Have you been experiencing a lot of discomfort in your life for some time, feeling anxious and distressed? Have you started questioning whether your drinking has reached a level that’s unhealthy?
63% of Americans drink alcohol. Before you can address the issue of how to help a loved one with an alcohol problem, you first need to understand the signs of an alcohol problem.
Read on to learn more about recognizing the warning signs of an alcohol problem.
Drinking More Than Intended
Drinking more than intended is one of the clearest warning signs of an alcohol problem. If someone finds that their drinking sessions last longer than intended or that their drinks of choice exceed their expectations, it is likely a sign of an alcohol problem.
A person who has an alcohol problem will drink more than they intended to. They may consume more than the recommended amount. They will also drink in situations where drinking is dangerous, such as before driving or while using machinery.
Additionally, blacking out could be a sign. When an individual is drinking too much they may black out. Resulting in the loss of memories when drinking. If a person ignores his/her body’s signals to stop drinking, it could signify an alcohol problem.
Increased tolerance to alcohol is a sign that a person is showing early symptoms of alcohol abuse or dependency. This is manifested in a need for more alcohol to achieve the same desired effect. When individuals consume more and more alcohol to get the same desired effect, it is likely a sign of a serious problem.
A person who used to become intoxicated after two drinks, for example, can now drink four or more alcoholic beverages. But they will still not experience the desired effects.
Furthermore, individuals who drink a lot sometimes spend a considerable amount of time and energy getting alcohol. This can be due to the need for more frequent or larger quantities than before to achieve a greater sense of intoxication.
Withdrawal symptoms are one of the most recognized and common warning signs of problem drinking. They become more profound as a person’s drinking escalates over time. People who are dependent on alcohol often experience a range of symptoms when they don’t drink.
Common physical symptoms include tremors, sweating, blurred vision, and nausea. Emotional and psychological symptoms may include insomnia, anxiety, irritability, and depression. People may also experience more severe symptoms such as hallucinations, seizures, and delirium.
As alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening, it is important to recognize these warning signs. Act and reach out for professional help. If you or someone you know is having alcohol withdrawal symptoms, seek medical help immediately.
Drinking in Secret
One warning sign of an alcohol problem is when an individual begins to drink in secret. Secret drinking can be hard to tell otherwise, as it is done away from prying eyes. Usually in areas away from those who would otherwise become aware of the drinking.
Someone with an alcohol problem may hide alcohol in their vehicle, briefcase, purse, or locker. They may also store and drink alcohol in unusual places like bathrooms or garages.
You can spot when a person is drinking in secret. You can look for signs of secret drinking. Signs of alcohol on the person’s breath or clothing, extreme sleepiness after consuming alcohol, and changes in behavior.
Neglecting responsibilities is one of the most common warning signs. This may be observed in the form of not meeting deadlines at work or school, failing to fulfill commitments such as meals with family or friends, or persistent tardiness at work.
The person may also ignore household duties such as cleaning, home repairs, and grocery shopping. The amount an individual consumes on a daily or weekly basis can become their first priority. Taking away energy and attention from important tasks.
Loss of Interest
Loss of interest can be a warning sign of an alcohol problem. A person drinking may be less interested in activities they once enjoyed, such as hobbies, sports, or socializing.
It can be difficult or impossible to maintain commitments to activities and responsibilities. But it is harder when under the influence of alcohol. Changes in relationships with family, friends, and colleagues may also be related to increased drinking and begin to take up more of the person’s time and energy.
If drinking activities are beginning to replace other interests, it may indicate an alcohol problem. Professional help should be sought to prevent further physical and psychological damage associated with alcohol abuse.
Changes in Behavior or Personality
If you think someone you know might be struggling with an alcohol problem, look for changes in their behavior or personality. They might start to isolate themselves, become moody and irritable, and may be out of character in the way they act around you.
If previously cooperative, they may become combative or rude. You may also see a change in their school or work performance or how they approach responsibilities.
Their energy level may drop, and they may seem lethargic or fatigued. Furthermore, they may exhibit signs of depression, or their drinking may lead to risky criminal or sexual behavior. If you think someone has an alcohol problem, address it immediately, as it can have devastating consequences.
Financial problems can be an indicator of a severe alcohol problem. If someone is going through financial hardship, in spite of having a regular or even a higher income, it could be a sign of excessive drinking.
Unexplained purchases or activities that you are unaware of could also be a sign. They could be spending money on alcohol instead of necessities.
Disregarding bills and financial responsibilities is another red flag. Someone with a drinking problem often spends money on alcohol or going out instead of making loan payments or paying their rent on time.
Unexpected bankruptcies or extreme debt that you are unaware of could also be warning signs. It’s important to address it and seek help for the individual who may have an alcohol problem.
Alcohol-related relationship issues can manifest in many ways. One partner may be more likely to make decisions while under the influence of alcohol that they would not make sober. Accusations and high levels of defensiveness may be signs of an underlying issue.
Alcohol abuse often leads to avoidance of conversations about feelings. Regular fights may become more frequent when alcohol is a factor in the relationship.
If a partner is unwilling to consider the realities of their alcohol use or disregards the other’s perspective, it may be a sign of an alcohol problem. Caring for the partner or attempting to “fix” their drinking patterns is not a healthy course of action. If you suspect there is an alcohol problem, seeking professional help as soon as possible is the best option.
Drinking Despite Health Problems
One of the warning signs of an alcohol problem is drinking despite health problems. People who have an alcohol problem may start prioritizing alcohol over their own well-being.
They start to ignore existing health problems. They continue to consume alcohol even if it exacerbates an existing condition. Or even excusing their drinking even when taking medications that interact with alcohol.
They may even start increasing their intake and allowing drinking to get in the way of healing or recovery. If a person is drinking despite having health issues or taking medication, it can be a red flag for an alcohol problem.
One of the most telling warning signs of an alcohol problem is impaired judgment. People struggling with alcoholism often struggle to make rational decisions and take irresponsible actions due to their alcohol intoxication. This can result in risky behaviors, such as driving while impaired or taking unnecessary risks.
Other signs of impaired judgment due to an alcohol problem include acting without thinking and being out of character when drinking. Alcoholics also make poor financial decisions and display signs of aggression when drunk.
If you recognize these warning signs of an alcohol problem in yourself or someone you know, it is important to seek help from a medical or mental health professional.
How to Recover From Alcoholism
Recovery from alcohol addiction is achievable. With commitment and the right help, full recovery is possible. Here’s how to start:
Knowing When to Seek Supportive Treatment
If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, it may be time to seek supportive treatment. Supportive treatment may include cognitive behavioral therapy. This helps individuals recognize and change any thoughts, feelings, or behaviors related to their alcohol use.
Supportive treatment can also include support groups to provide emotional support. They also provide step-by-step help with recovery. You can even find a sober living house to speed up your recovery process in no time.
Counseling is also an important part of recovery. It can help individuals work towards understanding their ambivalence about their alcohol use. It can also provide support for relapse prevention.
Starting Your Supportive Treatment
Starting your supportive treatment should start by recognizing the presence of the problem and how it is impacting your life. Create a plan to reduce alcohol consumption, set daily goals, and abstain from alcohol completely.
Working with a counselor or therapist who understands alcohol use disorder can provide a trusting and supportive environment to develop strategies to achieve recovery.
It includes educating yourself on the physical and mental effects of alcohol use. Identify and work through triggers, such as social situations where alcohol is present. You must also create alternate strategies for dealing with stress and uncomfortable emotions.
Additionally, seek out a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Develop a healthy support system of family, friends, and professionals to stay motivated and successful.
While in the Middle of Rehabilitation
If you’re in the middle of rehabilitation from alcoholism, remember that recovery from addiction is possible. Start off by taking small steps. For example, change your environment by removing any possible triggers or reminders of the past.
Take active accountability for your condition. Stay informed about Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, rehabs, and individual counselors in the area. Remember to rely on your strong support system for emotional support.
Finally, be mindful of medications prescribed by your physician to ease the withdrawal process. Embrace a healthy lifestyle and participate in activities that can promote well-being. Activities such as exercise, yoga, and taking up hobbies. With a dedication to a recovery plan, you can live an alcohol-free life.
Staying Sober After Rehabilitation
Staying sober after rehabilitation from alcoholism is an important step on the road to recovery. To stay sober, it is important to develop strong coping skills to manage and recognize triggers for relapse.
Managing stress and engaging in healthy leisure and recreational activities are important for staying sober. Recovery should also include your support system, which can provide ongoing support and motivation.
An important part of recovery is also staying connected to support groups and recovery programs. Programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous. These programs provide a sense of community and offer advice and support to those in recovery. You can also serve as a role model to those starting their journey.
Finally, staying sober should involve finding meaningful activities that can replace negative behaviors. With hard work and dedication, staying sober can be achieved with the right support and resources.
Recognizing the Signs of an Alcohol Problem
If you think you or someone you know may have an alcohol problem, there are many resources available to get help. Keep in mind that the signs of an alcohol problem can be easily spotted. You can catch it before it escalates.
By recognizing the warning signs and taking proactive steps to get the proper help needed, you can start your road to recovery. Talk to your doctor, counselor, or an organization dedicated to helping people with alcohol addiction. Take action now!
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