Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction is a form of alcoholism that manifests as a serious medical disease, accompanied by signs and symptoms that vary depending on the amount and frequency of the alcohol being consumed. Alcohol addiction is characterized by the frequent use of alcohol, irregardless of the detrimental effects it has on a person’s life.  Alcohol abuse causes over 100,000 deaths every year in the United States and Canada. It is the leading cause of death in teenagers due to alcohol related motor vehicle accidents.

The signs of alcohol addiction should not be ignored, and can include the following:

–  Loss of consciousness, aka “blacking-out”;

–  Compromised reflexes;

–  Slurred or incoherent speech;

–  Nausea and other forms of stomach unease;

–  Loss of balance;

–  Reddening face during or after drinking.

It is important to keep in mind that alcohol poisoning is also a very real threat.  When too much alcohol is consumed, the respiratory system can become depressed, and the individual may very well stop breathing.


Further Signs of Alcohol Addiction

As the individual increases his or her consumption of alcohol, the body may begin to present more serious medical symptoms of alcohol addiction.  At Axis West, we are aware that those who abuse alcohol will, over time, make drinking a primary activity of their lives.  Healthy activities will be replaced by unhealthy ones, and in turn lead to unhappy and unhealthy consequences.  Alcohol addicts are usually unable to recognize when their drinking has taken them over this line, one of many reasons they may find it difficult to moderate their alcohol intake.


Along with the above, further signs of alcohol addiction include:

–  Losing the ability to control the amount of their drinking;

–  Neglect of family and professional responsibilities;

–  Engaging in risky behavior, without regard to the legal, financial and/or health consequences for themselves and others;

–  Bouts of Insomnia, often followed by oversleeping.


The Effects of Alcohol Addiction on the Body

Not only does alcohol act as a depressant on the central nervous system, it also affects multiple systems in the brain.  Alcohol produces its pleasurable effects by binding to GABA receptors in the brain, which then activate the release of the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.  It is because of this aspect of alcohol’s physiological effects on the body that undergoing alcohol detoxification can be dangerous, especially when conducted under less-than-safe circumstances.  At Axis West, we make sure to provide a safe, comfortable, and professionally supervised detox for those suffering from alcohol addiction.


The Causes of Alcohol Addiction

There appear to be several contributing factors behind the development of an alcohol addiction.  An individual’s genetic predisposition, their environment, and mental health status are the leading risk factors for developing this disease. (source:  These factors help explain why different members of the same family will respond to alcohol consumption in different ways.  It is interesting to note that even in families where alcohol addiction is manifest, different family members will often respond very differently to alcohol addiction treatment, which is why customizable programs are so important in recovery.

The bottom line is alcohol addiction is a serious medical condition that requires treatment by counselors and specialists trained in the field of recovery.  If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism, we urge you to call 866-737-3573 and speak with one of the admissions specialists at Axis West today.  We’ll do our best to make sure you receive the help you need to overcome your alcohol addiction.

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