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Alcohol Abuse: Signs, Symptoms, & Alcohol Abuse Treatment

Are you worried that you or someone you care about is abusing alcohol? Millions of people who need help do not receive alcoholism treatment. 

Alcoholism or alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a common, chronic, and sometimes-progressive medical condition. People who struggle with alcohol abuse often feel like they need to drink to function on a daily basis. Unfortunately, heavy drinking can lead to social, familial, and physical consequences. Fortunately, alcohol abuse treatment programs help people with mild-to-severe AUDs. 

Read on to learn more about the signs of alcohol abuse and common treatment options start the path to recovery. 

Common Signs Of Alcohol Abuse

Excessive drinking can spiral out of control quickly if left untreated. When drinking negatively impacts a person’s life and causes harm, it’s considered alcohol use disorder (AUD). Knowing the common symptoms of alcohol addiction and getting proper treatment can make a substantial difference in recovery.

Spotting the signs of alcohol dependence can be tricky. However, several signs indicate someone has a drinking problem. 

Physical symptoms of alcohol abuse include:

  • Feeling hungover or ill when not drinking
  • Needing to drink more alcohol to feel “drunk”
  • Experiencing temporary blackouts or memory loss
  • Slowed reaction times
  • Motor coordination trouble or an inability to walk properly
  • Slurred speech
  • Headaches caused by dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive sweating (without doing something physical)
  • Impaired judgment and risk-taking (drunk driving, fighting)
  • Weight loss or gain 
  • Lack of concern over physical appearance/personal hygiene
  • Disrupted sleep patterns, including insomnia
  • Withdrawal symptoms if you haven’t consumed alcohol for a certain amount of time

Behavioral and emotional symptoms of alcohol addiction:

  • Secretive or dishonest behavior
  • Drinking to the point of passing out
  • Drinking first thing in the morning
  • Anxiety, depression, mood swings
  • Increased temper and irritability
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Diminished self-esteem and self-worth
  • Worsening of existing mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, or stress

Other Warning Signs to Look Out For

People struggling with alcohol abuse may hide alcohol around the house or at work. They will often fear running out of alcohol and consistently feel the need to have a supply on hand. If you or someone you know is drinking in secret, becoming isolated or distant from family and friends, or choosing to drink over other responsibilities and obligations, it’s time to consider alcohol abuse treatment.  

No matter how insignificant a drinking problem may seem, you should never ignore alcohol abuse symptoms. 

How to Recognize Alcohol Abuse in Yourself 

There are several screening tools to help determine if someone has alcoholism. If you’re concerned that your drinking is getting out of hand, ask yourself the following questions. If you answer ‘yes’ to two or more questions; it’s best if you seek professional medical assistance. 

01. Do you feel like you drink too much?

02. Do you ever feel bad or guilty about your drinking?

03. Do you drink at inappropriate times (first thing in the morning)?

04. Have you lost interest in other activities and hobbies since you started drinking?

05. Have you felt an urge or craving to drink alcohol?

06. Have you been in trouble with the law due to alcohol-related problems?

07. Do you drink even though it makes you feel depressed or anxious or adds to another health issue?

08. Have you experienced symptoms associated with an alcohol withdrawal?

Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Addiction

Excessive drinking can lead to negative long-term health issues like organ damage, gout, ulcers, depression, high blood pressure, and sexual dysfunction. Alcohol addiction often leads to other negative consequences like family breakdowns, legal issues, shattered relationships, job loss, and financial problems. 

Treating Alcohol Dependence

The first step in treating alcohol dependence is acknowledging there is a problem. There are several abuse treatment options for people diagnosed with alcohol-use disorders. Recovery is possible. 

Alcohol abuse treatment often includes one or more of the following:

Therapy – Behavioral therapy can help change negative thought patterns that often lead to excessive drinking. 

Group Help – Group therapy or more popular groups like Alcoholics Anonymous can help people with AUD stay sober. 

Medications – Prescription medications like Vivitrol can help prevent relapsing for people in recovery.  

Alcohol abuse treatment can help you regain control of your life, health, and wellbeing. If you’re ready to embark on the road to recovery, contact us at Complete Health Care today to learn more about the options for treating alcohol abuse, including detox, therapy, and medication.

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