What is Alcohol Addiction?
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported that in the year 2018, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 86.3 percent of all Americans had consumed alcohol at least once during their lifetimes. 70 percent reported that they had consumed alcohol within the past year, and 55.3 percent reported that they had consumed alcohol within the past month. The truth is, drinking alcohol is truly as much a part of American culture as baseball and apple pie — drinking (even drinking to excess) has been profoundly normalized.
When it comes to heavy drinking and binge drinking, rates across the country are also exceptionally high. During the same year, the survey found that 26.45 percent of American men and women over the age of 18 engaged in binge drinking at least once during the past month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define binge drinking as a detrimental pattern of alcohol consumption that quickly brings someone’s blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit of 0.08. The CDC also suggests that binge drinking occurs when a male drinks over five alcoholic beverages within an hour or a woman drinks over four alcoholic beverages within an hour. While heavy drinking does not always precede the development of an alcohol use disorder, it is a good indication that some degree of professional intervention has become necessary.
If you have been engaging in heavy drinking, or if you believe you might be suffering from a diagnosable alcohol use disorder, Boca Detox is available to help. We have developed a highly individualized alcohol detox program, geared towards helping our clients through a safe, pain-free alcohol withdrawal as they prepare to take the next step on their personal journeys of recovery. To learn more about the Boca Detox Center method and what makes our alcohol detox program unique, today.
Signs & Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction
If you believe you or someone you love has been suffering from a diagnosable alcohol use disorder, there are several signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) outlines a list of diagnostic criteria used to identify the presence of an alcohol use disorder. If you answer “yes” to two or more of the following questions, seeking professional help from a medical detox center is likely a good idea.
- Do you sometimes end up using more alcohol than you originally intended, or do you use alcohol more frequently than you intend to?
- Have you wanted to cut back on the amount you drink or quit entirely, only to find you were unable to do so for any significant period of time?
- Do you spend a significant amount of time obtaining alcohol, using alcohol and recovering from its effects?
- Do you often think of using alcohol/do you ever experience intense cravings?
- Has your alcohol use interfered with your ability to fulfill personal obligations or negatively impacted your performance at work or at school?
- Have you experienced interpersonal problems as a direct result of your alcohol use?
- Have you given up activities which were once interesting or important to you in order to engage in alcohol use?
- Have you been engaging in risk-taking activities more often than normal, like driving while under the influence of alcohol or combining alcohol with other substances like opioid narcotics or marijuana?
- Do you continue to use alcohol despite physical or psychological health concerns directly related to the substance?
- Have you developed a physical tolerance, meaning more drinks are required in order for the desired effects to be achieved?
- Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when alcohol use is stopped abruptly?