Alcohol beverages are some of the most commonly consumed drinks worldwide, with millions of people using it to relax, socialize or unwind.
However, when drinking alcohol becomes excessive and uncontrolled, it can lead to a serious condition known as alcoholism.
Keep reading to explore the signs of alcoholism that you should know if you suspect someone you know may have a problem with alcohol!
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder (AUD), is defined as a chronic disorder characterized by uncontrolled drinking and a preoccupation with alcohol.
Alcohol dependence can devastate an individual’s physical and mental health, relationships, career, and overall quality of life.
How Common is Alcohol Abuse in America?
According a survey from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), approximately 14.5 million adults in the United States had AUD in 2019.
Now that we know how common this disorder is in America let’s look at some common alcohol addiction symptoms.
What Are Alcohol Addiction Signs?
The signs of alcoholism can vary depending on the severity of the disorder and how long it has been present. Some common behavioral symptoms include:
Cravings for Alcohol
Individuals with AUD often experience intense cravings for alcohol that can be difficult to resist.
Loss of Control
People with AUD may find that they cannot limit their drinking despite having the desire to do so.
Over time, individuals with AUD may develop a tolerance for alcohol, so they need increasing amounts of alcohol to achieve the desired effect.
When someone drinking heavily stops or reduces their intake, they may experience withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, sweating, nausea, anxiety, and seizures.
People with AUD may neglect work, school, or home responsibilities because they prioritize drinking over other essential tasks.
Frequent Mood Swings
Excessive alcohol consumption can harm your mental health, leading to drastic mood changes, irritability, and hostile outbursts.
AUD can cause significant relationship problems because of behaviors like lying about drinking habits or becoming aggressive while under the influence.
What Are the Physical Symptoms of Alcoholism?
Besides behavioral signs, alcoholism can also lead to physical changes in an individual. These common physical signs include:
- Unhealthy weight loss or gain
- Loss of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Memory lapses
- Skin discoloration
- Irregular heartbeats
- Cirrhosis (liver damage)
What Are the Options for Treating Alcoholism?
Fortunately, rehab centers have several treatment options for individuals struggling with alcohol symptoms.
The most effective treatment plan will depend on several factors, including the severity of the disorder and any underlying medical conditions.
Detox is typically the first step in treating AUD. This involves medical supervision for patients during alcohol withdrawal which can take several days.
FDA has approved several medications for treating AUD, including naltrexone, which helps reduce cravings for alcohol, while acamprosate helps manage withdrawal symptoms.
Behavioral therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or motivational interviewing help individuals identify triggers that lead to excessive drinking behavior and provide tools to manage those triggers effectively.
Once an individual has completed a treatment program, it is important to continue receiving support and engage in aftercare activities like 12-step programs or sober living houses.
This helps ensure individuals stay on track with their recovery goals.
How to Find an Alcohol Rehab Near You
If you believe someone you know may have an AUD, many resources are available to help them get the treatment they need. These resources include:
Mental Health Professionals: Connecting with a mental health professional such as a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist can help individuals find the right treatment program for their needs.
Hotlines and Online Support Groups: Several hotlines and online support forums are available to provide individuals with personalized help and guidance.
Support Groups: Attending a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous can be incredibly helpful for people recovering from AUD. It provides an opportunity to connect with other individuals struggling with addiction, share experiences, and offer support.
Alcohol use disorder is a serious condition that can negatively affect an individual’s life if left untreated.
It’s essential for people who think they might suffer from an addiction problem to seek professional help immediately.
Recognizing early warning signs like increased tolerance levels and loss of control over one’s drinking habits is essential.
Principles Recovery Center Treats Alcohol Addiction in Florida
At Principles Recovery Center, our knowledgeable staff specializes in treating the signs of alcoholism.
We aim to help individuals achieve lasting sobriety while improving their overall quality of life.
If you want to learn more about our alcohol addiction treatment program, contact our admissions staff today!
It’s never too late to get help managing addiction issues related to substance abuse disorders, especially when it comes down to something as potentially dangerous as alcoholism.