Ten Signs of Alcohol Abuse Problems
Alcohol abuse affects up to 14 million people in the United States alone. Alcohol abuse can be binge drinking or prolonged periods of consumption that lead to chronic alcoholism. Alcoholism is a progressive, chronic disease that can lead to severe physical ailments and even death. For many people, the disease of addiction leaves behind broken relationships, destroyed careers, financial problems and poor health. To determine if you or a member of your family is abusing alcohol, you can examine your situation to see if these common signs of alcohol abuse are present.
10 Signs of Alcohol Abuse
A person who is abusing alcohol may experience cravings for alcohol in order to feel “normal.” They may need to drink regularly to feel comfortable and voice the need for a drink at odd times throughout the day. They may begin to hide their drinking, or start to worry others with the frequency and timing of how much they drink.
Increased Tolerance for Alcohol
Someone suffering from alcohol abuse may need to drink more and more to achieve the same effect. If you notice an increase in someone’s alcohol consumption over time, the person is likely to be at risk for abusing alcohol.
Loss of Control
The individual may drink to the point of blacking out or engaging in public behavior that is disruptive or illegal. This is a sign that the person no longer has control over the amount of alcohol he or she consumes. This can be a very dangerous symptom, as the person can wind up in unsafe situations.
Increased Focus on Acquiring Alcohol
When a person is abusing alcohol, they spend increased amounts of time thinking about alcohol, seek out situations where alcohol is served, and need recovery from constant bouts of drinking. They may become alcohol-focused throughout the day.
Neglecting Other Activities
An individual with alcohol abuse may stop engaging in other activities that they previously enjoyed, such as sports, hobbies, family outings or other alcohol-free events. This may happen for no apparent reason at all.
Risk-taking to Drink
When alcohol consumption has reached the point of abuse, the person begins to find ways to drink in inappropriate situations, such as at work or when driving home. They may jeopardize their job or other commitments as a result.
The person may begin to have legal problems, such as getting caught while driving under the influence. This problem is one of the prime characteristics of alcohol abuse.
Relationship Problems Due To Drinking
The constant drinking may lead to lying, absences, irresponsibility and other problems that affect their relationships with loved ones.
Desire To Stop, But Can’t
The person may express awareness that alcohol is having a detrimental effect on his or her life, but he can no longer stop drinking. They may experience guilt or shame about the amount they drink. It has become an addiction that requires professional treatment.
When the person tries to stop drinking, he or she experiences severe withdrawal symptoms such as trembling, anxiety, sweating, nausea, vomiting and irritability. They may be unable to eat or have severe fatigue. The alcohol abuse begins to exhibit physical dependency.