Getting addicted to alcohol is not only possible, but fairly common. An estimated 15-20% of people who drink alcohol can develop the urge to continue drinking in a problematic way. Alcoholism affects people of all types. When a family member or close friend struggles with alcohol addiction, it is terrible for the people around them. It can be an emotional roller coaster ride. Understanding the reasons for an alcoholic’s actions can be difficult. It is easy to find yourself frightened about their safety as well as your own.
Alcoholism doesn’t just suddenly appear. Warning signs of alcoholism can help you or your loved one determine if there might be a problem present.
Signs of alcohol addiction develop over time and may be difficult to spot at first. Ask yourself a number of questions about the person you worry about. “Does the person drink more while out than in the past?” “Has drinking started to impact home, work, or social life?” Here are some symptoms of alcohol addiction to be aware of:
-Life Consequences – An example of this can be an increase in problems with the authorities. If you are continuously getting arrested because of your drinking, yet your alcohol consumption is not dwindling, you may be exhibiting signs of alcoholism. Non-alcoholic individuals can still have the chance encounter with law enforcement, the difference is that they can stop drinking while alcoholics cannot.
-Inability to Quit – When you have made an honest attempt to cut back or abstain totally from alcohol, and have been unsuccessful, you may have the disease of alcoholism.
-Destroying Relationships – If people no longer want to be around you because of your behavior while intoxicated, your drinking may have reached the point of alcoholism. An example of this can be if you have recently been separated, divorced, or broken up with because you cannot cut back or stop drinking.
-Priorities Changing -For instance, if you have had your home foreclosed, been evicted from your apartment, or have lost your vehicle because drinking supersedes making payments, you might be drinking alcoholically. Alcoholism can often mean that nothing else really matters except getting that drink.
-Declining Health -Alcoholics have little regard for their personal well-being during active drinking, which means that you may be frequenting hospitals more often. This is not normal behavior, and can be an indicator that your alcohol consumption has passed the stage of binge drinking, and is now into full-fledged alcoholic drinking.
- Make excuses to drink
- Miss work or school due to drinking
- Need to use alcohol on most days to get through the day
- Neglect eating or eat poorly
- Show decrease in school or work performance because of drinking
- Shake in the morning or after periods when they have not a drink
- Stop taking part in activities because of alcohol
- Stop caring about or ignore how they dress
- Try to hide alcohol use
- Become violent when drinking
- Become aggressive when asked about drinking
- Continue to drink, even when health, work, or family are affected
- Drink alone
- Have poor hygiene
- Lose the ability to control, stop, or reduce alcohol intake
If you or someone you know has signs of Alcoholism. Please take the time to contact one of our counselors to see if treatment is the best option. We will provide great resources.
Reference Sources: NIAAA: Alcohol Use Disorders