Social drinking at bars and having a glass of wine in the evening are common practices in the United States. Most people can regulate this drinking and do so in moderation, but for the estimated 14.4 million Americans with alcohol addiction, that’s easier said than done.

Alcohol is one of the most addictive and most frequently abused drugs, and overcoming your dependence on it is difficult. With the help of a good alcohol rehab center, though, even people with long-term alcohol use disorders can break free.

Are you wondering whether your alcohol use warrants professional treatment? Here are seven signs that seeking out a rehab center should be the first step on your sobriety journey.

1. Alcohol Is Your Number One

We all have varying priorities in life. While it’s okay to place a high value on socializing with friends or spending time relaxing, make sure alcohol hasn’t snuck into the number one spot on your list. Some signs that alcohol is your main priority include:

  • only attending events where drinks will be served
  • thinking about alcohol often throughout the day
  • your relationships and favorite activities are less of a priority than alcohol
  • spending more and more time, effort, and money on drinking
  • you start drinking as soon as you get home from work (or even drink during work hours)

Alcohol addiction can sneak up on you when you least expect it. If you’re not sure whether you have a problem, take some time to closely examine your priorities. If most of them involve drinking to some extent, it’s time to look into an alcohol rehab program.

2. You Go Into Withdrawal When You Stop Drinking

If you try to change your drinking habits and feel withdrawal symptoms begin, you need to visit an addiction rehab center. Depending on the severity of your addiction, going through alcohol detox can be dangerous without proper medical support.

Some of the alcohol withdrawal symptoms to watch for include:

  • intense cravings for alcohol
  • rapid heartbeat
  • sweating
  • tremors
  • anxious or panicked mood
  • fever
  • insomnia
  • nausea and vomiting
  • hallucinations
  • seizures

Thankfully, staying at an alcohol detox center during the withdrawal stage can keep you as safe and comfortable as possible during this difficult time.

3. You Endanger Yourself or Others

Alcohol weakens the decision-making centers in your brain and slows your response time. If you’re constantly drinking throughout the day, your brain may never get a chance to recover. This can lead to an increasing number of reckless, impulsive, or dangerous decisions.

Do you find yourself drinking and driving or otherwise endangering yourself and others when you use alcohol? Do you suffer from frequent blackouts when drinking? Do your friends often tell you about the crazy antics you got into the night before, but you don’t remember a thing?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, it’s time for a rehab intervention.

4. Your Physical Health Is Suffering

Even moderate drinking can leave you feeling fatigued and hungover the following day. When you engage in long-term alcohol abuse, though, the physical consequences are a lot more serious.

In the short term, binge drinking can lead to a condition called alcohol poisoning, of which an estimated six Americans die every day. The long-term consequences of excessive drinking include brain damage, pancreatitis, cirrhosis, heart disease, and kidney disease. It can also lead to a variety of cancers such as:

  • head and neck cancer
  • esophageal cancer
  • breast cancer
  • stomach cancer
  • liver cancer
  • colorectal cancer

It isn’t worth waiting for one of these serious consequences to arise. Seek help from a center for alcohol rehab in NJ before the damage is irreversible.

5. Your Mental Health Is Suffering

Alcohol doesn’t affect your physical health alone. It also has a cyclical relationship with your mental wellbeing.

People who abuse alcohol are more likely to have co-occurring mental health disorders. This is true for two reasons: first, excessive alcohol use can contribute to low mood, anxiety, and even psychosis. Second, people who are already suffering from mental illness or low mood may use alcohol as a way to dampen their negative feelings.

Breaking this cycle can be almost impossible to do on your own. If you struggle with both alcohol and mental illness, find a rehab center that offers therapy and counseling along with detox treatment.

6. Your Career, Schoolwork, or Finances Are Suffering

Do you find yourself often calling in sick to work or school because of a hangover? Are you struggling financially because so much of your money goes toward alcohol? Are you having trouble keeping up with other basic responsibilities?

Most people who consume alcohol in moderation don’t notice an effect on their performance in other areas of their life. If your drinking is interfering with your career, schooling, or financial stability, it’s time to seek help.

7. You’re Ready to Change

It can be hard for outsiders to identify your alcohol addiction, especially if you manage to hold down a steady career and keep up with your hobbies. You know yourself better than anyone else, though. If you’re in doubt about whether your alcohol use has gotten out of control, pay attention to that feeling.

Treatments for alcoholism aren’t just for people who’ve hit rock bottom. They’re also for those who recognize they have a problem and want to tackle it head-on before it gets worse. Embrace your readiness for change and contact a rehab center to see which level of support is best for your situation.

Is It Time for You to Address Your Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol addiction is a serious medical condition that can be dangerous if you ignore it. If you think you may have a problem, don’t wait—talk to an addiction counselor at an alcohol rehab center to see if you could benefit from treatment.

Are you looking for alcohol or drug rehabilitation centers in New Jersey? SOBA New Jersey offers drug and alcohol detox, addiction treatment, and mental health support. Give our admissions counselors a call with your questions and get admitted to a program today.