There are a number of cautionary signs of alcohol abuse. Some are obvious and others harder to notice. Many people hide their symptoms by drinking in private. This makes it hard for family or loved ones to help.
Mild alcohol abuse is hard to notice. These minor issues have the tendency to spiral out of control over time. The warning signs should not be ignored. Seeking treatment will help you get back to enjoying a healthy life.
Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse
Untreated alcohol abuse escalates rapidly. When drinking starts to negatively affect your life and cause problems it is diagnosed as Alcohol Use Disorder or AUD. Being honest with yourself and getting treatment can stop the damage and speed recovery.
There is no solid definition for alcoholism but the side-effects of this disease are notable. These side-effects tend to compound and lead to serious health issues.
The most recognizable effects of alcohol abuse:
- Temporary memory lapse.
- Inability to control your emotions.
- Rationalizing your drinking, i.e. “I drink to reduce stress”
- Choosing drinking over everything else
- Isolation from friends and family
- Drinking alone or in secret
- Feeling hungover when not drinking
- Socializing with others with similar alcohol issues
No matter how minor you think your drinking issues might be, the side effects of alcohol abuse should not be ignored. If you, a friend or family member feel you can’t control your drinking you should seek help immediately.
There are a few ways to identify if somebody has a liquor addiction. One valuable tool is called the CAGE – a poll that estimates the seriousness of a drinking issue. If you reply “yes” to at least two CAGE questions, you should seek professional help.
The four CAGE screening questions are:
- Have you thought of quitting drinking?
- Have people offended you by commenting on your drinking?
- Have you ever regretted something you did while drinking?
- Have you had a drink before anything else to steady your nerves or help kill a hangover?
In that case, a treatment professional might reference the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to appropriately analyze your condition. Your answers should all be based on your past year of alcohol use. Sample questions include:
- Have you continued drinking despite the fact that it was making you depressed, angry or worsening another medical issue?
- Have there been times when you wound up drinking way more than expected?
- Have you lost enthusiasm for exercise and hobbies since you began drinking?
- Have you encountered complications from alcohol withdrawal?
- Have you felt an uncontrollable urge to drink alcohol?
- Have you gotten into situations while drinking that increased your chances of hurting yourself or others? A good example is drinking and driving.
- Have you been in a bad situation with law enforcement because of your drinking?
- The CAGE is a comprehensive survey that can help you decide if you have a drinking problem. Any negative impact on your life from drinking is a sign that you aren’t paying enough attention to how much or how frequently you drink. This is cause for concern and reason to consult a professional.
The Dangers of Alcoholism
Alcohol abuse can cause a variety of serious health problems, negatively affecting your personal and professional life. Years of excessive drinking puts you in danger of severe and lasting health problems.
Pride and denial are common reasons why a large number of individuals don’t get treatment for their alcohol addiction. Few people are honest with themselves when it comes to drinking. Many blame others or their issues for drinking, instead of taking accountability for alcohol abuse they get defensive when someone mentions their drinking. By refusing to confront your drinking you keep yourself from enjoying a healthy, happy life.
It’s a great time to stop lying to yourself and get the help you deserve. Take control of your life and start your road to recovery and a better life today.
End your alcohol abuse.
Get your life back.
Getting Started With Alcohol Treatment