It would be practically impossible to complete an entire list of the signs of alcoholism. Nonetheless, researchers and scientists have over many years compiled data which has been instrumental in portraying the common signs of alcohol addiction. In addition to that, some signs which are not so common have also emerged in addition to the list of signs compiled by scientists.
Using a combination of materials from various sources, this guide to alcoholism offers a list of easy-to-understand signs of alcohol addiction. Although this list is not exhaustive, it depicts some of the most common signs which you can never miss whether you are an addict yourself or just an observer. It’s imperative to note that the severity of alcoholism or alcohol abuse can be instrumental in necessitating the kind of signs an individual exhibits. For instance, some people who try to cover their alcoholism do so by isolating themselves from others so they can drink in private. This makes it somewhat difficult for friends or family members to intervene and assist their loved one.
People may also decide to overlook the mild signs of alcoholism. It’s imperative to remember that what may initially appear as a minor problem could turn later turn out to be dangerous. You should NEVER ignore these early warning signs. Seeking medical intervention as soon as possible will allow you or your loved ones to get back to their normal life.
Here are 10 signs that will allow you to know whether you are developing an alcohol addiction.
1. Trouble With Authorities
One of the most obvious signs that you are becoming an alcohol addict is getting into legal trouble because you had too much to drink. This does not refer to the one-time incidents during your college days, but the DUI arrests as a result of public intoxications, or criminal charges due to drunk and disorderly behavior. A good example of causing public disturbance would be breaking into a store or assaulting someone while under the influence of alcohol. Basically, if you are a well-known public nuisance when you are drunk, then that is a clear sign you are developing an alcohol addiction or you are already an alcoholic. Therefore, if your alcohol has subjected you to problems with the law, then chances are your consumption habits are not healthy.
2. Crooked Priorities
Having the wrong priorities is one way of knowing you are becoming an alcoholic. If and when your everyday life responsibilities are outweighed by alcohol, then consider them crooked. You are only a responsible drinker once you have taken care of your usual businesses, which including handling your bills and taking care of your family.
Alcohol must not be a priority in your life and alcoholism must never come in your way as a responsible adult. Severe examples of crooked priorities include spending all your salary on alcohol, drinking and forgetting to go to work, spending your bill money on alcoholic beverages, among others. Less severe cases of alcoholism include drinking and forgetting to take part in your usual social events or hobbies. If you suspect your priorities are crooked as a result of alcohol, irrespective of the severity of your actions, then you need to know you are developing an alcoholic addiction.
3. Affected Relationships
Affected relationships are often the result of your alcoholic behavior. Drinking should never affect your relationships and when it does, it’s probably time to start quitting. It may begin with an angry significant other who insists that you need to stop drinking. From there, it may extend to neglecting your kids, or your partner. If you don’t have children or a significant other, you may begin neglecting your friends. Worse still, you may neglect your loved ones at all, but you may start to treat them aggressively instead because consuming alcohol in excess can cause you to be irritable and abusive towards other people or even oneself.
In case you notice that your relationships are being damaged as a result of alcohol, then it is likely you are developing an alcohol addiction. Drinking alcohol is not supposed to affect how you co-exist with others, especially those you love.
4. Telling Lies
The moment you begin to tell lies about your drinking problems to your loved ones, then it’s likely you are turning into an addict. People who aren’t at a risk of becoming addicts do not feel the need to tell lies about their drinking habits. This sign ties to number 3 because lying often leads to broken relationships.
“If you have to ask, then there’s a high chance you are.” When it comes to alcohol and alcoholism, this statement certainly holds true. Ideally, if you keep asking yourself whether you are an alcoholic or not, then you most likely are. Worse yet, when you deny you have this problem, it’s likely you have turned into an alcoholic. You may deny that you are not an alcohol when you are accused of being one, but the moment you begin questioning yourself about it, then probably you are developing a problem already. If your instincts tell you that you are developing an alcohol problem, then you need to start looking for help immediately.
6. Losing Memory
Losing memories as a result of drinking, whether for a few minutes, hours, days, or months is a surefire sign that you are developing an alcohol problem or you are already an alcoholic. According to scientists, to blackout implies two things: you have taken enough alcohol to warrant a temporary amnesia and; you are probably an alcoholic because memory loss is a common symptom of alcoholism. With persistent drinking, you may develop permanent forms of amnesia.
7. Drinking on a Daily
If you cannot control your drinking to the extent of taking alcohol on a daily basis, then there is a high chance you are turning into an alcoholic or you are already one. Even a few beers every night is a warning sign if not already an alcoholic problem. Consuming alcohol on a daily basis is not recommended – not even the fabled glass of sweet wine. According to research, even a glass of wine could affect your health in a negative way.
If you are always drinking, then you must know that you are an alcoholic and whether you accept or deny it, it’s advisable to seek immediate help, for your sake and for the sake of your loved ones.
8. Risky Business
If you take alcohol in forbidden zones, or if you drink in dangerous situations, that is a clear sign you are turning into an alcoholic. One of the most dangerous behaviors linked to drinking is driving. You must know that driving while intoxicated or under the influence is illegal. Nonetheless, risky behaviors do not only concern drunk-driving but also engaging in unacceptable behaviors that could not only risk your life but also the life of those around you. These may include sneaking alcohol into areas where it is forbidden such as the church, at work or in school, drinking secretly at night while everyone else has gone to bed, starting random fights, among others. If you have engaged in one or more of these behaviors, then you are most likely developing an alcohol problem or you are already an alcoholic.
9. Finding it Hard to Quit
If you have noticed that your drinking habit is becoming problematic and you have made several attempts to quit but have not succeeded, you need to consider an intervention as you could be turning into an alcoholic. By deciding to quit, it shows that you understand the kind of impact your habit could have on you, but since you are not able to stop drinking, then it’s most likely you are struggling with an addiction problem. It is important to have those around you offer their support to ensure that your attempts to quit alcohol is successful since this is not something you can manage on your own.
10. Experiencing Withdrawal
Hangover is very different from withdrawal, so it’s important to know how to differentiate the two. Hangover is the aftermath of alcohol consumption while withdrawal is the reaction you get to the absence of alcohol. If you feel depressed, irritable, tired, anxious, or nauseous when you don’t take alcohol, it’s highly likely you are suffering from withdrawal. Without a doubt, withdrawals indicate alcoholism, so if you are having trouble sleeping, experiencing loss of appetite, experiencing trembling or shakiness, then you need to seek intervention as soon as possible.
When it comes to alcohol and alcoholism, you need to have an excellent understanding of what signs to look out for. If you are going through one or more of the signs above, you need to seek intervention today. Do not allow alcohol to take control of your life and ruin the relationship you have built with your family and friends. If you are in need of information regarding drug and substance abuse, as well as alcohol addiction and treatment, you can find more at ARC.