Signs of Alcoholism
According to HelpGuide.org, alcohol abuse may be occurring if you or someone you know:
- Feel guilty or ashamed about your drinking.
- Lie to others or hide your drinking habits.
- Have friends or family members who are worried about your drinking.
- Need to drink in order to relax or feel better.
- “Black out” or forget what you did while you were drinking.
- Regularly drink more than you intended to.
- Repeatedly neglecting your responsibilities at home, work, or school because of your drinking.
- Using alcohol in situations where it’s physically dangerous. (i.e. drinking and driving)
- Experiencing repeated legal problems on account of your drinking.
- Continuing to drink even though your alcohol use is causing problems in your relationships.
- Drinking as a way to relax or de-stress.
Tolerance and Withdrawal are the two major signs of alcohol dependence. Tolerance is the early warning sign of alcohol that is usually experienced if it takes drinking more than you are used to in order to get buzzed or drinking more than others to get drunk. Withdrawal is the second major warning sign and something one may be experiencing if they are drinking to relieve any of the following symptoms:
- Anxiety or jumpiness
- Shakiness or trembling
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
If one experiences any of these signs, chances are that it is time to seek help:
- You’ve lost control over your drinking.
- You want to quit drinking, but you can’t.
- You have given up other activities because of alcohol.
- Alcohol takes up a great deal of your energy and focus.
- You drink even though you know it’s causing problems.
When deciding it’s time to get help, there are many useful tools. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. is able to provide many resources for anyone suffering from this addiction. These resources include, but are not limited to:
- Information and Referral Services
- Intervention and Drinking Driver Programs
- Professional and Workplace Training
- School-Based Prevention and Education
- Community Education and Mobilization
- Media/Public Education Campaigns
- Recovery Support and Advocacy
- Outpatient Treatment
- Residential Treatment
It is important to remember that it is very likely that someone suffering from alcoholism will try to deny that the problem exists through any means necessary. It is in the best interest of the parties involved to remain patient and inform the person of the resources available to them as well as support them in their struggle. Coping with addiction can be one of the most difficult experiences one may face and it is a decision that must be made by the person with the addiction so that the treatment can be successful.
Remember: Understanding that there is a problem is the first step to overcoming it.
If you or someone you know is seeking help in fighting alcoholism, please use any of these resources available to you:
- The NCADD
- Rethinking Drinking
- Kaiser Permante Resources
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Local Resources and Recovery Centers: