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What are the Signs of a Drinking Problem? by Rehab Recovery Centers

Unfortunately, alcoholism is a serious, yet common disease in America. According to reports, one in eight Americans suffers from alcohol addiction. For better understanding, alcohol addiction is characterized by a lack of control in one’s drinking, a mental preoccupation with alcohol, and continued drinking despite facing negative consequences. While alcoholism is prevalent in the United States, this disease often goes undiagnosed and untreated, which is exactly why it’s so important to be able to recognize the signs of a drinking problem.

Sadly, many individuals suffering from alcoholism are in denial or unaware of their problem. On the other hand, some people with alcoholism go to great lengths to hide it from others around them. As a result, many family members and friends of alcoholics do not notice the warning signs of a drinking problem. Even though alcoholism is a complex disease, affecting each individual uniquely, there are several signs and symptoms that indicate alcohol addiction.

Behavioral Signs of a Drinking Problem

The disease of alcoholism is known to affect a person’s mood, patterns of thought, and behaviors. Because of this, alcoholism is classified as a mental health condition. Also, many signs of alcoholism involve a change in behavior. If you suspect that a friend or loved one is suffering from alcohol addiction, here are some of the hallmark signs of this disease.

Loss of Control

If an individual regularly consumes more alcohol than they intended to or is unable to cut down or quit drinking, they may be suffering from alcoholism. For example, if a person goes to dinner thinking they will have one glass of wine, but somehow find themselves having far more to drink, they may be losing control over their drinking.

Risk-Taking

Another common sign that a person has a drinking problem is getting into potentially dangerous situations as a result of impulse control issues while drinking. For example, getting into risky situations that may cause injury to yourself or others, like driving while under the influence or having unsafe sex while intoxicated.

Prioritizing Drinking

If you or a loved one spend a lot of time drinking or obtaining alcohol, you may suffer from an addiction to alcohol. For example, if drinking alcohol begins to take precedence in your life over your other obligations, you probably have a drinking problem.

Neglecting Responsibilities

When an individual begins to allow alcohol to interfere with work, school, social, or family obligations, a drinking problem is likely. This might include missing work, being late to school, or performing poorly due to intoxication.

Continuing to Drink Despite Negative Consequences

Oftentimes, individuals suffering from alcoholism continue to drink despite facing negative consequences. This may include being fired from work because of intoxication, dropping out of school to spend more time drinking, or suffering from marital problems.

Additional red flags of alcohol addiction include:

  • Hiding your drinking
  • Getting into legal trouble as a result of drinking
  • Making excuses or lying about drinking
  • Drinking by yourself
  • Feeling guilty or shameful about drinking, but doing it anyway
  • Drinking first thing in the morning or during odd times of the day
  • Feeling like you need a drink to get through the day
  • Friends or family begin to make comments about your drinking

Physical Symptoms of Alcoholism

Alcoholism may range from mild, moderate, and severe. Individuals suffering from moderate to severe alcoholism typically suffer from dependence on the substance. To explain, symptoms of dependence include being tolerant to the effects of alcoholism and experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when the substance isn’t being consumed. Also, individuals suffering from a dependence on alcohol may experience cravings – a strong and intense desire or need to drink alcohol. Lastly, tolerance to alcohol is characterized by needing to drink more than you originally drank to produce the same effect.

However, not everyone suffering from alcoholism develops a physical dependency. They do display an array of other physical symptoms, though. Because heavy and frequent alcohol abuse is known to damage almost every organ in the body, individuals with alcohol use disorder may develop an array of alcohol-related diseases and disorders that cause many symptoms.

The common physical symptoms of alcoholism include:

  • Experiencing frequent blackouts
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Insomnia and other sleep issues
  • Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting, bloating diarrhea, etc.
  • Itching
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Changes in appetite
  • Chronic fatigue or confusion
  • Dizziness and frequent falls
  • Burning, tingling, or numbness in the arms, legs, or feet
  • Memory loss

Visible Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder

Because some alcoholics are skilled at hiding the signs of their alcoholism, it’s important to be aware of all of the signs and symptoms of this disease. With that being said, there are more symptoms of alcoholism than just behavioral and physical signs. Sometimes, the easiest way to identify a drinking problem is by looking at the external signs. However, the visible signs of alcoholism are typically only apparent when an individual has been addicted to alcohol for a long period of time. Therefore, if you notice the visible physical signs of alcoholism you should contact an alcohol addiction treatment center as soon as possible.

Visible signs of a chronic drinking problem include:

  • Broken capillaries on the nose and face
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Jaundice  (from alcohol-related liver damage)
  • Reddening of palms of the hands
  • The frequent smell of alcohol on the breath
  • Tremors or an unsteady gait
  • Noticeable weight loss or weight gain
  • Flushed appearance

In addition, individuals who are addicted to alcohol may show a deteriorating physical appearance from poor nutrition or neglect of personal hygiene.

Get Help for a Drinking Problem

If you or a loved one are currently showing the signs of a drinking problem, it is vital that you find professional treatment. Fortunately, Rehab Recovery Centers is here to guide you through that process. Finding the right alcohol addiction treatment center for you may be difficult. Keeping that in mind, our addiction specialists are armed with resources and tools to connect you with the most qualified treatment providers in the nation. We will help you find the alcohol rehab in your city that you deserve. Contact us today to learn more.

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