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Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol is one of the most dangerous legal substances in Australia. When consumed in moderation, it can cause relaxation and happiness, but when misused, it can lead to addiction and illness. Alcohol addiction is a disease, which if untreated will worsen and can even be life-threatening.

Are you asking yourself how to stop drinking? Are you experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms? Or are you concerned that a loved one may be suffering from alcoholism? Most sufferers cannot stop drinking without assistance.

About Alcoholism

Alcoholism, alcohol addiction or alcohol dependence is the most severe form of problem drinking. In addition to suffering from the signs of alcohol abuse, an alcoholic may also be physically dependent on alcohol. This means that they can no longer control their drinking and experience withdrawal symptoms if they try to stop.

The criteria for alcoholism have nothing to do with how much someone drinks, how long they have been drinking or the type of alcohol they drink. Someone is addicted to alcohol when they lose the ability to control their drinking. They feel an uncontrollable urge to drink, and they have incredible difficulty stopping themselves from drinking.

An alcoholic doesn’t have to drink on a daily basis, for some this is the case but not all. Some alcoholics can go days or weeks without drinking but once they drink they may be unable to control or stop drinking.

Signs of Alcohol Addiction

There are certain signs you can look for that will help you identify a case of alcohol addiction. We have divided them into two categories: those to look for in yourself and those to look for in a loved one.

If you are concerned about your own situation, consider the following symptoms of alcoholism:

  • thoughts of alcohol consume a good portion of your day
  • you find yourself looking for new ways of procuring alcohol
  • you frequently worry you won’t have access to alcohol during your day
  • drinking is affecting your job, finances or relationships
  • you get upset when others question you about your drinking
  • you are willing to go to great lengths to get alcohol
  • you find yourself drinking more and more

If you are concerned about a loved one rather than yourself, signs to look for include:

  • unreasonable sensitivity when the topic of alcohol is discussed
  • finding alcohol hidden around the house
  • frequent binge drinking and social drinking
  • unexplained withdrawal from family relationships
  • increased isolation and episodes of social withdrawal
  • lack of concern for schoolwork, employment, etc.
  • unexplained financial problems
  • unexplained mood swings
  • unexplained weight loss or gain
  • losing interest in eating
  • may have stomach problems
  • in severe cases jaundice (yellowing of the skin)

Any combination of signs or symptoms that suggest a potential alcohol addiction should not be ignored. As already mentioned, even a minor alcohol misuse problem can quickly become an addiction if left untreated. The good news is that proper treatment is very effective at helping alcohol addicts completely recover. Success is achieved through a combination of physical, emotional, and psychological treatments that address every aspect of addiction.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol affects the balance of chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. When the balance is altered, we lose coordination, get excited or feel sleepy. The brain adapts to these changes so it can function normally in the presence of alcohol. This compensation is called tolerance.

As it adapts, the brain begins to crave alcohol so it can function normally. Without alcohol, it reacts violently, causing withdrawal symptoms. The more dependent a person is on alcohol, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms will be.

Minor Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shakiness or trembling
  • Poor sleep and fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability leading to aggression
  • Lack of appetite
  • Sweating
Severe Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Depression
  • Racing heart
  • Seizure
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Fever
  • Liver failure


  • Alcohol is the most widely used drug in Australia.
  • Alcohol causes more than twice as many deaths than road accidents
  • Around 1 in 5 Australians drink at levels that put them at risk of alcohol-related harm
  • 1 in 4 women drink alcohol while pregnant
  • Alcohol contributes to the three major causes of teen death: injury, homicide and suicide

Source: www.druginfo.adf.org.au


The first step toward recovering from alcoholism is alcohol detox that involves cleansing the body of the substance. Detox without medical attention is possible for some individuals, but it’s considered very risky for people with moderate or severe conditions because withdrawal can be life-threatening.

At the Hader Clinic, we provide a safe and calm environment for people in need of alcohol treatment and a holistic recovery program. As detox from alcohol can be fatal, on admission a detailed assessment and medical examination is undertaken to ensure that a safe and effective detox process is established immediately.

The Hader Clinic has a long and successful history treating alcoholics with proven alcohol treatment programs. In Queensland, our alcohol rehab clinic and retreat is located just north of Brisbane in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Remember it can be difficult to convince a loved one that they need treatment for their alcohol addiction. If you’ve tried to talk to a friend or family member about their drinking habits and they’ve been resistant, you should consider a family intervention.

Does a loved one need help? Call 1300 856 847 for a free, confidential consultation.

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