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Signs of Alcoholism

man with hand on head thinking about the signs of alcoholism

Many people can pick up a drink at a party or while dining out and have no problem having just one drink. However, not everyone has this ability. Millions of Americans have a drinking problem. Alcohol is legal, so it is easy to think that it can’t be that harmful. But the truth is, alcohol is a drug, and it is just as harmful as any other drug.

But how do you know when use turns to use? If someone drinks regularly but seems to struggle with stopping drinking, how can you tell if that person may be suffering from alcoholism? The best way to ensure people get the proper help when they need it is to recognize the signs of alcoholism. An alcohol addiction treatment program can provide needed support.

The Most Common Signs of Alcoholism

Alcohol use disorder is characterized by:

  • Loss of control: This includes engaging in substance use for longer than a person intended, more frequently than desired, or even when a person knows he or she should stop.
  • Neglecting responsibilities: Many individuals struggling with alcohol addiction may fall behind in school, perform poorly at work, or neglect family obligations due to substance use.
  • Poor behavior: Addiction may cause a person to take part in activities or to take risks that a person may not otherwise engage in.
  • The strain on personal relationships: As people become afflicted with substance use, many find their personal lives are affected.
  • Tolerance: Prolonged substance use often fosters tolerance, which means a person no longer feels the effects of the substance (in this case, alcohol).
  • Withdrawal: People suffering from addiction may experience withdrawal symptoms if they are trying to quit or have not used substances for a period of time.

Spotting the Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder in Loved Ones

People who are suffering from alcoholism may exhibit many signs of their struggle. If you are close to someone you suspect may be at risk of addiction, there are a number of behaviors and activities which may contribute. Recognizing these behaviors is key to identifying an alcohol use disorder and to getting the person the help he or she needs. Here are some common warning signs:

  • Drinking more than he or she intends or for longer than intended
  • Spending a lot of time drinking—this may be multiple days a week or for long periods of each day
  • Feeling urges to drink that may seem more like a need than desire
  • Drinking affects their daily life, such as work, school, or family obligations
  • Continuing to drink even if their family or friends express concern or if a person experiences trouble in relationships due to drinking
  • Undergoing withdrawal symptoms when not drinking, such as anxiety, depression, inability to sleep, increased sweating, irritability, nausea, or tremors

Treating Alcohol Addiction

Though many who experience alcoholism do not get help for their addiction, alcoholism remains treatable. The most effective treatment programs for alcohol addiction combine behavioral therapy, medication, and community support.

Behavioral therapy helps those in treatment understand and change the behaviors that contribute to their alcoholism. Through individual and group counseling sessions, participants learn new coping mechanisms to deal with stress, triggers, and other situations that may lead to drinking.

Medication can also be used to help treat alcohol addiction.

Find Help for Alcohol Use Disorder at Vertava Health Mississippi

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol use disorder, know that you are not alone. At Vertava Health Mississippi, we offer a comprehensive treatment program that uses a variety of evidence-based therapies to help our patients overcome addiction and achieve lasting recovery. Reach out to our team at 844.470.0410 or connect with us online to learn more.