Recognizing the Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction
Addicted individuals cannot limit the amount of alcohol consumed. As alcohol increasingly consumes an addicted individual’s daily existence, they may miss work, school or commitments because of hangovers. They may show up for work or events inebriated. Addicted individuals think nothing of operating vehicles or equipment while under the influence. When confronted by concerned family and friends, individuals may begin hiding alcohol sources throughout the home.
Physical Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction
Individuals experiencing alcohol addiction often exhibit changes in sleeping patterns. Many sleep extensively following a binge or when recovering from a hangover. Suspect blackouts when individuals confess not remembering events occurring while intoxicated. Food becomes less of a priority and addicted people often begin losing weight. After years of alcohol abuse, addicts often develop puffy faces and blood shot eyes. Capillaries around the nose become fragile and break, which causes reddening. As the addiction progresses, alcoholics exhibit physical shaking or complain of feeling sick when going for long periods of time without drinking. Eventually the liver malfunctions causing a distended abdomen, nausea and jaundice.
Psychological Signs of Alcohol Addiction
Individuals exhibiting psychological alcohol addiction symptoms often express the need for an alcoholic beverage in order to relax or alleviate stress. Individuals often develop new friendships with others who share the addiction. People suffering addiction might also isolate themselves from everyone including family and friends. Besides failing in relationships, individuals lose interest in events they once considered important. They believe that personal problems occur because of the fault of others. Addicted individuals often express anxiety or show signs of depression. Many experience mood swings, becoming angry over trivial matters. Individuals may become obsessed with obtaining alcohol. Some attempt quitting many times but without success.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
The severity of alcohol addiction withdrawal symptoms depends on the length of the addiction. Mild symptoms include anxiety, excitability and irritability. Individuals may experience insomnia and nightmares leading to fatigue. Many addicts suffer from depression. Physical withdrawal symptoms include nausea and vomiting accompanied by cold, clammy skin. Some endure tremors or other spastic movements.
More serious concerns arise if the individual develops delirium tremens (DTs), accompanied by symptoms that include visual hallucinations, fever and an increase in blood pressure and pulse. Withdrawal patients may also experience convulsions, seizures and extensive uncontrollable muscle tremors.
How Alcohol Rehab Centers Treat Alcohol Addiction Symptoms
Alcohol addicted patients often have folic acid, thiamine and mineral loss when entering a rehab center because of a lack in proper diet and hydration. Replacing these vitamins and minerals on a daily basis often prevents serious alcohol addiction withdrawal symptoms. While enduring alcohol detoxification, individuals often lose body fluids through diarrhea, extreme sweating and vomiting. Physician at rehab centers may initiate intravenous fluids, which maintain fluid and electrolyte balance.
Physicians may prescribe benzodiazepine anti-anxiety medications when needed, which not only help withdrawal patients relax and sleep but also inhibit seizures by preventing excessive nerve transmission in the brain. When patients begin exhibiting the symptoms associated with the DTs, physicians often prescribe beta blocking medications, which slow the heart rate and reduce blood pressure. Patients may additionally receive anti-seizure medications and anti-psychotic medications.