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What Is Crippling Alcoholism?
If you or a loved one suffer from a severe alcohol use disorder, it is crucial to get help for the crippling alcoholism as soon as possible.
For half a century, alcoholism has been defined as a disease. As a disease that impacts the brain, alcoholism sets in motion a cycle of dependence that keeps a person trapped. The compulsive drinking leads to a slew of health problems and mental health issues.
When you or someone you love suffers from severe alcoholism, life can be turned upside down. The adverse effects caused by the disease can lead to job loss, divorce, money problems, and the list goes on. If it is someone you care about who is battling alcoholism, you are probably beside yourself with worry. If it is you who suffers from the disease, then your loved ones are just as worried about your wellbeing.
It is never too late to get help for an alcohol problem, but the sooner you reach out for support, the better the recovery outcome. Read on to learn what to do when you or someone you love is struggling with crippling alcoholism.
About the Disease of Alcoholism
When someone has an alcohol use disorder (AUD) they will begin to display certain behavior patterns. The telltale signs of an AUD include:
- Unable to limit or quit drinking.
- Drinking over a longer period than they intend.
- Needing to consume ever-higher amounts to have the effects they desire.
- Spending a great deal of time drinking or getting over the effects of drinking.
- Neglect family or work obligations.
- Use alcohol to help manage a mental health issue.
- Bloating, glassy eyes, red face.
- Hand tremors.
- Lying about how much alcohol is being consumed.
- Hiding alcohol.
- Having withdrawal symptoms when the alcohol wears off.
The more of these signs that are present, the more severe the AUD is.
When Should You Get Help?
So often people say, “They have to reach their bottom before they will accept help.” This is dangerous, as the bottom can be death itself. Bottoms come and bottoms go. It is a mistake to stand by and watch someone’s life implode while waiting for them—or yourself—to hit bottom.
The alcoholic suffers daily. Each day brings its own set of problems related to AUD. Losing a job, a spouse, your home, your health, your mental health—all of these are part of “the bottom.” Alcoholism can seduce a person into a life of misery. Slowly but surely, the adverse effects of the AUD will pile up. Do not wait for that bottom before seeking help for alcoholism, because it may be too late.
Signs of Severe Alcoholism
End stage alcoholism, or severe alcohol use disorder, is diagnosed when both psychological and physical dependence has taken root.
Symptoms that the alcoholism has progressed to a severe phase include:
- Hand tremors.
- Bloating of the face and neck.
- Broken capillaries on the face.
- Distended abdomen.
- Cognitive impairment.
- Emotional instability.
- Heart problems.
- Depression and/or anxiety.
- Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, caused by thiamine deficiency.
This stage features adverse health effects caused by the disease, possibly including:
- Liver disease. Alcohol is very toxic to the liver. Liver disease may not show signs until the later stages. This happens with cirrhosis. It often begins as fatty liver disease. Without a liver transplant, it is a fatal condition;
- Cardiac symptoms. Long-term heavy drinking takes a toll on heart health. Signs of a cardiac problem include heart arrhythmia or alcoholic cardiomyopathy. These can result in organ damage or heart failure.
- Cognitive problems. Excess drinking can lead to brain damage, which first shows up as cognitive problems. Memory issues are another sign. Also, thiamine (B1) deficiency can lead to brain damage.
- Gastrointestinal problems. Heavy drinking causes excess stomach acid. Acid reflux can lead to gastritis. It also causes ulcers or bleeding in the stomach lining. The loss of blood can lead to anemia, causing extreme fatigue.
- Cancer symptoms. Excess drinking causes an increased risk of many types of deadly cancer. Types of cancer linked with heavy drinking include oral, throat, esophageal, colon, rectal, pancreatic, liver, and breast cancer.
Getting Help for Severe Alcoholism
Getting yourself or a loved one into detox and treatment will truly be lifesaving. There are several ways you can prepare for treatment:
- Do some research. Before seeking help, it is best to do some study on alcoholism and treatment options. This will help you be well prepared when you or a loved one is ready to receive treatment.
- Ask for support. Rehab programs often include a family piece, such as family therapy sessions and family days. Family sessions allow members to have open and honest discourse that can help heal deep wounds. Ask family members to participate in the healing process.
- Contact insurance. Having the resources for treatment is key. First contact the insurance company to see what is covered under the plan. They will provide the details for out of pocket expenses and network providers. Also, ask the rehab if they offer sliding scale programs or scholarships. They may also offer in-house financing plans to help stretch the cost out over time.
- Plan the logistics. Someone facing treatment will worry about being away from home and working for a long period. These logistics should be addressed early on to ease anxiety about how it will all work. Check with H.R. about how to file for a leave of absence. Has childcare planned out if there are children involved who will need care in the absence of a parent? Prepare your finances ahead of time so bills will be paid while in rehab.
Seeking out expert treatment and support for severe alcoholism can truly turn someone’s life around. Reach out for help today to begin the journey toward renewed wellness.
Journey Hillside Provides Treatment and Help for Crippling Alcoholism
Journey Hillside is a private treatment center that offers on-site detox and full rehab services. This high-end, evidence-based program provides the healing space for someone in recovery from alcoholism. For more detail about the program, please contact us today at (877) 414-1024.