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Alcoholics: When Did the Fun End?
Properly defining if a person is an alcoholic is no easy task. There are several factors you have to consider, some of them hidden from view. One person could be calmly sipping a mojito on a bar corner. Another could be downing his or her third can of beer. Are they both alcoholics?
Yes and no. Better put, they could be, but it’s hard to tell. It’s less about what they drink as to how they drink it. Alcoholism influences a person’s entire life, so alcoholics are identified by how their lives are affected, as well as the lives of the people around them.
The Core of Alcoholism
In the very core of this behavioral disorder is the dependency. Dependency on any substance can cause a plethora of negative effects. In general, people with substance dependencies suffer the following symptoms:
- Tolerance: Your body builds resistances over time. This means you have to consume more to get the same effect. More of the abused substance already spells disaster, further harming your body.
- Withdrawal: You experience sweating, nausea, shaking and headaches when you stop. Withdrawal only happens when you’re depended on a substance. It’s your body’s way of getting rid of the toxins you’ve built up.
- Lack of Control: Brought on by tolerance and the fear of withdrawal. You’ll find it difficult to control how much you’re consuming. Your urges are also much stronger, making consumption more frequent.
What are the Telltale Signs of an Alcoholic?
Spotting the symptoms is a tricky process. Often, alcoholics will be in denial. In some cases, they would weave the perfect justification for their actions. Confronting an alcoholic is about as hard, as they can become irritable and angry. Bad as it may be, let’s not forget that they also victims. Alcoholics are under the alcohol’s vice-grip and often, they can’t escape on their own.
Signs that someone is an alcoholic:
They appear drunk more often. Earlier than usual.
They get hangovers more often.
They appear irritable, tired and sickly.
They become secretive and dishonest.
They lose interest in things they enjoy.
They have a “stash” of alcohol.
They can’t resist alcohol when offered.
They prefer alcohol over the things they normally enjoy
They keep drinking despite knowing the full consequences
These symptoms share the core symptoms of addiction. They are difficult to point out and are often mistaken for something else. A man who always has a flask of rum doesn’t mean he’s alcoholic. On the other hand, if that man gets angry at you when you stop him, it might be a problem.
When you have a loved one that’s going down a similar path, be honest with them. For alcoholics, they often don’t realize it’s a problem until someone else points it out. If they trust you enough, they will listen. If they don’t, talk to other people close to them. Alcoholism is a slippery slope and it’s long term effects require equally long term solutions. Stop them early and stop them. The earlier the better.
Check out this playlist for more information on alcohol addiction.