The Signs of Alcoholism are Often Unclear
It is not unusual to have questions as to what alcohol addiction is exactly, how is it different from alcohol abuse, and when an individual should look for treatment due to their drinking problem.
The following information will provide you with the answer to these questions and many others you may have.
Signs Of Alcoholism, AKA Alcohol Dependence Is Characterized By:
- Cravings: A strong need, or compulsion, to drink.
- Loss Of Control: The inability to limit one’s drinking on any given occasion.
- Physical Dependence: Drug alcohol detox withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety, occur when alcohol use is stopped after a period of heavy drinking.
- Tolerance: The need to drink greater amounts of alcohol in order to “get high.”
SIGNS OF ALCOHOLISM
Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking? Have you ever felt bad or guilty about drinking? Do you have a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have a drinking problem or experiencing the signs of alcoholism.
In the United States, 23 million people have a drug abuse problem and more than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.
Physical And Emotional Signs Of Alcoholism
- Loss of self-esteem
- Not taking care of yourself
- Being unusually suspicious
- Poor work performance
- Blackouts/memory loss
- Taking sick days for hangovers
- Breakdown of relationships, such as divorce
- Trembling hands
- Trouble having erections in men
- Driving offenses
- Easily annoyed
- Drinking alone or in secret
- Not remembering conversations or commitments.
- Making a ritual of having drinks before, with or after dinner and becoming annoyed when this ritual is disturbed or questioned.
- Losing interest in activities and hobbies that used to bring pleasure.
- Irritability as usual drinking time nears, especially if alcohol isn’t available.
- Keeping alcohol in unlikely places at home, at work or in the car.
- Gulping drinks, ordering doubles, becoming intoxicated intentionally to feel good or drinking to feel “normal.”
- Having problems with relationships, employment or finances or legal trouble.
Ask Yourself These Questions To Find Out If YOU Show Signs Of Alcoholism
- Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but it only lasted a couple of days?
- Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking?
- Have you ever switched from one kind of drink to another in hope that you wouldn’t get drunk?
- Have you had to have an eye-opener upon awakening during the past year?
- Do you envy people who can drink without getting into trouble?
- Do you need a drink to get started, or to stop shaking?
- Have you had problems connected with drinking during the past year?
- Has your drinking caused trouble at home?
- Do you ever try to get “extra” drinks” at a party because you do not get enough?
- Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking anytime you want to, but you don’t stop?
- Do you have “blackouts”?
- Have you ever felt your life would be better if you didn’t drink?
Alcohol Affects Women Differently Than Men – Signs Of Alcoholism
Women become more impaired than men do after drinking the same amount of alcohol, even when differences in body weight are taken into account. This is because women’s bodies have less water than men’s bodies.
Because alcohol mixes with body water, a given amount of alcohol becomes more highly concentrated in a woman’s body than in a man’s.
In other words, it would be like dropping the same amount of alcohol into a much smaller pail of water. That is why the recommended drinking limit for women is lower than for men.
Chronic alcohol abuse takes a heavier physical toll on women than on men. Alcohol dependence and related medical problems, such as brain, heart, and liver damage, progress more rapidly in women than in men. The consequences and effects of alcohol use are serious, in many cases life threatening.
Physical Toll Of Alcohol On The Body – Signs Of Alcoholism
Heavy drinking can increase the risk for certain cancers, especially those of the liver, esophagus, throat, and larynx(voice box).
Heavy drinking can also cause liver cirrhosis, immune system problems, brain damage, and harm to the fetus during pregnancy. In addition, drinking increases the risk of death from automobile crashes as well as recreational and on-the-job injuries.
Furthermore, both homicides and suicides are more likely to be committed by persons who have been drinking. In purely economic terms, alcohol-related problems cost society approximately $185 billion per year.In human terms, the costs cannot be calculated.
Some Of The Effects & Signs Of Alcoholism Include:
- Difficulty walking
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Slowed reaction times
- Impaired memory
Clearly, Alcohol Affects The Brain. Signs Of Alcoholism
Some of these impairments are detectable after only one or two drinks and quickly resolve when drinking stops. On the other hand, a person who drinks heavily over a long period of time may have brain deficits that persist well after he or she achieves sobriety.
Exactly how alcohol affects the brain and the likelihood of reversing the impact of heavy drinking on the brain remain hot topics in alcohol research today – Signs Of Alcoholism.
We do know that heavy drinking may have extensive and far–reaching effects on the brain, ranging from simple “slips” in memory to permanent and debilitating conditions that require lifetime custodial care.
And even moderate drinking leads to short–term impairment, as shown by extensive research on the impact of drinking while driving.
More Signs Of Alcoholism
A Number Of Factors Influence How And To What Extent Alcohol Affects The Brain, Including:
- How much and how often a person drinks.
- The age at which he or she first began drinking, and how long he or she has been drinking.
- The person’s age, level of education, gender, genetic background, and family history of alcoholism.
- Whether he or she is at risk as a result of prenatal alcohol exposure
- His or her general health status.
Are Specific Groups Of People More Likely To Have Signs Of Alcoholism?
Alcohol abuse and alcoholism cut across gender, race, and nationality.Nearly 14 million people in the United States, 1 in every 13 adults, abuse alcohol or are alcoholic.
In general, more men than women are alcohol dependent or have alcohol problems. And alcohol problems are highest among teenagers and young adults ages 18-29. Also teenagers that start drinking at age 14 or younger, greatly increase the chance that they will develop alcohol problems at some point in their lives.
When A Teenager Shows Signs of Alcoholism
The disease can be just as disruptive to members of the family. Other siblings may act out in order to get some of the attention that seems to continually focus on the teen alcoholic.
Parents are more apt to be depressed, spend more time at work, and in general, demonstrate unstable mood swings that shift in relation to the alcoholic teenager’s unpredictable behavior. Parents may feel guilty about one child’s alcoholism and blame each other, causing further rifts in the family’s stability.
Alcohol Effects On The Family – Signs Of Alcoholism
Alcoholism is commonly referred to as “the family disease“ in the substance use and recovery field because it is just as damaging to family members as it is to the alcoholic. In fact, more family problems stem from alcohol abuse than any other source.
According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 76,000,000 (Million)
have been affected by alcoholism in their family.This means that one out of every four families is traumatized by the family disease.
If a woman is an alcoholic and actively drinking when she gets pregnant, her alcoholism affects the child from conception. Chances of birth defects, learning disabilities, miscarriage and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome are a risk even with just one or two drinks. For a pregnant alcoholic, the effects on the baby are severe.
Children who grow up in families in which one or both parents are alcoholics tend to share a few characteristics:
The risks of alcohol abuse in relationships with children can be disastrous for child development. Young children often have nightmares and issues with bed wetting and feel responsible for the fights and yelling that accompany alcoholism.
They are often tense and cry easily. Older children are often self-conscious and depressed, have trouble in school, and difficulty developing strong friendships and relationships.
Signs Of Alcoholism
Children are more prone to becoming alcoholics themselves due to the low self-esteem that fuels their own parents’ alcoholism.Unstable home environments leads to early drug use, which in turn leads to a life of addiction.
Alcohol’s Affects Do Vary With Age – Signs Of Alcoholism
Slower reaction times, problems with hearing and seeing, and a lower tolerance to alcohol’s effects put older people at higher risk for falls, car crashes, and other types of injuries that may result from drinking. Older people also tend to take more medicines than younger people. Mixing alcohol with over-the-counter or prescription medications can be very dangerous, even fatal. More than 150 medications interact harmfully with alcohol.
In addition, alcohol can make many of the medical conditions common in older people, including high blood pressure and ulcers, more serious. Physical changes associated with aging can make older people feel “high” even after drinking only small amounts of alcohol. So even if there is no medical reason to avoid alcohol, older men and women should limit themselves to one drink per day.