Alcohol Addiction, its Roots and Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol addiction is diagnosed as a brain disease that results in the frequent and excessive use of alcohol and has negative effects on a person’s life. Many professionals refer to alcohol addiction, alcoholism, or alcohol dependence as a compulsive and obsessive preoccupation with alcohol and the inability to recognize the negative effects it has on their life.

Alcohol addiction causes over 100,000 deaths every year in the US. It is the leading cause of death in teenagers due to alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents. When a person enters a center for alcohol addiction rehab in San Diego, their first step in recovery is to safely detoxify the body and remove alcohol from the system.

It is important to realize that not everyone who suffers from alcohol addiction drinks in the same manner. Some people with alcohol addiction drink all day; some drink at certain times of the day, and some binge drink. It is for this reason that the most effective alcohol addiction treatment programs are those that design custom treatment plans to meet each patient’s individual needs. These individualized alcohol addiction treatment plans should be modified as a patient meets their personal goals and objectives.

Contributing Factors in Alcohol Addiction

The following are a few contributing factors in alcohol addiction:


There is often a genetic link to addiction, compulsive and obsessive behavior, and thinking. This is not to say that genetics alone is sufficient to put addiction in place, but that the nature of the addiction may well be influenced by genetics. For instance, an alcoholic often has alcoholic parents or grandparents.



A trauma of one sort or another can shape and foster alcohol addiction. Sex addicts or those with an eating disorder often have a background of being sexually abused as children. In reviewing alcohol addiction and those affected by it, individuals who have a history of trauma and post-traumatic stress often make up a very large percentage.


Shame is very powerful and robs people of self-worth, so they use alcohol to cope.


A person’s environment has a lot to do with their reliance on alcohol. This, in conjunction with their social network, can certainly be components leading to alcohol addiction.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms and their severity are usually related to the amount of alcohol consumed on a daily basis. The more an individual consumes, the greater the alcohol withdrawal symptoms will be.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms have a direct correlation to the amount an individual consumes and their level of tolerance. It is important to understand that similar to drug addiction – the high first reached during the initial consumption phase – is hard to achieve without using more and more of the substance. Chasing this high leads to an uncontrollable addiction.

Withdrawal symptoms begin to exhibit themselves several hours after a person’s last drink. They include:

  • Tremors
  • Sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • High blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Convulsions and in some cases
  • Hallucinations
  • Cramping

Withdrawal symptoms can be extremely severe, so it is important that those who choose to stop drinking do so under medical care like that found in an alcohol detox treatment program.

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