For many people, drinking alcohol is a social activity that adds to life's enjoyment.  When alcohol consumption is limited to about 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men, it can be enjoyed with few negative consequences.  Unfortunately, a large segment of the population finds it difficult to drink in moderation.  According to the National Institute of Health, over 17 million adults in America abuse alcohol or are alcoholics.  There are also millions of Americans who indulge in binge drinking, a habit that can have serious health and safety consequences.

If you've ever wondered if you or a loved one is a candidate for alcoholism rehab, these four symptoms can be used as a gauge:

  • Do you crave alcohol and feel a strong compulsion to drink?
  • Are you unable to limit the amount of alcohol you drink?
  • Are you becoming increasingly tolerant to the effects of alcohol and do you need to drink more to feel alcohol's effects?
  • When you stop drinking, do you experience physical withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, shakiness, nausea and anxiety?

The presence of any of these symptoms indicates that a person is experiencing problems with alcohol consumption.  If more than one symptom is present, it is highly likely that alcohol is causing serious disruptions in an individual's life.  In either case, a doctor should be consulted about the negative effects of drinking and the options for alcoholism rehab should be discussed.

Alcoholism is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition.  Alcohol abuse can cause serious harm to all of the major systems in the body.  It can damage the liver, kidneys, heart and brain and can lead to birth defects during pregnancy.  Medical research has linked heavy drinking to certain forms of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver and colon.  Alcohol consumption also increases the risk of vehicle and work-related injuries and deaths.

The importance of alcoholism rehab is directly related to the fact that most alcoholics need help to stop drinking.  The craving for drink that alcoholics experience is an actual physical craving, similar to the body's need for food, drink and sleep.  Abstaining from alcohol can be just as difficult as abstaining from eating.  For heavy drinkers, alcohol withdrawal symptoms require medical treatment and supervision, both of which are available with inpatient alcoholism rehab.

Admitting that alcohol is a problem is never easy, but since alcoholism is a progressive disease that worsens over time, it is important to seek help as soon as possible.  There are a wide variety of alcoholism rehab programs available.  Thanks to the wealth of resources available online, it is easier than ever to find an alcohol treatment program that is an ideal fit for an individual's resources and condition.