Alcohol becomes addictive just like drugs, and may cause issues in your professional and personal life. Suppose you find yourself pouring a glass or two of wine every day after work or drinking more than a few beers every night. In that case, you may be suffering from alcohol addiction.
The team at Carolina Wellness Psychiatry in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, are experts in psychiatry and addiction. Dr. Elizabeth Bullard and Dr. Allison Foroobar are two expert psychiatrists who work with Dr. Sarah Gilbert, our in-house psychologist.
When you think you're dealing with alcohol addiction and are ready to turn your life around, we can help with effective treatments and counseling.
What is alcohol addiction?
Alcohol addiction is a progressive disease that changes your brain chemistry over time. If you need to rely on drinking alcohol and can’t stay sober for long periods, you may have an addiction.
Not all alcohol addictions look the same, though. You may need to drink every single day, increasing the amount you consume over time to achieve the same “high.” Another person may have periods of sobriety and then binge drink for days or weeks.
Just because you drink every day doesn't mean you're addicted to alcohol. If you enjoy a glass of wine with dinner every night but can go without it if you want to, you may not have an addiction.
Addiction is the need for alcohol to sustain feelings and avoid withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms occur when you try to quit and include shakiness, sweating, nausea, or dry heaving. You may also experience intense cravings for alcohol, since your body’s become used to its presence.
Alcohol addiction can take over your life. You may avoid family and friends because you’re drinking or miss work because of hangovers or binge drinking.
Without expert treatment, the disease often progresses, and you'll need more and more alcohol to satisfy your need.
Recognizing the signs of an addiction
The problematic aspect of alcohol addiction is it's often hard to recognize, as alcohol is socially accepted all over the world. It's usually the star at social gatherings and is often the center of weddings and birthdays.
However, alcohol addiction is a real issue for many people. If you're drinking every day and feel like it's taking over your life, you’re probably addicted. Other signs of alcohol addiction you should be aware of include the following:
- Increasing the amount you drink
- Drinking more frequently
- Avoiding situations without alcohol
- Drinking in the morning or while at work
- Hiding alcohol or hiding out to drink
- Depending on alcohol to get you through the day
- Developing depression or emotional problems
It’s important to recognize the signs of an alcohol addiction early, as the longer you're addicted to alcohol, the more it takes hold of your life and damages relationships.
As soon as you recognize you have a problem, it's vital to seek help as quickly as possible. Our team helps you get your life back on track with addiction counseling and treatment.
How is alcohol addiction treated?
As soon as you realize you have a problem with alcohol, seek help from our team of specialists. Treatment isn't easy, but with the right tools, you can reach sobriety and stay there.
It's important to understand that alcohol addiction isn't a curable disease. You can become sober, but there's always a risk of relapsing. Treatment is a life-long commitment to minimizing your chances of relapse through lifestyle changes and counseling.
We provide you with a thorough evaluation, where we ask about your drinking habits, how much you drink, how frequently, and what symptoms you experience. We then formulate a treatment plan based on your specific needs.
Treatment for alcohol addiction includes detox on an inpatient or outpatient basis, counseling, and sometimes medications to keep you from drinking. The length of time you need to detox depends on the severity of your disease.
We're with you every step of your addiction treatment, providing personalized counseling and tools to understand and overcome your addiction.
If you need help overcoming your alcohol addiction, call our office at 919-446-3232. You can also request a consultation using our online booking tool.