How to Know If You Have Alcohol Addiction

So…How to Know If You Have Alcohol Addiction

Sometimes the easiest way to answer a question is with another question. So, ask yourself this. What is going on in your life that made you search ‘How to Know If You Have Alcohol Addiction’? You didn’t land on this page by accident while shopping for a new microwave after all. It’s safe to assume something prompted you try to find out how to know if you have alcohol addiction. Let’s rewind a bit. Maybe someone said something to you about your drinking. The possibility that you might have a problem with alcohol may not have occurred to you until someone suggested it because of your behavior. Many people start looking at themselves in a situation very much like that.


How Did I Get Here?

Perhaps there’s been a change in your routine? Your regular drinking is causing you problems it hasn’t before. You’re waking up with a hangover more often. You are seeing alcohol addiction symptoms. Or maybe you’ve broken a promise to yourself or someone else. I won’t drink during the week. Or I won’t drink before 6 pm. Believe it or not, these are also very common ways which we arrive at this crossroads. How you get there isn’t important though. What matters is you did and you’re here. While that may not seem like a positive to you, we’re here to tell you it absolutely is. If you have a drinking problem, it isn’t going to solve itself. Admitting there is a problem, any problem, is the first step towards solving it. That’s why this is a positive development and you should look at it that way. Would you believe that someday you will look back on this point with gratitude and even a modicum of pride?


Here’s How to Know If You Have Alcohol Addiction

Back to the matter at hand. What is alcohol addiction anyway? Sometimes called alcoholism, alcohol addiction is the inability to control your drinking because of a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. That’s it in a nutshell. So, there’s a few questions right in that definition there that you can ask yourself. That’s a great way how to know if you have alcohol addiction. Here are the questions:


  • Do you have an inability to control your drinking?
  • Have you tried to cut down or stop, only to start up again or drink the same or more?
  • Are you physically dependent on alcohol?
  • What happens if you go 24 hours without a drink? 48 hours? 3 days? How about a week? Do you get anxious or grouchy? Trouble sleeping? Maybe worse?
  • Are you psychologically dependent on alcohol?
  • What’s the first thing you do when you get some bad news? How would you feel about going to a party where you knew there would be no alcohol allowed?

Chances are we don’t even need to give you the answers to the questions above. If you ask yourself all of them and answer honestly, you will know what the answers mean. But there is one really important question you have yet to answer. This is the most important question in this whole article in fact. It’s the only one that really matters.


What Am I Willing to Do About It? 

This is the million-dollar question. We’ve explained how to know if you have alcohol addiction. We’ve laid out alcohol addiction symptoms for you above. But knowing you have a problem with alcohol doesn’t change anything. Change doesn’t come from realization. It comes from action. That’s where the rubber meets the road. You know that millions of people have recovered from alcoholism. It’s not a secret after all. Common sense should tell you that lots of those people had harder lives and sadder stories than you, but they still got sober. We’re not saying that to give you a hard time. It’s very much the opposite in fact.


We tell you that because it’s a reason to have hope. Lots and lots of people who others thought would never get sober did. Recovering alcoholics are remarkable people. They defy the odds all the time, in all kinds of ways. Maybe the coolest thing about them is they love nothing more than to help someone who is in the same predicament. That bodes well for you because it means you aren’t alone. You don’t have to do this by yourself. It’s not just you versus the bottle. You have a whole army on your side in this war if you want it.



Overcoming alcohol addiction is absolutely possible. Not only that, but recovery can do much better than just give you your life back. If you follow the directions on the box, recovery will result in you being the best version of you. It goes way beyond just getting the booze out of your life. It will teach you how to be an outstanding human being. You’ll repair damaged relationships, mend fences and bury hatchets. You’ll find happiness and peace of mind you never thought possible. Then you’ll help others do the same. That’s how it works. If you or someone you love is living with alcohol addiction, give Recovery by the Sea a call at (877) 207-5033 or connect to us through our contact page right here.

Are You an Alcoholic?

How to Tell if  You’re an Alcoholic

Are you an alcoholic? For some, this question is easily answered. Though, for many others, it can be nearly impossible. The reason that it can be difficult to identify whether or not you have Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) – known as alcoholism – is because alcohol use is very common. Because so many people consume alcohol, knowing when you’ve crossed the line can be unclear. You may have AUD and yet drink less than others. However, if you are even asking yourself if you’re an alcoholic, odds are good that your drinking has become a problem.

Signs You Might be an Alcoholic

Alcohol Use Disorder has some clear symptoms. These are used by doctors and therapists to diagnose someone with AUD. These symptoms are:

  • Excessive alcohol use.
  • Lack of control over drinking amount.
  • Alcohol cravings.
  • Preoccupation with alcohol.
  • Failure to meet responsibilities due to alcohol use.
  • Continued drinking in spite of problems surrounding alcohol.
  • Using alcohol in risky situations.
  • Increased alcohol tolerance.
  • Withdrawal when stopping alcohol use.

Having any of these could be the signs that you struggle with AUD. Having all of them almost certainly means you’re an alcoholic. We’ll explain each one in detail so you can decide if you might have AUD.

How do I Know if I’m an Alcoholic?

There’s a risk factor for alcoholism that isn’t always part of the diagnosis. That is having alcoholism in your family. Merely because someone in your family is an alcoholic doesn’t mean you are. However, it does increase the chances that you could develop AUD. This risk is greater if they are part of your immediate family. If your parents or siblings have AUD, you’re at much greater danger of developing it yourself. But it is only by looking at your relationship with alcohol that you can answer “Are you an alcoholic?” Here’s how to tell:

Excessive Alcohol Use and Lack of Control Over Drinking

These are the first two signs you might be an alcoholic. Using a lot of alcohol doesn’t automatically tell you that you are an alcoholic. It only becomes a problem when you drink more often than you wish. It can also mean that you drink more alcohol than you intend to when you do drink. For example, if you decide to drink a beer or two, then find yourself drinking six, you’re using more than you intended. If you decide you’re going to stop drinking for a week, and yet find yourself creating reasons to drink, that is what is meant by excessive alcohol use.

Alcohol Cravings

People who don’t have AUD rarely crave alcohol. That is to say, they don’t feel like they “need” it. They may want it, but are able to stay sober if they decide to. This isn’t the case with people who have AUD. Alcoholics actually have a different brain than non-alcoholics. What happens with AUD is the brain gets hijacked by the disease. This causes the person to feel like they need alcohol. These cravings lead to a lack of control over their drinking. Thus, it is a good sign your brain is wired like an alcoholic if you have cravings.

Preoccupation with Alcohol

Along with cravings, people who struggle with AUD are obsessed with alcohol. This is another sign that their brain has been taken over by the disease. They are obsessed with alcohol. They think about drinking when they aren’t. Often, they will feel better merely by having alcohol in the house. Being close to alcohol makes them feel like they can satisfy their cravings at any time. This provides a sense of peace. Anyone who finds themselves thinking about alcohol on a regular basis could have AUD.

Failure to Meet Responsibilities

When someone is preoccupied with alcohol, they often drink at inappropriate times. This causes them to fail to meet responsibilities. These responsibilities include:

  • Missing work or school in order to drink or recover from alcohol use.
  • Failing to go to social gatherings, or leaving gatherings early in order to drink.
  • An inability to attend family functions – such as children’s activities or family obligations – in order to drink or recover from drinking.
  • Losing a job or source of income because of drinking.
  • Missing doctor appointments due to drinking.

Anytime drinking interferes with the necessary functions of life, it’s a sign that alcohol has become a problem.

Continued Drinking in Spite of Problems

Missing work once in a while due to a hangover can’t tell you “Are you an alcoholic?” However, when you consistently miss work or fail to meet other responsibilities, and then continue to drink, it’s a sign your brain has AUD. This is especially true of alcohol is causing major problems in your life. Some problems surrounding alcohol include:

  • Loss of a job or dropping out of school due to alcohol use.
  • Overspending on alcohol while failing to pay rent, utilities or other important bills.
  • Legal problems surrounding alcohol such as being arrested for driving while intoxicated.
  • Engaging in fights or arguments while drinking.
  • Losing a marriage or partner due to your alcohol use.
  • Health problems associated with alcohol, including high blood pressure, cirrhosis, kidney disease or other alcohol-related illnesses.

This is not a complete list of the problems that can come from alcohol. Anytime alcohol has created problems in your life, it is a bad sign. If you continue to drink in spite of these problems, it means alcohol is taking control.

Using Alcohol in Risky Situations

There’s many times in life where drinking is inappropriate. There’s others where it is downright dangerous. If you are drinking while driving or operating machinery, you are putting your life and the lives of others at risk. If you are drinking at work, you’re likely risking your job. Should you be unable to stay sober while caring for children, the elderly or the sick, you’re probably drinking too much. If you’re putting your life at risk by drinking while engaging in physical activity – such as swimming – then you likely have a troublesome relationship with alcohol.

Increased Alcohol Tolerance

If you find that it takes more alcohol to get intoxicated, you’ve developed a tolerance. This means you’ve drank so much that your body is getting used to the alcohol. Therefore, you constantly need more. If you need to drink to feel “normal” it’s likely because you are dependent on alcohol.


With the increase in alcohol use comes withdrawal. Withdrawal means that you feel sick when you stop using alcohol. Here’s some of the symptoms common with alcohol withdrawal:

  • Shaking
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations

When stopping alcohol makes you feel any or all of these, your body is craving alcohol. If you’ve crossed the line to where you feel sicker sober than you do drunk, it’s a safe bet you’re drinking too much.

Are You an Alcoholic? Is it Time to Get Help?

Are you an alcoholic? Hopefully you now have an answer to this question. If you found that you had any or all of the symptoms listed, it might be time to get help. Battling AUD is a difficult process. Your own brain is going to work against you. That’s why coping with AUD requires aid.

Our staff is adept at treating AUD. We develop treatment plans to help you cope with life sober. We work with every patient to find the best way to combat their alcoholism. From treating the disorder itself to treating other mental health issues, our recovery program is comprehensive. We can help you detox safely to limit withdrawal symptoms, and create a structure to make it easy for you to live sober. Don’t suffer with alcoholism any longer. Reach out now and take back your life!


What Alcoholism Does to Relationships

man and woman sitting on a bench arguing

Let’s get straight to the point here– alcohol use disorder is a disease that eventually has a negative impact on every life it happens to touch. In other words, it’s virtually impossible for an active alcoholic to maintain healthy and mutually beneficial relationships. It’s an unfortunate fact, yes, but one that every addict has to confront if they are to have a chance at true recovery.

In this post, we’ll examine some of the most common difficulties that alcoholics and other addicts face in their romantic and family relationships.

The Effect of Alcoholism on Romantic Relationships

The effect that alcoholism has on any type of intimacy is almost always destructive to both parties. No matter how much two people might love one another, an active alcoholic (often with a great deal of help from their well-meaning partner) is often so cruel, absent, erratic, and unhappy that the relationship ends in disaster.

Here are just a few examples of what alcoholism does to romantic relationships:

  • The erratic behavior of the heavy drinker leads to feelings of anxiety and fear
  • Deep feelings of mistrust can arise because of the alcoholic’s unreliability
  • A preoccupation with alcohol and self can lead to systematic neglect of the drinker’s partners
  • Social embarrassment, job loss, and obviously low self-esteem can lead to a loss of respect
  • Personality changes can destroy the shared values that make a relationship stable
  • Alcoholism can also result in mental, physical, and verbal abuse
  • Codependency is a frequent outcome of a relationship that’s poisoned by alcohol

Again, this is just a small sample of the destructive effects alcoholism has on romantic relationships. Fortunately, a little recovery often goes a long way in resolving even the worst conflicts. 

Alcoholism and The Family Dynamic

Alcoholism can damage a once healthy family dynamic in a distressing variety of ways. Here’s what can result if one or more family members progress into alcoholism

  • Fractured relationships
  • Suspicions and mistrust
  • Deep resentment
  • Divorce, separation, or the alcoholic being forced to leave the family home
  • Neglected and traumatized children
  • Enabling behavior and/or codependency
  • Various types of familial abuse

Perhaps worst of all, certain family members can end up feeling disregarded when everyone is forced to deal with the alcoholic’s chronic instability. If possible, these relationships must be repaired if the alcoholic is to recover and the other members want to live happier, more productive lives.

The Importance of Healthy Relationships in Recovery

It might seem like a contradiction in terms, but stable, supportive relationships are critical to individual recovery. This doesn’t mean that romantic partners and family members should jeopardize their quality of life just to give an alcoholic one last chance, but it does require the heavy drinker to make the internal changes that healthy relationships demand.

Unfortunately, most alcoholics can only make these changes with the help of supportive relationships. But this isn’t the stalemate it might look like on the surface. There is strength and wisdom in numbers, especially when the persons involved are pursuing similar goals. For good or for ill, relationship skill-building usually has to begin with other people working toward recovery.

While this might sound frustrating at first, it won’t take long before these newly learned skills start to bleed over into your non-recovery based relationships and you start to build a network of friends, family, and, just maybe, a romantic partner that inspires you to improve your insides even further.

Jessica Simpson Opens Up About Alcohol Addiction

Jessica Simpson Alcohol Addiction

Earlier this year, singer and entrepreneur Jessica Simpson made two big announcements. One, she had written a new book about her life. And two, that book is about a drinking and prescription pill problem she has been hiding for years. In the powerful memoir, Open Book, Jessica Simpson details her struggle with alcohol and drug addiction, dealing with childhood trauma, and her journey to sobriety. Now, sober for nearly two and a half years, she shares about the trauma that led to her using. 


Childhood Trauma and Addiction

Trauma is a major driver of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and addiction. In the book and subsequent press tour, Jessica shares for the first time that she was the victim of sexual abuse as a child which was never addressed until adulthood. Furthermore, she shot to fame whilst still a minor and carried the pressures of stardom with her for her entire adult life. In order to cope with the emotional pain and the career stressors she experienced, Jessica turned to alcohol and prescription pills.

Over the years, Jessica’s addiction deepened. She found herself unable to function without alcohol, even drinking it first thing in the morning. Jessica recalls constantly carrying what she called her “Glitter Cup” which was “always filled to the rim with alcohol”. 

She also claims she used stimulants to counteract the effects of the booze, diet pills to maintain an unrealistic weight in the public eye, and sleeping pills to get to bed at night. 


Getting Help

Jessica claims she hit rock bottom at a Halloween party in 2017. Hosted at her home, she realized she had a problem when was too drunk to dress her kids for the party. “I was terrified of letting them see me in that shape,” Simpson said. “I am ashamed to say that I don’t know who got them into their costumes that night.” 

The next day she recalls telling friends, “I need to stop. Something’s got to stop. And if it’s alcohol that’s doing this and making things worse, then I quit”. That month Jessica Simpson sought treatment for alcohol and prescription pill addiction. She went into therapy to deal with the underlying issues that had caused her to use. 

Jessica told People magazine, “When I finally said I needed help, it was like I was that little girl that found her calling again in life.I found direction and that was to walk straight ahead with no fear.”

She said she realized she had to surrender and vowed to never miss another Halloween or Christmas with her children. She wants to show up and be present.  

We commend Jessica Simpson for her bravery in sharing her struggle with addiction so publicly. We hope her story inspires others to seek treatment and ask for the help they need. 


Are you or a loved one struggling?

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, contact us today. Our expert advisors can talk with you about your options for treatment and ongoing support. We’re here to help. 

Women’s Healthcare Month: Addiction and the Mental Health Gender Gap

Women's Mental Health and Addiction

What is the Gender Gap in Mental Health Care? 

Women are twice as likely to suffer from a mental health disorder than men. This statistic encompasses women from all socioeconomic positions, races, and geographical regions. However, some research finds a connection between women who experience significant gender and wealth inequality and higher rates of mental health conditions. Understanding the reasons for the higher rates of mental health issues affecting women is an important aspect of closing the gender gap with regards to women’s healthcare and addiction treatment. 


Co-Occurring Disorders in Women

Co-occurring disorders are mental health conditions such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety which coincide with substance abuse and/or addiction. Research suggests that 40% of people with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) have a Co-occurring Disorder. 

We know that mental health conditions can lead to substance abuse and addiction, as people often use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. But equally, addiction can often precede a mental health condition. For example, in men addiction is more likely to lead to depression rather than the other way around. In women, the opposite is true. For example, women are far more likely to suffer from depression and use drugs or alcohol to cope with their symptoms, leading to SUD and/or addiction. 

Thus, Co-occurring Disorders are often found to be drivers of SUD and addiction in women. For instance, studies have shown that 6 in 10 women with addiction also have PTSD. Without treatment for mental health, SUD and addiction thrive, creating a vicious cycle in which one condition exacerbates the other. 

Risk Factors for Women

Women are more likely to experience certain types of trauma which can adversely affect their mental health. They are more vulnerable to physical attacks, domestic violence and sexual abuse, all of which are key risk factors for women and mental health conditions. In fact, one in three women will experience a sexual assault in their lifetime and are statistically more likely to experience sexual abuse, incest, and neglect in their childhood. 

Women also experience higher rates of socioeconomic disadvantage and income inequality. Furthermore, women are more likely to be carers which often carries with it psychological and physical burdens.

Lastly, certain types of depressive conditions can be unique to women, such as Premenstrual Depressive Disorder, Perinatal Depression, and Perimenopausal Depression.


Getting Help 

When SUD and addiction combine with mental health conditions, the patient should be treated for both conditions. Women’s mental health and SUD and addiction should be addressed together. Finding a center which specializes in treating Co-occurring Disorders is crucial for obtaining the best possible outcome. 

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, addiction and/or mental health conditions, help is available. At Harmony Recovery Group we treat addiction and mental health holistically to create the best chance of long-term recovery and wellbeing.

Contact us today, we are here for you. 



Is Alcohol a Depressant or Stimulant?

Is Alcohol a Depressant or Stimulant?

Alcohol is technically categorized as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, but the answer is a little bit more complicated than that.

Alcohol, depending on the level consumed and a person’s individual reaction, can cause both sedating and stimulating effects. For example, increased heart rate and aggressive behavior are two effects associated with a stimulant, but motor skill and cognitive impairment are characteristics of a depressant.

Some researchers believe that persons who are at a heightened risk of developing an alcohol use disorder do not respond as dramatically to alcohol’s sedative effects as others do. In fact, alcoholism is more strongly associated with a greater stimulatory reaction to alcohol.

Alcohol impacts the brain in a variety of ways. For one, it binds to receptors for gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) responsible for producing feelings of calm, relaxation, and sedation, as well as the suppression of breathing and heart rate. It also inhibits glutamate, a neurotransmitter that excites the central nervous system.

Is Alcohol a Depressant That Causes Depression?

In addition to its effect on GABA and glutamate, alcohol also releases dopamine, a feel-good chemical responsible for feelings of reward.

As dopamine increases, good feelings continue to emerge, and those affected may continue to drink alcohol, more or less in an effort to “chase” the dopamine high. As more alcohol is consumed, however, more depressant effects will develop.

Moreover, alcohol does not excite the nervous system, but rather, it is the excessive release of dopamine that produces pleasurable, rewarding feelings that may sometimes resemble extra energy. But the overall effect is misleading – as the person continues to drink, the central nervous system also becomes increasingly depressed despite the presence of dopamine.

Mixing Alcohol With Drugs

Mixing Alcohol With Drugs

When alcohol is used in conjunction with another sedating drug, the risk of life-threatening CNS depression increases. When CNS activity begins to slow down to a crawl, the threat of coma and death becomes a very real and present danger.

On the other hand, stimulants increase activity in the central nervous system and include substances such as caffeine, amphetamines, and cocaine. Some people use stimulants when drinking to decrease alcohol’s depressant effect and counteract the adverse effects of stimulants, such as anxiety, nervousness, and agitation.

Using alcohol with stimulants, however, is equally dangerous. People may continue to drink alcohol while feeling energetic and elated from stimulants (the depressant effect is essentially masked) under the erroneous belief that they are unlikely to suffer any ill consequences.

However, using alcohol with short-acting stimulants such as cocaine is especially dangerous, because alcohol’s depressant impact can continue well after the effects of the stimulant have worn off. In fact, combining alcohol and cocaine makes the risk of sudden death 20 times greater than by either substance alone.

Mixing alcohol with other stimulants such as prescription amphetamines (e.g., Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta) increases the risk of seizures and heart-related problems such as arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and cardiac arrest.

Also, continued use of alcohol while intoxicated by stimulants increases the likelihood of alcohol poisoning, a condition that can occur and be fatal in persons who reach a blood alcohol concentration of .4 or higher.

Finally, both alcohol and other psychoactive substances can invoke serious psychological effects such as major depression and anxiety, suicidal thoughts, irritability, aggression, delusions, hallucinations, and even psychosis.

Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning is a dangerous and potentially lethal consequence of drinking large amounts of alcohol in a brief period. Drinking to excess can adversely affect breathing, heart rate, body temperature, and gag reflex. In extreme cases, it can result in coma and death.

A person with alcohol poisoning requires immediate medical attention. If you suspect a person is suffering from an overdose, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room right away.

Alcohol poisoning signs and symptoms may include the following:

  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Blue-tinged skin
  • Pale or clammy skin
  • Low body temperature
  • Slow or irregular breathing
  • Unresponsiveness/stupor
  • Unconsciousness

What to Do

It’s not necessary to witness all the above signs before seeking medical help. A person experiencing alcohol poisoning who is unconscious and can’t be awakened is at a high risk of dying.

Take care to do the following:

1) Call 911 immediately. Do not assume that the person will sleep it off.

2) Be prepared to provide whatever information you have. Tell the hospital or emergency personnel the type of alcohol the person drank, the approximate amounts, and when it was consumed.

3) Do not leave an unconscious person alone. Alcohol poisoning impairs the gag reflex, so a person suffering from alcohol poisoning may choke on his or her own vomit. Furthermore, while waiting for medical attention, do not try to induce vomiting for this same reason.

4) Help someone who is vomiting by keeping him or her sitting up. If the person must lie down, turn them to the side to help prevent choking. Try to keep the person awake, if possible, to avoid loss of consciousness.

Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help

Is Alcohol a Depressant or Stimulant? | Recovery By The Sea

It can be difficult to determine if a person is drunk enough to justify medical intervention. However, it’s best to err on the side of caution. You may be concerned about the consequences for yourself or this person, especially if driving was involved or you are under the legal age. But keep in mind, the consequences of not getting help in time can be much more severe, and even lethal.


Alcohol in the form of ethanol can be found in alcoholic beverages, mouthwash, cooking extracts, some medications, and even household products. Ethyl alcohol poisoning generally results from drinking way too many alcoholic drinks, especially in a brief episode. This behavior is often referred to as binge drinking.

Binge Drinking

One of the leading causes of alcohol poisoning is binge drinking. Binge drinking is characterized by heavy drinking when a person consumes at least 4 or 5 drinks—for women and men, respectively—within two hours.

While just a few beers are unlikely to result in full-blown alcohol poisoning, often these binges can occur over hours and last for several days. Prolonged alcohol abuse will result in unpleasant and potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. For this reason, many people on a binge will continue to drink rather than get help.

A person can consume a lethal amount of alcohol before becoming unconscious. Even after a person has stopped drinking, alcohol will continue to be released from the stomach and intestines into the bloodstream. For some time, the level of alcohol in the body will continue to increase.

How Much Alcohol Is Too Much?

Unlike food, which can take several hours to digest, alcohol is absorbed rapidly by the body, and long before most other nutrients. Also, it takes a lot more time for the body to eliminate the alcohol that was consumed.

Most alcohol is metabolized by the liver, which can only process roughly one standard drink of alcohol per hour. The more alcohol a person consumes, especially in a relatively short period, the higher his or her risk of encountering alcohol poisoning.

One standard drink is defined as:

  • 12 oz. (355 ml) of regular beer at about 5% ABV
  • 8-9 oz. (237 to 266 ml) of malt liquor at about 7% ABV
  • 5 oz. (148 ml) of wine at about 12% ABV
  • 1.5 oz. (44 ml) of 80-proof hard liquor at about 40% ABV

Note that some mixed drinks may contain multiple servings of alcohol and take even longer to be processed.

Risk Factors

Several factors can increase the risk of alcohol poisoning, including the following:

  • Height and weight
  • Sex (male or female)
  • Overall health status
  • Food content in the stomach
  • Use of other drugs
  • Rate of alcohol consumption
  • Amount of alcohol consumed
  • Tolerance level
  • Genetic factors

Complications of Alcohol Poisoning

Severe complications can arise from alcohol poisoning, including the following:


Excessive alcohol use frequently causes vomiting. Because it depresses the gag reflex, this increases the risk of choking on vomit if a person is unconscious.

Stopping Breathing

If a person accidentally inhales vomit into his or her lungs, this can result in a harmful and potentially deadly interruption of breathing (asphyxiation).

Severe Dehydration

Vomiting can lead to severe dehydration, and result in dangerously low blood pressure and accelerated heart rate. Alcohol use itself contributes to dehydration.

Alcohol poisoning can also cause seizures, hypothermia, irregular heart rate, and permanent brain damage. Any of these problems can result in death.

Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

heroin treatment support groups |

Alcohol addiction treatment may begin at a medical detox center, where patients receive around-the-clock care and may be rendered medications to relieve highly unpleasant and possibly fatal alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

After detox, patients are encouraged to participate in one of our treatment programs and opt for either partial-hospitalization (PHP) or intensive outpatient treatment. PHP offers clients most of the same therapeutic components as a residential program while allowing them more flexibility to attend to outside activities. These programs can be just as effective as residential programs, however, as they offer similar treatments, including psychotherapy, counseling, group support, and aftercare planning. Conversely, outpatients enjoy even more scheduling flexibility while they meet for several therapy sessions at the center each week.

Why Seek Our Help?

Alcohol dependence is a grave and potentially life-threatening disease that requires long-term treatment and support. While there is no cures an alcohol use disorder, it can be effectively treated. Those who seek help and enter recovery can regain their lives and ultimately experience long-term sobriety and well-being.

Our center offers a secure, structured environment and professional medical personnel who are trained to identify and address the individual needs of each patient using an in-depth, customized approach to alcohol and addiction treatment.

Liver Healing

Liver Healing | How to Repair the Liver | Recovery By The Sea

Liver Healing: How to Repair the Liver from Alcohol Abuse – Depending on a person’s level of alcoholism, he or she may have caused damage to their liver. Fortunately, the liver is a regenerative organ, so in many cases, it’s possible to restore it’s prior condition before problematic drinking began.

Can the Liver Repair Itself?

The liver is the body’s only regenerative organ, not unlike how lizards have the ability to regrow tails. If you had as much as 75% of your liver removed, it could still grow back to its full size.

Part of the reason for this special ability is due to what the liver actually does for the body. Because it works as the body’s primary filtration organ, it comes in contact with many toxins and chemicals, some of which can cause severe damage when they are exposed to cells.

For this reason, the nature of the liver’s job requires it to be able to regenerate on its own. Otherwise, our bodies would be much more vulnerable to a variety of diseases.

Liver Healing and Alcoholism

When a person quits drinking, they are often focused on regaining physical health, and for a good reason. It’s a well-known fact that alcohol can completely destroy the liver. As the main organ responsible for clearing toxins from the body, the liver works hard to process alcoholic beverages.

Many alcoholics in recovery discover they have caused damage to their liver or have contracted liver disease during the course of their alcohol abuse. A damaged liver can result in many of the various health problems that alcoholics encounter due to their drinking. By avoiding alcohol use, staying hydrated, and eating a diet beneficial to liver functioning, a person can usually reverse some or all of the effects of alcoholism—even after years of drinking.

Liver Healing: The Liver’s Function

The liver is the largest internal organ in the body and weighs about three pounds. Its primary function is to detoxify blood from the digestive tract before it flows to the rest of the body.

The liver works to filter chemicals that are transferred throughout the body. It breaks down drugs and alcohol and secretes an enzyme called bile, which helps with digestion. Also, the liver produces protein, which is essential for blood clotting.

When this vital organ is not functioning properly, the rest of the body cannot either. It is critical for every person’s health and well-being. When the liver does not effectively eliminate toxins from the body and aid with digestion, a myriad of hazardous health problems will ultimately manifest.

Types of Liver Disease Caused by Alcoholism

There are many forms of liver disease:

  • Diseases caused by viruses, including hepatitis A, B, and C
  • Diseases caused by substances, such as fatty liver disease and cirrhosis
  • Liver cancer
  • Inherited diseases, including hemochromatosis and Wilson disease

Aside from cancer, cirrhosis is the most serious disease of the liver. Cirrhosis is an exacerbation of other, less severe diseases, such as fatty liver and hepatitis B and C. It involves the loss of cells and irreversible scarring of the liver. Cirrhosis develops in stages and can result in weakness, loss of appetite, easy bruising, jaundice, itching, fatigue, and, ultimately, organ failure.

Liver Healing | How to Repair the Liver | Recovery By The Sea

Liver Healing Treatment

According to the Mayo Clinic, treatment for liver disease depends on the diagnosis. Some problems can be resolved with lifestyle modifications, such as abstaining from alcohol use, often as part of a medical program that includes thorough monitoring of liver function.

Other liver problems can be treated with medications or may require surgery. Treatment for liver disease that causes or has led to liver failure may ultimately require a liver transplant.

Complications of Alcohol-Related Liver Disease

When an alcohol-related liver disease has advanced to more severe stages, it can lead to many complications, including the following:

  • Bleeding disorders
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver cancer
  • Coma
  • Buildup of fluid in the abdomen and infection of the fluid
  • Enlarged, bleeding veins in the esophagus, stomach, or intestines
  • Increased pressure in liver blood vessels of the liver
  • Mental confusion and change in the level of consciousness

Keep in mind that some types of liver damage can be permanent. Many people wait until it’s too late before they focus on liver healing. Long-term effects of drug abuse and alcoholism, liver diseases, and conditions like hepatitis C can leave our liver in a continually damaged condition.

Fortunately, however, this doesn’t mean by making better choices you cannot still live a long and healthy life. People can live with liver damage and once again experience fulfilling lives. But, they need to start taking care of their liver and the rest of their body, and this includes abstaining from drugs and alcohol.

Treatment for Alcoholism

Recovery By The Sea is a specialized addiction treatment facility that specializes in drug abuse and alcoholism. Those who suffer from these conditions often also need integrated treatment, such as care and support for health conditions and mental illness.

We can effectively address all concerns related to health and wellness—including liver healing—while you are in early recovery.

We offer a comprehensive approach to treatment, featuring services essential for the recovery process. These services include psychotherapy, counseling, aftercare planning, group support, medication-assisted treatment, and much more.

If you or someone you love has found themselves unable to quit drinking, contact us today! Discover how we help people liberate themselves from the chains of addiction for life!

How to Quit Drinking for Life

How to Quit Drinking for Life | Recovery By The Sea

How to Quit Drinking for Life – For millions of Americans, alcohol abuse is one of the most difficult habits to quit. Alcohol consumption is both legal and generally accepted as part of our culture. And yet, there remains a stigma associated with alcoholism—one that often discourages those who need professional treatment from seeking it.

Accepting that alcohol abuse is a problem, and creating a plan to do something about it is the first essential step toward breaking free from the cycle of addiction and fostering a new life for yourself.

How to Quit Drinking: Rules for Recovery

Recovery from alcoholism is best achieved using a clear, principled approach. Recovery entails much more than just a one-time decision to break the habit—its a long-term commitment that may require constant course correction to prevent relapse. The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine has established five rules to follow for a successful, enduring recovery.

1. Change Your Lifestyle

Overcoming a drinking habit involves more than just not drinking. One of the most significant barriers to an alcoholic who is trying to recover is a deep-rooted, uneasy feeling that there is no real reason to quit. The fact that you have become an alcoholic indicates that your beliefs, values, and intentions must have gradually become conducive to substance abuse.

Recognizing this fact can be a tough pill to swallow. Nevertheless, you must acknowledge that alcoholism has become a way of life, not just a bad habit you have on the side. To decisively quit drinking once and for all, you must change your life entirely and replaced every activity associated with drinking with new activities that give you purpose and meaning.

2. Be Completely Honest With Yourself and Others

Being an alcoholic often means having to compartmentalize your conflicting lifestyles. In the short-term, alcoholics tend to be deceptive and tell half-truths to conceal the severity of their problem from those who are closest to them. Tragically, this pattern of behavior almost always causes the drinker to embrace a toxic, self-directed shame, which further motivates them to escape their negative feelings through the use of alcohol.

During recovery, complete honesty is always the best policy, whether you are sharing at a support group, having a conversation with close friends or family, or, most critically, with yourself.

How to Quit Drinking for Life | Recovery By The Sea

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help

Having a drinking problem can be cause for embarrassment. After all, if we reach out to others, this entails openly admitting to both the other person and ourselves that we might not be able to quit on our own. Our egos recoil at the thought of this.

Yet, research has consistently shown that the chances for lasting recovery are substantially increased if we reach out for help. Peer support groups, medical detox, and substance abuse programs are proven avenues for the maintenance of long-term sobriety.

4. Practice Self-Care

Self-care is not mere selfishness. Selfishness is about sacrificing the needs of other people to satisfy your own. Self-care is about giving yourself whatever you need, only not at the expense of others.

Practicing self-care also means that loved ones are no longer forced to sacrifice their needs to ensure yours are met. Relapse is easier to prevent when you give yourself the wellness and sobriety you genuinely deserve.

Recovery is not about pleasing your loved ones or about society’s best interests—it’s about you.

5. Don’t Bend Rules

The final rule is here to protect yourself from possible corruption. You may get to a point in your recovery where the first four rules begin to seem excessive or no longer necessary. It is in these moments, however, that you must knuckle down and bolster your resolve.

Remember, these aren’t just rules for addiction recovery, but principles you must always observe to have a healthy life in general.

How to Quit Drinking: The Recovery Process

Professional addiction treatment is a process that can last anywhere from several weeks to several months. There is no immediate cure for addiction—it requires the patient to unlearn certain behaviors and replace them with new coping skills.

Recovery often begins with a medication-assisted detox program, progresses into a residential or partial-hospitalization program, and, eventually, outpatient treatment. Following formal treatment, close adherence to an aftercare plan will ensure the patient continues to receive the necessary medical and mental health support they need for the sustainment of long-term sobriety.

Intensive Treatment

How to Quit Drinking for Life | Recovery By The Sea

Following detox, many patients opt for a residential treatment or partial-hospitalization program. During residential treatment, the patient resides at the center for several weeks while receiving therapeutic services. They will also participate in 12-step meetings as well as physically and emotionally healthy activities.

A partial-hospitalization program offers intense and comprehensive treatment comparable to a residential program. It takes place in a comfortable clinical office setting during the day, with an optional safe and supervised home-like residence in the evenings.

Outpatients live in a private resident or sober living environment and visit the center several times per week for therapy and support. Many people who complete residential or partial-hospitalization treatment opt for outpatient treatment after discharge to continue the recovery process while they readjust to life in the outside world.

Other Long-term Recovery Techniques

Recovery doesn’t end after professional treatment—it’s a lifelong process that continues in stages. The following tips can help you to sustain long-term sobriety and well-being.

1. Eliminate triggers and temptations in your home environment. These include any type of alcohol or drinking paraphernalia, such as beer bottles or any references to addictive substances.

2. Express yourself and lean on family and friends for support. You can expect that those who genuinely care about you and your sobriety will join in your fight and support your efforts.

3. Avoid environments that are conducive to relapse. You might not be able to avoid parties and places where people are drinking forever, but during the early stages of recovery, many people find it challenging to be around alcohol and other people who are drinking. Never underestimate your capacity for relapse and remember that it’s better to be safe than sorry.

4. Write in a journal. It may be beneficial to write down your thoughts and feelings during your recovery journey and reflect on them later to obtain additional insight into the motivations that were driving your addictive behaviors.

5. Exercise and eat healthy. Living a well-balanced life is one of the keys to maintaining long-lasting recovery. Start a new exercise regime if you haven’t done so already. It’s okay to challenge yourself and also okay to merely just get started on a new routine, such as taking long walks. It’s best to avoid simple sugars/carbohydrates and processed foods. In their place, opt for more whole grains and foods high in protein.

Getting Professional Treatment

The best way to kickstart the recovery process is to enroll in a comprehensive addiction treatment program—if you really want to know how to quit drinking for good, research has shown that this is the best way. Recovery By The Sea is a specialized treatment facility that offers evidence-based services vital to the process of recovery, including psychotherapy, counseling, group support, medication-assisted treatment, and more.

If you are struggling with alcohol abuse, you have likely tried quitting on your own and failed. If you are ready to try again, contact us as soon as possible. Discover how we can help you break free from the chains of alcoholism and begin to experience the healthy and satisfying life you deserve!

Long-Term Effects of Alcohol on the Kidneys

Alcohol and Kidneys | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Long-Term Effects of Alcohol on the Kidneys – Kidneys are vital organs that filter toxins from the blood and play other important roles, and generally, require little attention until they begin to fail. But every time a person consumes alcohol, he or she is putting our kidneys, liver, pancreas, and other parts of the body in jeopardy.

The Role of Kidneys

According to the National Kidney Foundation, kidneys have several essential responsibilities and functions, such as the following:

  • Filter blood to remove wastes and toxins
  • Keep blood pressure balanced and under control
  • Release a hormone that governs the body’s production of red blood cells
  • Regulate the volume and concentration of bodily fluids
  • Activate vitamin D, which is vital for healthy bones
  • Maintain a balance of blood minerals, such as potassium, sodium, and phosphorus

Each person is born with two kidneys, but most people can survive with only one.

How Alcohol Affects Kidneys

Alcohol is one of the toxins that kidneys filter from the blood. While a drink or two on occasion is not going to be problematic, binge drinking and excessive, chronic drinking is likely to wreak havoc on the kidneys. Alcohol interferes with the kidneys’ toxin-filtering capability, thereby setting the stage for damage and an increased risk of health complications.

In addition to the kidneys’ ability to filter toxins, they also help maintain the right amount of fluid in the body. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect, one that markedly impairs the kidneys’ capacity to maintain fluid balance.

Another adverse effect of alcohol consumption on the kidneys is related to blood pressure. Drinking alcohol in excess can result in an increase in blood pressure both temporarily and over time. Alcoholics are more likely to have hypertension than those who drink moderately or not at all. Eventually, this can lead to chronically elevated blood pressure and is one of the most common causes of kidney disease.

It’s well-known that there’s also a risk of developing liver disease as a result of chronic drinking. The kidneys need adequate blood flow maintained at a certain level to filter the blood properly. Among alcoholics and persons with liver disease, the delicate balance of blood flow and blood filtering by the kidneys is disturbed.

Alcohol and Kidneys | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Kidney Disease

While there are several other possible causes of chronic kidney disease, including diabetes, infections, inflammation, etc., damage to kidneys from and chronic alcohol use has been known to contribute to a considerable decline in overall health and quality of life. A five-year study of Australian adults self-reported as moderate or heavy drinkers concluded that, in particular, excessive drinking was “a significant modifiable risk factor for the development of albuminuria.”

Albumin is a protein commonly found in the blood and is an essential nutrient that helps build muscle, repair tissue, and resist infection. When a person has albumin in their urine, it is called “albuminuria” or sometimes “proteinuria.” When kidneys are healthy, there should be very little to no protein in the urine.

But if kidneys are damaged, protein can “leak” out of the kidneys into the urine and can be an early indicator of kidney disease. However, researchers also noted that the biological mechanism by which alcohol causes kidney damage is not clearly understood and warrants further research. Once chronic kidney disease develops, it can impact nearly every part of the body.

Potential complications from chronic kidney disease include the following:

  • Anemia
  • Bone weakness and fractures
  • Central nervous system damage, which can cause breathing problems, changes in personality, and seizures
  • Heart and cardiovascular disease
  • End-stage kidney disease, requiring either dialysis or transplant
  • Immune response decrease, increasing the risk of infection
  • Retention of fluid, which can lead to edema in feet, legs, and arms, hypertension, or fluid buildup in the lungs
  • Hyperkalemia, or high blood potassium levels, which can impair the heart’s ability to function and is life-threatening
  • Pericarditis, an inflammation of two thin layers of a tissue that surround the heart
  • Sexual problems, including decreased libido, reduced fertility, and erectile dysfunction

Getting Treatment for Alcoholism

The simple solution to protect kidneys and other organs from the damaging effect of chronic alcohol consumption is to stop drinking. Excessive drinkers and those who have been diagnosed as having an alcohol use disorder are encouraged to change their lifestyle by seeking professional treatment and learn to live alcohol-free.

Recovery By The Sea offers comprehensive treatment for alcoholism in both partial-hospitalization and outpatient formats. The cornerstones of our program are psychotherapy and counseling, two services that are clinically proven to be essential to the process of recovery.

We employ highly-specialized addiction professionals who deliver services to our clients with skill and compassion. We are dedicated to providing clients with the knowledge and support they need to achieve a full recovery and enjoy long-lasting wellness.

If you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol abuse, contact us today. Discover how we help people free themselves from the chains of addiction so they can foster happy and fulfilling lives!

How to Deal With an Alcoholic

How to Deal With an Alcoholic | Recovery By The Sea

How to Deal With an Alcoholic – If you love someone dependent on alcohol, you are likely well-acquainted with mood swings and unpredictable behavior. You may have tried everything you can think of to help them stop drinking—including emptying their stash of alcohol or threatening to leave if they don’t do something about the problem. But nothing has worked, at least not for any length of time.

So what options do you have? How do you stay in this relationship, despite feeling helpless, emotionally drained, and frustrated?

First off, remember that it’s not your fault—in fact, it’s not even theirs. No one is to blame for addiction. It’s the result of many factors that include genetics, individuals circumstances, and emotional well-being. If they are ever to get any better, they’ll probably require professional help.

What Is Alcohol Use Disorder?

According to the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism (NIAAA), alcohol use disorder (AUD) is “a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using.” Although alcohol may not lead to significant harm when consumed in moderation, many people who suffer from with AUD routinely drink much more than the recommended limit of 7 standard drinks per week for a woman or 14 drinks per week for a man.

High-functioning alcoholics may consume alcohol in secret and do their best to conceal the severity of their disorder from co-workers and acquaintances. But it’s improbable that a person can hide it from close family and close friends, especially those who reside within the same household. Because only about 1 in 10 alcohol-dependent people seeks treatment for their disorder, many families are forced to suffer along with their loved one.

During their lifetime, an alcoholic may experience a myriad of health conditions ranging from digestive problems to hypertension and stroke. People who suffer from an AUD often have strong cravings when they aren’t consuming alcohol, and find it very difficult to stop after they’ve started. Over time, they will eventually develop a tolerance to alcohol, which requires them to drink even more to continue experiencing the same results.

In addition to the above, alcoholics may:

  • Drink by themselves to hide their addiction
  • Experience blackouts (memory lapses)
  • Drink at scheduled times and become irritated if they can’t have access to alcohol when they want it
  • Hide alcohol in unusual, secretive places, such as a vehicle or in closets
  • Drink primarily to get drunk
  • Experience relationship, employment, legal, and financial troubles
  • Experience a loss of interest in other activities once regarded as important or enjoyable

How AUD Can Ruin a Relationship

While a spouse or loved one may be a kind and thoughtful person when sober, drinking may transform them into a completely different person. Unfortunately, uncharacteristic emotional or physical abuse can be inflicted on those around a person who is intoxicated. In fact, of all the reported alcohol-related occurrences of violence, two-thirds happen among close relationships.

This fact means that partners and children are at an increased risk of witnessing or becoming victims of a violent crime, such as physical abuse or assault. If a loved one is not abusive when intoxicated, he or she may still cause harm in other ways, such as spending way too much free time at bars or frequently missing work or school.

You should become able to identify the signs of a potentially dangerous living situation if it occurs. If you are living in the same residence as an alcoholic, ensure that you and all others in the house are safe, and never permit verbal, emotional, or physical abuse. If this occurs, either you and the rest of the family or the alcoholic needs to leave the situation.

How to Deal With an Alcoholic: Taking Care of Yourself and Other Family Members

How to Deal With an Alcoholic | Recovery By The Sea

Remind yourself that you are not to blame for your loved one’s problems and behavior. Go easy on yourself, as you are probably hurting and have a lot of anger and bitterness as a result of years of frustration and unkept promises.

Once you ensure that you and other family members are safe when your loved one is drinking, consider seeking support in the form of therapy, counseling, or peer group support. If you have children or adolescents, make sure they have a trusted person outside the family to confide in, such as a counselor, therapist, or clergy. And, because the other parent isn’t able to meet their emotional needs, it’s vital that you are willing to listen to them without judgment.

Stop enabling and set boundaries. Enabling is a common occurrence among family members and friends of those who are dependent on drugs or alcohol. Enabling activities include providing the alcoholic with booze, giving them money to purchase it, supporting them by allowing them to live with you if they are abusive, and letting them drink to dangerous levels while they are in your presence.

Unconditional love is a wonderful thing, but if you cater to their appetites by purchasing alcohol or not addressing the issue, you aren’t helping anyone, and certainly not helping them to get better. Instead of enabling, you should resolutely set boundaries and adhere to them. You don’t have to be callous or give ultimatums, but you do have to do what’s right for both you and everyone involved and let the person know that the reason you are going to stop enabling them is born out of love, not for punishment.

Finally, do not allow the person who has an addiction to blame you for their problems and the things they have done. Maybe you need to get away from them to avoid a confrontation, or perhaps you have a trusted friend on the ready to take your loved one to a safe place. It may all be trial and error, but eventually, you will find out what works best. Be vigilant and consistent.

How to Deal With an Alcoholic: Intervention

How to Deal With an Alcoholic | Recovery By The Sea

If you plan on confronting an alcoholic or staging an intervention, choose a time when they are sober and do not threaten them. Focus on your own feelings and concerns and express them in a manner that is compassionate and without judgment.

Most often, alcoholics will initially deny their problem and resist attempts to discuss their condition, and may even try to change the focus of the conversation to you. Be prepared for this to happen and remain calm. Remember that, at that moment, you are planting the seeds of change, and you may have to allow an indefinite amount of time for them to take root.

When planning an intervention, it is best to have a bag packed for the person one and a rehab facility in mind. This way, they may be less likely to back out after agreeing to treatment conditions. It’s also beneficial to have a professional therapist or counselor present who are trained to run interventions, as well as family members and maybe a few close friends who will not overwhelm, antagonize, or judge them.

During the conversation, be concise in your statements and don’t offer them a lecture. Do your homework beforehand and be prepared to field questions about the treatment process. If they are unwilling to go, you can’t force them. Treatment is more effective when the person agrees to go voluntarily. You can always try again in time.

Treatment for Alcoholism

Recovery By The Sea is a specialized addiction treatment center that employs addiction specialists who provide clients with the knowledge and support they need to achieve sobriety and enjoy long-lasting wellness and recovery from alcoholism. Our comprehensive approach includes evidence-based services, such as behavioral therapy, counseling, medication-assisted therapy, and group support.

Addiction is a disease that can last a lifetime, but no one should have to suffer in silence or battle it alone. Contact us today—we can help!

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