Recovering from addiction is a difficult process. Millions of Americans are suffering each day from addiction to dangerous substances like drugs and alcohol. Alcoholism leads to liver failure, heart disease, and death. Addiction can make you lose your job, tear apart your family, or worse.
Everyone is at risk to fall victim to addiction. Those who go through trauma or suffer from a mental disorder are even more at risk. This is not to say that regular people like you and me cannot suffer from addiction. Everyone around you is fighting their own battle, you just may not be aware of it.
There is no such a thing as an ideal high-functioning alcoholic. High functioning alcoholics may still be able to go to work and school while drinking, but this does not mean their drinking is not dangerous. People who fall under this category may still drink during the early morning or late at night. Keep an eye out on your loved ones and make sure you can recognize the signs and symptoms of alcoholism.
You may be an alcoholic if you exhibit these symptoms:
- They may seem restless or anxious when you are around them. This is because their body is telling them to get more of that dangerous substance and they are uncomfortable without it.
- Alcohol releases chemicals in your brain to make you happy. But this effect is short lasting. Without the help of alcohol, addicts may become upset and depressed.
- They may lash out at you due to being angry about not having the substance at the moment. Addicts also often get angry when provoked about the possibility that they may have a problem.
They may also have physical symptoms such as dark, swollen eyes from lack of sleep, or tremors due to withdrawal.
Some former addicts will argue that the hardest part about getting sober is the withdrawal and detox period. Some say it is the part where you have to stay sober and prevent a relapse that is the hardest. What most recovering addicts can agree on is that both parts of the recovery process are painful, emotional, and difficult.
Sometimes, we are not equipped to handle a loved one’s addiction on our own. Often families will have an intervention for their loved one if they feel they are still in the early stages where there is a possibility of talking things out. If this is your course of action, your loved one will most likely have to enroll in some type of outpatient treatment program, rehab, or learn more about joining support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
Alcohol abuse, aggression and the benefits of AA
Alcoholics Anonymous has been known to completely turn lives around. Through the power of group therapy and a 12 step program, addicts can learn ways to combat their bad habits and make up for any damage they may have already caused to themselves and others.
When a person spends a significant amount of their life devoted to alcohol, there are some negative effects that have taken place in his or her body that will never be able to be reversed. I have many friends who exhibit battle scars of all shapes and sizes on just about any body part you can think of. People fall in ditches, trip down the stairs, run into walls, punch inanimate objects, and so much more when they are under the influence.
Alcohol also causes many people to act extremely aggressive. At my college, there is at least two large brawls a night in town between pretty large groups of guys. With the shoving, spilling, and yelling from drunk people, it’s no wonder so many people get pushed past their breaking point. Drinking causes fights. There is no question about it. People fight with their significant others, with people OVER their significant others, and with people who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. My roommate and best friend was just minding her own business at the bar one night when she was launched across the room into a wall just because she was standing too close to a fight.
You know that you can get injured. You can get arrested. You can get killed. Drinking too much causes an undue burden on almost everyone involved. Alcoholism and causal drinking is a very thin line to walk on, but luckily there are many resources available for those who want to get help.
The 12 step program emphasizes admitting that one has a problem and putting trust in a higher power. Some people are not religious, but still choose to use the 12 step program. This is completely okay, and there has been no proof that it works any less well for those who do not have a religious background.
On the 12 step journey, addicts are asked to make amends. This is another key part of fixing what was broken. Addicts need to ask themselves, who have they hurt from their drinking? It could be a child, or parent, or spouse. Recovering addicts sometimes will draft letters to the people they have hurt and read it to them. Making amends and wronging past rights is a key part of recovery.
Turning to an alcohol rehab program
Sometimes an addict’s habit has taken them down to the lowest point in their lives. Sometimes outpatient programs and Alcoholics Anonymous is not enough to help an addict. That is completely fine. Rehab care centers can provide a suffering individual with the help they so very need. Facilities such as these can offer round the clock care and support.