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Alcohol Abuse or Alcoholism

alcohol abuse or alcoholismA problem with many faces

When someone has an issue with alcohol, it becomes easy to get bombarded by labels. Regardless of a person’s habitual behavior, he or she may be called an alcoholic or an addict. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders classifies three specific ailments associated with problematic alcohol use: alcohol use disorder, alcohol intoxication and alcohol withdrawal. However, like many mental disorders and problematic substance use, a condition’s severity varies on the spectrum.

While one condition evolves into another, abuse and fully developed dependency are both serious issues that can wreak havoc on a person’s mind, body, behaviors and social life, all at once. Furthermore, once a person is set on a path towards this destructive lifestyle, the decline of a person’s quality of life can be a fast and steep drop. It is imperative to stop a pattern of alcohol consumption at the first sign of misuse.

Sovereign Health Group is a residential rehabilitation treatment company for substance abuse, mental health disorders and dual diagnosis. Our expert staff provides our patients with cutting-edge treatment programming and a full continuum of therapeutic care monitored by various licensed health professionals.

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Alcohol abuse

A person who abuses alcohol is not always considered an alcoholic. Major trauma or upset in a person’s life can lead to an increase in one’s consumption of alcohol as an attempt to cope with the associated stress. This increase in consumption is alcohol abuse and it may or may not lead to an addiction.

Unlike alcoholics, alcohol abusers have control over their drinking. However, their alcohol use is still self-destructive and dangerous to themselves or others including:

  • A loss in appetite; forsaking food for alcohol
  • Denial or secrecy about the amount of alcohol being consumed
  • Drinking prior to functions; bringing alcohol to functions in order to have enough
  • Taking time to plan for the next time they can drink or recovering from the last one
  • A loss of interest in one’s physical appearance and health; loss of interest in work/school, family relationships and friendships

From abuse to alcoholism

Not all alcohol abusers become alcoholics, but they are more at risk. Sometimes alcoholism develops suddenly in response to a stressful change, such as a divorce, termination from a job or a death. Other times, people develop a tolerance as consumption increases. The more a person drinks and the longer he or she drinks for, the higher the tolerance becomes.

Excessive alcohol use leads to habit-forming abuse and alcohol abuse gradually progresses into alcoholism. This also means that a reduction or halt in consumption can result in withdrawal symptoms, which vary in severity depending on the amount and duration the person has been drinking.


People with alcoholism cannot control their drinking despite its negative effect upon their health. An alcoholic has a physical or mental dependence on the alcohol and consumption becomes solely dependent on the need to function normally.

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism share many physical symptoms, making it harder to differentiate between the two. In addition to the symptoms of alcohol abuse, the following define alcoholism:

  • Losing control over the amount of drinking
  • Unable to quit drinking despite wanting to do so
  • Giving up other activities because of alcohol such as spending time with family and pursuing hobbies
  • A great deal of energy and focus is consumed by alcohol; the individual spends a lot of time drinking, thinking about it or recovering from its effects
  • Continuing to drink despite the problems it may be causing
  • Varying withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, anxiety, headache, nausea and hallucinations

Treatment with Sovereign

In order to confront a drinking problem head-on, an individual should also have a clear idea of what he or she is facing. Different cases of pathology warrant a unique set of treatment strategies and resources for recovery. The condition must be precisely defined in order to ensure the administration of the most effective solutions. The existence or absence of craving, withdrawal and tolerance are all critical determinants of different stages of affliction. Identifying specific symptoms and making accurate diagnoses is the key for a successful journey back to a stable, happy life.

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism are both problems that require serious help. The Sovereign Health Group fully realizes this and offers its patients assistance through safe and secure detox programs, top-of-the-line rehabilitation centers and top-quality aftercare programs in order to help them overcome their alcohol problem.

Sovereign Health is among the top alcoholism treatment centers in the country. Our highly qualified, experienced and multi-disciplinary staff offers compassionate care and support throughout the process of recovery.

We create individualized, comprehensive programs for each client in order to make sure he or she can experience long-term sobriety and a successful reintegration into society. We help our clients with alcohol and drug abuse, mental health problems and any co-occurring conditions. Where other programs may fail, we strive to succeed. We believe in our patients and their well-being is our number one priority.

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