Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Category: Alcoholism

How Long Does It Take to Become Addicted to Alcohol?

How long it takes to become addicted to alcohol is different for each person. Certain risk factors make it more likely for a person to become addicted to alcohol than others. In addition, how long it takes to become addicted to alcohol depends on a person’s drinking habits as well as the presence of underlying mental health disorders.

North Atlanta Behavioral Health specializes in treating mental health disorders as well as co-occurring addictions. Our treatment programs can help you overcome the underlying causes of your addiction to alcohol for a better life in recovery.

What Is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a term used to refer to alcohol addiction or the clinical term alcohol use disorder (AUD). Alcoholism, alcohol addiction, and AUD refer to the same type of substance use disorder. Simply put, alcoholism means that you cannot function normally without alcohol nor can you quit drinking without professional treatment.

Signs of Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction is a disease that affects a person’s mental, physical, and behavioral health. Therefore, they will show signs of addiction in each of these areas of their lives.

Mental Signs of Alcohol Addiction

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Obsessive thinking about alcohol use
  • Using alcohol to manage a mental health disorder
  • Blacking out

Physical Signs of Alcohol Addiction

  • Cravings and urges to drink
  • Changes in appearance
  • Appetite changes
  • Fatigue and hangover

Behavioral Signs of Alcohol Addiction

  • Loss of interest in activities that don’t involve drinking
  • Isolating from friends and loved ones
  • Spending most of your time drinking or recovering from drinking
  • Engaging in reckless behaviors while under the influence

In addition, if you become addicted to alcohol, you will have withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop drinking. These symptoms can be dangerous and even deadly. Therefore, you need to get help from a professional detox center to manage withdrawal safely.

While many people drink alcohol, not all people who drink are alcoholics. According to the 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 84.1% of adults aged 18 and older reported drinking at some point in their lifetimes. However, only a small percentage of adults who drink become addicted. So, what causes a person to become addicted to alcohol?

How Does Alcohol Addiction Develop?

The main reason alcohol is addictive is because drinking produces pleasurable effects in your brain. Alcohol also numbs negative emotions. Thus, you drink to gain pleasure and to reduce negative feelings.

Over time, if you drink regularly or heavily, you continually reinforce the connection between drinking and feeling good. After a while, your brain cannot feel good unless you are drinking alcohol. That means during the times between drinking, you could feel even worse than you would normally if you never drank in the first place.

So, you drink alcohol to cope with these worsening feelings. This is the beginning of the cycle of addiction. Drinking at first helped you cope with stressors and bad feelings. However, now you feel even worse than you did before, and the only way you know to cope is by drinking even more alcohol.

Risk Factors for Becoming Addicted to Alcohol

Of course, not everyone who drinks gets addicted. Many people keep their drinking limited and under control. Certain underlying risk factors make it more likely that you will become addicted than others.

Risk factors for alcohol addiction include the following:

  • Unresolved trauma, especially from childhood
  • Underlying mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder
  • Lack of coping skills for everyday stress
  • Family history of alcoholism, drug addiction, or mental illness
  • Chronic pain
  • Stressful living environments
  • Starting to drink at an early age

Oftentimes, people drink to cope with issues related to their emotional and mental health. For instance, on-the-job stress can cause a person to drink after work to cope. Or, a person in an unhappy marriage could spend their time at the bar to be out of the house.

Regardless of the specifics, if you drink to cope with stress or emotional problems, it won’t take long to become addicted to alcohol.

Does It Take Long to Become Addicted to Alcohol?

Again, it depends on the person and their drinking habits. But, when you drink to cope with life or self-medicate for underlying issues, you could become addicted quickly. This is because the brain seeks solutions to achieve a balanced emotional state—and alcohol is a quick fix.

In other words, when you allow stress to build up over time and then resort to drinking to cope, your brain reinforces this quick fix to balance your emotional state. This could take weeks, months, or even years to develop.

But, if you notice that you are prioritizing drinking over everything else or drinking alcohol is the only thing you have to cope with stress, then you need to reconsider your relationship with alcohol. Otherwise, you are going down a path that will inevitably lead to alcohol addiction.

How Do I Stop Drinking?

Quitting drinking is not always as easy as you might believe at first. Many people assume they can simply quit any time that they want to. And yet, they don’t. Usually, this is because they have used alcohol as a crutch and are fearful of letting go of their only coping mechanism—even if it’s unhealthy.

In addition, withdrawal symptoms make it difficult to stop drinking. These symptoms can be unpleasant and even deadly if your alcohol addiction is severe. That is why many people don’t quit for long when they try to stop drinking without professional help.

So, to stop drinking, you need to go through withdrawal successfully and then find better ways to cope with the underlying issues driving your addiction. First, you need to get into a detox program. That way, you can safely manage the withdrawal symptoms with the help and support of professionals.

After detox, you need to find new ways to cope with stressors. During dual diagnosis treatment after detox, you can learn more about the underlying causes of your addiction. Once you know the cause, you can start finding healthy coping skills so that you can give up drinking—for good.

Get Help for Alcohol Addiction Today

North Atlanta Behavioral Health can help you cope with underlying mental health disorders that drive your addiction to alcohol. We offer psychiatry, psychotherapy, and holistic approaches as well as dual diagnosis treatment options to help you overcome the primary issues causing your addiction.

Contact us today to begin your recovery from alcohol addiction.

Read More

Mixing Alcohol and Zoloft: Can You Drink on Zoloft?

Zoloft (sertraline) is a commonly prescribed antidepressant that falls into the category of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It’s used to treat depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. Given its widespread use, a common question arises: Can you safely consume alcohol while taking Zoloft?

It’s typically recommended that anyone taking an SSRI such as Zoloft avoid alcohol consumption. If you or a loved one are struggling with alcoholism, our alcohol rehab in Georgia can help you understand your drinking habits and learn new coping skills.

What are the Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Zoloft?

Mixing these two can lead to increased risks and side effects. Both substances affect the central nervous system and can amplify each other’s effects. The combination may increase the risk of excessive sedation, impaired judgment, and an increased risk of overdose. Additionally, alcohol can counteract the therapeutic effects of Zoloft, potentially worsening the symptoms it’s meant to treat.

Can You Drink on Zoloft?

Medical professionals generally advise against drinking alcohol while taking Zoloft. Even small amounts of alcohol can interact with the medication, leading to enhanced side effects and potentially dangerous reactions. If you are considering drinking while on Zoloft, it’s important to consult your healthcare provider first.

How Long After Taking Zoloft Can You Drink Alcohol?

The timing of when it might be safer to consume alcohol after stopping Zoloft varies depending on several factors, including your health status, the dosage of Zoloft, and how long you have been taking the medication. Generally, it’s recommended to wait several weeks after completing Zoloft treatment before consuming alcohol. Again, consulting with a healthcare professional is crucial.

Why Do People Mix Zoloft and Alcohol?

Some individuals might mix Zoloft and alcohol without realizing the potential risks. Others might do so to enhance the effects of either substance, often due to underlying issues like self-medication for untreated symptoms or dual diagnosis disorders.

Dangers of Taking Zoloft While Drinking

The dangers of combining Zoloft with alcohol include heightened side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. There’s also a risk of more severe outcomes like serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition caused by too much serotonin in the brain.

Symptoms of Drinking on Zoloft

Drinking alcohol while taking any other antidepressant in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class, can have several effects and potential risks:

  1. Increased Side Effects: The combination of these two can cause side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, and upset stomach. When combined, these effects can be amplified, leading to enhanced drowsiness or sedation, which can be particularly dangerous when performing tasks that require alertness, like driving.
  2. Reduced Efficacy of Zoloft: Alcohol can interfere with the effectiveness of Zoloft. It may counteract the benefits of the medication, potentially worsening the symptoms of depression or anxiety that Zoloft is meant to treat.
  3. Mood Worsening: Alcohol is a depressant, and its use can exacerbate depression and anxiety, which can be counterproductive in individuals taking Zoloft for these conditions.
  4. Impaired Judgment and Risk-Taking Behaviors: The combination of alcohol and Zoloft can impair judgment and increase the likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors, such as driving under the influence or making poor decisions.
  5. Increased Risk of Overdose: There is a risk of overdose when combining alcohol with Zoloft. The effects of both substances can compound, leading to a potentially life-threatening situation.
  6. Serotonin Syndrome: Though rare, there is a risk of developing serotonin syndrome, a serious condition caused by excessive levels of serotonin in the brain. The symptoms include agitation, confusion, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, dilated pupils, loss of muscle coordination, and in severe cases, it can be fatal.
  7. Liver Stress: Both alcohol and Zoloft are metabolized in the liver. Consuming them together can put extra strain on the liver, potentially leading to liver damage over time.
  8. Withdrawal Symptoms: For those who regularly consume alcohol and suddenly stop while taking Zoloft, there may be an increased risk of withdrawal symptoms, which can be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous.

Getting Help for Alcohol Addiction

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, especially when also prescribed medications, it’s important to seek professional help. At North Atlanta Behavioral Health, our outpatient rehab in Atlanta can help you with options that include therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and support groups.

Find Alcohol Rehab in Georgia Today

For residents in Georgia struggling with alcohol addiction, North Atlanta Behavioral Health offers specialized programs tailored to individual needs. We provide a safe and supportive environment for recovery, integrating various treatment modalities to address both addiction and any co-occurring mental health disorders. Seeking help is a critical step toward a healthier, alcohol-free life. Call us now at 770-230-5699 or verify your insurance now.

Read More

Is Alcoholism Hereditary? Here’s What Research Says

Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder, is a complex and multifaceted issue that affects millions worldwide. Its impact on individuals, families, and communities is profound and often devastating. North Atlanta Behavioral Health delves into a critical question: Is alcoholism hereditary? By examining scientific research, genetic links, environmental factors, and personal risk factors, we aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of alcoholism’s roots and implications.

If you or a loved one are struggling with the effects of alcoholism, reach out to us today. North Atlanta Behavioral Health provides outpatient alcohol rehab in Georgia to help those suffering. Call us now at

Understanding the Genetic Link to Alcoholism

Recent scientific advancements have shed light on the genetic factors that may predispose individuals to alcoholism. Studies involving families, particularly those with a history of alcohol use disorder, suggest a genetic component to this addiction, meaning that alcoholism is hereditary. According to the National Institute of Health, twin studies have been particularly revealing, demonstrating that twins are more likely to share alcoholism traits, suggesting a genetic underpinning.

Risk Factors of Alcoholism

Genetic Risk Factors

Specific genes have been identified that increase the risk of developing alcoholism. These genes may affect how an individual metabolizes alcohol or how they experience its effects.

Environmental Factors

The environment in which an individual grows up plays a significant role in their relationship with alcohol. Early exposure to alcohol, social norms surrounding drinking, stress levels, and accessibility of alcohol all contribute to the risk.

Psychological Factors

Mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, can both contribute to and exacerbate the risk of developing alcoholism. Understanding these psychological factors is crucial in addressing alcohol use disorder.

Is Alcoholism Hereditary?

So, is alcoholism hereditary? Current research suggests that while there is a genetic component to alcoholism, it is not solely determined by genetics. The heritability of alcoholism is complex, with estimates suggesting that genetics may account for about 50% of the risk.

Genes vs Environment

The interaction between genetic predisposition and environmental factors is key to understanding alcoholism. Even those with a genetic predisposition may not develop alcoholism if they are not exposed to certain environmental factors. Conversely, individuals without a genetic predisposition might develop alcoholism under certain environmental conditions.

Are You At Risk of Becoming an Alcoholic?


If you have a family history of alcoholism or engage in risky drinking behaviors, you might be at a higher risk. It’s important to evaluate your drinking habits and their impacts on your life.

Professional Assessment

Seeking professional advice is crucial for a comprehensive evaluation. Health professionals can assess your risk based on family history, personal habits, and other health factors.

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder

Physical and Behavioral Signs

These can include increased tolerance to alcohol, withdrawal symptoms, and a pattern of excessive drinking.

Emotional and Psychological Signs

Feelings of guilt, anxiety, or depression associated with drinking habits are common signs of alcohol use disorder.

Find Alcohol Rehab in Georgia Today

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, it’s important to seek professional help. At North Atlanta Behavioral Health, we have multiple resources available, including support groups, family therapy, and counseling services. Awareness and understanding about alcoholism being hereditary is crucial, and seeking help should be seen as a sign of strength, not weakness. If you or a loved one are struggling with alcoholism, learn more about our outpatient rehab in Atlanta, Georgia today.

Read More

Signs and Symptoms of High-Functioning Alcoholism

A common misconception about drinking is that it’s easy to spot someone with an alcohol addiction. The reality is that many alcoholics can function effectively and lead relatively normal lives. However, it’s important to realize that just because someone is has high-functioning alcoholism, doesn’t mean that they aren’t in jeopardy of hurting themselves or others. In fact, regardless of how well an addict functions in day-to-day life, they are always risking negative long-term physical and mental effects due to their excessive drinking behaviors.

A person with high-functioning alcoholism is just as in need of professional help and treatment as others who might be showing more obvious signs of addiction (i.e. missing family and work obligations, regularly appearing drunk in public, etc). Some are just better at managing their addiction and hiding the issue – but it doesn’t make the addiction any less severe.

Friends and family of high-functioning alcoholics should still try to help these individuals realize the severity of their addiction and encourage them to seek treatment before it’s too late

What is High-Functioning Alcoholism?

A functioning alcoholic is someone who shows classic alcoholic behavior, just without the adverse repercussions across professional or personal areas of life that are typically associated with alcoholism. For the most part, high-functioning alcoholics can successfully carry out daily tasks with no adverse effects from drinking. For example, while they may still blackout or drink daily they don’t seem to have outward health issues, and can continue to hold down a job and maintain relationships. This looks very different from the stereotypical portrayal of alcoholics as unemployed, slovenly and lonely, with strained relationships with friends and family.

Why High-Functioning Alcoholism is Dangerous

Using the description “high-functioning alcoholic” can sometimes be harmful because it lessens the seriousness of frequent and excessive alcohol use. If an individual drinks dangerously but continues to maintain work and home life responsibilities, they don’t fit the “typical” alcoholic mold, and their behaviors and potential hazards might be overlooked. Often, the drinking will continue unchecked, and will spiral over time.

Because there are no clear indicators that alcohol use is negatively impacting life in high-functioning alcoholics, it can be challenging to identify someone with functioning alcoholism – read on for signs.

Signs and Symptoms of High-Functioning Alcoholism

If you look hard enough, you can see warning behavior in any high-functioning alcoholic. This may include:

  1. Worrisome shifts in behavior – High-functioning alcoholics usually have behavior that changes significantly with drinking. For example, someone who is typically calm becomes aggressive, irritable or mean after consuming alcohol, or someone who is outgoing shuts down. They might become unrecognizable to friends and family when under the influence.
  2. Inability to stop drinking – High-functioning alcoholics typically can’t have “just one drink,” however hard they try. They tend to use social events like parties or weddings as an excuse to drink heavily, and get anxious about last call at the bar or the idea of alcohol running out. Often, they’ve tried to quit drinking before but can never drop the bottle for long.
  3. Frequent blackouts – They often can’t remember what happened the night before, and participate in activities while drunk that they can’t recall the next day (i.e. having sex, doing drugs, spending time with strangers). While they may not seem intoxicated at the time, they usually experience blackouts while drinking.
  4. Hiding alcohol use – A hidden, secretive lifestyle is a huge red flag. Addicts frequently sneak drinks, drink alone, or have one at the bar by themselves before anyone else arrives. Because of the concealment involved, they often feel shame or “moral hangovers” after sloppy behavior due to drinking.
  5. Keeping social circles separate – A high-functioning alcoholic often compartmentalizes different areas of life to keep drinking separate and hidden. The person they appear to be at work, home and with loved ones might be totally different from who they are when they drink.
  6. Replacing eating with drinking – Losing interest in food and meals, using mealtimes as an excuse to imbibe, or replacing meals with a few drinks.
  7. Explaining away their drinking – There’s always a reason for the drinking, such as job stress (“work hard, play hard”), home stress (“the kids are driving me bonkers”) or a packed and busy social calendar. Some high-functioning alcoholics might use denial or aggression when questioned about their drinking, but others will try to rationalize their drinking.

Other common signs may include:

  • Drinking to excess, often daily
  • Blacking out
  • Concealing how much alcohol is consumed
  • Denying an alcohol issue
  • Defensive about drinking habits
  • Increasingly high tolerance for alcohol
  • Drinking in dangerous or appropriate situations

Effects of High-Functioning Alcoholism

Drinking too much always catches up with someone eventually – even a high-functioning alcoholic. The impact of alcohol addiction is very real, with mental and physical effects, and possibly long-term ailments. Besides these health complications, everyday responsibilities, friend and family relationships and career advancement also usually suffers. 

Mental and Physical Effects

The usual mental and physical effects of alcoholism still apply to high-functioning alcoholics. Excessive drinking can lead to depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, nausea or vomiting. Over time, severe liver damage may develop, including fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis and cirrhosis. Weakened immune systems, brain pathway disruption and increased risk of stroke are other possible long-term symptoms.

Professional Effects

Even though a high-functioning alcoholic can usually hold down a steady job, over time, they may jeopardize employment by showing up late to meetings, becoming increasingly unreliable, displaying troubling or erratic behavior at the office, or not completing tasks by deadlines.

Relational Effects

Lying and hiding erode trust. Over time, a functioning alcoholic will become increasingly isolated from loved ones, secretive and lonely. They often blatantly lie about drinking habits and refuse to recognize any potential issues. These behaviors cause relationship issues that continue to build over time, often leading to an impasse.

What You Can Do To Help a High-Functioning Alcoholic

The first step in helping someone who you believe is a high-functioning alcoholic is to address their drinking habits. Confront your loved one and open up the discussion – try to come from a place of compassion and concern rather than inducing shame or casting judgment. Often, a professional interventionist will be helpful. 

Make it clear you want only the best for them, and ensure that you’ll be there to support them throughout their recovery if they accept help. Support groups, including Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), can also be helpful to recommend to someone with functioning alcoholism to remind them that they aren’t alone in their addiction. 

Finding Treatment High-Functioning Alcoholism

Depending on the severity of addiction, different inpatient and outpatient rehab options may be suitable. Each individual is different and has unique treatment needs. Typically, detox is always the first step with alcohol addicts to ensure a safe withdrawal from drinking. 

Find Alcohol Rehab in Georgia Today!

At North Atlanta Behavioral Health, we treat high-functioning alcoholics at our alcohol rehab in Georgia. We believe that lasting recovery from alcohol addiction, substance use and mental health disorders is possible. Recovery should be the norm – not the exception. Our experienced team develops individualized treatment plans to set up our patients for lasting sobriety and success.

We can also assist in providing resources and options, including Georgia detox recommendations and/or interventionists with years of experience assisting families and individuals. If you or a loved one needs help, call us at 770-230-5699 today.

Read More

Why Is Alcohol Addictive?

Alcohol, like other drugs and substances, has a powerful chemical effect on the brain. Its ability to produce pleasurable feelings and shut down negative feelings can lead to a dangerous dependence, which can quickly spiral to addiction. Read on to learn more about what makes alcohol so addictive, how it can lead to a difficult cycle of alcohol addiction, and how to find help so you or your loved one can recover.

Alcohol Consumption Statistics

Know this: if you struggle with alcohol use disorder (AUD), you’re not alone. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), more than 85% of adults in the United States reported alcohol consumption in the past year. Of those, more than 25% reported binge drinking in the past month. The same survey found that there are nearly 15 million Americans over the age of 12 years with an AUD.

And the problem is only getting worse. According to the NIH, drinking was on the rise the last few years, exacerbated by the pandemic. Because of substantial social, occupational and economic changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many people turned to alcohol and other drugs to cope with new stressors.

Why is Alcohol So Addictive?

Alcohol is the most commonly used substance in the United States. One reason it’s so widespread is because alcohol is a legal substance, making it easily accessible and popular to consume in social settings. Alcohol use has become highly normalized in our culture and not only accepted, but expected – making addiction easier to hide and even harder to spot. Whether it’s unwinding after a long day at work, recognizing life milestones (including weddings, promotions, bachelorette/bachelor parties) or even just enjoying a fun night out with friends, alcohol – in all of its various forms – is everywhere you look, touted as an easy way to decompress or celebrate. 

We are constantly seeing advertisements and commercials for the alcohol and spirits category on TV, billboards, and more. Its usage is often discussed in cavalier ways – for example, wine is referred to as “mommy juice” and a normal way to cope with the stresses of parenthood. (In fact, research shows drinking to cope with stress provides temporary relief but also enhances negative emotional states between alcohol consumption, leading to an unhealthy cycle of drinking to cope again and again). Although alcohol is usually considered harmless, it’s actually far from it. The good news: you or your loved one can break the cycle of addiction. 

How Does The Body Become Dependent on Alcohol?

The feelings an individual gets from alcohol can motivate some people to drink alcohol again and again, despite possible risks to their health and overall well-being. 

So, why is alcohol addictive? Alcohol addiction, a chronic relapsing disorder, is associated with compulsive alcohol drinking, loss of control over intake, and a negative emotional state when alcohol is not available to the individual. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a condition that results in an impaired ability to control or stop alcohol use despite negative health, family, professional or social consequences. 

As individuals drink more over time, progressive changes occur in the brain. These are serious changes that can compromise function of the brain and lead to a transition from occasional and controlled use to chronic misuse. These changes can continue to endure even after a person stops consuming alcohol, which can contribute to relapse in drinking.

Understanding the Stages of Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction involves three key areas of the brain: the basal ganglia, the extended amygdala, and the prefrontal cortex.

In layman’s terms, there are various stages of alcohol addiction with an early, middle and final stage. AUD is progressive, and an individual with an AUD will continue to progress and worsen until proper treatment is received.

Early stage:

During this stage, a person experiences the rewarding effects of alcohol, such as euphoria, the reduction of anxiety, and the easing of social interactions. The brain’s reward system reinforces alcohol drinking behavior, increasing the likelihood of repeated consumption. In this stage,an individual may start drinking more regularly, consuming more in one sitting than before and having more difficulty slowing down or stopping. They are developing a tolerance to alcohol, one of the early warning signs of an issue.

Middle stage:

In this stage, tolerance has become high. An individual is now dependent on alcohol not just to feel good, but to not feel bad and to avoid withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be physical (sleep disturbances, pain, feelings of illness) and emotional (dysphoria, irritability, anxiety, and emotional pain). ​​In other words, the person no longer drinks alcohol for the pleasurable effects but instead to avoid the “low” feelings that chronic misuse has created. 

Final stage:

In this stage of alcoholism, an individual must drink regularly to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms. They are preoccupied with alcohol and how to get more of it, constantly looking forward to the next drink. The prefrontal cortex—the area of the brain responsible for executive function, including the ability to organize thoughts and activities, prioritize tasks, manage time, and make decisions—is compromised. Someone in this stage is experiencing both physical and mental health deterioration, and the outlook is dismal if they don’t receive help. 

When is Drinking Too Much a Problem?

“How do I know if I’m an alcoholic?” is a common question, and a complicated one. While heavy drinking is an unhealthy habit, heavy drinkers are not always dependent on alcohol, nor do they always have an addiction to it. The key distinction between alcoholism and heavy drinking is what occurs once drinking stops, and the alcohol is removed from the body. 

Some people may be more prone to developing alcohol addictions or dependence due to genetic factors or environment. Additionally, individuals who begin drinking at a young age–when certain parts of their brains involved in making decisions, judging and evaluating are still developing– may also be more at risk. For others, physical adversity leads to stress, which leads to consuming alcohol as a means of coping, resulting in increased dependence over time.

Warning signs of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) include but are not limited to:

  • Experiencing blackouts
  • Alcohol reduction efforts without success
  • Frequent binge drinking
  • Cravings for alcohol or insatiable urges to drink
  • Increased alcohol tolerance
  • Feeling emotionally or physically sick after quitting 
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Secretly drinking
  • Family history
  • Financial problems due to drinking
  • Not fulfilling major professional or personal obligations
  • Over-consuming alcohol or using it for a longer time period than intended 
  • Continuous alcohol use despite psychological or physical harm, worsening health, and physical dangers

What are The Long-Term Effects of Alcohol?

The sooner you seek help, the better: physical manifestations including malnutrition, cancer, and liver disease are long-term effects of alcohol abuse – but treatment can help minimize or prevent some of these effects. Brain fog is common in early recovery. 

Alcohol abuse has numerous other negative consequences. In addition to deaths from liver disease and alcohol overdose, drunk driving kills thousands of people each year. In 2021, there were more than 50,000 alcohol-related deaths (not including the additional 50,000+ deaths caused by chronic liver disease or cirrhosis). Other long-term effects can include decreased attention span, difficulty in forming thoughts, anxiety, depression, insomnia, dementia, nerve damage, coma, balance difficulties, and Wernicke’s encephalopathy (also known as “wet brain” or alcohol-induced dementia).

Find Outpatient Alcohol Treatment in Atlanta Today!

Getting the right care for an AUD is crucial–we are here to help. If you or someone you love is drinking too much, call us at 770-230-5699 today. We believe that lasting recovery from substance use and mental health disorders is possible and that as much as alcohol is addictive, you can overcome it.

If you or a loved one is seeking alcohol rehab in Georgia, our experienced team at North Atlanta Behavioral Health can get you to the right place. We can also assist in providing resources and options, including detox facility recommendations and/or interventionists with years of experience assisting families and individuals. We know what you’re going through and you’re not alone. 

Read More