Do You Ever Question Am I An Alcoholic?

The line between binge drinking and alcohol dependency can become very blurred. Alcohol is perceived as a harmless substance that can be regularly consumed due to its normalisation. Although an everyday substance, alcohol is however highly addictive, in fact, the catalyst of many addiction diagnoses.

Alcoholism is a type of compulsive and recurring brain disease. It is a serious and challenging condition to live with, turning normal consumption into an essential, habit-like routine.

As alcoholism can be difficult to recognise, due to such a blurred line, many people will unknowingly be living with some degree of alcohol use disorder. Yet over time, without a diagnosis, without treatment and without management, heavy drinking can turn someone into a high-functioning alcoholic.

Are you asking yourself ‘am I an alcoholic?’, or maybe you are concerned about your drinking habits. If so, here’s some further insight into the disease of alcoholism, its cause and how to overcome it.

What Is An Alcoholic?

An alcoholic is someone who cannot control their drinking habits, usually paired with consistent and/or strong consumption levels. Individuals who are diagnosed as an alcoholic will be encountering the signs and symptoms of alcoholism, a physical and psychological compulsive disease.

If you are wondering ‘am I an alcoholic?’, there are a number of warning signs to consider and to keep in mind. Alcoholism can be caused by a multitude of stimuli and does impact more people than expected. Whilst some alcoholics will be susceptible to addictive and compulsive behaviours, alcoholism is an uncontrollable brain disease.

Warning signs and symptoms of an alcoholic include:

  • Consistent alcohol cravings
  • Difficulties to stop drinking or to reduce intake
  • If consumption is paused or discontinued, alcohol withdrawal symptoms will be encountered
  • Unhealthy drinking habits
  • Secret drinking
  • Withdrawal from everyday life, responsibilities, and prior enjoyments
  • Physical health issues
  • Mental health issues
  • Consistent alcohol abuse, even whilst consequences show

 

What Causes Alcoholism?

There are many different factors that can influence an alcohol use disorder. Exact causation is yet to be found, as alcoholism is an unpredictable condition that transpires differently for every person. Commonalities may be present, yet everything from high stress to genetic vulnerabilities are influential.

Common causes of alcoholism include toxic environments, abusive and pressurising relationships and social settings, trauma and pain, pre-existing mental health issues, money worries, sleep problems, chronic stress, and taught behaviours. Causes are categorised under environmental, social, mental, and physical stimuli.

For an alcoholic, alcohol consumption will also offer pleasure and reward, as it taps into the reward circuit and relaxes the body. Such benefits are recognised as addictive, releasing happy chemicals in the brain. This association can also cause the ongoing churn of alcohol consumption, difficult to break once the body and brain become accustomed.

As causes can vary across a wide scale, if you are worried about your heavy drinking, or believe that a loved one may be an alcoholic, a clinical assessment will be recommended.

 

What Is The Difference Between Casual Drinking And Alcohol Abuse?

Casual drinking is part and parcel of life for most people. It reflects the celebratory drinks, the few glasses of wine with dinner, and those beers to end off the week. With casual in mind, it is a choice rather than a necessity.

Alcohol abuse, also known as alcoholism, is where such choice has now varnished, instead of being controlled by intense cravings and compulsive feelings. Alcoholism is where consumption becomes a habit, where a cycle is formed and continues to follow a pattern, and where alcohol consumption sustains even through consequence.

The greatest difference is the level of control that’s found. For an alcoholic, control is minimal, instead driven by the physical and psychological associations that have been made through the cycle. With a lack of control, cutting off exposure or stopping drinking altogether can be testing.

 

Impact Of Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a highly impactful disease. It can impact every aspect of life for an alcoholic and their loved ones. Common impacts of alcohol abuse and alcoholism include:

  • Physical health problems, such as liver disease and increased risks of cancer
  • Financial worries, risks of homelessness and crime
  • Relationship problems, stress, and extensive worries for loved ones
  • Risks of co-existing disorders, harder to treat and manage
  • Unemployment and a damaged career
  • Stigmatisation and risks of judgement
  • Risks of alcohol withdrawal syndrome, including side effects of delirium tremens
  • Long-term impairments and life-limiting side effects
  • Risks of further drug abuse and compulsive behaviours

Through treatment, rehabilitation and an interventive effort, some of the impacts of alcoholism can be worked through and reversed. Yet in some instances, some health and wellbeing impacts can be difficult to revert, due to the toxicity and damaging makeup of alcohol.

 

Treatment For Alcoholism

Without treatment, an alcoholic will unfortunately continue to lead a life controlled and engulfed by alcohol, its effects, and the disease of alcoholism. With treatment, alcoholism can however be worked through and managed for the future.

Alcohol addiction treatments will focus on eliminating alcohol as a physical influence, whilst devaluing its psychological association. Alcohol detox will be necessary, best completed through a medically assisted process.

Therapy will also be recommended, available in numerous forms to restore the mind and to promote healthy coping strategies. The likes of cognitive behavioural therapy and dialectical behavioural therapy will underpin our sessions.

Alcoholism can be treated with withdrawal medications, some of which support the detox phase and others that support long-term recovery and relapse prevention. Yet at Asana Lodge, we opt for holistic therapies and harmless techniques which will improve health and wellbeing. The likes of art workshops and satori chair therapy will be incorporated.

For an alcoholic to remain clean, relapse prevention planning and aftercare will also work to treat alcoholism. Recovery is a form of management, by managing personal triggers, relapse risks and alcohol exposure. A range of tools and techniques will be communicated to avoid future binge drinking or any form of alcohol consumption. Alcoholics Anonymous and 12-step programmes will be accessible and encouraged for uptake.

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How Asana Lodge Can Help You

If you are still asking yourself ‘am I an alcoholic?’ or believe that you may be struggling with an alcohol dependency, at Asana Lodge, we can help you. Offering residential rehab programmes, we deliver leading treatments, therapies, and recovery programmes, tailored to treat alcoholism.

Following a holistic approach, we can help you through alcohol detoxification and rehabilitation, whilst supporting you through sobriety.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do if I am worried about my drinking?

If you are worried about your drinking, you can reach out for a free and confidential chat here at Asana Lodge. Our admissions team is equipped to offer guidance, listen to your needs, and also assess your relationship with alcohol.

It can be difficult to recognise alcoholism, especially in oneself. We’re here to help you understand your position with alcohol and whether you’ll benefit from treatment.

How can Alcohol rehab help me with my alcohol addiction?

Our rehab clinic can help you by offering a range of treatments, therapies, and supportive resources which motivate recovery. Available to complete on an inpatient basis, you can check into our rehab facility for a private recovery process.

Treatments will help you withdraw from alcohol, restore, and rebuild from its impacts, learn to live without it, and set a foundation for sobriety. Alcohol rehabilitation is a comprehensive process, offering the necessary steps to recover.

How do I choose the best Inpatient rehab for my addiction?

Whilst choosing an inpatient rehab clinic, you should always prioritise your needs. Be aware of your budget, your availability, and your recovery goals. Consider your location, your wellbeing and whether you require additional support for your health.

By prioritising your needs, you’ll be equipped to find a suitable and reputable rehab clinic. Doing your research will be imperative, possible by reaching out and gauging whether your needs can be accommodated.

We can provide further information on our rehab offering here at Asana Lodge to help you with your selection.


John Gillen - Author - Last Updated: 4 March 2022

John has travelled extensively around the world, culminating in 19 years’ experience looking at different models. He is the European pioneer of Nad+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) treatment to Europe in 2010; and recently back from the USA bringing state of the art Virtual Reality Relapse Prevention and stress reduction therapy. his passion extends to other metabolic disturbances and neurodegenerative diseases.

The journey continues, in recent times john has travelled to Russia to study and research into a new therapy photobiomudulation or systemic laser therapy working with Nad+ scientists and the very best of the medical profession in the UK and the USA, together with Nadcell, Bionad Clinics own select Doctors, nurses, dieticians and therapists, Johns’ passion continues to endeavour to bring to the UK and Europe new developments with Nad+ therapy in preventive and restorative medicine and Wellness. In 2017 John Gillen was made a visiting Professor at the John Naisbitt university in Belgrade Serbia.

Dr Alexander Lapa (Psychiatrist)

Dr Alexander Lapa (Psychiatrist) - Clinical Reviewer - Last Reviewed:

MBBS, PG Dip Clin Ed, OA Dip CBT, OA Dip Psychology, SCOPE Certified

Dr Lapa graduated in Medicine in 2000 and since this time has accrued much experience working in the widest range of psychiatric settings with differing illness presentations and backgrounds in inpatient, community and secure settings. This has been aligned to continuation of professional development at postgraduate level in clinical research which has been very closely related to the everyday clinical practice conducted by this practitioner as a NHS and Private Psychiatrist.
He is fully indemnified by the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS) and MIAB Expert Insurance for Psychiatric and Private Medical practice. He is fully registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) in the UK with a licence to practice.

Dr Lapa is approved under Section 12(2) of the Mental Health Act (1983)

Member of Independent Doctors Federation (IDF), British Association for Psychopharmacology (BMA) and The Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO)

Dr Lapa’s extensive experience has also concentrated on the following areas of clinical practice:
– Assessment, Diagnosis and Pharmacological Treatment for Adults with ADHD.
– Drug and Alcohol Dependency and maintaining abstinence and continued recovery
– Intravenous and Intramuscular Vitamin and Mineral Infusion Therapy
– Dietary and Weight Management and thorough care from assessment to treatment to end goals and maintenance
– Aesthetic Practice and Procedures