Alcoholism is a devastating crutch that can tear apart any individual and family alike. It is extremely important to recognize the signs of alcoholism in yourself and in your loved ones. If you suspect you or a loved one is having problems with alcohol consumption you can seek help for yourself or speak to your loved one about seeking help for themselves as soon as possible.
11 Symptoms of an Alcohol Abuse Disorder:
1. Having constant cravings for alcohol that cannot be quenched by anything else.
2. Lack of control over the amount of alcohol consumed. Alcohol abusers and alcoholics find themselves drinking with no control, and they are unable to fight the urge for alcohol. This power gets stronger as the alcoholism progresses on.
3. Inability to stop consuming alcohol. Once the drinking begins, they are unable to limit the amount of alcohol they consume, and are only able to stop whenever they physically can no longer continue drinking.
4. Issues with their relationships as a result of alcohol consumption. Most alcohol abusers find that their personal relationships are a mess. They don’t have time to spend time with their loves ones.
5. Spending a large proportion of their time drinking alcohol. Alcohol becomes the center of their lives.
6. Withdrawal symptoms are seen and felt when the individual does not use alcohol. This is a more serious symptom.
7. Alcohol tolerance increases and the individual needs to drink more to get as intoxicated as they want.
8. Continued drinking even when the individual’s health is at risk. If a person is told to stop drinking for health reasons and they cannot stop, this is a sign that they are well into alcoholism and need an intervention.
9. Alcohol affecting a person’s work and social life to the point that they are unable to carry out their normal day-to-day activities.
10. Lack of interest and participation in activities that a person used to enjoy. Alcohol becomes all you know and want.
11. Taking high risks and participating in dangerous activities while under the influence.
Approach with Care and Caution
If you suspect a loved one might be an alcoholic or is headed there, your first instinct will most likely be to confront them and tell them they have a problem. During such times, emotions are high, and the wrong thing can be said. This can affect both the person trying to help and the alcoholic.
Other times, you might be afraid that they will not react well to the intervention and might go deeper into their addiction. You should always remind yourself that you cannot control the reaction of the other person, try as you might. Trying to help an alcoholic is a difficult process, and it takes a toll on an individual’s mental, physical and emotional health. Both the alcoholic and their loved ones are affected. A lot of care and understanding is always advised in such situations.
What is the Difference between Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse?
The difference between alcohol abuse and alcoholism is based on the severity of alcohol intake. Persons abusing alcohol but are not dependent on it exercise more control and tolerance. When an individual exhibits two or more symptoms of alcohol abuse from the above list, then the condition can be called alcohol abuse. If they exhibit 4 or more symptoms, then the condition is alcoholism. It is advisable to look out for the symptoms because someone who likes to drink can rapidly progress into alcoholism.
Whether you are battling alcoholism yourself, or you suspect a loved one of being an alcoholic, it is important that you support them through the process of getting help.
About the Author:
Hayden Stewart is a contributing author and media specialist for the Summer House Detox Center’s Blog. He regularly produces content for detox, recovery, and sobriety blogs on a regular basis and covers many topics ranging from life after abuse to overcoming addictions.