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Washington Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction, also known as alcoholism, is a growing concern in the United States. In fact, in a state conducted survey, over 16 percent of adults residing in the state of Washington reported binge drinking within the past month alone. Unfortunately, alcohol use disorders cost the state over $1.5 billion every year. Fortunately, help is attainable for individuals suffering from an alcohol use disorder. Washington alcohol addiction treatment centers provide individuals with the necessary medical attention and therapy to successfully achieve sobriety.


Understanding Washington Alcohol Addiction

Alcoholism is a chronic disease that affects the mind, body, and spirit. It is defined as a physical and emotional dependency to alcoholic substances, such as wine, beer, and mixed drinks. It is the leading substance use disorder in the United States, according to the NCADD. This disease can be attributed to a variety of risk factors, which may include the following areas:

  •         Genetic
  •         Social
  •         Behavioral
  •         Emotional

Washington alcohol addiction does not occur overnight. Instead, it is the result of prolonged or excessive drinking habits. Most people develop an addiction gradually over time, while others may become addicted in a shorter time period. Regardless of this, it is critical to understand the signs associated with alcoholism. Doing so enables you to take action as quickly as possible before the problem gets further out of hand.

What Are the Signs of Addiction?

Individuals suffering from an addiction to alcohol display a variety of different signs and experience different symptoms at varying levels. The most common sign associated with alcoholism is the inability to stop drinking, despite experiencing consequences such as legal difficulties, relationship problems, or health complications. Binge drinking may be frequent as well. Another sign is the constant presence or need for alcoholic substances, even during inappropriate times or at odd hours.

Some alcoholics may attempt to cover-up their addiction by switching to beverages that have lower amounts of alcohol, such as spirits or wine. Unfortunately, this tactic usually results in over-consumption of these types of beverages. This occurs because the body develops a tolerance to alcohol and requires increased amounts and more frequent levels of it to achieve the same effect or “buzz.” Failure to do so can result in uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

An alcoholic may refuse to admit that they have a problem or insist that they are only drinking to have a good time, but the reality is that they are in denial of their addiction and are not ready to confront it head-on. This is why it is critical to seek out professional help or schedule an intervention if needed. Intervention is a highly beneficial and rewarding process that aims to encourage an addict to get into treatment as soon as possible. It also equips loved ones with the tools they need to cope with the situation. Other signs of Washington alcohol addiction include the following:

  •         Mood swings
  •         Increased levels of aggression
  •         Confusion or bouts of memory loss
  •         Shaking or bodily pain
  •         Depression
  •         Unexplainable sweating
  •         Dizziness or nausea

Alcohol Withdrawal and Treating Symptoms of Withdrawal

When an addict chooses to abstain from addictive substances such as alcohol, he or she may experience a variety of different withdrawal symptoms. These occur because the body develops a physical tolerance to substances. As the addict allows their body to release toxins, they will likely begin to experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  •         Nausea or vomiting
  •         Aches and pains
  •         Rapid mood swings or depression
  •         Shaking or seizures
  •         Stomach discomfort

Many people use symptoms as an excuse to avoid detoxing from alcohol or other addictive substances. However, it is important to keep in mind that you do not need to be in pain during this process. Medical detox is an excellent starting point to the recovery process that is designed to help you release built up toxins as comfortably as possible. These types of programs are typically offered through rehabilitation facilities and may even be required prior to treatment. Medical detox is a safe and slow process that can break your body’s physical dependency to alcohol. It is not a substitute for rehabilitation, which focuses on the emotional, behavioral, and social factors that contribute to addiction. 

What Are the Health Risks Associated with Alcoholism?

There are numerous health problems that can result from chronic drinking. Keep in mind that these complications can affect short and long-term drinkers alike. The most common include the following:

  •         Anxiety disorder
  •         Depression
  •         Heart disease
  •         Cirrhosis of the liver
  •         Brain damage
  •         Loss of motor skills
  •         Memory loss
  •         Cancer
  •         Digestive complications

As you can see, alcoholism can lead to both mental and physical health complications. The only way to reduce your risk of developing these problems is to get help immediately.  

Treatment Options for Washington Alcohol Addiction

The most proven treatment method available for alcoholics is inpatient rehabilitation, which is also known as residential rehab. This type of treatment is intensive and maintains strict guidelines. It also sets limitations on patients, which can protect them from relapsing. Inpatient treatment requires patients to live within a facility for a brief period of time, during which they have access to a variety of different therapies, activities, and professionals. Inpatient programs are often more expensive and intensive than outpatient treatment plans, which do not require patients to live on-site. However, these less supervised options are not ideal for everyone. Inpatient treatment is ideal for anyone who can relate to the following traits:

  •         Lack of internal motivation for sobriety
  •         Lack of external motivation or support
  •         Triggers within the home
  •         Long-term or severe addiction
  •         Dual diagnosis

Treatment in a reputable rehabilitation facility can equip you with the tools you need to combat cravings and urges, avoid relapse, and cope with triggers in a healthy and productive way. Rehabilitation programs also provide a safe and supportive environment where you can socialize and make new like-minded friends that are committed to maintaining life-long sobriety. Finding the right treatment program can be challenging, but help is just a short phone call away. You do not need to feel alone on your recovery journey. Contact an addiction specialist to learn more about how to live a happier and healthier lifestyle free from Washington alcohol addiction.