Alcohol consumption, even excessive and dangerous levels of alcohol consumption is largely normalized within our culture. Alcoholism is extremely prevalent, and as many as 15 million Americans may have some sort of alcohol use disorder. If you’re worried that you or someone you love is developing a drinking habit, then keep your eye out for these signs.
The Top 5 Signs of Alcohol Abuse
The Presence of Withdrawal Symptoms
Perhaps the greatest sign of alcohol abuse is when someone is going through withdrawals. If someone drinks with sufficient persistence, they might develop a dependency without necessarily thinking of themselves as a heavy drinker. Either way, the symptoms are largely the same. In as little as six hours, the person will start to feel symptoms as early as six hours after their last drink.
Since alcohol serves as a depressant, the brain will adjust so to function normally when alcohol is present in the body. In mild cases, a person may start sweating or feeling an accelerated heartbeat or headache, as though they’d consumed a weak stimulant. In extreme cases, a person might go through seizures. Withdrawals become unmistakable in the days after a person goes without drinking and may include fever, blackout, and hallucination. When a person isn’t trying to abstain from drinking, the early onset of symptoms will drive them to drink multiple times a day; this is a dead giveaway of alcoholism.
Seeking Opportunities to Drink
Someone with an alcohol abuse problem will be looking for opportunities to drink and may neglect other commitments for this reason. It’s common for them to put off important activities and forget about their hobbies, all in the name of heading down to the bar. When confronted, they’ll lack good reasons for their behavior and will likely deflect, for the simple reason that addiction isn’t rational.
Increasing Frequency and Intensity of Drinking
While seeking excuses to drink is one important sign of drinking, that’s not the only sign that ties into frequency. Someone will have to drink quite frequently to keep withdrawals away, so watch out for a highly frequent level of drinking. They might insist on having a shot of brandy with lunch or take a sip of hard cider in the morning, for instance, and will not comply with reasonable requests to limit their consumption. Likewise, when they have the opportunity to drink to a greater extent and level of intensity, they will.
The Tendency to Binge Drink
Whether an alcoholic is trying to recover or not, they’ll often struggle to stop. One drink quickly becomes two, two becomes three, and so on. They may be able to control themselves to a certain extent if they’ve only drunk a small amount. However, there’s usually a line which there’s no coming back from once they cross it.
Unrelenting Alcohol Consumption Habits
Excessive alcohol consumption causes health problems, social issues, run-ins with the law, and more. When someone is an alcoholic, they’ll often persist with drinking even when they know alcohol is the root of the problem. The pain of these problems may drive them to drink more, and it’s often the case that they feel helpless to stop. Overcoming this sense of hopelessness is often the first step to recovery.
Call Live Free SSL
At Live Free SSL, our mission is to help people see that a better life is possible. Then, we take steps to help them recover and make that life real. Give us a call if you or a loved one need help to beat alcoholism.