Too often, individuals are unable to recognize the signs of alcoholism. Whether it is because alcohol is so common or because the signs are subtle, not recognizing alcoholism in a friend or loved one can be dangerous. The first step to helping an individual recover from alcoholism is identifying there is a problem.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a brain disease that develops over time as individuals continue to drink more alcohol. The substance eventually changes the brain’s chemistry to make it believe that it needs alcohol in order to function properly. When individuals with alcoholism go too long in between drinks or try to stop drinking, they may experience withdrawal symptoms.
These symptoms are similar to those of a hangover: pounding head, rolling stomach, anxiety, and insomnia, to name a few. Somebody who experiences these symptoms after just a few hours without a drink has likely developed alcoholism.
4 Common Signs of Alcoholism
The signs and symptoms of withdrawal are different than a hangover, and are a reaction to lack of alcohol vs too much alcohol. These symptoms include irritability, fatigue, nausea, anxiety, and depression. Other signs of withdrawal can include sleepiness, loss of appetite, experiencing shaking or trembling, and even seizures. Somebody who experiences these symptoms after he or she stops drinking has likely developed alcoholism.
Problems in Relationships
Persons struggling with alcoholism typically have problems in their relationships. It is frequently friends or loved ones who first notice that there is a problem. Those who abuse alcohol often drink alone and are isolated. Concerns that are voiced by those close to the individual are met with resistance and defensiveness which only serves to increase the sense of isolation experienced by the alcoholic.
Problems at Work or School
One of the other signs of alcoholism is a decrease in performance at work or school. Someone who regularly shows up on time, completes all of his or her work, and is generally a model employee/student may start declining in all areas. However, a person who has reached this point in his or her drinking may not care about the negative consequences and will continue to drink.
Giving Up Hobbies or Passions
Finding the time and money to drink often becomes an obsession for those with alcoholism. As a result, they may start to put their hobbies and passions on the back burner. Drinking can quickly get expensive, as individuals may begin using up savings accounts and money allocated for other things.
One of the most obvious signs of alcoholism, is when a person’s tolerance increases. Simply put, this is when an individual needs more alcohol in order to get a “buzz” or to get drunk. As tolerance goes up, individuals may find that they can’t quit or control their drinking. Efforts made to stop or limit alcohol consumption fail despite the desire to stop or cut down, even in the face of continued negative consequences.
Seeking Help for an Alcohol Addiction
The signs above can lead to legal, financial, and health troubles as a result of alcoholism. However, help for this disease is available. Alcohol rehab treatment at New Bridge Foundation® puts people back on the path to health and sobriety. Clients can receive this treatment through any of our substance abuse treatments and programs, including:
- Detox program
- Short-term residential rehab (Helios)
- Short-term outpatient rehab (Helios)
- Long-term residential rehab (START)
A brand new life is waiting for you in recovery. Call New Bridge Foundation® today at 866-772-8491 for more information on our programs and services.