What is Alcoholism?

Struggles with alcohol can range from occasionally drinking to harmful levels (sometimes referred to as binge drinking) to alcohol dependence and alcoholism. It is important to remember that someone who partakes in excessive drinking from time to time is not necessarily an alcoholic, nor is their risk for developing alcoholism increased. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fifth Edition) outlines several specific criteria often used as part of the diagnostic process at an alcohol rehab in Georgia. Even if someone only displays a few symptoms, they may have a problem that could benefit from treatment. 

Data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates more than seventeen million American adults over the age of eighteen have alcohol use disorders of varying severity. Also, just under one million adolescents and teens (between ages twelve and seventeen) meet the diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder. For most adults, occasional, moderate drinking is not a cause for concern. However, when alcohol consumption becomes uncontrollable, addiction and alcoholism could become a problem. 

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Alcoholism Explained

Alcoholism or being an alcoholic are terms often attributed to someone believed to have a “drinking problem.” In most professional treatment settings, alcoholism is referred to as an alcohol use disorder. In the addiction treatment environment (and many medical environments), alcohol use disorders are classified according to severity as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM-5. As with many addictions, alcoholism is a struggle unique to the individual. No two people experience alcohol addiction and its associated symptoms in the same way.

For this reason, the DSM-5 provides a list of eleven different criteria to help medical and mental health professionals accurately diagnose the presence and severity of an alcohol use disorder. The number of symptoms one experiences helps treatment providers better understand their unique illness. In most cases, two or three signs identify a mild alcohol use disorder; four or five are considered moderate, and six or more are considered severe. Alcoholism does not develop overnight; it often develops out of long-standing patterns of problem drinking.  Someone is generally diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder when drinking interferes with work, school, family, and other responsibilities, and they continue to consume (or crave) alcohol despite known harmful consequences.

Signs Someone is Abusing Alcohol

Someone abusing alcohol will often exhibit both physical and psychological signs of their struggle. The eleven factors used to analyze the presence of an alcohol use disorder address both these elements of addiction. If you (or a loved one) are struggling with an addiction to alcohol, you will likely experience many different symptoms to varying degrees of severity. 

Left untreated, alcohol abuse can quickly devolve into something severe and life-threatening. The ability to recognize and acknowledge the warning signs of an alcohol use disorder can help ensure you or your loved one receive early access to comprehensive alcohol addiction treatment programs in Georgia. Also, early treatment intervention can address any co-occurring mental health symptoms that often lead to new or worsening alcohol struggles. Some of the most common signs someone is abusing alcohol include:

  • Changes in appearance or a noticeable lack of concern about personal hygiene.
  • Drinking alone or making excuses for drinking.
  • Choosing alcohol over essential responsibilities and obligations such as work, school, or family.
  • Sudden changes in mood or frequent (sometimes violent) mood swings.
  • Increased voluntary isolation and choosing to distance oneself from friends and family.
  • Cognitive changes such as blackouts or difficulties with short-term memory.

No matter how minor symptoms of an alcohol use disorder may be, they should not be ignored. Even minor symptoms can quickly get worse, putting both your emotional and physical health at significant risk.

Benefits of Choosing an Alcohol Rehab in Georgia

When deciding to choose an alcohol rehab, it is important to select a location where you can receive proper medical care and support throughout your treatment process. Quitting alcohol suddenly, often referred to as quitting “cold Turkey,” is more dangerous than many people realize. In some cases, quitting drinking suddenly can lead to fatal withdrawal symptoms. Although the symptoms each person experiences during withdrawal will differ based on the severity and duration of their addiction, there are many common symptoms most people experience. During withdrawal, your body attempts to adjust to functioning without alcohol. 

As a result, body systems that have been slowed due to the depressive actions of alcohol become overactive or even hyperactive. This can lead to potentially dangerous consequences such as elevated body temperature, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and others. The most severe effects of alcohol withdrawal can include potentially dangerous symptoms such as headaches, high blood pressure, hallucinations, confusions, nausea, delirium tremens (DTs), sudden cardiac arrest, and coma. It is these symptoms that, depending on the severity of your addiction, can lead to medical emergencies. Seeking alcohol treatment at a Georgia alcohol rehab program where medically assisted detox is available helps to ensure your health and safety as you begin your recovery journey.

As part of a medically assisted detox program, highly trained medical personnel will provide support and guidance beginning with the earliest days of detox and continuing throughout your treatment process. While you are withdrawing from alcohol, medical professionals will continually monitor your vital signs and overall health. This is a crucial step to ensuring early intervention in the case of any medical difficulties. Once you have completed detox, it is possible to transition seamlessly to the therapeutic portion of your treatment without the influence of cravings and other challenges related to alcohol. At Ardmore Recovery, we will work with you to decide on a comprehensive, evidence-based alcohol addiction treatment program that addresses your physical, psychological, and, most importantly your spiritual health. At our luxury, serene Georgia alcohol rehab, you will have the opportunity to engage in individual, group, and family therapies, all specifically designed to help you overcome addiction and enjoy long-term sobriety.

Get Help from Our Drug and Alcohol
Treatment Center in Georgia

Many people who struggle with alcohol believe their drinking is not a problem if done in moderate frequency and amount. There is also an often misguided belief that occasional problematic drinking can’t or won’t develop into something more significant because drinking “does not occur often enough” for it to get out of hand. More often than not, the exact opposite generally occurs. Long-term drinking, even occasionally, can lead to increased tolerance and an increased need (and desire) to consume alcohol to achieve feelings of relaxation and the easy-going feeling brought on by intoxication. Before long, addiction and an alcohol use disorder have developed, leading to symptoms that are difficult to manage without seeking alcohol rehab in Georgia. 

At Ardmore Recovery, our caring and compassionate treatment team understands the decision to enter treatment is not easy. There are still many real and lingering stigmas associated with substance abuse and substance abuse treatment. It is normal to wonder and be concerned about how a stay at rehab will impact your employment, your family, and your physical, emotional well-being. Our providers understand your concerns, as many of them were once in your shoes, and have successfully overcome the challenges of addiction. 

Here at our Savannah, Georgia alcohol treatment center, they will work with you to overcome addiction through sharing their stories to help you put addiction behind you. The process of achieving sobriety is not without challenge and is not one you should undergo without appropriate medical, physical, and spiritual support. At Ardmore Recovery, we design every treatment program based on the unique treatment needs and goals of each person who seeks help at our eighteen-acre Georgia alcohol rehab. For your treatment to be successful, we understand it must be personalized and address each person from a holistic approach. If you are ready to begin your best life without the difficulties and challenges of alcohol addiction, contact us at Ardmore Recovery today. 

Get Help Now at Our Savannah, GA Drug Rehab

If you or a loved one struggle with addiction to drugs or alcohol, know that you are not alone. Millions of Americans have walked a similar path and found healing and recovery at an addiction treatment program like Ardmore Recovery in Savannah, GA. Our compassionate, highly skilled treatment team understands the complex challenges our clients face when they choose treatment at Ardmore Recovery. Deciding to leave home to go to rehab is a decision wrought with questions and concerns. What is rehab like? Will my family be ok while I am gone? Will detox be difficult? These questions add to the difficult decision many struggling addicts face when deciding to get sober. The healing and recovery process may not be easy and is (often) not without setbacks and challenges. The ongoing challenges of recovery are part of what makes our program, rooted in the 12-steps, so successful.

Practicing and living by the 12-steps as you continue your recovery journey ensures you have a strong, supportive group of like-minded peers who share your sobriety and recovery goals. Your sober family is there during triggering moments and other challenges to provide vital guidance and relapse prevention support. Contact Ardmore Recovery is the first step towards a healthy, sober future free from the impacts of substance abuse and addiction. At our drug rehab in Savannah, GA, we will work with you to design an individual treatment program to ensure your physical, psychological, and spiritual health is cared for throughout all aspects of your healing and recovery. Addiction will not go away on its own. Make today the day you reach out to Ardmore Recovery to learn more about how our program in Savannah, GA, can help you overcome addiction.