Alcoholism can impact people in many ways. There are those who can drink a glass of wine with their food and even drink in moderation during social settings without causing harm on their bodies. Too much or too often consumption of alcohol as well as the inability of the drinker to control his consumption are often signs of a bigger problem.
There are individuals that have the tendency to develop alcoholism or alcohol dependency and alcohol abuse. Often used interchangeably, these terms are actually a lot different.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers moderate drinking as having one or lesser drinks a day for women and 2 or lesser drinks a day for men.
- Those who abuse alcohol usually drink copious amounts in social events or show risky behavior and poor judgment.
- Alcoholics generally feel that they need alcohol just to live each day.
It really is not easy to become objective when trying to figure out your or your loved one’s problem with drinking as emotions can run high. A lot of rationalizations, as well as denials, can lead to confusions. Therefore, it would appear difficult to draw the line between acceptable and too much.
The boundaries could be fuzzy. The issues you may have with drinking can further be classified into alcohol dependence and problem drinking, but the latter is not a full-fledged addiction to the substance. However, their drinking could begin to affect their daily lives and put them at risk of becoming dependents later on.
So while technically some of the warning signs of the disease are the same as problem drinking, there is a lot of overlap. Take a look at the 10 important red flags to watch out for:
Hiding your drinking or lying about doing it.
One common thing that people who have problems with alcohol have is denial. Both alcoholics and problem drinkers often resort to drinking in secret or else lying about the amount of alcohol they consumed and making it seem like a trivial matter. It may not be easy to spot this person due to the very nature of it, but denial is seen as an important sign that there is an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.
Drinking to feel better or to relax.
Most of those who struggle with addiction, abuse addictive substances due to emotional reasons; most of the time could be stress, anxiety, or depression. Alcohol is often used to ease the negative feelings of an individual; however, this can be risky as alcohol can only provide temporary relief and may make things worse over time. So if you find yourself drinking more alcohol after a stressful day at work or when you feel like drinking to really relax then that is a sign that you are consuming alcohol as your emotional crutch.
Regularly “blacking out.”
Drinking too much of alcohol that you can no longer remember what happened when you were drunk is another sign that you have a problem with alcohol. This means that you have drunk too much. Next time around you have to ask yourself why you are drinking excessively. Then, remember that you do not have to black out just to have fun.
Inability to stop once you’ve started.
You always have to finish that bottle of wine when you open it or drink all of the beer you can find in your house. This is a tell-tale sign that you are no longer in control of your drinking and that you could have a problem with alcoholism.
Drinking in situations that may be dangerous after.
You drink when and where you should not be like before going to work or driving somewhere. You could also be going against doctor’s orders not to consume alcohol when on medication. Although nothing may go wrong just yet, each time you think of doing something similar, you run the risk of getting more complicated consequences each time.
You are now having problems in school, at work, or at home. Alcohol has already crossed the line from occasional indulgence to a problem with drinking that seriously affects your everyday functioning.
Showing problems in relationships.
If you find that your drinking is already causing issues with you and your friends, significant other, and family, then that means you have a problem with drinking.
Drinking a lot more than you previously did.
Another tell-tale sign of an addiction developing is tolerance. You may find that you have to increase your consumption to feel any effects of the substance. This is also a strong indicator that you are already becoming an alcoholic. Your body becomes exposed to the substance regularly that it is already able to cope with its existence inside your system more easily.
Withdrawal symptoms start to show.
Different from your usual hangover, your body now reacts to the lack of alcohol instead of too much of it. You are often tired, irritable, nauseous, anxious, or depressed when you cannot drink. Other withdrawal symptoms include losing your appetite, experiencing trembling or shakiness and having trouble sleeping.
Trying but unable to quit.
You may have already realized your problem with drinking in the past and have already decided to change. Later you may notice that you have become unsuccessful in your attempts. Quitting alcohol shows that you understand alcohol’s impact in your life but you are also able to recognize that since you are unable to quit by yourself, you could be struggling with an addiction to alcohol.
You should know that experiencing one of the aforementioned signs does not immediately mean that you are an alcoholic or a problem drinker. However, if you experience several of them, it is highly possible that your consumption of alcohol has reached way beyond its limits. It could be difficult but you should know that it is possible to seek treatment and recover from this medical condition just as with any other disease.
Get help at Detox of South Florida. We care about your sobriety and living the life you have wanted.
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