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Alcohol Addiction Treatment Supply, NC

What is Alcohol Addiction?

When it comes to chemical substances, there’s one thing that makes alcohol different from other drugs. It’s been socially acceptable – and even encouraged – for many years.

Joining co-workers for happy hour, toasting with Champagne, and enjoying drinks during the holidays are traditional pastimes in which millions of people take part. However, when a person’s drinking changes from a celebration and into a coping mechanism, alcohol addiction might occur.

40% of all hospital beds in the United States are used to treat conditions related to alcohol consumption.

On a fundamental level, alcohol is a drug just like any other. It’s much more dangerous than a number of illegal drugs. Alcohol addiction can cause serious physical harm, psychological damage, and result in a person’s life being turned upside down.

If you or a person you love has substance use difficulties, it’s important to understand how dangerous alcohol is.

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What Are the Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction?

Many persons with an addiction can hide their substance use very well. They may take measures to ensure the people who know them best don’t notice they have a problem. Many people struggling with substance use learn how to stay composed and act normally when intoxicated. They may even go to work and engage socially while under the influence. 

People who misuse alcohol, and are used to hiding their use, can often go long periods of time without close friends or family discovering they have a problem. Sometimes it takes a harmful event such as a drunk driving accident or health issue to alert loved ones of the addiction. That’s why it’s important to understand the warning signs.

Short-Term Alcohol Addiction Symptoms

Slurred Speech: Consuming large amounts of alcohol will initially effect motor function, causing a range of symptoms, including slurred speech.

Clumsiness and unsteady walk: A person who has drank excessively will often lose coordination, causing them to stumble or fall. Poor motor function is the reason why it is illegal to drive under the influence and why it is dangerous to drive under the influence of any alcohol.

Vomiting: The liver can only oxidize about one drink per hour, therefore when alcohol is consumed excessively, a backup of toxins can cause nausea and vomiting.

Male therapist talks to his young male patient
Sunset at Carolina beach

Long-Term Alcohol Addiction Symptoms

Liver Disease: Because the liver is responsible for filtering the toxin of alcohol, long term use can lead to liver disease, such as cirrhosis.

Stomach Ulcers: Alcohol can cause stomach ulcers in two ways. One, the alcohol itself erodes the lining of the esophagus or stomach. Two, your body induces vomiting. The stomach acid in vomit can also cause stomach or esophageal cancer.

Cancer: Mouth, throat, liver, colon, and breast cancer are all linked to alcohol use. This is due to harmful chemicals found in alcohol, as well as the damaging effects it has on body tissues.

What Are the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

The most dangerous withdrawal symptom is delirium tremens. This condition occurs when the chemicals in the brain aren’t able to readjust after alcohol use has stopped. This could result in circulatory and respiratory issues. However, there are a number of other symptoms a person may exhibit, including:


As a depressant, alcohol slows down the central nervous system. During withdrawal, shakiness is common.


Many persons with alcohol use disorders depend on drinking to help them sleep. If they go without alcohol, they may experience insomnia. Alcohol disrupts the body’s natural sleep patterns.


Alcohol withdrawal puts stress on the central nervous system, which can lead to anxiety and panic attacks. It’s difficult for a person who misuses alcohol to deal with everyday stress when they’re not under the influence.

Nausea and Vomiting

If a person used to long periods of drinking stops drinking without medical assistance, they could experience severe stomach issues.

Mood Swings

Withdrawal from any drug has the potential to cause irritability, depression, anger, and guilt. These emotions can come and go very quickly if a person is dealing with withdrawal.

If gone untreated, an addiction to alcohol can lead to physical illness and psychological damage. Furthermore, trying to get sober without medical treatment can be extremely dangerous. It’s important to intervene by seeking professional treatment services.

What Are the Dangers of Alcohol Addiction?

Many people don’t fully understand the health hazards alcohol addiction carries. This could be yet another consequence of alcohol’s reputation as a socially acceptable drug. Excessive drinking and long-term alcohol addiction can cause a number of serious health problems – and even death. Alcohol causes approximately 88,000 deaths each year in America. This makes alcohol the most deadly substance of abuse for American citizens.

Downtown Wilmington along the banks of the Cape Fear River.

The dangers associated with addiction will change from person to person. Some key factors include the length of the addiction, existing mental health disorders, and genetics. Scientists have completed studies which support a genetic link of addiction in families. While it isn’t a guarantee that a person will develop an addiction, having a family history of alcohol abuse or drug abuse is considered a risk factor for developing one.

There are both physical and psychological dangers that a person with an addiction may come across. That’s why it’s crucial for a person to seek help before alcohol misuse progresses to alcohol abuse. Persons who drink excessively are at risk of harming friendships and creating relational or family problems. Legal issues such as drunk driving incidents or drunk and disorderly charges can put strain on the person’s personal and family life, as well as being financially costly. Many people who experience alcohol addiction or alcohol abuse may find themselves having a hard time finding a job, or losing their job due to poor work performance as a result of excessive drinking.

Potentially, a person with an addiction is drinking to cope with an existing mental or emotional disorder. This situation could lead to dangerous behavior including criminal activity, the use of illegal drugs, or even suicide.

Brighter Start's Mission

Our mission is to help each client find life-long recovery, health, and a purpose filled life. You will see yourself, others, and your experiences in a new and positive light after completing treatment.

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Learn More About Brighter Start's Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

Partial Hospitalization Treatment

During a Partial Hospitalization Program, a person usually receives daily therapeutic care. This involves medical supervision by a doctor and drug and mental health counseling. This is a good option for people who have used substances for longer periods of time. They’ll participate in one-on-one and group sessions led by experienced substance abuse counselors. During treatment, a client will learn important techniques for coping with life without alcohol.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment

This program involves a client completing treatment while continuing their life. While living at home or in a sober living facility, they’ll return for regular visits with a substance abuse counselor and to attend group sessions. Intensive Outpatient Treatment is an option for people who have obligations they can’t afford to neglect, or who have already completed a higher level of treatment.

Sober Living Recommendations

Sober Living houses are homes where a person in recovery can live in order to remain in a safe environment while they work on their sobriety. Sober Living can be used in conjunction with a treatment program or without. A Sober Living environment will provide regular drug testing, as well as ensure that the person is attending outside recovery groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or SMART Recovery.