10 Signs of Alcoholism
Alcoholism, alcohol use disorder, alcohol abuse. Whatever you call it, alcohol dependency is the third most preventable cause of death in the United States. So, if you are worried about your relationship with alcohol, it’s imperative that you take quick action.
But how do you know whether you or a loved one has an alcohol problem or is just fond of a social drink? Let’s find out.
What Is Alcoholism?
Contrary to the general misconception that all alcoholics look like the photo used at the top of this post (OK, aside from being a frog!), alcoholism is simply when a person cannot control their drinking habits. It is an issue currently facing over 14.5 million people in America, who feel dependent on booze and may not be able to function properly without it. They come from a wide range of backgrounds.
The road to becoming sober won’t be easy due to withdrawal symptoms and the urge to drink. However, the journey is made a lot smoother with early intervention. Appreciating the signs will help make it happen.
10 Signs of Alcoholism
Alcoholism will take a significant toll, affecting the abuser’s physical health, mental wellbeing, and lifestyle. Here are 10 signs that a problematic relationship with booze has progressed to an alcohol use disorder:
1. Weight Fluctuation
Rapid weight gain or weight loss is one of the most obvious physical signs of alcoholism. The abuser is either taking on added calories through booze or skipping meals due to intoxication. Alternatively, they may be vomiting regularly due to alcohol.
While weight fluctuations alone do not confirm alcoholism, they can be a clear indication.
2. Heart Problems
Alcoholism can cause increased blood pressure, heartbeat irregularities, and a host of related issues. You may feel these symptoms yourself or see the effects that those symptoms bring.
Left untreated, this can lead to stroke or cardiac arrest. You must not ignore it.
3. Mindset Changes
Alcohol use disorders are something that most abusers try to hide from others as well as themselves. As such, it is very common to experience anxiety, paranoia, depression, and related issues. Similarly, you may become more irritable with loved ones.
The personality changes are something you can notice in others as well as yourself.
4. Avoiding Gatherings
When it feels impossible to function without alcohol, an addict will consciously avoid events where alcohol is unobtainable. Again, it’s a difference that you may have noticed in yourself or started to see from a loved one. Work absences are another very common issue.
It is particularly worrying when drink-related activities remain on the agenda.
5. Risky Behavior
Alcoholics and problem drinkers will often show disregard for their safety when intoxicated. This could mean starting fights, committing crimes, and driving under the influence. In these situations, alcohol has impaired the brain’s decision-making capabilities.
Without a proper alcohol rehab process in place, the frequency of these issues will increase.
6. Organ Inflammation
Several organs are put under immense strain due to excessive alcohol consumption. The liver and pancreas are two of the most common victims. Pains felt in these body parts, along with issues like stomach cramps, are a sign you’re drinking too much.
And if you continue to drink despite those warning signs, that is a clear addiction.
7. Withdrawal Symptoms
Over 85% of the adult population drink. However, it’s alcoholics who feel the effects of withdrawal symptoms. This could include shaking, nausea, sweating, and insomnia. You may also find yourself counting down the days or hours until your next drink.
Even small signs of withdrawal symptoms are a clear indication of alcohol use disorders.
8. Increased Illness
Alcohol addiction impacts the body in many ways. Reduced immunity is one of the issues that is commonly overlooked, but should not be ignored. Pneumonia and tuberculosis are two serious conditions, but even minor illnesses can stem as a result of this.
So, if a change in drinking habits has led to minor illnesses, you should take note.
9. Drinking Through Problems
Enjoying alcohol responsibly in social environments is fine. However, regularly drinking to forget about life or ignore relationship problems is a red flag. Relaxing occasionally with a glass of wine. Sinking a bottle each night is not.
Whether you can see the damage being caused or not, continuing to drink is a bad sign.
10. Increased Tolerance
When regularly drinking more than the suggested limits for men or women, the early stages of alcoholism will lead to increased tolerance. As such, you will find yourself actively needing to drink greater volumes of alcohol to feel its effect.
Once you find yourself in this situation, it can be a very slippery slope.
Alcohol use disorders can be categorized as mild, moderate, or severe. As a rule of thumb, more symptoms equates to a worse problem. However, all cases need attention. Now.
Getting Help For Alcohol Addiction
Alcoholism is a serious problem, even in the early stages. Thankfully, dedicated alcohol rehab treatments can help you or a loved one overcome the dependence.
Contact Peaks Recovery to discover your options today.