Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant found in liquor, wine and beer. It slows respiratory and cardiac function when it is absorbed into the bloodstream through the stomach and small intestine. It affects all organs and can impair brain function and motor skills. For the majority of adults in Portland, OR, light to moderate use of alcohol (defined as no more than two drinks per day for men and one per day for women) is a pleasurable experience. For many, though, abuse of alcohol can lead to serious impairment, reckless behavior, violence, serious health problems, addiction and death.
What Is Alcohol Addiction?
The terms “alcoholism,” “alcohol dependency disorder” or “alcohol dependency syndrome” all apply to a condition suffered by people who have developed an addiction to drinking alcohol. The following are four main symptoms of alcohol addiction:
- Craving, or a strong urge to drink
- Loss of control, or the inability to stop drinking once started
- Physical dependence, evidenced by withdrawal symptoms that set in after stopping drinking
- Tolerance, or the need to drink greater quantities in order to get the same effects
Signs of Alcoholism
If alcohol consumption has become a regular and troubling part of your life in Oregon and you are concerned that you may be on a path towards addiction, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you thought that you should reduce or quit drinking but have not been able to?
- Have you noticed that when the effects of alcohol are wearing off you experience withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, trouble sleeping, shakiness, nausea, sweating or seizures?
- Have you found yourself drinking more than you planned?
- Are your drinking habits causing problems with relationships or work?
- Do you require more alcohol to achieve the feeling you desire?
- Have you given up activities you once enjoyed due to drinking?
- Have you found yourself engaging in risky or dangerous behavior because of drinking (driving, operating machinery, risky sexual behavior)?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions you may already have developed an alcoholic condition. It is crucial that you get help as soon as possible. Alcohol destroys various organs as the disease progresses and increases the risk of death or injury from other activities like driving a car while impaired.
Help For Alcoholics in Portland
Help is available for those in Portland who want to reclaim their lives from the grip of alcoholism. There is no shame in asking for help. Call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline to talk to someone who can get you the help you need.