Alcohol is a drink that causes intoxication through a chemical reaction in the body and depression symptoms. Harmful use of alcohol is responsible for more than 3 million deaths each year worldwide.
Understanding alcohol addiction and the causes of alcoholism helps alleviate the struggles so many face by pointing us toward the right help: alcohol rehab Florida.
While not all alcohol use is harmful, alcohol has a high risk for abuse and huge potential to lead to alcoholism and other conditions. Let’s discuss what alcohol is, how it affects the human body, and the dangers of excessive alcohol use.
What is Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse?
Alcohol is a drink made by fermenting with sugar which can be made in a number of different ways and flavors. Alcohol contains ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol, which is responsible for its sedative and intoxicating effects. If you see alcohol referred to as ethanol in some medical functions or inpatient treatment literature, this is why.
Ethanol sedates and depresses body functions, causing intoxication. When you consume ethanol, it enters the bloodstream and causes a chemical reaction in the brain. This reaction creates a euphoric buzz: intoxication.
Alcohol is a drug. Though alcohol remains legal by the DEA scheduled drugs list, it causes impairment and limits our ability to function properly. Because alcohol causes impairment, it reduces reaction time and makes thinking difficult. For this alone, laws prohibit operating machinery and driving while under the influence of alcohol.
Alcohol has such strong sedative effects. It should be treated as a serious drug, especially for those who struggle with safe consumption due to an alcohol use disorder (AUD).
Alcohol helps cause countless car accidents and work-related injuries each year—increasing the risk of almost any activity without mentioning depression symptoms, poisoning and overdose.
That’s why professionals, doctors, and the National Institute on Alcohol define alcoholism and alcohol addiction as having three parts. They say alcoholism is “chronic relapsing disorder associated with compulsive alcohol drinking, the loss of control over intake, and the emergence of a negative emotional state when alcohol is no longer available.”
Because alcoholism has risen, alcohol rehab facilities, treatment services, and the Institute on Alcohol Abuse have increased awareness and access for these populations. Here, in South Florida, The Recovery Team accepts and admits Americans from all over the country for unique, personal treatment of their mental and medical concerns.
Common Types of Alcohol
Alcohol comes in many different forms. The type is dependent on the alcohol content in the specific drink, and it is usually referred to as “proof.” The proof of alcohol is a percentage used to measure alcohol content. The total alcohol content of the beverage is half its proof. (For example, an 80 proof beverage is 40 percent alcohol by volume.)
Wine and beer are some of the most common types of alcohol and are usually considered to be less intoxicating. Beer usually has between two and seven percent alcohol, while wine has slightly more with eight to 20 percent alcohol.
Hard liquor (as its name suggests) is more powerful. Some hard liquors contain as much as 60 percent alcohol. Examples of hard alcohol include scotch, gin, whiskey, rum, vodka, and tequila.
The alcohol percentage in each drink dictates how much can be consumed before intoxication. For example, one shot of hard liquor is one ounce of liquid, yet it contains the same amount of alcohol as 12 ounces of beer.
The Effects of Alcohol Can Cause Depression Symptoms & More
Alcohol causes impairment. It also causes a number of other changes in behavior and mood to be finally treated by a drug and alcohol rehab or addiction treatment center. It can cause inability to concentrate, confusion, slurred speech, and irritability. Binge drinking frequently causes these effects.
Binge drinking describes someone taking multiple drinks in rapid succession. This causes impairment quickly, bringing swift confusion, slurring, and high-risk behavior. Binge drinking frequently leads to long-term alcoholism and addiction to alcohol.
Signs of Excessive Alcohol Use, Addiction, or Abuse
Many people are able to drink socially and responsibly. However, alcohol poses a high propensity for addiction and abuse. As people begin to drink regularly, they build a tolerance to alcohol, demanding more of it to achieve the same effects.
You may struggle to identify an alcohol problem. Some people who have an alcohol use disorder are able to function normally—so long as they are able to continue drinking. Signs of excessive use of alcohol are constantly being drunk, incoherent, or tired.
When people who are addicted to alcohol stop drinking, they usually show signs of withdrawal. They will also exhibit other behaviors like poor decision-making, slurred speech, and slowed response time. Excessive use of alcohol will also lead to unconsciousness or blackouts in some cases.
Dangers of Alcohol
Alcohol use can be very dangerous. The dangers of extended alcohol use or alcoholism are only increased by its availability everywhere. From restaurants to gas stations, it can be purchased almost anytime.
Drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning, and alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening. As a result, alcohol is responsible for more deaths than any other substance. It can often be more dangerous than illegal drugs in certain situations.
Alcohol is even more dangerous when combined with other drugs. Alcohol can have adverse reactions with medications—and cause death. Alcohol can easily lead to overdose when combined with illicit substances like heroin or cocaine.
Since alcohol is a sedative, other sedatives combined with alcohol only increase the risks of negative health effects, coma, unconsciousness, and death.
Though it’s legal, alcohol is extremely addictive. People build a tolerance to and dependence on alcohol very quickly. When people drink, they enjoy the effects and drink more. This builds a threshold to alcohol as drinks are consumed in greater quantities and proofs.
Once tolerance is formed, people drink more. They consume stronger drinks to achieve the same effects and enjoy the intoxicating allure of alcohol for longer periods. This slips into alcohol dependency. Once dependence is made in the body, people continue drinking and cannot function normally without it.
This causes alcohol addiction or alcoholism. When people are unable to stop drinking despite negative consequences, they are addicted to alcohol. They need more of it to function, and they experience withdrawal when they stop. They prioritize alcohol over everything else, even if it causes them (or others) harm.
Drug Rehab Florida Treatment Options for Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol is popular, dangerous, and addictive. It can seem impossible to stop once an addiction to alcohol is formed. The alcohol use disorder can create extreme complications, tear apart homes, and even result in death. If you or a family member is struggling with alcoholism, there is a way out.
A proven treatment facility and individualized treatment plan are recommended for those struggling with an AUD and other co-occurring disorders found in treatment for alcoholism.
You don’t have to drink alcohol anymore when you find qualified drug and alcohol addiction treatment near you.
We offer extensive options at every level of care for substance abuse and mental health services. Our admissions counselors are available to help you find help or an alcohol rehab or drug rehab treatment program. Call us to learn more.