If you are dealing with an alcohol issue or wonder if you have alcohol use disorder, then you might wonder to yourself “is alcoholism a mental illness?” This is a common question for people who are battling the issue of alcohol abuse. Trained professionals are necessary to deal with the problems of alcoholism. A California detox center provides round the clock care to ensure you overcome alcohol withdrawal symptoms and build a foundation for lasting alcohol addiction recovery.
What is Alcoholism?
Everyone may get a different idea in their mind when they think of what alcoholism looks like. Some people may imagine a staggering person. Someone else may imagine a raging person. Another person yet may see a car accident due to alcoholism. These are all potential ways that someone who is dealing with alcoholism may act but it doesn’t really define the term.
Alcoholism is when someone cannot control their drinking. Whether it’s in a big way or even a small way, there is a loss of control when it comes to alcohol. Another factor in alcoholism is the body’s response to it when it’s taken away. When a person has become accustomed to drinking for an extended period, then they abruptly quit, the body goes into a type of shock. This is what causes all the withdrawal symptoms.
Is Alcoholism A Mental Illness?
The question —is alcoholism a mental illness has been debated more recently. In the past, people looked down on alcoholics, shamed them, or feared them, whereas now the medical professionals consider alcoholism a type of mental health disorder. How is that? When someone drinks, the chemistry of the brain starts to change a little at a time. Over a longer period, noticeable changes can occur in the brain’s functioning ability and chemical makeup. These are both indicators of mental health problems.
Some people may also wonder — what happened first, the mental illness or the drinking? The answer to that is complex. However, some people seem to have a predisposition to alcoholism. This could be because of the environment they’re raised in or it may be genetic. Scientists believe it may be a bit of both, but they haven’t found the gene responsible for addiction.
The other issue is that once people take that first drink, they are opening up the possibility that the dopamine in the brain (the reward center) will give such a reward that they continue drinking, that they develop an addiction. Finally, in time, mental illness develops. So, the answer is not as straightforward as you might think. An alcohol addiction treatment center in Weymouth, MA treats the co-occurring mental health disorders contributing to your alcohol addiction, so you can make lasting alcohol addiction recovery.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment Programs
After successful detoxification from alcohol, admission into an inpatient alcohol rehab center is the next step towards lasting alcohol addiction recovery. A residential rehab center can provide dual diagnosis alcohol addiction treatment for the physical symptoms of alcohol addiction, as well as the underlying co-occurring mental health disorders that contribute to your alcohol addiction. Upon your admission into an inpatient alcohol rehab center, the addiction treatment staff will conduct a mental health assessment to compile a personalized alcohol addiction treatment plan based on the unique co-occurring mental health disorders contributing to your alcohol addiction. The best addiction treatment programs often includes the following treatment programs:
- Medical detox treatment program
- Residential treatment program
- Partial hospitalization treatment program
- Intensive outpatient treatment program
Don’t wait until alcohol use disorder ruins your dreams in life or steals your happiness. Take action today. Now that you know the answer to your question — is alcoholism a mental illness, you can find hope for by going to an alcohol addiction treatment center. You deserve to have peace of mind. Reach out for help today.