Having a few drinks in a social setting is quite common. In fact, some people regularly drink socially without running into problems. However, if you’ve ever tried to curb your drinking and have struggled to do so, this may be a warning sign of alcohol addiction. When you start spending more of your time drinking and often contend with hangovers, fatigue, and other health issues as a result, these changes likely mean that you’re losing the ability to control your drinking. Alcoholism is often a progressive issue and thus, if it is problematic now, it will only become more so in the future. Knowing how to recognize the signs of a developing addiction will allow you to seek the support you need before your problems with alcohol spiral out of control.
One way to tell if your drinking is developing into a serious issue is to consider how alcohol has impacted your life. People who struggle with alcohol addiction often find that drinking negatively affects their careers, their finances, and their relationships. They often have cravings for alcohol and find themselves turning to it to help them deal with stress, loneliness, and other difficult emotions. Sadly, as the consequences of increased drinking continue to rear their heads, those who are addicted to alcohol wind up drinking more as a coping mechanism. This all-too-common and incredibly unhealthy cycle is self-perpetuating. The more that a person drinks; the more problems he or she invariably faces, and the greater the need to have another drink becomes.
Additional Signs Of Alcohol Addiction
While drinking socially is considered acceptable, alcohol use is often most unhealthy when people start drinking alone. A person who’s addicted to alcohol may attempt to hide the fact that he or she has been drinking, or may be dishonest with others about the amount of alcohol that’s being consumed. Not only does developing addiction cause people to start drinking alone, but it can also lead to general self-isolation. If alcohol use has caused you to stop spending time around family or friends, or if you’ve ever lied to others about drinking alcohol or the amount that you’ve been drinking, getting help is important.
Other signs of alcohol addiction include:
- Self-harming while inebriated
- Blacking out while drunk and not remembering stretches of time
- Continuing to drink despite the negative consequences to your job, your relationships, and your health
- Engaging in dangerous behaviors while drinking such as driving drunk, having high-risk sex, or starting violent physical altercations
There might come a time when quitting alcohol makes you feel physically sick. People who drink regularly and who consume large quantities of alcohol frequently experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms during extended periods of abstinence. These can include general irritability and anxiety, prolonged bouts of depression, and insomnia. When withdrawal is severe, the more dangerous symptoms of delerium tremens will present. These include excessive sweating, nausea, diarrhea, and hallucinations. Given the potential severity of alcohol withdrawal, people are often advised to undergo the detox process in a safe, supervised way by entering professional detox programs. In these environments, you can receive the medical support you need for ensuring that your body is able to weather this process without suffering significant and potentially long-term damages.
Although having a few drinks with friends or while attending a party can be pleasant, drinking too much leads to consequences that far outweigh the benefits of imbibing. Alcohol addiction causes people to make decisions that they wouldn’t make if they were sober, or if they weren’t racked by the urges and cravings that come with physically and emotionally “needing” a drink. People who suffer from alcoholism often lose their drivers’ licenses and face other serious legal and financial penalties for driving while intoxicated or making other rash decisions. Many lose their jobs, their friends, and their families, even as they struggle to get their drinking under control.
The good news is that there are safe and effective ways to beat alcohol addiction. Best of all, you don’t have to do it on your own. Entering into an alcohol addiction treatment program can help you reclaim your life. With the right support, you can safely navigate your way through the detox process and can learn more about the underlying causes of your addiction. Rehab centers teach those who struggle with substance abuse how to leverage healthier coping strategies for dealing with stress, loss, anxiety, depression, and other negative emotions and life events. If you’re ready to regain your freedom and start rebuilding your life, we can help. Call us today at 833-846-5669.