What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is the most common of all addictions. Evidence of alcohol and fermented products date back to 7000 BC. Today, the number of people seeking help for alcoholism has tripled in the last 10 years. Since alcohol is legal in the U.S. and accessible in stores, gas stations, restaurants, and bars, our culture sees it with more acceptance than other substances. As a result, family and friends often fail to see the warning signs of addiction in those they love, and availability makes it easier for people to conceal their alcoholism.

Many people try to stop drinking on their own to no avail. Stopping “cold turkey” on by yourself can be very tough, if not, impossible. Also, it can be dangerous without medical supervision. An alcohol treatment center can assist you to safely detoxify from alcohol and break the chains of the behavioral side of your addiction.

“According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly 26% of Americans ages 18 and older reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month.”


There are many kinds of alcohol treatment programs available at BriteLife. These include:

DETOX – During the detox, Alcohol and other toxins are removed through a medically-supervised program. Clients are kept comfortable during this vital phase of recovery.

RESIDENTIAL CARE – Long-term, intensive program that is the core of addiction behavioral therapy. We offer this important level of care at all locations.

PARTIAL HOSPITALIZATION – PHP is mildly intensive treatment, where clients reside in off-site housing and are transported to our treatment center daily. It is a step-down from residential care.

OUTPATIENT – This lower-level of care is for clients is best reserved for clients who have completed prior levels. It provides ongoing support to clients and their families

Signs of Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction manifests itself in different ways. One person’s addiction may be very visible—he or she might get fired, get divorced, and lose their place to live. Another individual might be “high functioning” and able to sustain a job, relationships, and home with no noticeable difficulties. But chronic, heavy drinking will catch up with a person, and eventually begin to harm their health in observable ways.

Typically, if your drinking behavior makes it tricky or impossible to perform a normal life, you likely have a problem. It can range from moderate to acute, but even a moderate problem with alcohol can deteriorate quickly. Therefore, treatment becomes necessary to end addiction and change your life. Alcohol addiction involves overwhelming cravings and compulsions to drink, regardless of the consequences to yourself.

Signs of alcoholism can include:

  • Cravings to drink.
  • Drinking alone.
  • Having difficulty controlling your drinking.
  • Not being able to stop on your own.
  • Needing a lot of time to recover.
  • Giving up or reducing social activities or hobbies because of drinking
  • Performing risky behavior, such as driving under influence.
  • Continuing to drink despite serious consequences like job loss.

Alcohol Withdrawal Indications

It is important to understand that dependence and addiction are different things. A person can be addicted to alcohol but not physically dependent. Someone who needs to drink to feel comfortable in social situations, or who compulsively drinks despite frequently waking up with hangovers may be addicted. Dependence, on the other hand, causes physical symptoms like agitation, nausea, or vomiting, shaking, or even delirium.

When confronted about drinking, a person with a serious alcohol problem may deny drinking, hide alcohol, or make excuses. When someone who is physically dependent on alcohol stops drinking, even for a short period, they can experience withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Agitation or self-destructive behavior
  • Anxiety, guilt, or general discontent
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Tremors/shaking
  • Delirium or fear

Physical dependence is serious, and withdrawal symptoms can be unsafe. For this reason, a medically supervised detox is essential when you are ready to stop drinking.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment in South Carolina

Admitting that you have an issue with alcohol is the first step toward recovery. If you’ve tried to quit before unsuccessfully, you’re not alone, and help is just a phone call away. People who seek help at an alcohol rehab center are statistically much more likely to quit successfully than if they tried to quit on their own without support.

BriteLife South Carolina offers a full range of alcohol abuse programs including detoxification, residential programs, partial hospitalization programs, outpatient programs, sober living, and more.

Our compassionate clinical team includes trained specialists, therapists, counselors, and others who create customized treatment plans based on each client’s personal history and psychological and spiritual needs.

If you or someone you know is battling alcoholism, please reach out to us at 866.470.2187 Our admissions counselors are available to provide confidential help and information 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Quick Links



Prescription Drugs



Get Started

Contact us

"*" indicates required fields


Or find us here

  • 2200 Main Street, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, 29926
  • 866.470.2187