What Are the Signs of Alcohol Addiction? Symptoms and Treatment
Because it is legal, alcohol is frequently considered safe; however, this does not necessarily make it safer than illegal substances.
People struggling with alcohol abuse develop a dependency on it, which can lead to a risky and occasionally fatal addiction.
The physical as well as mental health, and lifestyle of someone who drinks excessively are all negatively impacted.
In fact, a person with an alcohol use disorder might live 24 to 28 years less than an individual that does not indulge in heavy drinking. It’s critical to recognize the symptoms of alcoholism.
Alcohol abuse includes binge drinking, which is more than five drinks in two hours for a man and four drinks in two hours for a woman.
Binge drinking frequently occurs during gatherings or in bars. Even though they might not satisfy the criteria for an alcohol use disorder, those who binge drink might still experience the same short- and long-term effects as alcoholics.
It’s crucial to be on the lookout for warning indicators if you have reason to believe a loved one is misusing alcohol.
While some alcohol withdrawal symptoms are blatant, others are more subtle.
Consider whether any of the numerous typical ones listed below apply to your loved one. If so, it could be appropriate to discuss available treatments.
What Is an Alcohol Use Disorder?
A person is said to have an alcohol use disorder if they have at least two of the 11 symptoms listed by DSM-5 doctors. It’s crucial to realize that no two people will experience substance abuse in the same manner.
The group of 11 criteria aids DSM-5 doctors in determining the severity level of alcohol use disorder (AUD).
- 2-3 of the 11 symptoms: mild alcohol use disorder
- 4-5 of the 11 factors: moderate drinking disorder
- More than six of the symptoms: severe alcohol use disorder
Understanding Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol, a legal means for people over the age of 21 to unwind and have fun, is becoming an alarmingly frequent element of teen parties.
Teenagers are increasingly using alcohol and engaging in underage drinking, which is partaking in alcohol consumption before the legal drinking age of 21.
Even though alcohol is a legal substance for adults over the age of 21, teens often do not realize the risks it poses and the negative consequences it may have on their personal lives, families, communities, and physical and mental health.
Underage drinking is a major public health issue that has significantly more dangers than advantages.
What Are the Signs of Alcohol Addiction?
The signs of alcoholism can be divided into several categories:
Physical Signs of Alcoholism
If a person has a severe alcohol dependence, they are likely to need much greater amounts of alcohol before exhibiting the classic signs of alcoholism; therefore, it is usually simple to identify when they have been drinking.
Long-term alcoholics may be able to consume a number of drinks before becoming visibly drunk.
Short-Term Physical Signs of alcohol addiction:
- Slow reaction times
- Blurry vision
- Slurred speech
- Alcohol poisoning
- Inability to walk or poor coordination
Long-Term Physical Signs of alcohol addiction:
- High blood pressure
- Weakened immune system
- Sexual dysfunction
- Liver damage
- Increased risk of a stroke or heart attack
- Brain damage
- Increased risk of cancers
- Poor hygiene
It’s crucial to understand that alcohol can completely impair a healthy digestive function. Furthermore, it strains the intestines and stomach.
Food discharges via the digestive tract are reduced as a result of this procedure. Your digestive secretions are crucial to a healthy digestive system.
They are in charge of converting food into the fundamental micro and macronutrients that are eventually assimilated and utilized by the body.
Emotional and Mental Signs of Alcoholism
Numerous parts of the brain are altered and harmed by alcohol consumption, including the dopamine receptors (or feel-good chemicals). It can harm a person so severely that their offspring are more likely to develop alcohol addiction as a result.
With each generation, the likelihood of inheriting substance abuse from a parent reduces. This demonstrates just how damaging alcohol addiction’s long-term repercussions are.
Short-term Emotional Signs of Excessive alcohol consumption:
- Irritability and anger
- Impaired judgment
- Memory loss
Long-term Emotional Signs of Excessive Drinking:
- Shorter attention span
- Extreme mood swings
- Increased tolerance when you consume alcohol
- Needing to drink alcohol to reduce withdrawal symptoms
Behavioral Signs of Alcoholism
Alcohol addicts exhibit particular behaviors while they are drunk. These immediate symptoms are typically not specific to drinking alcohol. When eliminating other probable causes, such as mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, it’s crucial to keep this in mind.
Long-term alcohol addiction is not socially acceptable, even though drinking alcohol is. Alcohol addicts exhibit diverse behaviors as they begin to try to conceal their drinking from loved ones.
Short-term Signs of Alcohol Abuse:
- Driving recklessly
- Risky behavior
- Having risky sex
- Aggressive or belligerent behavior
Long-term Behavioral Signs of Substance Abuse
- Drinking alone
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Drinking before engaging in any activity-producing scenarios such as socializing
- Denying that they have an alcohol or drug abuse problem
- Drinking at strange times
- Problems in work, relationships, or school
- Not partaking in activities previously enjoyed
- Legal issues as a result of drinking too much alcohol, such as drunk driving
Risks of Withdrawal Symptoms
In addition to the common symptoms, drinking excessively has significant risks. Abusing alcohol can have terrible indirect effects on you, your family members, and other people.
Alcohol withdrawal is notoriously deadly. After the final drink, withdrawal symptoms may start hours or days later. The warning signs are:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Nausea and vomiting
- Insomnia or other sleeping problems
Hallucinations, confusion, and seizures are among the withdrawal symptoms known as delirium tremens (DTs) that are experienced by people with severe problematic drinking.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Fetal alcohol syndrome can develop in the unborn child if alcohol is consumed during pregnancy. Effects comprise:
- Growth problems
- Brain damage
- Poor balance and coordination
- Delays in development
Fetal alcohol syndrome can be brought on by any amount of alcohol during pregnancy, and there is no known cure for it. Alcohol can have an impact on a baby before the mother is even aware that she is expecting.
What Is Physical Dependence?
One of the characteristics of physical dependence is that it is ultimately a natural process. A person who drinks alcohol will need to consume more of it as their tolerance increases in order to experience the same effects.
Following that procedure, the body will experience withdrawal if the typical dosage is significantly reduced or if use of the familiar substance is stopped.
When a chronic alcoholic stops drinking, they start to experience withdrawal. They continue to drink in an effort to avoid experiencing withdrawal because of this unusual and painful sensation.
The following psychological and physical dependence symptoms are most frequently experienced by those who have an alcohol use disorder:
- Rapid heartbeat
Addiction Treatment Centers Can Help
Consuming alcohol is legal and widespread, but alcohol addiction may rank among the deadliest drug addictions. You have every right to express your worries to your loved one and offer to get them help given the possibility of misuse, withdrawal, and long-term health effects. Do not think that their alcohol misuse is normal.
Medical detox should always be the first step in treating alcohol abuse. Attempting to stop drinking alcohol cold turkey is quite risky.
In a medical setting, medical professionals are there to address your symptoms of alcohol abuse and provide you with the best level of comfort.
It is encouraged to seek alcohol addiction treatment after detox. This will support locating and treating the addiction’s underlying causes.
Many people use alcohol as a coping mechanism for mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. A dual diagnosis is when a mental health problem and a substance use disorder coexist. Dual diagnosis carries a significant chance of relapse if untreated.
Depending on the degree of care you require, the following choices for addiction treatment are available:
- Intensive outpatient treatment
- Sober living environment
- Inpatient rehab
- Outpatient treatment
Get Help Today!
In America, alcohol abuse and addiction are major issues. Unfortunately, because many alcoholics go to great measures to conceal their drinking, it can occasionally be difficult to tell if someone is abusing alcohol. A person’s alcohol use symptoms may also vary depending on how severe their alcohol use disorder is.
Nobody is saying don’t drink alcohol; however, make sure to drink in moderation! Once alcohol abuse begins to have a negative impact on your life, you need to make changes.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction because of mental disorders or for any other reason, make sure to get addiction treatment as soon as possible. Proper treatment is crucial to getting a person’s health and life back on track. Crestone Detox Austin – Alcohol & Drug Rehab can help you on your journey to sober living. Contact us today to get started!