If you are concerned that a loved one, friend or relative could be developing a problem with alcohol, then you are at the right place. In this post, we examine some of the warning signs of alcoholism along with detailing the different stages that a person who is suffering with an alcohol addiction may go through.

Alcoholism Explained

Also referred to as ‘Alcohol Dependence’ or ‘Alcohol Abuse Disorder’, this is a serious problem that can completely take over a person, leaving them with an uncontrollable desire to drink and abuse alcohol.

There are many different stages of alcoholism, and not all forms of alcohol abuse will involve drinking in excess. Alcohol dependency can creep up on people who might drink regularly, who perhaps simply share a drink with friends or loved ones on a daily basis, and once it takes hold and a person cannot get through a day without a drink; this is when it can really start to have an impact on your long-term health and wellbeing.

Is There A Difference Between Alcohol Dependence and Alcohol Abuse?

While both of these terms are often used interchangeably, there is indeed, a clear difference between them. Both involve the abuse of alcohol, and both will cause a long-lasting impact on a person’s health.

Many people who are suffering from alcohol abuse problems can continue their lives with a semblance of normality. However, when alcohol dependence kicks in, the alcohol takes this away and takes over. The clear and distinct difference here in control, and once it is lost, it becomes very challenging for the individual to regain this on their own.

If you have concerns about alcohol addiction and feel you would benefit from booking a session with an addiction coach, you can do that here today.

Emotional, Physical, and Social Signs of Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a global problem. With more than two billion people consuming alcohol regularly, it is estimated that more than 1 billion of these people drink alcohol in excess. What is most worrying, is how many people suffer with alcohol addiction and never get the help they need to overcome their drinking problems.

In this section, we outline the emotional, physical, and social signs of alcohol abuse. While it is important to note that not all of these warning signs will be present in every case, they are all highly regarded as typical behaviours that people who are addicted to alcohol will display at some point in time.

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What Are the Emotional Warning Signs of Alcohol Addiction?

Emotional signals are not always the easiest to spot, but for friends, relatives or loved ones; you are often the only person close enough to be able to detect these signs.

Shame – A person will most often feel shameful about their problems. When they crossover from simply drinking alcohol to becoming addicted to it; this can very often result them feeling disappointed with themselves.

Denial – It is perfectly normal that an individual who is addicted to alcohol will try to deny that they have a problem, or that their drinking is not something which they are in control of.

Emotional Imbalance – Mood swings are a typical part of alcoholism, along with an inability to be able to control one’s emotions. When there is a lack of alcohol, this can cause a sever flare-up. Another key indicator is the depression a person feels when they are not drinking.

Defensiveness – When a person gets defensive about their problems with alcohol, this is usually a tell-tale warning sign that there is a deeper problem. Nobody who drinks responsibly would need to argue about their alcohol consumption levels.

What Are the Physical Warning Signs of Alcohol Addiction?

The physical signs of alcohol abuse are clearer to spot, and while there are lots of different explanations for these physical indicators in isolation, this is why they are known as warning signals, and not symptoms of alcohol addiction.

Memory Loss – If a person starts to experience memory loss after consuming alcohol on a regular basis, they are blacking out on booze. If too much alcohol is drunk in one evening this can result in temporary amnesia. However, with alcohol abuse over time, this can lead to a more permanent form of amnesia that is not able to be overcome once it takes hold.

Taking Risks – If a person starts to take more risks than normal, such as with their everyday life, with their driving, their behaviour or even with their sex life; this is linked to alcohol addiction.

Daily Drinking Habits – If a person is drinking alcohol on a daily basis, then they are already likely to have an addiction to alcohol. Drinking alcohol everyday is not normal behaviour and it can lead to serious health consequences.

Tolerance Levels – When a person develops a tolerance to alcohol, this effectively means that their body is so accustomed to the presence of alcohol, that it needs more and more in order to intoxicate the body. The higher the tolerance, the more dependant a person is on alcohol.

Change in Appearance – When a person becomes addicted to alcohol, their personal hygiene will decline, and they will start to spend less time tending to their every day appearance.

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What Are the Social Warning Signs of Alcohol Addiction?

When it comes to the most obvious warning signs of alcohol abuse, there are more social signals than any other category; they are also much easier to spot.

Making Excuses – It is usually easy for a person who is suffering from alcoholism to justify their drinking. However, if a person is consistently making excuses for their behaviour, or trying to constantly justify why they are drinking, this is a key indicator of a deep-rooted issue with alcohol abuse.

Getting on the Wrong Side of the Law – If someone starts to get into trouble because of their drinking, and they end up in trouble with the police, this can indicate that their drinking is no longer within their control. It doesn’t matter what the offence committed is, whether it is drunk and disorderly, public intoxication or perhaps even criminal charges brought about by them taking risks or engaging in risky behaviour; they all indicate issues that their alcoholism is controlling them more than they might want to admit.

The Breakdown of Relationships – When a person becomes addicted to alcohol, it is often those closest to them who end up paying the price or having to deal with their drunkenness on a regular basis. As such, the key relationships in an alcoholic’s life will start to suffer and eventually fall apart. Aggression, depression, risky behaviour, and withdrawing from social events and occasions all lead to the demise of key relations and again, prove that there is a deeper issue with addiction to alcohol that is no longer able to be controlled.

Changing Priorities – When a person has become addicted to alcohol, their drinking becomes their most important priority. When a person drinks responsibly, their everyday duties and priorities are handled. Alcohol should not get in the way of these responsibilities, but when alcohol abuse is present, this takes a precedence over everything.

Persistent Dishonesty – Telling lies, whether it be for the purpose of hiding a drinking habit or otherwise is another warning sign of alcoholism. If someone does not feel like they are developing an uncontrollable habit with alcohol, they will not feel it necessary to hide this from others.

Performance at Work or School – When a person’s performance starts to decline because of drinking alcohol, and their usual levels of focus and commitment decline, this is a warning signal that their drinking is starting to get out of control.

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Summary

Now we have explained the emotional, physical, and social warning signs that are associated with alcohol addiction; you should feel more informed about what to look out for with regards to knowing when a loved one’s drinking habits could start to be spiralling out of control.

If you would like to book a session with an alcohol addiction coach to learn more or simply to talk about any matters relating to alcoholism, you can reach a professional addiction coach quickly and easily via out site. Booking a session is quick, it’s easy, and it costs less than you might think.

With the right help, alcoholism is a highly treatable condition that can be overcome, and life as you once knew it can be restored.

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