Social drinking is a long-standing human tradition. From ancient practices of beer and winemaking to the modern happy hour, alcohol has always played a role in social life. Alcohol may seem relatively harmless because it is legal and easy to get. Unfortunately, despite its benign reputation, alcohol is highly addictive. People from all walks of life struggle with alcohol every day. Alcohol addiction treatments can help those struggling with alcohol addiction stay sober.
If you or a young man in your life is struggling with alcohol consumption, Red Oak Recovery® can help. Our Asheville, NC programs serve young men battling addiction, mental health concerns, and trauma. Learn more about our alcohol rehab programs today at 866.457.7590 or visit us online now.
What Is Alcohol Addiction?
Like any addictive substance, alcohol alters the brain’s chemistry. When alcohol enters the bloodstream, it slows the nervous system, which changes a person’s balance and reaction time. It can also cause someone to slur their speech. As alcohol depresses the nervous system, it can relieve physical, emotional, and psychological stress. This effect, however, is temporary. Long-term alcohol use can damage organs, cause chronic dehydration, and shorten the user’s lifespan.
While many people drink socially with friends or loved ones, frequent social drinking can often develop into a drinking habit. It can be hard to know the difference between habitual drinking and alcoholism. When a person becomes addicted to alcohol, they experience withdrawal effects when he goes too many hours between drinks. Other signs of alcoholism include:
- Mood swings
- Erratic behavior
- Alcohol cravings
- Secretive drinking
- Confusion and irritability without alcohol
- Shaking and profuse sweating
- Changes in skin color and luster
Some people’s alcohol addiction may be evident to those around them. Others may not. High-functioning alcoholics drink just as much alcohol without seeming drunk.
What Is a High-Functioning Alcoholic?
A high-functioning alcoholic has a high tolerance to alcohol, which means they can drink a large quantity of alcohol before appearing drunk. High-functioning alcoholics appear normal while intoxicated. They may secretly put alcohol in their morning coffee or drink throughout the day. To achieve such a high tolerance, high-functioning alcoholics need to drink frequently to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Unlike social drinkers, they may drink alone. Alcohol is not just a part of their daily routine or social practices. Instead, it’s a form of self-medicating. Unlike social drinkers, high-functioning alcoholics need and crave alcohol daily to function without experiencing withdrawal.
It can be hard to spot a high-functioning alcoholic. Because they maintain jobs, home life, and school life, it may appear they have their drinking under control. Any form of alcoholism, however, is detrimental to physical, emotional, and psychological health. Detoxing at home and quitting cold turkey is especially difficult and dangerous for high-functioning alcoholics because their tolerance is high. They are at an increased risk for overdose and death during detox.
Learn More About Treatment Options at Red Oak Recovery®
Sometimes it’s hard to know when social drinking has turned into alcohol addiction. If you’re worried about the drinking habits of a young man in your life, call Red Oak Recovery® today. Our Asheville, North Carolina clinic helps young men living with addiction heal in the beautiful wilderness of NC. We treat alcohol, drug, and process addictions. We also help young men struggling with depression and disordered eating. Our team specializes in trauma-informed therapy and providing dual diagnosis treatment for those suffering from addiction and mental health disorders. With a focus on wilderness therapy, young men come to Red Oak to disconnect from urban stress and reconnect to themselves through Asheville’s scenic wilderness. If you’re ready to learn more about our alcohol rehab programs, reach our staff today at 866.457.7590 to get started.