Most adult Americans consume alcohol at least occasionally, so it’s pretty normal. That’s what why people have so many questions about how much is too much. Most of us drank a lot at some point in our lives, usually college. And most of us moved on to have productive lives with careers and families. So how do you know if someone has an actual alcohol problem or is maybe just going through a phase? Do they need professional help or can they stop on their own? According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, at least 70.1 percent of Americans over the age of 18 drank alcohol within the last year, much to excess. Maybe you or someone you know has called into work, being short with the children, or let down a significant other and it makes you wonder if the drinking is too much. Here are some signs to help you evaluate.
Over-Consumption of Alcohol Can Negatively Affect Your Social Life
- Are you disinterested in attending events where alcohol will not be served?
Many people joke that they are less inclined to attend a wedding that doesn’t have an open bar, but when this consideration starts to become serious, you may need to take a look at your drinking habits.
- Are you avoiding friends and family to pursue alcohol?
Most of the time, there’s nothing wrong with having a beer at home and watching some TV to unwind. However, a budding alcohol use disorder could make this seem like an appealing option all the time, especially if you start having that thought after a long day, “Man, I can’t wait to get home and grab a drink.” Drinking at home, alone, especially in lieu of seeing friends or family, is not a good sign. But drinking socially has some warning signs associated with it, too.
- Are you finding yourself only seeing your friends and family members who also drink?
Letting alcohol consumption be a large factor in whom you spend time with can be yet another warning sign of an impending alcohol problem. If you consider sober events boring, there may be a problem. If Alcohol is Interfering in Your Social Life, And You Want to Change That, Speak to a Specialist Now: 844.875.5609
Alcoholism May Be a Concern If Drinking Affects Your Daily Schedule
Is your day starting to revolve around your drinking, instead of the other way around? Are you not able to leave places when you meant to, because you need to sober up? Are you missing work due to drinking the night before? Or worse, are you missing work because you drank so much the night before? Are you rushing out of work, parent-teacher conferences, or meals with the extended family to go drink? Combinations of these behaviors mean you are letting alcohol run your clock for you, instead of waiting for an appropriate time to drink after you’ve taken care of other items on your schedule. This is a serious warning that you may be developing an actual dependency on alcohol.
Alcohol Use Disorders (AUDs) Have Unpleasant Physical Symptoms
Social and scheduling concerns can be reasoned around, easy to be in denial about or make justifications for. But physical symptoms are a surefire sign that you’re heading for problems. Are you experiencing any of the symptoms below?
- Gastrointestinal problems (upset stomach, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
- Changes in appetite
- Lowered sexual performance
- Dizziness, with resulting falls and injuries
- Mood swings and bouts of irritability or anxiousness
- Shortened attention span, trouble focusing
- Memory loss, both temporary and permanent
Long-term alcohol abuse can even cause cirrhosis of the liver, and increase risks of more serious conditions like seizure disorders and cardiac complications. These symptoms worsen over time, so quitting sooner is better than later. Furthermore, long-term physical symptoms can require professional medical treatment. Call Promises Behavioral Health: 844.875.5609 if You or a Loved One or Needs Professional Help With the Mental and Physical Consequences of Alcoholism, Quitting alcohol after prolonged use can even have withdrawal problems. But, when properly monitored and treated, these are temporary, and the first step to ending the cycle of alcoholism.
What are Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?
Withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant, and an almost certain sign of an AUD or alcoholism. If your body is withdrawing from alcohol, then you have developed a physical dependency. Withdrawal symptoms include:
- Depression and mood swings
- High blood pressure
If abstaining from alcohol causes any of these physical results, you are probably addicted. Dealing with these symptoms is best done in a professional detox center. While admission to a detox center may not fully negate these symptoms, they will make them much more manageable and can prevent the symptoms from getting worse, or agitating any other medical problems.
Giving Up Alcohol Now Can Prevent Further Sacrifices in the Future
If you look at the warning signs listed above, each one is attached to a sacrifice in the name of the pursuit of alcohol. Time spent drinking is sacrificing time with those you care about. If you drink alone, you are physically separated. If you can’t be around others sober, you are mentally separated. If you are blacking out, you are sacrificing the memories you could have cherished later. Missing work and struggling with scheduling makes you miss out on income and memory-making events like your kid’s school play or a friend’s bachelor party. The physical decline now in your life will create a further, faster, physical decline in the near future. If you are done sacrificing in the pursuit of drunkenness, you are not alone. Promises Behavioral Health has individualized treatment plans, which treat as a whole person. All of Promises’ locations offer dual diagnosis, to treat any mental illnesses that may have been motivating you to drink. And we are waiting to talk to you, RIGHT NOW. So if you or a loved one needs help quitting, call us today: 844.875.5609 Learn More About Our Programs