Abusing alcohol can lead to alcoholism, which can cause you to make drinking the biggest priority in your life. Alcoholism is progressive and chronic, which means that your symptoms will continue to get worse until you receive treatment. Peer-led support groups, like AA, are especially beneficial during the recovery process. But how does AA help you recover from alcoholism?
Alcohol is one of the most commonly used psychoactive substances in the United States, with 55.3% of American adults drinking at least once per month. Unfortunately, alcohol is physically addictive and widely abused, with 15 million Americans meeting the criteria for an alcohol use disorder annually. Unfortunately, many people do not seek out alcohol addiction or alcohol use disorder treatment.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a serious disease that causes you to compulsively drink and abuse alcohol, even if you want to stop drinking. When you drink alcohol, your brain releases a powerful rush of pleasurable neurotransmitters, like GABA. This rush of neurotransmitters causes the positive effects of intoxication. However, once you sober up, your brain is suddenly depleted of pleasurable neurotransmitters, which results in your brain craving more alcohol and associating drinking with happiness.
Your pleasure and reward center then positively reinforces your drinking, releasing neurotransmitters when you drink but restricting their release when you do not. Alcohol can also aggravate underlying mental health disorders, as it causes changes to your brain chemistry. Additionally, drinking and alcohol abuse can cause anxiety and depression, which can lead to you increasing your alcohol consumption.
As alcoholism progresses, you need to increase your drinking in order to continue experiencing intoxication. Since alcohol is filtered by your liver, abusing alcohol can cause your liver to become overworked. Alcoholism can eventually lead to liver damage, which is why early treatment is essential to recovery.
Some typical signs of alcoholism include:
- Driving drunk
- Experiencing blackouts when you drink
- Drinking more than you planned
- Difficulty controlling or reducing your alcohol consumption
How Does AA Help During Recovery?
Alcoholism takes time to develop and time to fully recover from. Since alcohol is legal, it can be difficult to avoid certain triggers, especially during the early stages of recovery. So how does AA help you recover from alcoholism? Programs like AA can help improve your recovery outcomes, as they help you connect with other people in recovery. Another important part of AA is that it creates a safe place to express troubling thoughts and emotions.
If you are still wondering how does AA help me beat alcoholism, AA and its 12-step program are commonly used in both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. AA meetings are free and offer a strong, recovery-focused setting to support your sobriety.
Reaching Out for Help Today
Alcoholism can damage your relationships, health, and career. If you find yourself wondering how does AA help treat alcoholism, chances are you are concerned about your drinking. Reaching out for help is the first step towards sobriety. Reach out to us today to learn more about our alcohol abuse treatment programs 855.786.1978.