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(888) 909-2415 Terre Haute, IN
(888) 909-2415 Terre Haute, IN

Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction is a common but problematic condition that results in physical and psychological consequences and may even become life-threatening for those caught in its grasp. The National Institute on Alcohol Use and Statistics reported in 2022 that 29.5 million people had Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). While many people enjoy social drinking, alcohol addiction is something else entirely. It eats away at a person’s control over their life. Once the addiction takes hold, alcohol comes first. 

Feeding the alcohol addiction comes before the person’s personal and professional relationships. It takes away the person’s sense of control over their life. An alcohol addiction increases the likelihood that a person will have difficulties at work and have a brush with the law. The affected person may even injure themselves or someone else if they drive while under the influence of alcohol. 

At Anabranch Recovery Center, we understand the dangers of alcohol addiction and how easily someone can fall down the slippery slope into problem drinking. If you or a loved one is having a problem with drinking, our team offers compassionate alcohol addiction treatment on an individual basis, delivered in a judgment-free environment.

How is a Drink Defined?

One alcoholic drink is defined as:

  • Five fluid ounces (355 milliliters) of wine
  • 12 fluid ounces (148 milliliters) of beer
  • 1.5 fluid ounces (44 milliliters) of distilled spirits or hard liquor

What is “Binge Drinking”?

Binge drinking is defined as consuming an excessive amount of alcohol in a short amount of time. For women, a binge drinking session occurs when they consume four or more alcoholic drinks in two hours. For four men, binge drinking is defined as five or more alcoholic drinks in two hours. 

Binge drinking is a widespread activity. Not everyone who binge drinks has alcohol use disorder. Binge drinking regularly does increase the risk of developing AUD. 

What is Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease. With continued misuse of alcohol, the brain’s complex structures may change. Someone living with alcohol addiction cannot stop drinking despite any adverse health, relationship, career, or social consequences. The person’s drinking causes them harm, and they realize that. 

A person living with alcoholism experiences constant cravings for alcohol. If they aren’t drinking, they feel irritable and anxious. If someone in this situation suddenly tries to cut back on their drinking or stops altogether, they will experience intense withdrawal symptoms. 

How Much Alcohol is Too Much?

Experts recommend that people drink alcohol “in moderation.” The May Clinic defines moderate alcohol use as no more than one drink daily for women and no more than no more than two drinks daily for men. 

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction

Do you know the signs of alcohol use disorder (AUD)? Here’s what to what to look for:

  1. You want to cut down or stop drinking but have been unable to do so successfully.
  2. You don’t have control over your drinking once you start. You drink more alcohol than you intended.
  3. You know your drinking is causing problems in your life, but you continue to drink anyway.
  4. You have stopped participating in activities you previously enjoyed due to your alcohol use.
  5. You avoid your family and friends so you can drink.
  6. You have little, if any, interest in family or social events if you know the host will not serve alcohol. 
  7. You spend a lot of your time drinking alcohol, recovering from its effects, or thinking about where you can get it.
  8. You hide alcohol around the house, in your vehicle, or outside.
  9. You neglect your responsibilities at home, work, or school to drink alcohol.
  10. You have or are drinking alcohol in dangerous situations, such as driving or operating machinery. You have or are mixing alcohol with prescription or illicit drugs.

The more numbers that you or a loved one can answer “Yes” to, the more likely it is that you or they have AUD and need professional alcohol addiction treatment.

What is a “High Functioning Alcoholic”?

A high-functioning alcoholic is someone who can manage different areas of their life, such as their job, home, and family life while being addicted to alcohol. They usually appear to be healthy and happy. Often, they are in denial that they have a problem since they are often very good at hiding their cravings and their alcohol addiction. 

If the person does not address their alcohol addiction, it will become more difficult for the person to function over time. They will start to show signs of addiction even though they may continue to deny it. 

Five Negative Ways Alcohol Use Impacts the Body

In short, alcohol use affects every organ in the body. When someone becomes addicted to alcohol, this condition can lead to permanent and possibly life-threatening medical conditioning conditions. The following are five parts of the human body that AUD can harm:

  1. The Heart: Binge drinking and a history of heavy drinking may lead to high blood pressure, stroke, cardiomyopathy (a disorder that impacts the heart’s ability to pump blood well), arrhythmias (a disorder causing the heart to beat too quickly or too slowly, or irregularly), or heart failure. 
  2. The Central Nervous System: Alcohol’s short-term effects on the body show up as central nervous system symptoms, such as: blurred memory, delayed reaction time, impaired memory and  slurred speech. 
  3. The Brain: Alcohol is a depressant. In sufficient quantities, it can affect a person’s mood and make them feel down or low. Alcohol consumption also slows the communication pathways of the brain and makes it harder to think clearly and quickly. It also affects a person’s behavior, coordination, and memory.
  4. The Liver: The liver breaks down toxic substances in the body, including alcohol. Alcohol addiction often leads to liver diseases, including liver inflammation, alcoholic liver cirrhosis, and liver scarring.
  5. The Immune System: AUD lowers the body’s white cells’ ability to fight harmful bacteria. It also interferes with the body’s production of several substances for a healthy immune system. As a result, the person is left more susceptible to pneumonia, bacterial, and viral infections.

Find Help for Alcohol Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, you are not alone. Professional, caring, non-judgmental help is available at Anabranch Recovery Center. We provide alcohol treatment in Indiana with programs individualized to meet our clients’ needs. 

For clients who are still drinking, the first step is our medically supervised detox. We provide emotional support and medications if required, during this phase to keep our clients comfortable. The detox stage is the first step in the recovery process.

Next, our clients will move into our residential treatment program, in-person intensive outpatient program (in-person IOP), or virtual intensive outpatient program. The exact program type depends on their needs and preferences. At Anabranch Recovery Center, we ensure that our clients are involved in their recovery as much as possible.  

Our traditional IOPs and tele-help IOPs provide support to clients living with mental health concerns and or addictions. If you are concerned about your own or a loved one’s drinking, reach out to us today.


Contact Us

Anabranch Recovery Center
Main Campus

1400 E Crossing Blvd
Terre Haute, IN 47802
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Anabranch Recovery Center
Outpatient Treatment

4001 Wabash Ave Suite 4
Terre Haute, IN 47803
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(888) 909-2415
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