Addiction Counseling at Empower Counseling in Birmingham, Alabama: When Does Drinking Become Dependence?

Over the last several decades the public has been exposed to one substance abuse crisis after another. From marijuana, to the crack epidemic, to the opioid epidemic, to the rise of meth; our awareness of addiction and the effects it has on individuals has grown to the point where almost everyone knows someone who has been affected by substance abuse. But through all this one substance has maintained a consistent hold over us: Alcohol. Of the substances that can cause addiction it is the one that is not only legal, but also a major part of our society’s culture. Advertisements for alcohol can be found on billboards, store signs, and just about everything we watch on TV or the internet. Because it is so prevalent and normal for us to be around alcohol it can also be harder to realize when our alcohol consumption becomes a problem.

Using It As A Crutch

Just like any other substance, alcohol is often used to numb oneself to the problems or stressors they are dealing with. Because alcohol provides this easy (and temporary) fix, it can quickly develop into a habit and eventually a dependence. Oftentimes the problems we drown in alcohol do not have easy solutions. They may come from past trauma. We may not feel ready to face our feelings and deal with them, or it may be that the source of our stress is something we can not easily control, like a job or relationship. And because these do not have simple answers or may require us to really step outside of our comfort zone to deal with them we instead go to a solution that is readily available and can numb us to these negative feelings, at least for a little while. It may start off as just enough to get us through the day, but everytime we choose to avoid the difficult problems, we reinforce in our minds that we are not capable of handling them. If we turn to alcohol often enough we begin to believe we are not capable of handling our lives without alcohol…which causes us to be more dependent upon it.

Slippery Slope

Another danger of using alcohol to throw a blanket over our problems is how our brain can become physically dependent on it. Every time we heavily consume alcohol our brains get more and more used to having that chemical in their system. If we do this often enough our brains begin to rely on alcohol being there, and this is when withdrawal symptoms start to occur. When our brains are used to having alcohol around they stop producing certain things we need to function, or it can start producing compounds that act to balance out the alcohol in our system. This is how tolerance develops and is why we need more and more of a substance to get the same effects over time. Addicts often hit a point where they are no longer drinking to numb themselves, but to stop feeling sick.

Addiction counseling at Empower counseling in birmingham, alabama: Is It Time To Seek Help?

If after reading this you feel like your drinking, or the drinking of someone you know, has gotten to a point where it is unhealthy then it might be time to seek out professional help. RosGlas Recovery has an excellent article on binge drinking and what counts as heavy alcohol consumption. It might be a good idea to see how your average amount of drinking compares to this to help understand how at risk you might be. Counseling can help you learn healthier ways to deal with your problems and face the things you have been avoiding. Having someone there to help guide you along this journey is a much less scary prospect than doing this on your own.

Addiction Counseling by Empower Counseling in Birmingham, Alabama

Empower Counseling offers Adam Elliott for addiction counseling. Adam is trained in Acceptance Commitment Therapy and is a certified addiction counselor. He know what addiction looks like and knows how to help. If you are struggling with addiction, reach out to Adam today by calling clicking this link and calling the number on that page. You do not have to do this alone. Adam is here to here.

Addiction counseling is not the only service Empower Counseling offers at our Birmingham area counseling clinic. Our compassionate and knowledgeable counselors specialize in Acceptance Commitment Therapy, scientifically proven effective for anxiety and depression.

Empower offers counseling for professionals, therapy for young adults, counseling for college students, and counseling for teens in the form of anxiety therapy and depression counseling. We offer both in person and online counseling to anyone living in the state of Alabama. Reach out to Empower by clicking here and sending a quick email.

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