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What is it like to be an alcoholic? | A Raw and Honest Look at Addiction

March 28, 2023 By 0 Comments

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a chronic disease characterized by compulsive alcohol consumption and an inability to control alcohol intake. It affects millions of people worldwide and can have a significant impact on every aspect of a person’s life. In this blog, we will explore what it’s like to be an alcoholic, the physical and psychological effects of alcoholism, and the treatment options available for those who are struggling with alcohol addiction.

What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a chronic disease that affects the brain and the body. It’s characterized by a strong desire to drink, a loss of control over alcohol consumption, and negative consequences related to alcohol use. Alcoholism can develop gradually over time or can occur suddenly after a traumatic event or stressful period in a person’s life. It can also run in families, suggesting a genetic predisposition to the disease.

Physical Effects of Alcoholism

Alcoholism can have numerous physical effects on the body. Over time, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to liver damage, pancreatitis, heart disease, and cancer. It can also weaken the immune system, making it easier for a person to get sick or contract infections.

In addition, alcoholism can cause vitamin deficiencies, particularly in vitamin B1 (thiamine). This can lead to a condition called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which can cause confusion, memory loss, and difficulty walking. Chronic heavy drinking can also cause neurological damage and peripheral neuropathy, which can result in numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hands and feet.

Psychological Effects of Alcoholism

Alcoholism can also have significant psychological effects on a person. Alcohol is a depressant, which means it can slow down brain activity and affect mood. This can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, and irritability.

Alcoholism can also impact a person’s ability to think clearly and make decisions. It can affect memory, attention, and concentration, which can have negative consequences at work, school, and in personal relationships.

Another psychological effect of alcoholism is the development of a tolerance to alcohol. Over time, a person may need to consume larger amounts of alcohol to feel the same effects they once felt with smaller amounts. This can lead to a dangerous cycle of increased alcohol consumption and increased physical and psychological dependence on alcohol.

What is it Like to Be an Alcoholic?

Being an alcoholic can be a challenging and isolating experience. Alcoholism can affect every aspect of a person’s life, from personal relationships to employment opportunities. Alcoholics often struggle with feelings of shame, guilt, and regret related to their drinking. They may also experience physical and psychological symptoms related to alcohol withdrawal when attempting to quit drinking.

Alcoholics may find themselves drinking in secret or hiding the amount they drink from loved ones. They may also experience legal issues related to their drinking, such as driving under the influence or public intoxication.

Many alcoholics struggle with the decision to quit drinking. They may fear the physical and psychological symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, or worry about how their life will change without alcohol. However, seeking treatment for alcohol addiction can be a life-changing decision that can lead to a happier and healthier life.

Treatment Options for Alcoholism

There are numerous treatment options available for those who are struggling with alcohol addiction. Treatment typically begins with detoxification, which involves withdrawing from alcohol in a safe and controlled environment. This can help to manage the physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and prevent complications.

After detox, many individuals enter into a residential or outpatient treatment program. These programs typically involve a combination of individual counseling, group therapy, and educational sessions on addiction and recovery. Medications may also be used to manage cravings and prevent relapse.

Many individuals also find support in 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or other peer support groups. These programs provide a supportive community of individuals who have also struggled with alcohol addiction and can offer guidance, encouragement, and accountability.

In addition to these traditional treatment options, there are also newer approaches to treating alcoholism that have shown promise. These include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors related to alcohol use. Other therapies such as mindfulness-based interventions and holistic approaches like yoga and meditation can also be beneficial in treating alcohol addiction.

What Can You Do?

If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, it’s important to know that you are not alone. Seeking help is the first step towards recovery. You can start by talking to your healthcare provider or a mental health professional who can provide you with information about treatment options.

You can also reach out to a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous, where you can connect with others who have gone through similar experiences and receive guidance and support on your journey to recovery.

At our rehab center, we offer a range of evidence-based treatment options to help individuals overcome alcohol addiction and achieve long-term sobriety. Our team of experienced professionals is committed to providing compassionate and personalized care to each individual who walks through our doors.

We understand that recovery is a journey, and we are here to support you every step of the way. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help.


Alcoholism can be a devastating disease that affects not only the individual struggling with addiction but also their loved ones. It’s important to recognize the physical and psychological effects of alcoholism and seek treatment as soon as possible.

Treatment for alcohol addiction can be challenging, but with the right support and guidance, it is possible to achieve long-term sobriety. At our rehab center, we offer evidence-based treatment options and a supportive community of professionals who are dedicated to helping individuals overcome alcohol addiction and reclaim their lives.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Recovery is possible, and we are here to support you on your journey.

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