an alcohol use disorder. In small quantities, alcohol causes no adverse effects. However, if consumed in excess over an extended period, it is considered a poison. At this quantity, alcohol will cause severe and fatal health consequences. This article will explore the early signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction and its adverse effects on the liver, esophagus, and spleen.

Symptoms of alcohol addiction:

  • Engaging in risky behavior after drinking—e.g., drunk driving, getting into fights or trouble with law enforcement
  • Instability with work and school performance
  • Missing important events
  • Experiencing financial difficulties
  • Strain on relationships
  • Cravings for alcohol and building up a tolerance
  • Continuing to use alcohol despite any negative consequences

Zinnia Healing’s clinically supervised alcohol detox center and alcohol rehab can help you regain a life free from the consequences of alcohol. And because our caring and understanding intake experts are available at all hours, you can call us anytime at (855) 430-9439. Rediscover yourself at Zinnia Healing. Get your life back and discover just how great life in recovery can be.

What Is Alcohol Withdrawal, and Is It Dangerous?

Alcohol withdrawal occurs when a person with a history of alcohol abuse suddenly stops drinking. This person will experience uncomfortable symptoms like trembling, anxiety, and rapid heart rate. 

Alcohol induces a sedation-like relaxation. People who continuously drink are constantly exposed to this effect. When a person withdraws from alcohol, the brain compensates by releasing chemicals like serotonin to provide this effect. However, when a person withdraws from alcohol suddenly, the brain overcompensates, causing delirium tremens, known as DTs.

Delirium tremens causes the brain to enter a state of confusion. During this confusion, the brain cannot readjust its chemistry. This leads to problems with circulation and breathing. Left unattended, it could lead to unpredictable complications resulting in a heart attack or stroke.

What Are the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

Alcohol withdrawals can start as early as a few hours after the last drink. Usually, withdrawal symptoms will peak between 24 and 48 hours after cessation. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may overlap with symptoms of alcohol addiction.

Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Shaking and trembling
  • Agitation
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Delirium tremens

Delirium tremens is rare but potentially fatal. Signs can include disorientation, high blood pressure, seizure, coma, and death.

Prolonged side effects of withdrawal occur in some cases. These can include memory problems, delayed reflexes, depression, and anxiety and can last for many years.

In excess, alcohol may cause severe side effects called alcohol poisoning. Signs may include:

  • Confusion, stupor, or coma
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slow or irregular breathing
  • Low body temperature, bluish skin tone, or paleness

What Is Alcohol Poisoning?

Alcohol poisoning begins with symptoms of alcohol addiction before progressing to serious complications. Alcohol overdose, also known as alcohol poisoning, is a deadly complication of drinking large amounts of alcohol. When you drink too much, too fast, and in too short a period, your body cannot remove the excess alcohol from your bloodstream.

People who abuse alcohol and cannot obtain it often substitute by drinking household products containing alcohol. These products can also induce alcohol poisoning.

Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Confusion
  • Seizure
  • Slow breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blue-tinged skin
  • Low body temperature
  • Fainting or losing consciousness

Alcohol poisoning is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate attention. If you suspect someone of having alcohol poisoning, call 911 and provide as much information as possible.

If the person is vomiting, sit them up straight to prevent them from choking on their vomit. This could cause asphyxiation leading to hypoxia or low blood oxygen. 

Causes of Blood Alcohol Poisoning

There are many types of alcohol. The one most associated with blood poisoning is ethyl. Ethyl alcohol is in alcoholic drinks and certain household products such as mouthwash and cooking extracts. Isopropyl alcohol, which is contained in beauty products and rubbing alcohol, as well as methanol, can cause other forms of toxic poisoning and alcohol poisoning.

You are more likely to develop alcohol poisoning if you binge drink. This is because binge drinking follows a pattern of drinking heavily in a short amount of time. For women, this means consuming at least four drinks within two hours, and for men, it is five drinks within two hours.

What makes alcohol poisoning so dangerous is that it continues to release into your bloodstream. Even after a person has passed out from alcohol poisoning, blood alcohol levels continue to rise. Your size and weight, health, and tolerance levels are just a few considerations when calculating your risk of alcohol poisoning.

Complications of Alcohol Poisoning

The symptoms of alcohol poisoning can quickly lead to severe complications. It first begins with symptoms of alcohol addiction, then escalates to complications, such as:

  • Choking
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures
  • Severe dehydration
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Hypothermia
  • Brain damage
  • Death

Alcohol poisoning can cause asphyxiation and death if left untreated. A person may choke on their vomit or become so dehydrated they may experience a seizure. Acute alcohol poisoning can also cause permanent brain damage. According to the National Institutes of Health, alcohol abuse is the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

If alcohol poisoning is suspected, call 911.

What Are the Risks of Liver Disease?

Chronic alcohol abuse puts undue stress on the liver. The liver acts as a filter, cleaning the blood of toxins or waste, and alcohol is a blood toxin. Alcoholism can cause three types of liver disease:

Fatty Liver

Chronic alcoholism can lead to alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD). This is a severe form of liver disease that typically happens in people who drink excessively and over a long period. The risk factors for developing fatty liver disease increase in those who are obese, are heavy drinkers, and have specific genetic mutations. Women are more likely to develop alcoholic fatty liver disease than men for reasons unknown. However, both men and women share the same symptoms and complications.

Most people who have alcoholic fatty liver disease are not aware that they have the condition. They will go years with no symptoms but soon develop unexplained fatigue and pain in their abdomen. If treated in a reasonable amount of time, alcoholic fatty liver disease is reversible. Progressive forms of alcoholic fatty liver disease are alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that 61% of cases pertaining to end-stage liver disease in Western countries are associated with alcoholism.

The liver can heal itself from this condition if the person quits drinking.

Alcoholic Hepatitis

Alcoholic hepatitis is the progression of untreated alcoholic fatty liver disease. This condition occurs when the liver is chronically inflamed, leading to liver cell death. In addition to symptoms of alcohol addiction, alcoholic hepatitis symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Inability to eat
  • General malaise
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Signs of jaundice, such as yellowing of the eyes
  • Unexplained fatigue and weakness
  • Fever

Alcoholic hepatitis isn’t an overnight process. It takes many years of continuous drinking to develop this condition. Alcoholic hepatitis can develop immediately in severe cases, causing liver failure and death. However, with chronic alcoholic hepatitis, the damage can be reversed if the person quits drinking.

Cirrhosis

By this stage, a person will have experienced life-altering complications and chronic symptoms of alcohol addiction. The progression of alcoholic hepatitis is cirrhosis of the liver. This condition is marked by advanced scarring and fibrosis of the liver. Any time your liver is injured, it develops scar tissue. Excessive alcohol use damages the liver, constantly creating more scar tissue.

Excessive scar tissue makes the liver work harder, though it cannot function properly. This stage is called decomposed cirrhosis, and it is life-threatening. Unfortunately, cirrhosis damage cannot be reversed in most cases. But if a person stops drinking early enough, they can prevent further organ damage.

Symptoms of cirrhosis include:

  • Unexplained bruising or bleeding
  • Fatigue 
  • Nausea
  • Water retention or swelling in your legs or feet
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Itchy rashes or itchy skin
  • Symptoms of jaundice
  • Red palms
  • Distended abdomen

Complications of cirrhosis include:

  • Increased pressure in the vein supplying blood to your liver
  • An enlarged spleen
  • Increased infections that are difficult to fight
  • Malnutrition
  • Bone disease
  • Liver cancer

Liver cirrhosis is a potentially fatal disease, but sometimes the damage can be reversed with treatment and cessation of alcohol use.

A person suspected of having liver cirrhosis will undergo several laboratory and imaging tests for confirmation. In some cases, a doctor will need a biopsy to determine the extent of damage and rule out liver cancer complications.

Why Is Alcohol Likely To Be Abused?

Alcohol is legal, and it also plays a massive part in many cultural milestones. Society reinforces its consumption through marketing for important events, television, and advertising.

Alcohol’s presence is everywhere throughout the country, making it extremely easy to obtain. Furthermore, it is harder for someone to quit because it is so widely available. With street drugs like heroin, a user must actively seek out the drug and take higher risks to acquire it. Alcohol, on the other hand, can be obtained right down the street at a convenience store or shopping center. Additionally, it is also cheaper than addictive drugs like cocaine.

Compared to other drugs, alcohol is incredibly addictive, and the chances of relapse are high. Worse yet, the withdrawal symptoms from alcohol are more severe than from other addictive drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and nicotine. To reduce the severity of withdrawal, you should seek help the moment symptoms of alcohol addiction are apparent.

Getting Treatment for Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction

Although alcohol is a highly addictive and deadly substance, with treatment and support, many users can go on to make a full recovery. Since liver damage can be severe and irreversible in some tragic cases, people experiencing symptoms of alcohol addiction must get the help they need. With an ongoing maintenance plan and scheduled therapy sessions, people can go on to live a life free from alcoholism and its dangerous and painful health consequences.

If you or someone you know is struggling with symptoms of alcohol addiction, you are not alone. Unfortunately, you might find it hard to stop or become ill when going through unsupervised withdrawal. Zinnia Healing can help. We offer multiple programs for alcoholism and alcohol abuse. Reach out to a team member to discuss your concerns at (855) 430-9439.