Alcoholism is something that we often let slip under our radar in ourselves and our loved ones. It can be easy to miss someone’s problem with drinking, as the social consumption of alcohol is perfectly legal and very common. But alcoholism shouldn’t be taken lightly — it’s a disease that needs proper medical rehabilitation and further therapeutic support in order for treatment to be successful. If an issue like this is left untreated, it can result in some serious consequences that could be detrimental to a person’s emotional, mental, physical and social well-being.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is defined as the compulsive need for alcohol and the effects it can provide. The feeling of intoxication to an alcoholic is irresistible, and at times can be nearly uncontrollable. Beer, wine, and other hard liquors are all kinds of alcohol that are often abused by alcoholics. The more a person abuses these substances, the more dependent they become on them.
Don’t Ignore The Signs of Alcoholism
There are plenty of red flags that you can identify if the person is abusing alcohol or not. Most of the time, these signs can be recognized while there are also others that are tricky to point out. These signs may also play an important role as to how severe the alcohol abuse is. Some may isolate themselves from their peers so they can hide their alcohol abuse, while others pretend to be the life of the party when they are actually an alcoholic who enjoys their position to provide alcohol during parties and gatherings. If this happens, this could be a challenge for friends and families to intervene and help. However, being able to identify the early signs of alcohol addiction then it will be easier to provide them with the help they need. If an individual is suffering from alcohol abuse, they will exhibit warning signs that cannot be ignored. These symptoms can range from mild to severe, and from physical to behavioral factors, all of which can affect their daily lives.
10 Warning Signs of Alcohol Addiction
Here are the ten warning signs that you should watch out for:
- They begin to ignore and neglect their responsibilities – as one of the first signs of alcohol abuse, you will find that this individual is always absent from work or has not performed well over the last few months. They mostly like to slack off or always come in late with a hangover. They don’t take their responsibilities seriously any longer and do not appear to have the same energy when they are working. They lack the mental focus to perform their daily routine and are often unaware of what they are doing. While this symptom may not be always due to alcohol, it is always good to check in with a friend or family member who’s career appears to be suffering.
- They like drinking in dangerous situations – most alcoholics retain their drinking habits, even if they are in a situation where being intoxicated could cause them to harm themselves or others. There are plenty of cases where a person is caught drinking while driving, which is a classic example of putting themselves in dangerous (and often illegal) situations. There are also others who like to mix their alcohol with drugs like cocaine or marijuana as well as other prescribed medications to boost the effects. Keep in mind that where there is alcohol abuse, drug abuse often follows.
- They begin to demonstrate abnormal mood swings – it has been noted that a lot of alcoholics have unexplained mood swings. These sudden and unexplained shifts in mood can be associated with mood disorders and can be a result of alcohol abuse. It can also be a symptom of alcohol withdrawal, which means that if they show this kind of behavior, it is a possibility that they are going through withdrawal.
- They lie about using or drinking alcohol – this usually means that the person suffering from alcoholism knows that their alcohol consumption is becoming a problem, so they are trying to hide it by lying about drinking. They may try to deny or downplay the severity to avoid being questioned or found out. Truth is, this is one of the classic symptoms of a budding alcoholic, so don’t be surprised if you find out that someone you know is hiding this problem from you.
- They display a very high tolerance to alcohol – if you have a friend who does not drink at all now drinking down bottles of wine and vodka like water then there is a big chance that they are addicted to alcohol. This telltale sign exhibits a full-blown alcohol addiction. High tolerance to alcohol usually indicates having high concentration of alcohol in the bloodstream as well which can be dangerous.
- They show the physical signs of alcoholism – besides the behavior mentioned above, alcoholics will also show tangible/physical signs of overconsumption of alcohol. Look out for flushed skin or face, red or blotchy skin and trembling hands. All of these are classic signs of alcoholism.
- They can no longer maintain a healthy relationship – an alcoholic will not pay attention to their loved ones as much as they pay attention to alcohol. They often lie about it and are secretive towards their partners. Their finances are also poorly managed because of their alcohol consumption. They cannot quit alcohol just so they can restore their relationship and it is most likely that their brain has convinced them to value alcohol more than their significant other.
- They are often in trouble with the law – besides drunk driving, alcoholics can also be arrested for disorderly conduct and violent behaviors while under the influence of alcohol. Once a person becomes intoxicated, their decision-making abilities become poor and clouded. So it is not surprising to see drunk people getting in trouble with authorities ever so often.
- They will experience blackouts during binge drinking – this usually happens to people who are experiencing alcohol for the first time or experimenting with alcohol. This is also one of the earliest signs of alcohol addiction.
- They usually drink at unusual or inappropriate hours – alcohol drinkers who quit abruptly usually exhibit alcohol withdrawal symptoms and because of this, they will feel extremely uncomfortable every now and then when they go a while without drinking. They will crave alcohol and will only feel better once they drink it. Because of this, their symptoms will manifest at any hour, which is why you will also find them drinking at odd times throughout the day.
Treating Alcohol Addiction
In order to overcome alcohol addiction, it is recommended that those struggling with alcoholism consider entering a specialized treatment facility. Trying to detox and self-treat at home can be extremely dangerous and is never recommended. Keep in mind that the detoxification phase requires the help of experienced health care providers, as withdrawal symptoms can be severe at times.
If you want to enjoy long-term sobriety, the most appropriate thing to do is enroll in a recovery program and employ the help of a rehab specialist. They help guide each individual through every step of the process and motivate them to achieve their goals in the journey towards sobriety. Attending a support group like AA or Alcoholics Anonymous can also help maintain the sobriety and build new and healthy relationships with people with the same experience.
Alcohol addiction is a debilitating disease. It can ruin people’s lives, relationships, finances and may even cause them to lose their jobs. If you or someone you know is showing signs of alcohol addiction, encourage them to seek medical help immediately. It’s always better to prevent it from happening than deal with the consequences later on. Life is short, don’t waste it all by drowning in alcohol.
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