Are you addicted to alcohol? Here are some alcoholism red flags.
Alcoholism affects 15 million American adults, and it touches countless lives. Getting alcoholism treatment for an alcohol addiction can prevent devastating problems down the road, and it can help restore your life if it’s already been devastated by alcohol. But how do you know whether you’re addicted to alcohol? Here, we’ll look at eight important alcoholism red flags to look for that could indicate addiction.
1. You’ve tried to quit drinking, but you can’t seem to maintain sobriety.
Alcoholism is characterized by the inability to stop drinking even though doing so is causing problems in your life. Alcohol addiction is the result of changes in the physical structures and chemical functions of the brain that lead to intense cravings, dysfunctional thought patterns, and compulsive behaviors. The National Institute on Drug Abuse stresses that once an addiction develops, willpower and good intentions are rarely enough to end the alcohol abuse for good. It almost always takes professional help to overcome an addiction. One of the most important signs of alcoholism is the inability to stop drinking even though you want to or you’ve tried to.
2. You drink more than you meant to or for longer periods of time than you intended.
The brain changes associated with alcoholism lead to compulsive drinking driven by intense cravings for more. Cravings are among the first alcoholism red flags. People who are addicted lose the ability to stop at one or two drinks and almost always end up drinking more than they’d planned on or for a longer period of time, whereas people who aren’t addicted can have just one or two drinks and call it a night.
3. You spend a lot of time drinking and recovering from drinking.
People who are addicted to alcohol spend a lot of their time drinking, under the influence, and recovering from drinking. This is one of the most important alcoholism red flags. Your frequent drinking and recovery period leaves little time for other things and begins to cause problems over time.
4. You’re neglecting things at home or at work.
If your co-workers or family members are having to pick up your slack at home or at work, either because you’re under the influence or you’re recovering from being under the influence, you may be addicted to alcohol–or on your way to addiction.
5. You’ve lost interest in activities you used to enjoy.
Perhaps you’ve lost your enthusiasm for activities that don’t involve drinking, or maybe you have a hard time doing yoga when you’re feeling poorly, which is much of the time. Once you’ve developed an addiction, drinking becomes the most important thing. Other things–hobbies, relationships, duties–fall by the wayside.
6. Drinking causing problems in your life–and yet you keep drinking.
Alcohol abuse leads to numerous problems in your life, including job loss and financial problems, relationship troubles, legal issues, and physical and mental illnesses. If you continue to abuse alcohol despite the fact that your relationships are suffering and your life seems to be falling apart at the seams, you may have alcoholism.
7. You’ve built up a tolerance for alcohol.
Tolerance is one of the alcoholism red flags that indicate you may be developing a dependence on alcohol, which means that it takes increasingly larger amounts of alcohol to get the usual effects. Tolerance is a sign that you’re developing or have developed a dependence on alcohol.
8. You experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit drinking.
Dependence is characterized by withdrawal symptoms that set in when you quit drinking. This is an indication that your brain has changed in a way that makes it operate more comfortably when alcohol is present. When you quit drinking suddenly, normal brain function rebounds and causes withdrawal symptoms, which may include nausea and vomiting, tremors, an increased heart rate, insomnia, and seizures. Since alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous or fatal, medical detox through a high quality treatment program is essential for safe and comfortable withdrawal.
Alcoholism Treatment Can Help
You don’t have to hit rock bottom to get help for alcoholism. In fact, you don’t even have to feel like you’re ready to stop drinking. If you’ve experienced any of these alcoholism red flags and recognize that the consequences of your drinking are negatively affecting your life, a high quality, holistic treatment program will help you find your own reasons and motivation for quitting. Treatment helps you end your addiction once and for all while restoring your quality of life, sense of purpose, and wellbeing.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.