Alcohol addiction, also known as ‘alcoholism’ or ‘alcohol use disorder’, is a condition that is characterised by drinking alcohol in excess, to the extent that your body eventually becomes dependent on alcohol in order to function on a day-to-day basis. Whilst enjoying the occasional alcoholic drink can, for many people, be a harmless pleasure, it is when alcohol consumption becomes more frequent that it can result in the development of a harmful addiction.
Most people with alcohol problems do not decide to make a big change out of the blue or transform their drinking habits overnight. Recovery is usually a more gradual process. In the early stages of change, denial is a huge obstacle. Even after admitting you have a drinking problem, you may make excuses and drag your feet. It’s important to acknowledge your ambivalence about stopping drinking. If you’re not sure if you’re ready to change or you’re struggling with the decision, it can help to think about the costs and benefits of each choice.
Drug addiction and drug abuse are often used as interchangeable terms, but the fact is that they are two very different things. Drug abuse occurs when a person abuses illegal substances or prescription drugs; the person may enjoy the effect provided by the use of the substance and use it regularly, but unless the drug abuse is accompanied by certain symptoms or issues and a physical dependence on the drug, it is not drug addiction.
Treatments at inpatient centers may include behavioral therapies, the most popular of which is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). These therapies encourage participants to change the way they react to stressful external stimuli (like failing a test or losing a job) by promoting healthy ways of coping. Many centers also offer group and individual counseling, experiential therapies and training on proper nutrition and health.
^ Robison AJ, Nestler EJ (October 2011). "Transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms of addiction". Nature Reviews. Neuroscience. 12 (11): 623–37. doi:10.1038/nrn3111. PMC 3272277. PMID 21989194. ΔFosB has been linked directly to several addiction-related behaviors ... Importantly, genetic or viral overexpression of ΔJunD, a dominant negative mutant of JunD which antagonizes ΔFosB- and other AP-1-mediated transcriptional activity, in the NAc or OFC blocks these key effects of drug exposure14,22–24. This indicates that ΔFosB is both necessary and sufficient for many of the changes wrought in the brain by chronic drug exposure. ΔFosB is also induced in D1-type NAc MSNs by chronic consumption of several natural rewards, including sucrose, high fat food, sex, wheel running, where it promotes that consumption14,26–30. This implicates ΔFosB in the regulation of natural rewards under normal conditions and perhaps during pathological addictive-like states. Alcohol Poisoning Treatment ► What Is The Best Solution?
Medical detox in an addiction treatment center takes place in a fully-staffed medical facility where patients are monitored around the clock, and treatment for the side effects of withdrawal is provided as needed. Medications to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms may be administered, and patients will not be released from detox until they are symptom-free and physically and mentally well enough to handle the daily routine of an addiction treatment regimen. How to Detox from Alcohol - How to stop drinking - Part 1
Alcohol rehab is often the only way that an individual who’s struggling with addiction can get help. There are rehab centers all over the country that offer individualized programs to treat alcoholism, regardless of how long the disease has been present. Alcohol treatment programs take many factors into consideration, including the person’s age and gender, and the extent and length of the addiction. Many alcohol rehab centers also offer various aftercare options and recommendations to help clients maintain their sobriety, such as group therapy.
Psychological dependency is addressed in many drug rehabilitation programs by attempting to teach the patient new methods of interacting in a drug-free environment. In particular, patients are generally encouraged, or possibly even required, to not associate with peers who still use the addictive substance. Twelve-step programs encourage addicts not only to stop using alcohol or other drugs, but to examine and change habits related to their addictions. Many programs emphasize that recovery is a permanent process without culmination. For legal drugs such as alcohol, complete abstention—rather than attempts at moderation, which may lead to relapse—is also emphasized ("One is too many, and a thousand is never enough.") Whether moderation is achievable by those with a history of abuse remains a controversial point, but is generally considered unsustainable.[2]
Alcohol is often mixed with other illegal drugs, which can have serious implications for your health. In extreme cases, mixing two chemical substances can have fatal consequences. For example, when combining alcohol with a stimulant drug such as cocaine or amphetamine, the two substances will fight against each other as one has a sedative effect while the other is a stimulant. The result is a huge amount of pressure on the brain and central nervous system.

If you fear that your loved ones will reject or judge you, consider inviting them to a session with a substance abuse counselor or a 12-step meeting. Educating your loved ones about the realities of drug addiction may make them more receptive and supportive. Having the support of professionals and peers will also help you stick with your convictions about recovery.
In the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 20.2 million American adults reported a past-year substance use disorder, and out of this group 7.9 million (39.1 percent) also suffered from a co-occurring mental health disorder. The range of co-occurring disorders known to coincide with drug addiction is broad and includes virtually every type of mental illness recognized by the American Psychiatric Association.
^ Nestler EJ (August 2016). "Reflections on: "A general role for adaptations in G-Proteins and the cyclic AMP system in mediating the chronic actions of morphine and cocaine on neuronal function"". Brain Research. 1645: 71–4. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2015.12.039. PMC 4927417. PMID 26740398. These findings led us to hypothesize that a concerted upregulation of the cAMP pathway is a general mechanism of opiate tolerance and dependence. ... We thus extended our hypothesis to suggest that, particularly within brain reward regions such as NAc, cAMP pathway upregulation represents a common mechanism of reward tolerance and dependence shared by several classes of drugs of abuse. Research since that time, by many laboratories, has provided substantial support for these hypotheses. Specifically, opiates in several CNS regions including NAc, and cocaine more selectively in NAc induce expression of certain adenylyl cyclase isoforms and PKA subunits via the transcription factor, CREB, and these transcriptional adaptations serve a homeostatic function to oppose drug action. In certain brain regions, such as locus coeruleus, these adaptations mediate aspects of physical opiate dependence and withdrawal, whereas in NAc they mediate reward tolerance and dependence that drives increased drug self-administration.
This is an ongoing debate in the medical community, but it is generally agreed that there is no one cause for the development of addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, contributing factors may include a genetic predisposition to develop addictive tendencies, an environment that is permissive of drug abuse, access to illicit substances, and certain developmental issues. The existence of a Dual Diagnosis is one of the biggest risk factors for the development of addiction. Heroin Withdrawal | First Week In
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