Alcohol addiction affects far too many people in the world, and not enough get the help they need. Don’t be a bystander, learn to identify the symptoms of alcoholism.
Drinking can be fun.
It’s social, there are lot’s of different flavors and it loosens you up.
Sounds great, except there’s a downside.
As is with most things in life, if you do too much, there are potentially serious consequences.
But with alcohol, sometimes recognizing when you’re imbibing too much can be difficult.
Alcohol affects people in different ways.
Some may act drunk after a few sips. Others can drink 10 or more and never even wobble.
But if you ignore the symptoms of alcoholism, alcohol abuse can put you in the hospital or even be fatal.
Every year 3.3 million people worldwide die of alcohol related deaths.
Something has to be done.
But many people don’t notice or recognize the symptoms of alcoholism.
And some may not even realize they need help. Maybe that person is you.
What Are the Signs or Symptoms of Alcoholism?
It’s rather difficult to define alcoholism. The drinking age may differ from country to country.
In certain cultures, it’s normal to drink during the morning. Some cultures find being drunk to be completely fine, too.
Sometimes it’s considered normal during a celebration or a holiday to drink too much.
The problem is that the signs are often overlooked by family and friends until the damage has started to become obvious.
However, there are some universal symptoms of alcoholism signs to look out for:
- Interferes with Regular Activities: You are beginning to miss school, work or other important activities because you are drinking or are sick or hungover from drinking.
- Engages In Risky Behavior: You’re the designated driver, yet you still drink. Or you drink and then engage in any other type of risky behavior that could put you or others in jeopardy.
- Suffers from Memory Loss or Blackouts: Both memory loss and blackouts can occur while in the process of drinking or shortly after stopping drinking.
- Prone to Accidents & Injuries: You wake up the next day to find unexplained or explained injuries or accidents that occurred while drinking.
- Risks Further Physical Injury: You’ve been told drinking isn’t good for your health. It’s making you sick and yet you keep drinking. Or perhaps your medication or something else doesn’t mix with it and yet you continue to keep drinking.
- Develops a High Tolerance: It takes you much more to get drunk than it did before. Or it takes you a lot more drinks to get to the same level of tipsiness as everyone else.
- Drinks in the Morning: You wake up craving a drink or feel you need to start in the morning.
- Craves Alcohol: You crave a drink no matter where you are, what you’re doing or what time of day it is.
- Plans Activities Around Alcohol: You plan your day or your social activities around your drinking.
- Is an Unsuccessful Quitter: You keep saying you’re going to quit but either go back to it (often drinking more than before) or never quit, to begin with.
- Uncontrollable Drinking: You intend to have 1 or 2 but end up having 5 or 6.
- Withdrawal Symptoms: After stopping drinking you suffer from sweating, nausea or shaking.
- Willing to Ruin Relationships: You’ve lost relationships or jobs or anything good from your life and yet you still can’t stop drinking.
- Engages in Binge Drinking: Binge drinking is defined as 4 drinks in 2 hours for women and 5 drinks in 2 hours for men.
- Storing & Hiding Alcohol: You hide your alcohol consumption from loved ones. You store booze around in unusual places (like your car) for when you crave a drink.
- Ignores Other’s Complaints About Their Drinking: People are talking about your drinking and they aren’t happy with it. You choose to ignore their concern and keep drinking.
- Drinks to Feel Normal: You need to drink to feel as though you can be yourself.
- Switch to Other Drinks: You switch to an alcohol you don’t really like, thinking it will help slow down or stop your drinking. Or you start drinking beer instead of hard liquor because you think there’s less alcohol in it or the beer somehow doesn’t count.
- Promises are Useless: You promise yourself or others you won’t drink. Then you do.
- Forgets Conversations: You forget what you said the night before. Or two minutes before. Or whatever it was you said, it was stupid and you would never have said it when sober.
- Avoids Police: You are grateful you’re sober when you drive past the police.
- Confidence Rises: You think you’re the life of the party, smarter, sexier and the best dancer around after a drink.
What Are the Causes of Alcohol Dependence?
The symptoms of alcoholism show you that there is a problem to be addressed.
Knowing the causes can help you get the right help you need.
- Emotional Distress
- Genetics: Can relate to both biology and physiology.
Environmental factors can also be attributed to people showing symptoms of alcoholism:
- Economic Development
- Availability of Alcohol
- Implementation and Enforcement of Local Alcohol Policies
What Can Happen If I Ignore the Symptoms of Alcoholism?
Ignoring the symptoms of alcoholism can be costly.
Here are just a few of the things that might happen if you ignore the symptoms of alcoholism:
- Unintentional Injuries: Falls, burns, drowning, broken bones
- Intentional Injuries: Sexual assault, domestic violence, firearm injuries
- STD’s and/or unintended pregnancy or a child born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- High Blood Pressure, stroke and cardiovascular diseases
- Liver Disease
- Neurological Damage
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Difficulty controlling diabetes
It’s not just your physical and mental health that takes a toll when the symptoms of alcoholism begin to appear.
You could also lose:
- Your Possessions
- Your Family
- Your Job
- Your Income
- Your Freedom
- Your Life
In 2010, the symptoms of alcoholism cost the US $249 million from losses in productivity lost, healthcare, and crime and other factors.
Luckily, there are things you can do to get help.
Here are a few ideas:
- Talk to Friends and/or Family
- Consult with a Religious Leader
- Join Alcoholics Anonymous
- Enter a Rehabilitation Clinic
It’s important to choose the best option for you based on your needs. Often asking others who have been through the process can help.
This is especially true if you’re looking into a rehabilitation clinic for help. Look at their website, ask for testimonials and ask plenty of questions.
The price of living with the symptoms of alcoholism are too great.
If you’re ready to quit drinking and regain your life, your health, and your joy, we’re here to help.