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Signs of Alcoholism

Knowing the signs of alcoholism may save someone’s life. It is a chronic, relapsing and fatal condition.

One of the crucial things to look for is 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 the eleven critical signs of alcoholism:

  1. Cravings for alcohol
  2. Loss of control
  3. Dependence
  4. Drinking alone or in secret
  5. Being unable to limit the amount of alcohol consumed
  6. Losing interest in activities and hobbies that used to bring pleasure
  7. Feeling the need or compulsion to drink
  8. Irritability when your usual drinking time nears, especially if alcohol isn’t available
  9. Keeping alcohol in unlikely places at home, at work, or in the car
  10. Having legal problems or problems with relationships, employment, or finances
  11. 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 disorders are medical conditions that doctors can diagnose when a patient’s drinking causes distress or harm. In the United States, about 18 million people have an alcohol use disorder. It’s either alcohol dependence, perhaps better known as alcoholism or alcohol abuse.

Alcohol dependence, the more severe element, is a disease that includes these key 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)
  • Negative emotional states (anxiety after stopping drinking)
  • Tolerance—The need to drink more significant amounts of alcohol to feel the same effect.

Alcoholics often will spend a great deal of their time:

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Making sure they can get alcohol
  • Recovering from the effects of drinking, often at the expense of other activities and responsibilities

Although people who abuse alcohol are not physically dependent, they still have a severe disorder. They may not fulfill responsibilities at home, work, or school because of drinking. Some put themselves in dangerous situations, like driving under the influence, or have legal or social problems due to drinking.

Be sure to keep a close eye out for lifestyle changes. Has someone stopped doing things they used to enjoy? For example. Is the performance at work or school dropped?

Also, mood swings can be a good indicator of a severe drinking problem.

There seems to be much confusion about whether someone is just a problem drinker or an alcoholic.

The critical thing to look for is the slight but essential distinction of dependence and tolerance.

Suffer severe withdrawal symptoms and crave a drink the day after.

Drinking more and more to achieve the same effect is a sign of alcoholism.

The best thing to consider doing if you or someone you know may have a problem is to see a professional. Make an appointment with a licensed addiction therapist and get a complete evaluation and assessment done. That is the only way to know for sure whether someone is an alcoholic.

How to help an alcoholic

Treatment is always the correct method of beginning the process of recovery. Proper medically supervised detox is still necessary. Alcohol detox is serious. In some cases, outpatient may be the right level of care. In others, inpatient residential may be right. It will depend on a variety of factors. The person doing the evaluation and assessment should be able to help you decide what’s best.