We can all agree that addiction to illicit substances and bad habits is a serious problem in our country, as well as the rest of the world. Alcohol addiction is by far the most wide-spread addiction-related problem in the United States with over 88,000 people dying from alcohol-related causes every year. 3.9 million people have received treatment from addiction in 2015 with 2.5 million of these being for alcohol addiction alone.
Alcohol addiction, more commonly known as Alcoholism, can have a severe impact on the physical, emotional and mental health of the addict. This adds to the impact alcoholics have on the people around them, which can be just as harmful. Fortunately, there are many signs of alcohol addiction that you can look out for with your family and friends so that you can give help to those who need it.
But dealing with someone who is addicted to alcohol can be difficult, frustrating and very emotionally challenging. This is also why you should educate yourself about the signs of alcohol addiction and abuse to look out for. You should also make sure that there is a support system ready for those who want, and need your help, as overcoming alcohol addiction can be a complicated problem to combat.
- 1 How Do People Become Addicted To Alcohol?
- 2 1. Dangerous Drinking Habits
- 3 2. Irresponsible Neglect Of Duties
- 4 3. Drinking From Emotional Comfort
- 5 4. Relationship Problems
- 6 5. Regularly Getting ‘Black Out’ Drunk
- 7 6. Increased Tolerance To Alcohol
- 8 7. Being Unsuccessful At Quitting Alcohol
- 9 8. Experiencing Alcohol Withdrawal
- 10 9. Hiding Or Lying About The Alcohol Addiction
How Do People Become Addicted To Alcohol?
Before we talk about the signs of alcohol addiction, you need to know that this problem can be separated to people with problem drinking, and people who are alcohol dependent. Usually, alcoholics start off with problem drinking which happens when they are faced with a significant problem and use alcohol as a means of stress-busting. These people typically require a glass of their favorite drink after a stressful day of work or when trying to sort out a problem.
These people with problem drinking become alcohol addicts when any problem or difficult situation leads to drinking which can become more and more common for others to see. This goes on until they start seeing alcohol as their go-to solution to their problems or as a means to escape from their insurmountable difficulties and stresses.
This was an overview of one of the ways people become addicted to alcohol. Now, let’s take a look at nine signs of alcohol addiction you need to watch out for with your family and friends:
1. Dangerous Drinking Habits
Someone who is addicted to alcohol often has their priorities in life jumbled up with drinking alcohol being the most important. This can lead to some lousy decision-making like drinking when they shouldn’t. Examples of this including consuming alcohol while on medications (even when the doctor has expressly suggested not to), drinking before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and drinking before work or an important meeting with a client. These patterns of behavior and decision making are not only harmful to the user but also to those around them.
2. Irresponsible Neglect Of Duties
Being irresponsible with their duties is another sign of alcohol addiction. If someone’s drinking has taken a toll on their household responsibilities or work performance, this could be a clear indication of alcoholism. Most alcohol abusers find it difficult to know the line between alcoholism and occasional indulgence, leading to bad decision-making.
3. Drinking From Emotional Comfort
One of the biggest reasons people turn to alcohol is the need to feel good or relax. Choosing to use alcohol to get rid of bad feelings like depression and stress can provide temporary relief but is almost always a bad habit to have in the long run. If you know someone who is showing signs of this risky habit, you should consider an intervention before the alcohol problem becomes alcohol addiction. A strong support structure for the one struggling can be beneficial here.
4. Relationship Problems
Relationships are often the first to suffer from someone’s alcohol addiction as alcohol changes people’s perspectives and thought-processes. This usually happens when the alcoholic starts seeing alcohol as being more important their his or her relationships with family and friends. If you know someone who is having relationship problems due to their drinking, it’s time for getting them some help.
5. Regularly Getting ‘Black Out’ Drunk
A major red flag with having a drinking problem is when someone drinks regularly to the point of ‘Blacking Out’ which includes passing out with no recollection of what happened when they were drinking earlier. These people usually don’t have an answer to the question ‘What is the reason you drink so excessively?’
6. Increased Tolerance To Alcohol
College students are known to have a weak tolerance for alcohol because their bodies are not adept at handling alcohol. However, if you know someone who needs a lot of alcohol to get drunk, or at least more alcohol then they used to, that person might be suffering from alcohol addiction.
7. Being Unsuccessful At Quitting Alcohol
Self-realization about being addicted to alcohol is often the most significant step towards recovery as most alcoholics are usually in denial of their problem. However, after realizing their addiction, recovery is not always a success, leading to ‘falling off the wagon.’ If this is the case with someone you know, it may be time to seek professional help to help control the addiction for a better future.
8. Experiencing Alcohol Withdrawal
We are all aware of drug withdrawal being a very brutal experience for the addicts. But did you know that people also experience alcohol withdrawal when they don’t have a drink for some time? Many who have experienced this difficulty describe being anxious, nauseous, depressed, irritable and tired. Those who are suffering from alcohol withdrawal may also experience trembling and shakings, lose their appetite and have difficulty sleeping.
9. Hiding Or Lying About The Alcohol Addiction
Those who are addicted to alcohol often deny their addiction by trying to hide or lie about their drinking. While some may hide how much they drink on a regular basis, others may even deny the problem altogether. Many people often hide their drinking by doing so in a bar instead of at home. Either way, this denial is a major problem if you are trying to see if someone is addicted to alcohol. However, most alcoholics will slip up once in a while which can help you find out if there is a problem or not.
These were nine signs of alcohol addiction you should keep an eye out for with your family and friends. And if you do find someone who has a problem, make sure that you support them with the help and care that they need because the road to recovery is a difficult journey for everyone involved.
Michelle is the senior most expert who writes for this website. After completing her graduation and 10+ years of practice, Michelle has been involved and known for a lot of her philanthropy work. Michelle loves spending time researching and writing her papers. She occasionally writes for us and we are extremely proud to have her as one of our editors.