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When Alcohol Abuse Turns to Addiction

Mar 18, 2008
There are ongoing misconceptions about what level of drinking is considered abuse. Alcohol, being one of the most intoxicating and available legal drugs, has diluted general conceptions about where the line is drawn and how much is too much.

Since alcohol is in so many social gathering places, its abuse cycle in most cultures usually starts as an occasional social drinking session that soon elevates. Some start out in college with binge drinking simply as something to do or a way of initiation or an expression of freedom. Eventually this can initiate them into an abusive system where alcohol addiction treatment needs to be administered.

Some of the signs of an abuse pattern are general shirking of usual responsibilities and following through with risky behaviors. For example, you may see occasions where the abuser is driving under the influence, is putting themselves or others in danger, and seeking social situations just because alcohol will be present.

One common scene that most people don't believe is the party binge drinker. The gravity of the scene is usually taken lightly by most simply because they think that going without alcohol all week until the weekend makes is okay and safely gauged. The logic is not quite there, since binge drinking is not unlike having drinks every day within that week because of the sheer volume consumed in that weekend session.

Transition to Dependence

The dependence stage is where alcohol grips its abuser on a cellular level. Alcohol addiction treatment is imperative at this stage. If there is no help here, it's a matter of time before a death occurs to the abuser or someone in his wake. Over 40 percent of car crashes and 31 percent of homicides involve someone intoxicated by alcohol.

The signs where dependence gains a foothold on the drinker are such events as:

- Drinking at any hour of the day (mornings especially)
- Drinking a large quantities of alcohol and not appearing drunk
- Completely forgetting conversations and events (blackouts)
- Loss of interest in activities and hobbies that were once enjoyed

12-Step Therapy

The 12-Step therapy program is probably the most common alcohol addiction treatment. It was made popular by Alcoholics Anonymous, who has been using the 12-Step program since their founding. It is used often and asks the abuser to devote to a higher power. However, there are other modern-day programs that are secularized and have motivational techniques other than deity reverence.

Self motivation is one thing, but a person at the dependence stage should usually see a doctor to help them heal and detoxify internally. A good deal in the pharmaceutical field has been made available to alcoholics. New medicines have seen increasing success in staving off alcohol cravings. However, family involvement and traditional group help is still the biggest facet in therapy today.
About the Author
Lohaga (http://www.journeyrecoverycenters.com) offers alcohol addiction treatment and individual care for people who need help with their dependence. The care centers are back dropped within the mountains of the Wasatch front and Sundance resort in Utah. The author, Art Gib, is a freelance writer.
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