When you drink in excess regularly, you may wonder, am I an alcoholic? While binge drinking occasionally isn’t necessarily a sure sign of alcoholism, it does indicate that you abuse alcohol. The longer you abuse or misuse alcohol, the greater your chances are of developing a physical or psychological dependence on alcohol. If you feel in danger of becoming dependent, reach out to a women’s or men’s alcohol rehab center in Dallas, Texas.
Alcohol is one of the most widely used psychoactive substances in the United States. In fact, 55.9% of Americans consume alcohol at least once a month. Unfortunately, even though alcohol is legal, it has the potential to cause addiction. While most people who drink do so responsibly, 26.4% of Americans binge drink monthly, and 6.7% admit to heavy alcohol use.
Am I an Alcoholic?
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that causes your brain to release a rush of pleasurable neurotransmitters, like GABA. Ethanol, which is the active ingredient in alcohol, is dangerous in large amounts and can lead to alcohol poisoning. Your liver can filter one serving of alcohol every hour to an hour and a half. Consuming large amounts of alcohol can cause your liver to become overworked. Long-term alcohol abuse can lead to liver damage, which can cause irreversible damage.
Binge drinking occurs when you consume 4 to 5 servings of alcohol in 2 hours or less, which is why regularly engaging in binge drinking can cause such catastrophic medical problems. If you’re wondering, am I an alcoholic, chances are you already recognize your alcohol consumption is excessive.
When you drink, your brain connects alcohol with happiness, which alters your pleasure and reward center. Once this occurs, your brain also associates everything that reminds you of alcohol with pleasure, which causes you to encounter cravings whenever you face triggers. Eventually, your brain and body can rely on alcohol to function correctly.
Your brain becomes dependent on alcohol to release neurotransmitters while your body needs alcohol to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms. When asking yourself am I an alcoholic, consider if you experience any of the common signs of alcoholism, which include:
- Inability to reduce, control or stop your drinking
- Drinking in dangerous or inappropriate situations
- Showing up to work, school, or social events intoxicated
- Neglecting obligations and responsibilities to drink
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you immediately stop drinking
How Alcoholism is Treated
If you ask yourself, am I an alcoholic, chances are you’re struggling with a drinking problem or alcoholism. When you develop alcoholism, treatment is necessary because it takes time for your body and brain to recover fully.
Since alcohol causes physical dependency, detox is typically the first step in the treatment process. Once detox symptoms subside, treatment helps you learn how to deal with triggers and cravings. Detox can occur at an inpatient or outpatient program, but the potential severity of alcohol detox symptoms, like delirium tremors, typically warrants inpatient treatment. Inpatient programs usually last for at least 28 days and offer the highest level of care, structure, and support.
You can also choose to complete an intensive outpatient program in Texas, which allows you to return home each night. Outpatient programs, like IOP, are especially helpful following completion of inpatient treatment. Inpatient and outpatient programs utilize evidence-based and holistic therapies to provide you with the tools and skills you need to manage your sobriety successfully.
Finding Help Today
If you or a loved one is struggling with the question am I an alcoholic, chances are you have a drinking problem. Early treatment is the best way to improve your recovery chances, as alcoholism is a deadly and progressive disease. Contact The Right Step Dallas to learn more about alcoholism and your treatment options. Call us today at 1.844.768.1161 for alcohol rehab programs in Dallas, TX.