Alcohol FAQ - Frequent Alcoholism Questions & Answers

Frequently Asked Alcoholism Questions You Need to Know the Answers To Right Now

People turn to us for advice, and because of this, we receive a lot of the same questions. To help as many people as possible, we have decided to write this article answering the most common alcoholism questions that everyone needs to know the answers to right now.

1What does it feel like to withdraw from alcohol?

Withdrawal from alcohol can range from mild to intense feelings. A person can experience:

  • Apprehension
  • Shakiness
  • Headache
  • Sleeplessness
  • Stomach upsets
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating

After half a day or night, up to a day later, an individual may also experience hallucinations. Seizures can occur up to two days after cessation, and a few people will experience delirium tremens. Delirium tremens includes fever, excessive sweating, fast heartbeat, and delusions in addition to hallucinations.

2What is the life expectancy for a hardcore alcoholic?

The life expectancy of a hardcore alcoholic depends on many factors:

  • How long the person has been drinking
  • If the person binges or drinks alcohol continuously
  • How much the person drinks
  • Other medical illnesses
  • Genetics

A sign a person is about to die from drinking is when he enters the last stage of alcoholism, known as end-stage alcoholism. People in this stage:

  • Become obsessed with drinking at all times
  • They are chronically drunk
  • Withdrawal symptoms start immediately after finishing an alcoholic beverage
  • Suffer from physical and psychological dependence
  • Isolate themselves because of shame

People who don’t receive help at this stage are at a high risk of death. It can also be fatal if they try to quit cold turkey as their withdrawal symptoms may be too much for the body to manage.

3What are some early warning signs that someone might become an alcoholic?

Some early warning signs that someone might become an alcoholic are:

  • Alcohol is affecting their work life, relationships, or friendships and they don’t care or don’t attempt to quit.
  • They make poor decisions such as drunk driving and repeat these decisions.
  • They experience blackouts.
  • They don’t consider their health or health issues resulting from drinking.
  • Family members are commenting and worried about their drinking habits.
  • The amount that is being ingested continually increases or there can be no periods without drinking.
  • They choose drinking over other activities that they also enjoy or used to enjoy.
  • Experience some or all of the symptoms associated with withdrawal.

4Why do so many people with depression or anxiety become addicted to alcohol?

People with anxiety or depression often drink to help manage the symptoms associated with their mental illness. For anxiety, many people often drink to feel less anxious. However, once an individual stops drinking, there can be increased anxiety, which can also be longer lasting. This is because habitual drinking can affect the pathways of the brain and actually leave an individual more likely to feel anxious. Individuals would then turn to alcohol again to try to reduce these feelings.

Depression can be situational or chemical. If situational, drinking can help “numb the pain” or help an individual cope with their circumstances and help with anxiety. Chemically, alcohol affects dopamine and a person feels a “reward” for drinking, which quickly dissipates. It is also used for its relaxing effects, but because alcohol is a system depressant, it can leave an individual feeling even more depressed than before drinking. There has also been a link that shows that alcohol can lead to alcohol-induced depression and that depression can lead to increased alcohol use. Therefore, a cyclical pattern can occur, trapping a person suffering from depression in this negative loop.

5Is alcoholism hereditary?

Alcoholism isn’t entirely hereditary, but certain genetic factors do affect children of alcoholics. With a parent or family history of alcoholism, there is an increased risk of the offspring developing alcoholism, but environmental factors do greatly affect the outcome. The risks increase further if there is abuse and aggression in the household, other substances being abused, or if either parent has any mental health issues.

Being a victim of abuse &/or peer pressure and having poor coping strategies also increases the risk of someone developing alcoholism. However, the offspring of alcoholics do have choices.  Many people with parents or family that struggled with alcoholism never develop the disease themselves. This is because some choose not to drink, drink moderately, or only start to drink later in life. They also have appropriate supports, know the signs of alcohol addiction, and are willing to talk with professionals to avoid alcohol abuse or alcoholism.

6Why is alcohol considered a drug?

Alcohol is considered a drug because of the altering effects that it has on the body. According to the Merriam–Webster dictionary, one definition of a drug is “a substance other than food intended to affect the structure or function of the body”.  Alcohol fits that definition exactly. Alcohol is a nervous system depressant that alters how the system functions and alters the body’s physiology. While initially it relaxes, provides release from inhibition, and makes people socially-inclined, it also lowers a person’s ability to make good decisions, lowers reaction times, induces dizziness, vomiting, and can lead to coma or death.


About Alcohol Addiction Treatment

If you’re suffering from alcohol addiction, many of the answers to the above alcoholism questions likely made you feel as though this was written for you. This is a sign it’s time to turn to alcohol addiction treatment. We understand how difficult it is to reach out for help when you’re feeling so low and out of control. This is why we are here, though. Contact us for help with your own alcoholism questions at 855-216-0376 today (counselors available 24/7). We will help you get out of this situation, so you can move on to living a better life.

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For immediate help with alcohol addiction, please call our 24/7 helpline at 855-216-0376.


Additional References: NIAAA, WebMD