The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism conducted a survey in 2019 that estimates there are nearly 15 million people with an alcohol use disorder in the United States. The odds are fairly good that this number is low, especially after the isolation of the recent pandemic.
Whether your alcohol use flared during the pandemic or it’s been building for some time, you suspect that you might be an alcoholic.
Alarmingly, only 10% of the identified alcoholics in the 2019 survey were seeking help for their problem, and the team here at Northshore Health wants to ensure that you’re one of them.
In the following, we explore some of the more common signs of alcoholism and how we can help you reclaim your life.
There’s no single checklist when it comes to whether or not you’re an alcoholic. For example, many people believe alcoholics are people who drink every day, but this isn’t always the case. Some alcoholics only drink on weekends, but when they do, they have no control over their drinking.
That said, there are some common attributes of alcoholism, which include:
To give you an idea about how this might all tie together, perhaps you wake up groggy and vow that you will not drink that day. As the day wears on, you feel worse, your hands begin to shake, and you crave a drink. All too soon, your brain convinces you that you just need one drink to set things straight. Before you know it, you’ve poured a drink, then a second, and then a third. And this same cycle happens the next day.
Of course, people may have different scenarios, but there are always signs of addiction and dependence like those we describe above — the lack of control, the brain that convinces you into drinking, and the physical withdrawal symptoms when you don’t drink.
If some of what we describe above sounds all too familiar, we can help. Our first step is to detox you safely from alcohol. Quitting cold turkey can be very dangerous if you’ve been drinking large amounts for some time and your body has become dependent. Through our medical oversight, we can supply you with the resources you need to detox safely and with as few side effects as possible.
Once you’re detoxed, we can discuss how you want to move forward, as the addiction side of the equation can still be strong. For example, we can place you on medication-assisted treatment, such as naltrexone, to curb cravings and prevent relapse moving forward.
We also recommend that you get involved with support groups, and we provide comprehensive recovery support services, including counseling, nutrition, and relapse prevention education.
To get on the road to a life that isn’t overshadowed by alcoholism, please contact our office in Bothell, Washington, to set up a consultation.