Am I an Alcoholic? How to Know if You Are Suffering from Alcoholism

The first step in fixing any problem is identifying it. Sometimes people just don’t recognize a problem even if it is staring them in the face.

And so it’s no surprise that people who are abusing alcohol don’t even know that they are doing it. It becomes especially confusing when heavy drinking is associated with parties, social interactions, and being “cool”.

But if you feel that you are on the brink of alcoholism, it is important to know exactly what is going on. You can’t recover from alcoholism on your own, considering all its adverse effects and withdrawal symptoms. Once you are dependent, there’s no turning back—without the help of medical professionals, that is.

If you are an alcoholic, or if you are worried that one of your friends or loved ones are close to becoming one, you are going to benefit from the rest of this guide. Today we will be talking about a very simple topic, but it’s one that can open the minds of many people regarding the issue: what exactly is an alcoholic?

What is an alcoholic other than the drunk, red-faced person that is often portrayed in movies and the media? What does an alcoholic do other than drive under the influence and go on drunken stupors at a club or at a bar (or anywhere else in public)? Most importantly, what is alcoholism like for the person suffering from it?

If you are abusing alcohol and you are slowly becoming dependent, how close are you to becoming a full blown alcoholic? We are going to answer these questions today.

What is an Alcoholic?

Alcoholism sure is a big problem. But the general public’s attitude and perception toward it is another problem that needs to be addressed. Many people don’t think alcoholism is a disease—that anyone who is an alcoholic could just stop at any given moment. Unfortunately, for most cases, alcoholics can’t just stop drinking whenever they want. That is not how easy it is to fix.

Alcoholism leads to serious health problems on its own, but the fact that it causes several other withdrawal symptoms can really spell trouble especially for those who are trying to recover. It affects relationships and other aspects of the alcoholic’s life. It affects finances, health conditions, social status, and self-image. They spend too much money on alcohol. They get sick. They get judged by their peers. They destroy their own sense of self-worth. All these things happen while an alcoholic rocks back and forth between trying to recover and not caring at all.

An alcoholic is someone who has gone beyond alcohol abuse. They have a physical desire to consume alcohol, even beyond their capacity to control it. It rules over common sense and wisdom. It rules over friendly advice and genuine concern. This is why relationships crumble when someone becomes an alcoholic. This physical compulsion, according to Alcoholics Anonymous UK, comes together with a mental obsession.

An alcoholic knows neither when nor how to stop drinking. If this does not sound like an illness, you have to take a long hard look at how media and society has shaped alcoholism to look cool instead of dangerous.

Alcohol abuse is used to refer to those people who don’t display the characteristics of alcoholism. Still they have a problem controlling their drinking and are actually close to developing a tolerance for alcohol. They are not dependent on alcohol yet. Still, they may already be skipping out on important commitments. They may already be ignoring their responsibilities for the sake of alcohol.

Alcoholism and abuse are often just separated by degree or intensity. Binge drinking and heavy drinking often could quickly lead to alcoholism.

Signs of Alcoholism

Typically, the addict would be the last person to be aware that they have a problem. There are a few clear signs that indicate that a person is an alcoholic.

When drinking is no longer done socially—particularly when the person likes drinking alone, or in secret, they may be an alcoholic.

If they don’t know the limit to how much alcohol they should consume, and/or if they drink to the point of blacking out, that is a clear indication of alcoholism. They may also start losing interest in hobbies and activities they used to enjoy.

Of course, any brush with the law that is caused by drinking is an indication that the person has lost control over their drinking habits.

An alcoholic will feel more irritable as their usual drinking times approach. And if they have a daily drinking ritual that is interrupted, they will be prone to mood swings and irritability. Work and financial problems are also common for those who are alcoholic.

Knowing all these basic things could help you identify when someone is struggling with alcoholism. This information could hopefully lead to the first step in safe recovery: seeking help and rehabilitation.

Get help now by enrolling in our detox and then rehab programs for alcoholism. Don’t wait another day!

What is Alcoholism: Everything You Need to Know

Alcohol is viewed so casually by this modern-day society that people tend to forget the huge risk that comes with drinking it regularly: alcoholism.

In fact, alcoholism is so often portrayed on television, particularly in sitcoms, as a reliable source of jokes. Alcoholic characters are seen as clumsy and bumbling—and we laugh at their inability to make good decisions. But real life alcoholism is no laughing matter.

If we take a look at news reports and statistics, we’ll see that many lives can be ruined in an instant because of alcoholism. It’s short term and long term effects can be devastating.

But because we don’t know much about it, people don’t even view alcoholism as a disease. Alcoholism is not something that can be cured overnight. It’s not something that a person can just drop and keep away forever. It’s not even a matter of willpower. Alcoholism takes time to develop, but once it does, it keeps an iron grip on its victim.

Knowing what we can about alcoholism is half of the battle. An informed person will be less likely to allow alcohol to take over their life. And so here we will discuss all the basic facts about alcoholism.

What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is different from alcohol abuse, despite the two terms often being used interchangeably. Alcoholism is the most severe form of alcohol abuse, which involves the inability to stop drinking habitually. It is also known as alcohol use disorder, categorized into mild, moderate, and severe.

Individuals struggling with alcoholism often feel as though they can’t function properly without drinking. It can destroy interpersonal relationships, hinder from professional goals, and destroy one’s sense of self-worth.

Withdrawal symptoms arise if a person tries to keep away from alcohol. In many ways it is similar to drug addiction because it develops dependence.

Causes of Alcoholism

Various environmental, genetic, psychological, and social factors can contribute to the development of alcoholism. A person who has alcoholic parents or relatives is more likely to develop it than those who did not grow up in a similar environment.

Peer pressure at any age can also cause a person to develop unhealthy drinking habits. The desire to be accepted by one’s social group can pressure someone into binge drinking as often as their friends do. Teenagers and young adults are more likely to develop alcoholism if they start drinking at their age.

Stressful environments and mental health problems can also have a contributing factor. People often think they can drink their problems away.

Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Social drinking is something many adults do. But if it becomes a habit, many people can start abusing the substance, drinking every time they feel stressed or tired. Alcohol abuse can and will lead to alcoholism if it’s not controlled early on, because the body will start developing the need for it. Once a person becomes tolerant, they’ll need more and more of the alcohol to get the same effects. And they will not easily be able to get it out of their system without detoxification or rehabilitation.

If you are beginning to have work problems, or relationship problems, because you are always hung over, this is an obvious sign. If you are neglecting your responsibilities, or skipping commitments, then you might have a big problem.

Legal problems related to alcohol abuse are also clear warning signs that you need to get a hold of your drinking habits.

Signs of Alcoholism

When alcohol abuse gets worse, it becomes alcoholism. One sign that you’re already an alcoholic is that you cannot quit drinking, and you do not know how much is too much. If you have given up on other activities just so you can drink, that’s another indication.

This is when people often start experiencing various health problems, but they often wouldn’t care about it. Relationships are often strained, especially when family members and friends show their concern for the alcoholic’s well-being, but the latter presents no interest in recovering.

Alcoholics will try to hide their drinking. Either that or they will openly remain drunk for long periods of time. Despite this, they will often feel guilty after drinking.

On top of all this, the alcoholic will show physical signs of dependence including weight loss, an upset stomach, and redness of the nose or cheeks.

Withdrawal Symptoms

People rarely realize or accept that they have a problem before it becomes full blown alcoholism. Once you’ve become physically and mentally dependent on alcoholic drinks, it’s going to be very difficult to come back. Still, recovery is possible. Medical professionals will help counter the withdrawal symptoms while detoxifying your body.

Some of the common physical withdrawal symptoms include fever, fatigue, tremors, convulsions, nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating, and seizures.

Psychological symptoms include mood swings, anxiety, depression, irritability, nightmares, agitation, insomnia, and even hallucinations.

Before recovery can happen, the alcoholic must first be honest with themselves and recognize that the problem needs to be fixed. Knowing more about alcoholism is definitely a good start. Contact us to start your alcohol detox now. Start living the life you want, free from the shackles of addiction.

The Symptoms of Alcoholism

When drinking casually with friends develops into abuse, you know you have a problem. But when abuse turns into dependence, and becomes full blown alcoholism, you’ve got a problem that requires medical assistance.

It’s hard to recover from alcoholism. The fact that the drink itself is addictive is only one thing you have to be worried about. You have to use all your will power just to keep yourself from drinking. That’s only one part of the problem.

A much bigger part of the problem is the fact that you are physically unable to stay away from it. Once your body has become dependent on alcoholic drinks, it will give you all sorts of withdrawal symptoms not long after you’ve tried saying ‘no’ to it. These effects will make you need another drink—an experience that other people struggling with addiction can relate to.

It’s hard enough that a person is being drawn in by the allure of alcohol. It’s even more difficult to recover from alcoholism when you are experiencing various physical and psychological hindrances.

It goes without saying that these withdrawal symptoms can sometimes be fatal. They are always dangerous and immensely inconvenient, but it’s another thing when you’ve become so addicted to alcohol that withdrawing from it can cause great physical harm. Before this happens to you, be sure to recognize the fine line between drinking socially, and slowly abusing alcohol.

Common Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Later on we will discuss he various symptoms that go with alcoholism. But let’s begin this topic with a few common signs that you are already abusing alcohol.

Legal charges, especially driving under the influence, are clear indicators that you have a much bigger problem at hand. Some people turn violent after a few drinks, because alcohol limits their inhibitions. If alcohol is making you do things you immediately regret, take a long hard look at yourself and your drinking habits before it develops into something worse.

Also keep an eye out for responsibilities that you may be neglecting. Perhaps you are not paying enough attention to your children, or you’re having a low performance at work, or you’re just skipping out on important commitments. Alcohol abuse often causes your interpersonal relationships to crumble.

If you feel completely fine and you’re not being irresponsible, then that’s a great sign that you’re not in trouble. But if you find yourself drinking whenever you feel stressed, or if you turn to alcohol to forget all your problems, then that’s another thing entirely. This habit can easily turn into alcohol dependence. If you don’t do anything to change it, your body will become tolerant and will start needing more alcohol.

The Symptoms of Alcoholism

When alcohol abuse gets worse, it becomes alcoholism. This is the part where you can’t get rid of the problem without detoxification and/or seeking medical attention.

If you’re an alcoholic, chances are you cannot quit drinking, or even control how much you drink. Similar to other forms of substance abuse, you feel the need to drink more to get the same effect. Withdrawal symptoms—which we will talk about in a bit—start plaguing you when you stop drinking.

If you have given up on other activities just so you can drink, that’s a clear sign of alcoholism. You are no longer just skipping responsibilities; you are nearly ignoring your own life.

This is when people often start experiencing various health problems, but they often wouldn’t care about it. Relationships are often strained, especially when family members and friends show their concern for the alcoholic’s well-being, but the latter presents no interest in recovering.

Alcoholics often drink in the morning, and/or remain drunk for long periods of time, even if they are drinking alone. They will also make excuses for their drinking, or even try to hide their drinking. Despite this, they will often feel guilty after drinking.

On top of all this, the alcoholic will show physical signs of dependence including weight loss, an upset stomach, and redness of the nose or cheeks.

Withdrawal Symptoms

People rarely discover this problem before it becomes a full blown nuisance. Alcoholism means you are physically and mentally dependent on alcohol.

An alcoholic will often try to cut back on drinking but will find it very difficult to succeed. If they do move away from their drinking habits, various withdrawal symptoms can occur. This is because the body has become so accustomed to having the substance in its system that it cannot function properly without it. Also, the body is beginning to require more and more alcohol to get the same effects. This can be disastrous for a person’s health.

Physical withdrawal symptoms may include fever, fatigue, tremors, convulsions, nausea, vomiting, shakiness of the hands or of the whole body, excessive sweating, and seizures.

Alcoholism also has various psychological effects including mood swings, anxiety, depression, irritability, nightmares, agitation, insomnia, and even hallucinations.

An alcoholic may also find it hard to think clearly on a regular basis.

Recovery may be difficult, but it is not impossible. For this the alcoholic must take initiative and seek help once they have accepted the problem. Detoxification and rehabilitation is necessary to get the substance out of the patient’s system while addressing all of the withdrawal symptoms that may arise.

“What is a High Functioning Alcoholic?”

Social drinking is widely practiced because many people turn to alcohol when they’re feeling stressed. A co-worker may ask you to drink with him if he’s having troubles in the office. A friend may seek relationship advice over a few beers.

Unfortunately, many people don’t recognize the fine line between social drinking and alcohol abuse. And when alcohol is abused, it becomes just a mere step away from becoming full blown alcoholism.

What’s dangerous about alcohol abuse is that you may not know you have a problem until it’s transformed into something serious. By the time you’ve become an alcoholic, you have already developed dependence for the substance. It’s an addiction. You’re going to need more and more of it just to get the same effects. And once you become dependent on alcohol, it’s going to be hard to recover.

Withdrawal symptoms abound for alcoholics that try to quit on their own. Their body forces them to drink more. It’s no longer a matter of willpower, as many people believe. Some people think alcoholism is something you can just drop any day of the week. But it’s a disease that requires detoxification and rehabilitation.

So what then is a high functioning alcoholic? We’ve heard of this term before, but what is it exactly?

This term is commonly used for social drinkers who haven’t yet realized they have a much bigger problem in their hands. It lands right in the middle of alcohol abuse and alcoholism. It’s an alcoholic that still functions regularly in society. This means they still do their jobs, they still keep their relationships, but the problem is there: they can’t put the bottle down.

That’s when things get tricky. When you don’t realize you are abusing alcohol, that’s when you start rushing into alcoholism. Everything looks fine on the outside: they’re not getting in trouble often. But we know that they drink too much. They drink their problems away. And by doing so, they develop a much larger problem: alcoholism.

What is High Functioning Alcoholism?

High functioning alcoholism does not present itself as the standard images we associate alcoholism with. It does not look like the person is falling apart because of it. It does not fit that mold. In fact, even as the person abuses alcohol, it doesn’t seem like they are.

The high functioning alcoholic will not act the way you would expect an alcoholic to act. Success, productivity, and responsibility may cause others to overlook their excessive drinking. One thing they do have in common with a regular alcoholic is that they tend to be in denial of their drinking habits.

People who abuse alcohol don’t always suffer from the common setbacks of drinking. But that does not mean they are doing fine. For starters, their health may suffer greatly because of their unchecked habits. Experts see high functioning alcoholism as a pre-set to developing full blown alcoholism. Major responsibilities and heavy drinking do not typically mix well, and so the high functioning alcoholic may find himself spiraling as soon as things don’t go as they normally should. The habit may catch up to them.

Signs of High Functioning Alcoholism

For men, the limit for alcohol consumption is loosely four drinks a day or 14 a week. If a person drinks more than either daily or weekly limits, they are at risk of becoming alcoholic (numbers vary based on height weight age etc.

As for women, the limit (again depending on other factors) is three drinks a day or seven a week. Statistics show that up to 20% of alcoholics may be highly functional. It is only a matter of time before they experience the adverse effects of the habit.

If a person often jokes about alcoholism, saying they have a “problem” with it, it’s time to take the joke a bit seriously. If they get arrested for driving under the influence, that’s a clear indication of high functioning alcoholism.

People who need alcohol to relax or feel confident, as well as those who drink alone or in the morning are likely to be high functioning alcoholics. Even if someone functions well, if their loved ones are starting to worry about their alcohol consumption, they may be having this problem.

High functioning alcoholics may seem to be in control, but they are prone to making risky decisions. They may drive while drunk, participate in risky sex, or drink to the point of blacking out.

Alcohol abuse is dangerous for the person’s health. Risky behavior can also put other people’s lives in danger. If someone you know is displaying signs of being a high functioning alcoholic, it’s time to talk to them about it and encourage them to seek help. It’s not too late to recover from this disease. Seek a medical professional and look for a rehabilitation program that can benefit them most.

Enroll in an alcohol detox and then rehab program at Detox of South Florida. Our medical detox and rehab programs are designing to help cleanse your body, as well as prepare you to take on the world free of alcohol.

How to “Deal” with an Alcoholic

Alcoholism is very difficult to deal with. Once a person develops dependence, it’s nearly impossible to get it out of their system without rehabilitation and detoxification. Withdrawal symptoms will keep you from simply putting down the bottle.

If you’re struggling with alcoholism, you know it’s a disease. It’s not something you can control. You need alcohol in your system—as your body has already gotten used to its presence. You start needing more and more of it just to get the same effects. Satisfaction does not come easily, and an alcoholic will not know when to stop.

Alcoholism is a full blown addiction.

But sometimes, we’re not the ones with the problem. There are those who are dealing with alcoholism who aren’t alcoholics themselves. These are the people who are stuck in relationships with alcoholics, or have family members who are alcoholics.


Alcoholism tears relationships apart. The frustration and stress that comes with this situation is more than enough to overwhelm a person. So what do you do if you are currently in this kind of relationship? How do you help a loved one who is suffering from alcoholism?

Here are a few ways to help you manage this difficult situation

  1. Accept the Truth

There’s no point in covering it up: your partner or loved one is an alcoholic. Denial is always the first stage of grief, but there’s no point in wallowing in self-pity. Accepting the truth will open you up to a whole new world of possibility: one where the alcoholic has a bigger chance of recovering.

This will also give you the inner peace you deserve. While seeking out this personal acceptance, you have to help your partner accept their situation as well. Alcoholics typically hide their alcohol consumption from their partners, or even deny that they have a problem. But once you find a way to come into terms with the truth, only then can you really move into the next stages of recovery.

Dealing with the problem head on is easily the best approach.

  1. Shift Your Perspective

Accepting the truth can be difficult at first. And this is because most people need to have a change in perspective. Relatives and friends of alcoholics rarely recognize alcoholism as a serious disease, thinking it’s something that the patient can change with enough willpower. This is in fact something that the alcoholic cannot control, and so you will need to look at it in a different light. See the problem for what it truly is. The alcoholic is no longer in charge of their decision making.

This also goes without saying that concerned family members, friends, and loved ones should also stop blaming themselves, thinking something better could have been done to prevent it. The sooner you channel this negative energy into something more productive, the sooner the patient will recover.

  1. Stop Making Excuses

Enabling the alcoholic will only make things worse. Since they have little control over their decision making, concerned relatives must not brush off their behavior. It is important to know that this unacceptable behavior will continue if it’s tolerated. Abuse is never acceptable, and there’s no reason to excuse it.

You have to make active choice in your life to keep this kind of behavior out of the relationship.

Do not let the alcoholic continue in their destructive path. Make sure you are not doing anything that prevents them from facing the consequences of their actions.

  1. Formulate a Plan of Action

Having the problem of alcoholism in your household can be devastating, but don’t let it stop you from formulating a plan of action. Research on what detoxification and rehabilitation entails, and then choose the right program for the patient.

The process of rehabilitation depends on the person’s condition. But in any case, you will need to give them your unconditional love and support. Don’t let previous disappointments and frustrations dampen your optimism: your loved one can recover.

  1. Have Reasonable Expectations

You have to realize that this is going to be a difficult journey. It will definitely have its ups and downs, and every single one of these “downs” will make you feel like giving up. But don’t lose hope. In this situation, the loved ones have more control over their own emotional well-being. They have to keep strong for the alcoholic, otherwise it’s going to be even more difficult.

You need to have reasonable expectations, no matter what program you choose. Alcoholics will promise never to drink again, but you need to see the reality that they’ll get right back to where they started.

  1. Seek Professional Help

We recommend concerned individuals to seek help for the patient, instead of becoming their personal healthcare provider. Professionals will know how to address the various withdrawal symptoms that will make the alcoholic suffer as they get the substance out of their system gradually. Alcohol dependence must not be taken lightly.

  1. Look After Yourself

Do not let this setback get in the way of your own well-being, hard as it may seem. There’s very little you can do to help the alcoholic if they are unwilling to get better. But don’t lose hope, and don’t lose your sense of self. You are just as important as the person you are caring for, and you are just as vital to that relationship as the person you love.

Detox of South Florida is here to help you and your loved ones. Our alcohol rehab treatment center is designed to help you detox and rehabilitate in a medically safe setting. .

Beyond Casual Drinking: How to Know if You’re an Alcoholic

Many people enjoy having a drink with their friends, coworkers, and even relatives (do in laws count?). But rarely do they notice the fine line between casual drinking and alcoholism.

There are people who suffer from alcoholism who don’t even know it. That’s because they don’t fit the alcoholic stereotype that’s often portrayed in media and seen everywhere else in the world. You have a stable job, you’ve never been caught driving under the influence, and you have never stolen money to buy alcohol.

But anyone can be an alcoholic: even those who only drink socially. And because of the different “faces” of alcoholism, you may already be an alcoholic without even knowing it.

Today we will talk about drinking, alcoholism, and alcohol abuse. What does it take for someone to get addicted to alcohol?

The problem is that people don’t know the difference between casual drinking, alcohol abuse, and alcoholism. Abuse is different from alcoholism because the latter refers to addiction. Alcoholism is when someone forms a dependence, wherein they have a physical and/or psychological need to drink alcohol.

Alcohol abuse is what leads to alcoholism, and it often has negative consequences of its own.

In any case, abuse involves excessive drinking. If you have more than four drinks a day or more than 14 drinks in a week, you are a heavy drinker. People who drink socially aren’t always heavy drinkers: they are often binge drinkers. Binge drinking involves having five or more drinks within two hours.

Signs of Alcohol Abuse

There are a few things that can indicate your problem is getting serious. If heavy drinking and binge drinking is getting in the way of your responsibilities, you should start addressing this problem immediately.

If you are having problems at work, or you’re simply giving a low performance because you’re often hung-over, this is an obvious sign. Keep an eye out for responsibilities that you may be ignoring or skipping entirely. If you forget commitments because you’re drunk, then you might have a problem.

Legal problems such as DUI charges are also clear indicators that you’re abusing alcohol. You can put your life and others’ lives in danger if you don’t drink responsibly. And if you find yourself in these situations, then something is definitely wrong.

It doesn’t always have to be this extreme though: some people abuse alcohol by simply drinking every time they need to get rid of stress. Trying to forget all your problems with alcohol means you are slowly turning it into a need.

Lastly, you may find that your interpersonal relationships are suffering due to your constant need for alcohol. If your friends and family members are displaying concern over your drinking habits, chances are they have reason to be worried.

Signs of Alcoholism

People rarely discover this problem before it becomes a full blown issue. Alcoholism means you are physically and mentally dependent on alcohol consumption.

If you find yourself regularly thinking about your next drink, you may have an alcohol addiction. Have you ever tried cutting back on drinking, but never quite succeeded? This means the same thing. What’s worse is that when you develop dependence, you may start having withdrawal symptoms once you start cutting back on the alcohol.

It’s important to remember that alcohol is a drug. As you drink it, your body becomes more and more tolerant. Eventually, your system will come to expect the presence of alcohol. This will lead to various withdrawal symptoms, including shakiness, mood swings, anxiety, depression, irritability, fatigue, and even nightmares. You may also find yourself not being able to think clearly.

These physical effects will only make it that much harder to recover from your alcohol addiction. It is important to not let your casual drinking get this far. By this point, detoxification is necessary to get past the symptoms safely. Remember that withdrawal can be dangerous, even fatal in some instances.

In the worst cases, alcoholics experience agitation, fever, hallucinations, and seizures. This is why many heavy drinkers seek medical assistance.

Assessment and Medical Help

If you want to find out whether your problem is getting out of hand, self-assessment is important. To know if you’re an alcoholic or you’re on your way to becoming one, you must be completely honest with yourself. There are also screening tests available that are completely confidential, so you don’t have to worry about your reputation. These screening tests are free, and they can help you understand your drinking habits better.

The MAST Alcohol Assessment Quiz was developed in the early ‘70s and is designed to assess the severity of drinking problems. There are multiple variations available, even online.

The CAGE Alcohol Assessment Quiz is a short self-assessment test developed by Dr. John Ewing. The 4 questions in this quiz can identify 9 out of 1 alcoholics.

Finally, the AUDIT Alcohol Assessment Quiz was created by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the same purposes. Remember that learning more about your situation is crucial to moving on to the next step. The sooner you recognize the problem, the sooner you’ll be able to seek help.

Are you struggling with alcohol? Let our experienced staff help you detox and rehab safely.  Our patients come from all across the united states as well as these cities in Florida:Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach.

Alcoholism in Movies: How Hollywood Depicts the Harsh Realities of the Condition

Hollywood movies may be fictional, but the lessons behind their stories offer insights on things that happen in reality. Sometimes, these messages have an effect on the public’s perception toward important topics.

Let’s take alcoholism for example. The use of alcohol is regularly portrayed in various films of all genres. Because of this, many viewers are led to believe that drinking is “cool”. They may even be inspired to try it for themselves, just to see what those fictional characters are raving about. Young adults and teenagers are much more susceptible to these messages because of their own curiosity.


But the good news is that Hollywood sometimes churns out films that are made responsibly, tackling important issues with sensitivity.

On the topic of alcoholism, Hollywood has produced several movies that explore the harsh realities that come with it. Characters are sometimes shown triumphant, overcoming alcoholism and starting anew. Sometimes they are made part of a tragic story, showing why alcoholism shouldn’t be taken lightly. Regardless of what happens within the story, all these movies are the same: they show that alcoholism is associated with struggling. At the end of the day, that is what alcoholism truly is.

Today we are going to talk about some examples of films that responsibly portray the struggles of the alcoholic. If you are experiencing similar problems, you may be able to relate to these characters. Or if you know someone who is more likely to pay attention to the messages of Hollywood films rather than the constructive advice given to them by their loved ones, have them watch a few of these. They may be able to see the destructive side of alcohol.

Here are some well-made Hollywood films that depict the harsh realities of alcoholism.

28 Days (2000)

28 Days, starring Sandra Bullock, is a comedy-drama film directed by Betty Thomas. Bullock plays the main protagonist Gwen Cummings, who is a newspaper columnist who was forced to enter rehabilitation for alcoholism.

This film explores what alcoholism is like for people who initially aren’t aware of how big their problem actually is. It also explores how rehabilitation works, and how life is inside a rehab center. This film is great because it breaks down the stigma that rehabs are gloomy places for people that need to be punished. Instead, it highlights the positive energy around rehabilitation centers. This is an accurate depiction because an essential part of rehabilitation is a solid support system that could provide emotional comfort for patients.

The film also stars Viggo Mortensen, Dominic West, Elizabeth Perkins, Steve Buscemi, and Diane Ladd.

28 Days places Bullock’s character in a rehab program, which she picks over jail time, after making a large scene at her sister’s wedding. This entertaining film gives an interesting look at how rehabilitation works can eliminate fear of seeking help.


My Name is Joe (1998)

This 1998 British film directed by Ken Loach is not as bright and bubbly as 28 Days (which in itself had its own share of dramatic moments). But My Name is Joe offers a dark look at alcoholism, sobriety, and relapse. The relapse portion offers the film’s dramatic climax, in which Peter Mullan’s character Joe Kavanagh finally breaks down and returns to his struggle with alcoholism.

It’s a frustrating film that shocks the audience with its dark turn, while offering a realistic glimpse of how alcoholism can truly ruin a person’s life. My Name is Joe centers on the life of an unemployed recovering alcoholic in Glasgow. The character finds love in a health visitor, and takes pride in a baseball team he assembled on his own.

Despite his likeable personality, things turn grim for Joe as the film explores his alcoholic past and current struggle with poverty. In the end, if Joe had only been sober, one of the characters wouldn’t have died. His performance landed Mullan a Best Actor award at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.

This terrible tragedy is not too far off from what actually happens in real life, as many people find it hard to remain sober.


Withnail and I (1987)

This British comedy film written and directed by Bruce Robinson offers a much lighter perspective, despite tackling the same issues. Alcoholism is the problem for the two main characters of Withnail and I.

Withnail and Marwood (played by Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann) are struggling actors who are currently unemployed. They live in a squalid flat in Camden Town in 1969, and they are pretty much satisfied with spending all their money on alcohol. They lament the state of their careers and constantly bicker over their own self-destructive habits.

But despite this comedy film’s lighthearted tone, it actually has a bittersweet ending that shows the two different sides of the typical alcoholic story. Marwood gets a callback for a project he auditioned for, and eventually lands the job. Meanwhile Withnail gets in more trouble because of his alcoholism. Marwood decides to leave his friend behind, refusing to drink with him one last time. Marwood then pursues his prospect with hope for a better future, while Withnail remains perfectly satisfied with complaining about his fate.


When a Man Loves a Woman (1994)

This romantic drama film centers on alcoholism and its effects on the people who love you. The story is all about Alice, a high school counselor who is struggling with alcoholism, and her husband Michael who is an air pilot.

Alice is kind-hearted person who tends to get in trouble because she can’t put the bottle down. But once Michael convinces her to enter rehab, things get complicated. While Alice does manage to fix her problem with alcoholism, it does not fix everything in her relationship with Michael. This realistic approach to storytelling gives the audience a reminder that the fight with alcoholism doesn’t end after rehab. It’s a constant struggle to stay sober, and also the beginning of a great opportunity to start mending broken relationships. Alcoholism doesn’t just affect one person after all, but it affects everyone around the patient. And rebuilding relationships may not always be easy.

Hollywood certainly has a great power over audience perception, and these depictions of alcoholism provide a well-needed insight on its various negative effects.

If you are struggling with drug addiction or alcohol addiction please call us so we can help you get on the road to recovery.


Natural Cures for Alcohol Abuse: Dietary Changes, Supplements and Vitamins are Key

Alcohol abuse can manifest itself in many variations and degree of severity. It can be the case of the person who only drinks socially, but to excess each time. It can be the person who starts drinking as soon as they wake up in order to “settle their nerves.” Or it can be the person who has a just a couple of beers after work, but absolutely relies on them each night.

The main factor is that the alcohol consumption has gotten beyond that person’s control; they are unable or unwilling to change their behavior.

Traditional Medicine and Alcohol Abuse

The options in traditional medication for alcohol abuse are focused on withdrawal symptom management and aversion therapy. These medications are strong, they can cause other health issues and they do not often treat the underlying craving adequately.

Tranquilizers and/or antipsychotic medications may reduce the symptoms of withdrawal such as anxiety and tremors. Naltrexone is used to lessen the craving for alcohol and Disulfiram discourages alcohol consumption with extreme nausea and vomiting. While some success can be appreciated by these medications, they are costly and they can have side effects that range from vomiting to liver damage. If the alcohol abuse is severe and interfering with life/work obligations then the correct action is to seek care with a medical provider.

The Natural Cure in Treating Alcohol Abuse

There are several facets to decreasing alcohol usage; they include craving for alcohol, nutritional imbalances and the use of alcohol for stress reduction.


The herbs milk thistle and kudzu have been found to be beneficial in reducing the harmful effects of alcohol consumption and in reducing alcoholic craving. Milk thistle is recommended at a dose 120mg twice a day in order to counteract the harmful effects of alcohol on the liver. Kudzu extract (1500mg three times a day) can significantly reduce alcohol cravings.

Vitamins that are used to treat alcohol abuse include:

  1. magnesium (250mg twice a day) to decrease withdrawal symptoms
  2. selenium (200mcg daily) to protect the liver
  3. glutamine (100mg three times a day)
  4. chromium (500mg twice a day) to reduce cravings for alcohol.


The consumption of alcohol causes rapid shifts in blood sugar and decreased metabolism of toxins through the liver. In very heavy drinkers the availability of essential nutrients is impaired due to these facts as well as the decreased hunger and resulting decline in healthy food intake.

First and foremost, the diet should be revamped to eliminate simple sugars, caffeine and saturated fats. These substances are processed through the liver making its job that much more difficult. There also needs to be an increase in complex carbohydrates, protein and essential fatty acids. These are simpler food and therefore more easily processed.

Alcohol consumption also causes depletion in the B vitamins, recommended supplements include.

  1. B1 (thiamine) (100 mg daily)
  2. folic acid (1mg daily)
  3. essential fatty acids in the form of fish oil (1000mg daily)

Stress Reduction

In this holistic treatment of alcohol abuse attention must be paid to the reduction and management of stress. In particular the person seeking a reduction in alcohol consumption should keep a diary that tracks their moods and their reactions to those moods. Stress reduction techniques can then be effectively targeted to the triggers that prompt excessive alcohol consumption.

Withdrawal Treatment for Alcoholism: Methods of Treating Alcoholism Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcoholism is a deadly disease that has claimed many lives and ruptured several happy homes. Liver disease and domestic violence are two of the most common results of alcoholism. When an alcoholic decides to quit drinking, his body must adjust to the change. This process is known as detoxification, where an alcoholic undergoes a series of symptoms: tremors, headaches, disorientation, inability to concentrate, perspiration and irritability. There are withdrawal treatments for alcoholism available that can help decrease the severity of these symptoms while preventing graver symptoms from appearing.

Outpatient/Inpatient Withdrawal Treatment for Alcoholism

Detoxification generally starts between 6 and 48 hours after the decrease of heavy alcohol intake; symptoms tend to intensify, then decrease 24 to 48 hours after. Through outpatient care, a patient undergoes detoxification outside a treatment facility. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Abbot and colleagues in a 1995 study found that fewer than 20 percent of patients undergoing outpatient care actually required inpatient care. To be considered for outpatient detoxification, your withdrawal symptoms must be mild to moderate, and you should have no history of seizures or psychotic disorders. You must also have a sober support system at home to assist you through the detoxification process. Most treatment centers require that you visit them daily so they can monitor your progress.

Inpatient alcoholism withdrawal treatment is becoming less popular, but it is the safest method. A patient is under constant supervision and is also prepared for the lengthy recovery period. All substances that may induce the temptation to drink are removed, decreasing the risk of relapsing. This type of treatment is highly recommended for patients who have suffered a relapse or have severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Medication Withdrawal Treatment for Alcoholism

Benzodiazepines, also referred to as BZs, are a category of sedatives generally prescribed to patients with severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms. In these cases, 10 mg or more of Valium plus other type of BZ is given to the patient to control his symptoms or sedate him. This medication strategy is generally not given for more than one or two days. In Europe, anti-seizure medications, such as Tegretol and Depakene, are common treatments of alcohol withdrawal symptoms (per Malcolm and others, 1989). They reduce the risk of seizure, which is closely related to alcohol withdrawal. They are also viewed as non-addictive and can be used to treat anxiety disorders as well. However, in North America, Tegretol and Depakene have hardly been used to treat alcohol withdrawal. This is largely due to the fact that clinicians are more familiar and trusting of Benzodiazepines.

Support System for Alcoholism

The kind of people that surround you during your alcohol recovery are crucial to your recovery. During and after the detoxification process, to prevent relapsing, separate yourself from the activities that led to your alcoholism. If you need help, but are unsure of where to look, check the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) website to find a treatment center near you.

It takes a certain determination to overcome alcoholism. Going it alone can be dangerous due to the severe withdrawal symptoms associated with the disease. Therefore, seeking withdrawal treatment for alcoholism is the most effective method of winning the battle.

Treatment for Alcoholics: Drug, Behavioral, and Supportive Treatments for Alcoholism

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that there are 22,073 reported alcohol-induced deaths (not including homicides and accidents) in the United States. It is clear that alcoholism is a societal and personal problem; one that can be treated by utilizing a variety of treatment methods.

Detoxification Treatment for Alcoholics In Florida

Detoxification is an effective lead-in to the actual treatment process. It involves ridding the body of the alcohol it has become dependent on. Depending on the severity of abuse, it generally lasts for 1-5 days. Symptoms include irritability, nausea, vomiting, trembling hands, heart palpitations, high blood pressure and in extreme cases, hallucinations and seizures. If an alcoholic plans to undergo alcohol withdrawal, he should visit his physician who can prescribe him with a medication, such as benzodiazepines to increase his comfort level. Detoxification may include outpatient care, which requires the patient to check in with the medical facility at regulated intervals so they can monitor his progress. Depending on the severity of his symptoms and if he has underlying health issues, his physician may recommend inpatient care, where he would receive consistent monitoring and care at a treatment facility.

Psychosocial Treatment for Alcoholics

By fusing psychotherapy with vocational and social training, psychosocial therapy can help the alcoholic to overcome his addiction.

Brief Motivational Intervention encourages the patient to reduce her alcohol consumption, instead of practicing abstinence. She is required to undergo 1-4 10-60 minute sessions with a treatment provider, who teaches her the risks of excessive alcohol drinking. This program is more appropriate for alcohol abusers rather than those who are dependent on it.

Motivational Interviewing supports psychologist, Carl Rogers’ theories regarding people changing through self-actualization rather than being coerced into changing. Taking a passive approach, it allows the patient to make the decision to stop drinking on her own. The therapist assumes a quiet role, so the patient understands she is being listened to. She is encouraged to express statements regarding self-concern and learns how to realize her problem.

Behavioral couples therapy promotes abstinence, encourages the family to support the alcoholic’s decision to change, and fixes the break down in interactions resulting from alcohol abuse. This program is for married and cohabiting couples where one individual is alcohol dependent. Couples cannot participate in the program if their relationship is destructive to either of them or if physical violence is present.

AA Treatment for Alcoholics

The 12-Step program Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) gives the recovering alcohol a chance to connect with others in a similar situation. Alcoholics can partake in the program before receiving professional treatment, in addition to it, or after receiving it. However, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) states that a study confirmed that 12-Step programs are more effective when coupled with inpatient care and professional treatment.

Drinkers battling alcoholism with a sincere desire to quit should visit a physician who can recommend the appropriate drug and/or behavioral treatment. They can also contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services’ (SAMHSA) website to locate a treatment center near them; many of these treatment centers are publicly funded.

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