It can be difficult to be completely objective when figuring out whether you or someone you care about suffers from alcoholism. There are usually powerful emotions involved, along with the tendency to rationalize and deny either our own or others’ negative actions. Thus it’s hard to tell what actions are acceptable and what is going too far.
Fortunately there are signs you can look for that point to alcoholism and problem drinking. Here are 10 of the most important things to look for in your loved ones or yourself if you suspect alcoholism is present.
10 Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse:
- Consistently “blacking out” when drinking.
Consuming so much alcohol that you forget what happened is a serious first sign there is a problem. Basically it means you drank way too much! If you are drinking to the point you are forgetting whole hours at a time, it begs the question what is driving you to drink to such an excessive level?
- Lying about or hiding how often and how much drinking occurs.
Both people suffering from full-blown alcoholism and problem drinking may drink in secret or lie about how much they’re consuming to make it seem like it’s not a problem. Denial is a common trait of alcoholics, so both of these things make it easier for the drinker to ignore what’s really happening.
- Unable to stop drinking once started.
Do you or your loved one drink the entire bottle of wine (and then another one) once it’s opened? If you have one or two beers, do you need to drink the rest of the beer in the house and then maybe go to the store for more? Not feeling like you can stop when you should, or not wanting to when you should, can be a sign of alcoholism or problem drinking.
- Trying to quit drinking permanently but unable to for any significant period of time.
Perhaps your life is falling apart, you have lost or are losing your job, health and personal relationships, but no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to quit drinking. Knowing you need to quit drinking, but being unable to, is a sure sign of alcoholism. This is a time to seek help with addiction recovery, maybe even at alcohol abuse rehab.
- Drinking when in dangerous situations or when it’s not appropriate.
Drinking before work, against the orders of your doctor or when you know you have to drive home is a definite sign of problem drinking and alcoholism. Even if there have not been significant consequences yet, they are likely inevitable, especially when it comes to driving under the influence since there are so many negative consequences of getting a DUI With so much at stake, if you or your loved one is choosing to drink in these types of situations anyway, a problem is definitely present.
- Neglecting your responsibilities in favor of alcohol.
Are your or your loved one having problems at school, work and at home because drinking keeps you from fulfilling your promises? If your life has taken a backseat to alcohol consumption, you likely have a problem because your drinking has come to impact your day-to-day life.
- Significant and constant troubles in relationships.
This is similar to the previous point, but so important we are addressing it separately. If your relationships with those who love you, like your family and friends, are falling apart due to your drinking or the consequences of your drinking, it means that you have put alcohol above everyone else in your life. This is a definite sign of problem drinking and alcoholism.
- Drinking to relax.
Almost everyone who struggles with any type of substance abuse addiction uses his or her drug of choice because of emotional turmoil. But the relief alcohol provides is temporary and only makes things worse, which becomes obvious over time.
- Developing a high tolerance for alcohol.
Being able to drink more than you did previously is a sign that you are drinking so much and so often your body is adjusting and needs more for you to feel the effects. When tolerance develops to high levels, this is a sure sign of problem drinking and alcoholism!
- Experiencing withdrawals after not consuming alcohol for a period of time.
Hangovers and withdrawals are not the same thing. According to the American Addiction Center, withdrawal symptoms begin when dependence on a substance has formed withdrawals are your body’s reaction to the lack or alcohol versus there being too much alcohol. This denotes a serious turning point in your or your loved one’s drinking.
We know that sobriety may seem like an impossible achievement, but success is possible and proven with our biological approach to addiction recovery. If you or a loved one are experiencing any or all of these symptoms, please call us anytime day or night to discuss your options at (855) 658-0035.