Signs Of Alcoholism
Signs of alcoholism could help you save a loved one’s life. It is a chronic, relapsing, and fatal condition. One of the crucial things to look for is if their body has become dependent on alcohol. They may be obsessed with liquor and unable to control how much they drink. Their drinking may be causing severe problems with their relationships, health, work, and finances. It’s possible to have a problem with alcohol but not be an alcoholic. Here is a list of key indicators:
- Cravings for alcohol
- Loss of control
- Drinking alone or in secret
- Being unable to limit the amount of alcohol consumed
- Losing interest in activities and hobbies that used to bring pleasure
- Feeling the need or compulsion to drink
- Irritability when your usual drinking time nears, especially if alcohol isn’t available
- Keeping alcohol in unlikely places at home, at work, or in the car
- Having legal problems or problems with relationships, employment, or finances
- Experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms
It might help to understand the disease concept by thinking of this condition as an allergy to alcohol. It is a medical condition. Alcohol use disorder (AUD), formerly known as alcoholism, is a medical diagnosis when someone’s drinking causes distress or harm. In the United States, about 18 million people have AUD. All addictions, including alcohol, always have these common symptoms:
- Craving – A vital need or urge to drink.
- Loss of control – Not being able to stop drinking once drinking has begun.
- Dependence – Withdrawal symptoms (nausea, sweating, shakiness) and negative emotional states (anxiety after stopping drinking)
- Tolerance – The need to drink more significant amounts of alcohol to feel the same effect.
Alcoholics often spend a great deal of their time drinking, making sure they have enough, and recovering from the effects of drinking, at the expense of other activities. Although people who sometimes abuse alcohol are not necessarily an alcoholic, at least not yet, they may not fulfill responsibilities at home, work, or school because of their drinking. Some put themselves in dangerous situations, like driving under the influence, or have legal or social problems. Be sure to keep a close eye out for lifestyle changes. Has someone stopped doing things they used to enjoy? For example, has their performance at work or school dropped? Also, mood swings can be a good indicator of an emerging drinking problem.
There is a certain amount of ambiguity about whether someone is a problem drinker or an alcoholic. Here’s access to a test for alcoholism. One key thing to look for is the distinction between dependence and tolerance. Showing indications of withdrawal symptoms and wanting to drink the following day, and drinking more to achieve the effects, are indicators of alcoholism.
The best thing to consider, if you or someone you know may have a drinking issue, is to go see a professional. Make an appointment with a licensed addiction therapist and get a complete evaluation and assessment. That is the best way to know absolutely.
Treatment is considered a good beginning to the recovery process. Proper medically monitored detox is important. Alcohol detox is serious business. After safely detoxing, an inpatient or outpatient program may be the best next level of care. It depends on the individual’s history.
In conclusion, recognizing the sometimes subtle symptoms is crucial in helping individuals get the treatment they need to overcome this chronic, relapsing, and potentially fatal condition. They include cravings for alcohol, loss of control, dependence, drinking alone or in secret, and experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms, among others. It’s important to remember that having a problem with alcohol does not necessarily mean someone is an alcoholic. Seeking professional help from a licensed addiction therapist is the best way to get a complete evaluation and assessment and determine the appropriate treatment plan. With proper medically monitored detox and an individualized treatment plan, those struggling with alcoholism can start on the path towards recovery and a healthier, fulfilling life.
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol Use Disorder: A Comparison Between DSM–IV and DSM–5. Retrieved from https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/alcohol-use-disorder-comparison-between-dsm%E2%80%93iv-and-dsm%E2%80%935
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder. Retrieved from https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/understanding-alcohol-use-disorder
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 45. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2006. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64164/
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help. Retrieved from https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/treatment-alcohol-problems-finding-and-getting-help