Alcohol Addiction Indicators
Alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, is a progressive disease that becomes more severe over time. While no two cases are exactly alike, many symptoms and indications of the disease occur across a broad spectrum:
- Family history of alcohol abuse or alcoholism
- Frequent intoxication
- Drinking before noon
- A decline in self-care or hygiene
- Physical harm as a result of drinking (accidents or fights)
- Drinking alone
- The ability to consume a good deal of alcohol without getting intoxicated
- A preoccupation with drinking and alcohol
- Suffering from blackouts or memory lapses while drinking
- The use of alcohol to alter one’s mood
- Binge drinking (periodic, extreme overindulgence - consuming five or more standard drinks (male), or four or more drinks (female), on one occasion)
- Hiding alcohol or sneaking drinks
- Drinking prior to events or social gatherings where alcohol will be served
- Job losses or complaints by employers regarding one’s drinking
- Relationship or marital problems as a result of too much drinking
- Friends, relatives or co-workers complain about problem drinking incidents
- Alcohol related arrests: public intoxication, DUI, lewd behavior, altercations
- Behavioral changes while intoxicated: anger, sexual promiscuity, rash acts
- Feeling remorseful of or humiliated by behavior subsequent to drinking
- Social rejection or loss of friendship as a result of one’s drinking
- Neglect of other activities
- Drinking and driving or drinking in dangerous situations
While the above are signs of alcohol abuse, a diagnosis of alcoholism necessitates an additional characterization of a physical dependency on alcohol. The most common physical signs of alcoholism are as follows:
- Increased alcohol tolerance: more and more alcohol is needed to feel its effects
- Attempts at quitting are met with failure
- Loss of control (can not control the amount of alcohol consumed at any give time)
- Alcohol consumption or other drugs are required to avoid withdrawal symptoms (nausea, shakiness, anxiety, sweating, and, with more severe cases, seizures, delirium or hallucinations)
- Craving for alcohol that can contribute to relapse if one attempts to abstain
While no medical cure is available, alcoholism is a treatable disease and many treatment programs and approaches are available to support alcoholics.
QUESTION: What are the warning signs of alcoholism?
ANSWER: While warning signs of alcoholism vary by individual, several common indicators of alcoholism include a family history of alcoholism, frequent drinking, drinking despite negative consequences, hiding or sneaking drinks, and changes in personality.
QUESTION: What are some physical symptoms of alcoholism?
ANSWER: Since alcoholics are physically dependent on alcohol, most physical symptoms are a result of this physical dependence. These symptoms include increased tolerance, withdrawal symptoms if alcohol use is ceased or decreased, and cravings.