Understanding Alcohol Addiction: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

Going out with friends for a few drinks after work or having a drink to relax before bed are behaviors that most Americans consider perfectly normal. Because using alcohol is culturally acceptable, you may not realize when someone close to you is struggling with a drinking problem. Becoming educated about the symptoms and causes of alcoholism will help you to recognize when a loved one needs addiction counseling or other interventions.

Signs Someone Needs Addiction Counseling

If you are uncertain whether the situation is serious enough to require an intervention, make note of how your loved one acts in the presence of alcohol. People experiencing alcohol use disorder may exhibit some of the following behaviors:

  • Spending a large percentage of time each week drinking, planning to drink, and recovering from drinking too much
  • Having several beers or cocktails before they feel any effects
  • Missing work or family obligations because of alcohol
  • Drinking to avoid unpleasant sensations such as sweating or shaking
  • Engaging in excessive risk-taking behavior while under the influence of alcohol

Causes of Alcohol Addiction

No one knows for certain why some people can drink moderately while others develop an addiction to alcohol. However, mental health professionals who specialize in addictions have identified certain characteristics that many people with alcohol dependence problems share. These risk factors include the following:

  • Starting to drink early in life
  • Drinking on a regular basis for an extended period of time
  • Experiencing depression or other mental health issues
  • Having family members with alcohol addictions
  • Undergoing gastric bypass or other weight-loss surgery

Options for Addiction Counseling

Some people do not seek help for a loved one because they believe he or she would never agree to a traditional twelve-step program or a group counseling session. However, modern treatment options include non-religious recovery plans and individual therapy sessions. If you suspect a problem with alcohol, contact Diebold Behavioral Health right away to discuss how our addiction counseling can offer hope to your loved one.

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