How do you know when your drinking is taking a downward spiral? While there are many recognizable signs, others aren’t also easily identifiable. Milder forms of alcohol abuse are oftentimes overlooked.
However, these early warning signs should not be overlooked. Seeking treatment sooner rather than later will allow users to get back to the things they enjoy most in life.
Casual Drinking vs. Alcohol Abuse
What’s the difference between casual drinking and possible alcohol abuse? Unless the individual has medical or religious restrictions, it’s perfectly acceptable to have to the occasional drink. The problem, however, is when the occasional drink becomes more often than not.
This is known as excessive drinking, but what is it? There are two forms of excessive drinking:
Binge Drinking – Binge drinking is when a person consumes a large amount of alcohol at once. Men who binge drink have about five or more drinks within an hour or two. In the same amount of time, women have four or more drinks.
Heavy Drinking – Heavy drinking for men who are under the age of 65 have about four drinks a day or exceed 14 drinks in an entire week. Women and men who are over the age of 65 can either have more than three drinks a day or over seven drinks in one week.
Do I Have A Drinking Problem?
If someone is asking themselves this question, they may already know the answer. There is no exact formula to determine whether someone is suffering from alcohol dependence; however, there are particular behaviors that serve as red flags.
The following are possible signs of alcohol abuse disorder:
- Feeling ashamed and guilty about how someone is drinking
- Hiding drinking habits behind other people’s back
- Lying about drinking habits
- Feeling the need to drink in order to relax
- Having a tendency to blackout while drinking
- Craving alcohol even after you’ve been drinking
- Drinking more even when intoxicated
Recognizing Signs of Alcoholism
It’s easy to tell when someone has had too much drink. They slur their words, have emotional lability and may do or say things they never would have if they hadn’t been drinking.
Below is a list of a few other signs of alcohol use disorder:
- Inability to control how much you drink
- Feeling compelled to drink
- A strong urge to drink
- Drinking in order to feel relaxed
- Drinking in secret
- Hiding drinking habits
- Becoming irritable when you can’t drink
- Keeping alcohol in various places like at work or in your car
- Abandoning family, friends, and hobbies to drink
Withdrawal Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction
Aside from the cravings, people suffering from alcohol addiction may develop physical withdraw symptoms. If someone you love has been drinking heavily for weeks or months, it’s not uncommon to experience withdraw symptoms, which can include:
- Racing heart failure
- Shaky hands
Dangers of Alcoholism
If left untreated, alcoholism often leads to a myriad of problems that affects a person’s professional and personal life. Ongoing consumption of alcohol puts everyone at risk for developing severe medical issues, as well as potentially cause life-threatening outcomes.
One of, if not, the most common reasons why people don’t receive any treatment is because of denial. Instead of coming forward and acknowledging the problem, some people try to rationalize their behavior. For example, many people suffering from alcohol abuse will blame either someone or something for their drinking habits. Others are too embarrassed to admit they have a problem.
Being in denial may also cause people to become defensive whenever their unhealthy drinking patterns are pointed out. Refusing to believe that you have a problem is what’s ultimately going to prevent someone from living a healthy and sober life. This, in turn, can cause someone who is battling an addiction to isolate themselves even further.
The most important thing is to know that becoming addicted to alcohol can happen to anyone. Addiction doesn’t discriminate. While it’s true that biological and environmental factors such as low income or severe stress can push someone to abuse alcohol, many people who suffer from addiction seem to have it all. Alcohol abuse can happen when someone least expects it.
Beating alcohol addiction is possible. The first step is asking for help and understanding that there is nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone needs a helping hand at some time or another. If you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol addiction, send us a message today for help in taking the first steps towards recovery.