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How Addictive is Alcohol? What You Need to Know

how addictive is alcohol, view of a man with his head in hands surrounded by liquor bottles

Those battling alcohol addiction may vow that if they knew how addictive is alcohol, they would have never taken the first drink. This conversation may come up in group therapy or sober groups, such as Alcohol Anonymous (AA), where clients share their experiences with alcohol. They probably didn’t even know alcohol is addictive enough to destroy their health, relationships, and life. Fortunately, there are alcohol addiction treatment centers in TX and other states equipped to help them give up booze.

What is Alcohol?

Alcohol is the most used and abused addictive substance in the US. In 2017, there were 140.6 million current alcohol users aged 12 or older. In the same year, an estimated 14.5 million people aged 12 or older were addicted to alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant that contains an addictive and toxic substance called ethanol. It slows the central nervous system functions and creates a “nice” feeling. Drinkers use it to relax and take their minds off their worries. However, excess, heavy or binge drinking causes intoxication and, eventually, dependence.

How Addictive is Alcohol by Itself?

If you knew how addictive is alcohol considering the statistics, would it stop you from drinking? Alcohol can wreak havoc on the body and brain. As innocent as a beer or shot of vodka may seem, it can mark the beginning of the path to addiction. That’s how addictive alcohol is. The more often a person consumes alcohol, the more likely they will grow addicted to it.

Addiction happens because ethanol causes chemical changes in the brain that make you crave for a drink. Alcohol is so addictive it damages and shrinks the brain and changes brain functions. The changes negatively affect mood, memory, behavior, and decision-making, or make you believe you need to keep drinking to survive. In the event you try to quit, withdrawal symptoms such as vomiting, anxiety, or insomnia may keep you off the wagon.

How Addictive is Alcohol with Drugs?

A frequently asked question about alcoholism is how addictive is alcohol if you use it with drugs. As if it’s not addictive enough on its own, mixing alcohol with drugs is a dangerous and deadly combination. Some drinkers may decide to experiment with heroin, cocaine, or prescription opioids, such as fentanyl, to get an intense rush of euphoria. Mixing alcohol and drugs (polysubstance abuse) increases the psychoactive effects of all the substances. This can also trigger harmful reactions that lead to overdose or death.

Getting Over Alcohol Addiction at a Treatment Center in TX

Alcohol effects on the brain make it very difficult to end the drinking problem on your own. However, partnering with the addiction recovery professionals at The Right Step rehab can help you regain sobriety. First, you can go through alcohol detox to reduce cravings and prepare your mind for cognitive behavioral therapy. The therapist and counselors help clients change their beliefs or behaviors that encourage drinking. They also teach life skills and coping methods to help them stay away from alcohol or drugs. If you would like to know more, here is a list of programs and therapies to consider:

There are also the Chronic Relapse Track and aftercare programs to help you manage relapse triggers. If you think any of these programs suit your needs or those of a family member, feel free to contact us. The Right Step treatment centers are located in Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Hill Country, TX. We welcome men and women, no matter where you live. Call 17135283709 to talk to an admissions staff today.

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