Environment And Personal Experiences
If you grow up in a household where alcohol is readily available and is consumed when something negative happens, you may learn to drink in order to feel better. If youre around people who drink often and pressure you to drink, this can lead to increased alcohol consumption as well.
Everyone reacts differently to their personal experiences and environment. One person who grew up around large amounts of alcohol might become an alcoholic, while another might swear off alcohol for life. Still, life experiences and surroundingsincluding adverse childhood experiences and other traumatic eventscan play a role in whether you become addicted to alcohol.
How To Tell If You Have An Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction affects everyone differently. But you can usually look out for physical, psychological, and behavioral warning signs. So if you are worried that you or someone you love is addicted, watch out for these signs and symptoms.
Some warning signs are harder to spot than the others. The more warning signs a person displays, the more likely it is that they are struggling with an addiction. Mild alcohol abuse can be hard to recognize, but even a minor issue can develop into something serious over time, so take this seriously. The sooner you can get the professional treatment that you need, the better.
Aside from the quantity of symptoms, you should also look at their severity. Someone with a severe alcohol use disorder may exhibit more serious signs and symptoms. They may also display more noticeable behavioral changes. For example, someone might try to cover up their excessive drinking by lying, being secretive, or isolating themselves. Watch out for uncharacteristic behavior like irritability or extreme mood swings.
The person may suffer from short-term memory loss or temporary blackouts. They will also find any excuse to drink such as to manage stress or feel normal. Drinking alone or drinking during the day are common indicators of an alcohol use disorder.
You Have A Distorted Sense Of What Intimacy And Sexuality Are
Your expectations about sex and intimacy look more like a plot of a bad pornographic film than real life. These unrealistic expectations make you think your partner should be performing more like a porn star than a typical person. You may think there is something wrong with your partner since they dont act that way.
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Food And Alcohol Addiction
When youre deep into alcoholism, it affects your appetite and eating patterns. Different drugs have different impacts. For example, people who are addicted to alcohol often dont like to eat. As such, they may only eat one meal a day, and it may not necessarily be nutritious.
The same happens for people who heavily abuse hard drugs, such as cocaine. However, the eating habits for the latter are impoverished as they may not eat for days. This explains why such people tend to be extremely thin.
That said, the impact of alcohol addiction doesnt end with poor eating habits. If anything, poor eating habits may end up disrupting your digestion, thereby causing damage to your gut system through complications such as vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea. Additionally, when you experience the three, sooner or later, your health deteriorates.
So, if alcohol addiction has such severe impacts on food consumption, there must be a way you can use food to avoid relapsing. Heres how:
Losing Touch With Reality
You must have heard of the term happy drunks. Happy drunks are alcoholics who suffer alcohol-induced insanity. These people cant discern what is real and whats not.
They get frightened and also experience hallucinations. You will also notice an unstable shift in your mood. Or you may be getting too aggressive. A person who has lost touch with reality will need alcohol addiction treatment to prevent his or her condition from worsening.
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How To Know If You Have An Alcohol Addiction
BySandra Kim Leong | Submitted On March 19, 2007
Many turn to alcohol for various reasons. Yet few do so with regard that alcohol drunk in huge quantities can cause tremendous harm and damage to your internal organs such as liver and stomach. Alcohol is toxins and can cause liver-related diseases as well as varicose-like veins in the stomach’s lining, which can rupture any second. Once it does, internal bleeding occurs, resulting in many complications.
Headache and nausea are immediate effects when you drink alcohol excessively. Your mental clarity gets affected and you begin to feel dizzy. On a longer term basis, having too much alcohol can also cause your skin to look sallow.
It is best to seek help and support for an alcohol addiction. You first need to acknowledge that you have reached a point whereby you cannot do without alcohol. Here is some warning signs that you need to pay attention to, in order to determine if you are addicted to alcohol or are just a social drinker:
o Are you taking time off from work just to drink? If you are, you may be addicted to alcohol. Alcoholics tend to disregard the future consequences of what they do. They lose their motivation and have no focus in their jobs and careers.
Detoxification can lessen the harm that toxins cause to your body. Get free tips and special reports by Sandra Kim Leong on detox cleansing here on this site at
How To Tell If Youre Addicted To Alcohol
If youre already searching for signs that you potentially have a problem with alcohol use disorder, aka alcoholism, you probably already know the answer and are looking for further verification or something that says youre not. However, if you truly are unsure whether you are addicted to alcohol, there are a number of clues that will show youre most likely dealing with alcoholism.
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Treatment For Alcohol Dependence
Treatment options depend on the strength of alcohol dependence. For low level dependence, your doctor might discuss the problem with you and suggest changes you can make or recommend counselling.
Stronger dependence will need different treatments to manage the effects of alcohol withdrawal. The treatments might include:
Changes In Social Circle
Hanging out with a different crowd, like regulars at bars, other alcoholics can be another sign of addiction to alcohol. If you find your friend group consists of heavy drinkers and you and your friends often get drunk together, this may be an issue. Although friendships are acquired over a lifetime if you find yourself surrounded with bad company it should be a time to reflect. You should always be a top priority, and if you circle yourself with people who drink often, take a timeout or reconsider these friendships. This is especially true if you find yourself beginning to get into trouble or activities with this group is leading to negative consequences.
When Your Teen Has A Drinking Problem
Discovering your child is drinking can generate fear, confusion, and anger in parents. Its important to remain calm when confronting your teen, and only do so when everyone is sober. Explain your concerns and make it clear that your concern comes from a place of love. Its important that your teen feels you are supportive.
Lay down rules and consequences: Your teen should understand that drinking alcohol comes with specific consequences. But dont make hollow threats or set rules that you cannot enforce.
Monitor your teens activity: Insist on knowing where your teen goes and who they hang out with.
Encourage other interests and social activities. Expose your teen to healthy hobbies and activities, such as team sports, Scouts, and after-school clubs.
Talk to your child about underlying issues. Drinking can result from other problems. Is your child having trouble fitting in? Has there been a recent major change, like a move or divorce, which is causing stress?
Signs Of Benzodiazepine Abuse
Benzodiazepines are a prescription medication used to treat anxiety, insomnia, seizures, alcohol withdrawal, and other conditions. These drugs are among the most highly prescribed in America. Benzodiazepines are mainly available in tablet or capsule form, though some are manufactured as injectable liquids and syrups. Short-term use is generally safe, but abuse can cause numerous complications.
As benzodiazepines are sedatives, some of their side effects overlap with the general signs of addiction. Persons using benzodiazepines may experience the following side effects, including:
- Impaired coordination
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What You Will Learn That You Dont Already Know
So now the question that has to be on your mind: what am I going to teach you about your childâs drinking that you dont already know?
What am I going to say that you havent already read or heard somewhere?
This is going to be revolutionary for you to hear, so slow down your brain and listen with your soul: What does a child NEED more than anything else? After food, water, and air, the answer is SO obvious, and yet we keep missing itover and over.
To see the answer, lets start with an infant. When an infant criesother than from obvious physical painwhat does he want? You already know, because you just pick him up. Youre pretty smart. You already know that every child wants to feel cared for. Every child wants to feel LOVED.
Picking them up and holding them is just a demonstration of that. And if youre genuine in caring about them, they FEEL it.
But infants are relatively easy to love. They smile and melt your heart, make cute little noises, and laugh in ways we never hear anywhere else. Theyre adorable.
But when they get older, they learn to spill things, make messes, ferociously say NO when you tell them what to do, scream in their car seat, fight with their siblings, refuse to listen to you, say ugly and hateful things to you and other people . . .
Were not so happy either.
How To Approach A Loved One About Their Drinking
Navigating addiction is tricky. It can be difficult to know how to provide the best chance for facilitating help. As a family member, friend, or significant other, it can often feel like it is your responsibility to take care of that person and make sure that they get the help they need. The road to recovery can be long and sometimes frustrating for both parties involved. When results arent immediate, recovery can be discouraging.
When it comes down to it, people will only get clean and sober when they want to. People who are forced into treatment often relapse because they never wanted to get sober in the first place. It has to be their decision. That being said, there are things that you can do to help someone with an addiction to alcohol:
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Behavioral Signs Of Alcohol Abuse
As the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence explains, the behavioral signs of an alcohol use disorder will usually be apparent. People who experience alcohol abuse may become increasingly secretive about their activities because they may not want to hear peoples concerns or get advice to stop. The individual may also drink in secret, either in a private place or out in public but away from concerned friends and family.
As a result of drinking, people may become more prone to accidents and show signs of injury, which they may try to cover up. An individual who is experiencing an alcohol use disorder may also hide alcohol around the house or at work. A person may become fearful of running out of alcohol, which in turn means that they keep a ready supply nearby.
Alcohol abuse can also lead people to show a diminished level of care for their hygiene and physical appearance. As alcohol abuse progresses, the individual may look increasingly as if they have not been showering, have stopped shaving, and are no longer washing or changing their clothes. Alcohol abuse often leads to problems in the persons relationships across the full spectrum of life. A person who has a rather calm affect when sober may shift into moodiness, depression, or irritability when intoxicated.
You Can Help An Addict In The Following Ways:
- Do not enable their behavior if they are unwilling to get help
- Push them to go to drug or alcohol treatment
- Talk to their family if you notice warning signs of addiction
- Set a good example yourself
- Be positive and try to encourage them to help themselves
- Help them find resources to get help
- Conduct an intervention if they are truly unwilling to seek help
- Try not to get angry with the addict or alcoholic
While many of the above suggestions are easier said than done, they can be done, and they can help save the life of a person who will likely die otherwise. If any of the above applies to you, get help, get yourself into treatment and save your own life. If youre even questioning your substance use to begin with, theres more than likely an addiction brewing. No one needs to travel down the dark road of addiction and if youve already found yourself far down that dimly lit path, reach out for help. Its far scarier to stay addicted than to get clean.
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Drinking To Feel Normal
In order to combat withdrawal symptoms, many people will feel as if they need to drink to feel normal. Signs of this can include drinking alone, during work hours, before major events or places where no one else is drinking. If your drinking a necessity to feel normal or having a need to have drinks throughout the day to maintain the feeling of normality, this is a clear sign of alcohol addiction.
Residential Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Our Addiction Treatment Programmes for alcoholism last for a recommended 28 days, although other lengths of stay are available. These programmes take place at our nationwide hospitals, with 24-hour support and structured daily therapy sessions, in both individual and group formats.
We base our treatment on the 12-Step model, which takes an abstinence-based approach and outlines guiding principles for recovery. We also offer family and couples therapy within our private rehab programme, as well as free aftercare and family support for 12 months .
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Drinking Even When Impairment Is Risky
One of the more dangerous signs of an alcoholic is when someone drinks despite knowing they have to drive a car, go rock climbing, operate machinery, or sail a boat. These individuals tend to make risky choices while drinking that they probably wouldnt while sober and have an unusual number of accidents or injuries.
What Do I Do If I Think Someone Is An Alcoholic
If someone close to you is displaying signs of alcohol addiction, it can be difficult to know what to do. You might feel worried about them, frustrated that they dont seem to want help or frightened for them or even by them.2 All of these feelings are normal and there is help out there both for alcoholics and those caring for them.
Talk honestly with your loved one about their drinking, and try to persuade them to see a doctor. It can be very difficult for alcoholics to admit they have a problem but being supportive, open and non-judgemental can make them feel safe.
If you accompany someone to an appointment, try to get a simple explanation for the person in simple language about the illness, the long-term effects and the options for recovery. Ask how you can best support the person perhaps request an out of hours emergency telephone number that may make you feel safer.
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Where Can I Get Help
The easiest and quickest way to get help is to talk to someone about it, whether its a friend, family member, doctor or counsellor. The sooner you talk about what youre going through, the sooner things will start to feel a bit better.
If talking to someone isnt your thing, there is other support and help out there. It can be hard to know where to find the right support you need. ReachOut NextStep is an anonymous online tool that recommends relevant support options based on what you want help with.
Remember that if you do have an alcohol problem, the first step in overcoming it is to acknowledge it. Youll find plenty of support services that can help you here, and you can filter by type of service and location.
What Is Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse is described as any “harmful use” of alcohol, and that, by definition, is a “drinking problem.” Whether or not you have become alcohol dependent is another question and whether or not you come to believe that you are an alcoholic , is yet another question.
If you think that you have a drinking problem, you should seek a full evaluation by a healthcare professional. There are many diagnostics tests available online that can help you self-evaluate your drinking, but none of them should substitute for professional medical advice.
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Abuse Versus Dependence Versus Addiction
Alcohol dependence, abuse, and addiction arent the same thing. People who abuse alcohol will drink in excess, but they may not be physically dependent and may only have a few of the warning signs mentioned above. A person who is physically or psychologically dependent on alcohol may not yet be addicted. However, creating clear, distinct lines between these categories isnt necessary.
As The Atlantic explains, seeing problematic drinking as a spectrum, will allow people to recognize problems earlier and to seek solutions without having to be labeled as alcoholics.3
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