When most people think of someone having a problem with alcohol use, their minds jump to alcoholism. While alcoholism does fall under the spectrum of an alcohol use disorder, it is at the end of severe dependence. Trouble with excessive or uncontrolled alcohol consumption can start much before the diagnosis of alcoholism is reached. Thankfully, if you or a loved one needs alcohol rehab Costa Mesa, Clear Life Recovery can help.
Signs and symptoms of alcohol use disorder
The Mayo Clinic offers the following thorough list of signs to watch out for1:
- “Being unable to limit the amount of alcohol you drink
- Wanting to cut down on how much you drink or making unsuccessful attempts to do so
- Spending a lot of time drinking, getting alcohol, or recovering from alcohol use
- Feeling a strong craving or urge to drink alcohol
- Failing to fulfill major obligations at work, school, or home due to repeated alcohol use
- Continuing to drink alcohol even though you know it’s causing physical, social, or interpersonal problems
- Giving up or reducing social and work activities and hobbies
- Using alcohol in situations where it’s not safe, such as when driving or swimming
- Developing a tolerance to alcohol, so you need more to feel its effect, or you have a reduced effect from the same amount
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms — such as nausea, sweating, and shaking — when you don’t drink, or drinking to avoid these symptoms.”
How Has Alcohol Use Disorder Become Normalized in Society?
The excessive use of alcohol has become so prevalent and accepted by western culture that, often, people who don’t drink stand out more than those who do. It is the accepted norm that college kids binge-drink whenever their schedules permit, colleagues bond over drinks at happy hour after work, and mothers survive parenthood with copious doses of “mommy juice.”2
Meanwhile, designated drivers are to be pitied, and anyone who chooses not to drink without a convincing reason why they can’t is considered uptight or even prudish. It is the “normal” people who rely on alcohol to relax, let go, and enjoy life.
As anyone who has experienced alcohol use disorder in themselves or a loved one can attest, this normalization of excessive drinking can be extremely damaging.
People who use alcohol excessively have to deal with many adverse effects on their lives as a result of their alcohol consumption. They are also at a higher risk of developing mental and physical health problems. Whether using alcohol as a coping mechanism or as a social lubricant, heavy drinkers often find that their tolerance goes up over time, and they must increase their drinking to get the same effect. The higher quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption, especially when it is used heavily over several years, increases the likelihood of alcohol dependence or outright alcoholism.
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The binge-drinking 3 culture among college students is hugely detrimental to the health, mental health, safety, and academic success of young people. The CDC reports that binge-drinking is most common in the demographics of young adults from ages 18 to 34. Terrifyingly, binge-drinking is also classified as the most deadly form of excessive alcohol use in the United States. This leads to innumerable deaths every year that should have been preventable.
Women and Mothers
The idea that women are now out-drinking men4 is a new concept that has only arisen in recent years as a response to the “mommy juice” trend. Social media posts by women, and especially mothers, tout wine as the best – or the only – coping mechanism for busy lives, hectic schedules, and the rigor of raising children. These posts probably originated as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the busy lives of young women today. However, they provide an interesting and disturbing look into the mentality that alcohol dependence is not only accepted but something to be laughed about and enjoyed as a part of being an independent woman.
As a result, women are now more likely than ever to wind up dead or in the emergency room5 from alcohol consumption and related problems. A full 8% of deaths of middle-aged white women in 2015 were from alcohol. That’s more than double the rate it was in 1999.
Drinking to Unwind
A UK poll from 2012 found that a staggering two-thirds6 of poll respondents turn to alcohol as a way to unwind and relax in the evenings. Alcohol has become such an ingrained coping mechanism for stress and anxiety. This makes it difficult for the average person to discern the difference between enjoying an occasional drink and using alcohol as medication.
What can you do if you or a loved one needs alcohol rehab Costa Mesa?
Addiction does not occur in a vacuum. The families and loved ones of a heavy drinker can suffer as much or more than the person with alcohol use disorder. Children, especially, may experience trouble bonding with a parent who drinks heavily and frequently.
For all of these reasons, it is crucial to seek help for alcohol use disorder.
An excellent alcohol rehab facility equips you with the tools to beat alcohol addiction. They assist with detox, medication, therapy, and life skills training. With thorough aftercare, you can break the addiction cycle permanently.
Contact Clear Life Recovery, the premier alcohol rehab Costa Mesa, California. With individualized treatment programs tailored to each client’s needs, Clear Life Recovery provides the intensive support and long-term help you need to get sober and stay there for good.
Call Clear Life Recovery or contact us through our website to get started on your recovery path right now.