When someone has entered a cycle of alcohol abuse, whether that means weekly binges or varying between times when they are sober and others when they are drinking all the time, there are often some obvious signs there is a problem. However, there are signs of alcohol addiction you probably didn’t know to look for in your friends and loved ones that can be equally harmful and dangerous as the ones that are easy to see. People who have an Alcohol Use Disorder can be some of the quickest to tell people they do not have a problem in comparison to those who are struggling with other types of drug abuse and drug addiction.
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If you or one of your loved ones is struggling with substance abuse of any kind, please give us a call at The Detox Center of Los Angeles today. We have the types of treatments and levels of care to help anyone who is interested in making a positive change in their life.
Effects of Alcohol Addiction
One of the reasons why people who struggle with alcohol abuse are so quick to deny there is a problem is because in the United States and in many other countries around the world drinking is a part of the culture. We honor almost every meaningful event with one type of alcoholic beverage or another, from birth to death and everything in between. This makes it very easy for someone to point to everyone else’s drinking and respond indignantly when you question theirs. When this occurs, it may be time to be very specific regarding how the effects of alcohol addiction are impacting their life.
A person’s life can be badly affected by alcohol abuse long before they become addicted. This is due to the fact that alcohol addiction takes a long time to develop compared to other drugs. To begin with, one of the signs of alcohol addiction you probably didn’t know is that people who are struggling with this issue often drink alone or before social gatherings. This way it does not look like they are always drinking or far outpacing other people in their social circle. There are other effects of alcohol addiction that may be more well-known and can be easier to spot. Here are eight signs you should be able to spot in friends or loved ones who are struggling with alcohol abuse or alcohol addiction:
- The inability to cut down or stop drinking
- Drinking in spite of health risks and issues at home, school, or the office
- Alcohol cravings or strong, uncontrollable urges to drink
- Increased tolerance, or needing to drink more alcohol to feel the same effects
- Having alcohol withdrawal symptoms after they stop drinking, such as agitation, restlessness, insomnia, depression, nausea, sweating, and tremors
- Spending time feeling sick or recovering from the effects of drinking alcohol
- Blackouts, or memory loss due to drinking
- Short-term physical effects can include alcohol poisoning and physically risky behavior like unsafe sex or drunk driving.
Additionally, there are many long-term medical issues that can occur over time when a person is struggling with an Alcohol Use Disorder. Here are a few of the health risks that also may be signs of alcohol addiction you probably didn’t know:
- High blood pressure
- Liver disease
- Liver cancer
- Mouth cancer
- Head and neck cancer
- Breast cancer
In addition to health concerns, people’s lives are affected by alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction in many other ways, too. First, an individual may begin to remove themselves from their social circle and spend more time alone. This may be due to not wanting to put on display how much they drink or due to underlying or cooccurring disorders like depression or anxiety. Experts have stated that up to 50% of people with Substance Use Disorders may also have a co-occurring mental issue, and depression is often tied to alcoholism in these cases.
Second, alcohol abusers may begin to have financial issues for a number of reasons. They can lose jobs or have a hard time finding work when their focus has shifted to drinking as a priority. They also may be spending a lot of their money on alcohol, depending on how much they drink each day. Yet another area of a person’s life that is impacted by alcoholism is their relationships, romantic and otherwise. In many cases, friends and loved ones do not know how to deal with a person’s drinking or address the issue with them. Also, individuals can become defensive when one of their loved ones tries to approach them, which can result in them isolating themselves even further.
7 Signs of Alcohol Addiction
It is also important to be able to identify signs of alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction in yourself as well as others in your group of close acquaintances. One way is to take a page out of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in order to get an idea of the severity of someone’s alcoholism, or your own.. The answers to these questions should take into regard the past year of alcohol use. These questions include:
- Have you continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem?
- Have there been situations where you ended up drinking much more than you intended?
- Have you lost interest in other activities and hobbies since you started drinking?
- Have you experienced symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal?
- Have you felt an urge or craving to consume alcohol?
- Have you gotten into situations while drinking that increased your chances of harming yourself or others (i.e., drinking and driving)?
- Have you been in trouble with the law due to alcohol-related problems?
What to Do About Addiction
Almost all experts agree that it is never too soon nor too late to do something about your own or a loved one’s alcohol addiction. The one good thing is that in today’s day and age there are many options when it comes to drug and alcohol abuse treatment. Behavioral counseling, over the counter and prescription medicine, other medical protocols, and many types of therapy can be used for everything from relieving withdrawal symptoms to providing skills training are just a few of the approaches that have proven effective in treating drug addiction.
There are also many levels of care that can be employed singularly or as part of an overall continuum of care which can assist individuals to evolve from struggling with alcohol addiction to being clean and sober. These include alcohol detox programs, residential inpatient treatment, outpatient rehab, and aftercare programs. There are many options and specialized programs within each of these levels of care, too. The goal of any professional rehab organization is to find treatment options that work for each individual patient.
Overcome Your Addiction with Help from The Detox Center of L.A.
No one ever plans to have their life impacted by alcohol abuse, addiction, or any of other Substance Use Disorders. However, when life does throw you a curve, we’re here at The Detox Center of Los Angeles to help you get back on track. Call us today with any questions you may have about all of the types of treatments we offer.