Many people ask, “What is alcoholism?” Alcoholism can be defined as an addiction to the consumption of alcoholic liquor and the mental illness and compulsive behavior resulting from alcoholic dependency. Alcoholism can be characterized by the habitual intake of alcohol. It is a disease that produces physical and psychological dependency. Alcohol is a system depressant that lowers alertness and can impair perception, judgment, and motor skills.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism:
An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
Many Americans struggle with chronic alcoholism, and it affects whole families, not just the alcoholic. Recognizing the early signs of alcoholism makes it easy to get the help you or a loved one need. Getting sober is easier if you’re not that deep into alcohol abuse or don’t have a physical dependency.
Signs of a Drinking Problem and Early Signs of Alcoholism
It’s not always easy to notice when your alcohol intake from social and moderate drinking to problem drinking too, ultimately, alcoholism. But if you use alcohol to cope with difficulties in life or to avoid feeling certain emotions, you could be wading in potentially dangerous territory. The bottom line is, if your drinking is causing problems in your life, then you have a drinking problem. Problem drinking has many signs to look out for including:
- Feeling ashamed or guilty about your drinking habits.
- Lying and hiding your drinking habits from friends and family.
- Feeling the need to drink in order to feel better.
- Blacking out while drinking or mixing alcohol with other mind-altering substances.
- Regularly drinking more than you originally intended.
- You start neglecting commitments you once were serious about.
Warnings Signs You’re an Alcoholic
Problem drinking can easily turn into alcoholism without you even realizing it, and it is extremely severe. So what does alcoholism look like? Common signs and symptoms of alcoholism include:
- Repeatedly neglecting responsibilities and home, work, or school because of drinking. For example, performing poorly at work or school or completely skipping out on commitments altogether.
- Using alcohol in situations where it is physically dangerous, for you and others, such as drinking and driving.
- Repeatedly getting into legal trouble due to your drinking.
- Continually drinking, even though your alcohol use is causing problems in personal relationships.
- Drinking as a way to relax or distress.
- Drinking even when you aren’t stressed at all.
- High tolerance forcing you to continually drink more and more to feel the same effects you felt in the beginning with less.
- Withdrawal symptoms such as shakiness, sweating, nausea, and vomiting, insomnia, anxiety and depression, irritability, headaches, loss of appetite and even seizures.
- You have a desire to quit drinking, but you cant.
- Mental obsession with the next drink that you cannot stop.
Alcoholism inflicts serious damage to the body, including cancer, heart problems, liver disease, as well as any bodily harm that may happen due to drinking. Alcoholism also damages your emotional and mental stability, finances, career, and the ability to maintain relationships with other people.
If you are ready to admit you are an alcoholic, then you have already taken the first step at putting your life back together. It takes enormous courage and strength to admit and face your problem.
Get Help With Alcoholism Treatment
The best and safest option to getting off of and stay off alcohol is by the use of one of the many treatment programs we offer at Recreate Life Counseling. We offer partial care and outpatient treatment programs that provide therapeutic education and guidance for each individual in order to help them reintegrate into society in a safe way. With the help of our team of therapists, we offer one on one, group therapy, as well as many other specialized options to fit each person’s needs. Alcoholism treatment requires a multi-layered approach for maximum success. We want to make sure you have the tools you need to avoid relapse in the real world.
Alcoholism isn’t an easy thing to face. Luckily you do not have to face it on your own. Our admissions counselors and professionals are available around the clock. We are ready to help you or a loved one overcome the disease of addiction. Now is the time to change your life. Let us help you do it.