3 Warning Signs of Alcohol Addiction and Abuse

Warning Signs of Alcohol Addiction and Abuse (Image Source: Shutterstock)

What is Alcohol?

Alcohol is a psychoactive substance. Ethanol is the main ingredient in alcoholic drinks and is responsible for the general drunk feeling you experience after a few drinks. Wine, beer, and liquor are some of the most popular alcoholic drinks. Beer has the lowest alcohol percentage or content by volume (ABV) of 4% and 5%. Wine, especially the one made from grapes, has an average of 12% ABV. Liquor has the highest alcohol percentage of about 40%. Liquors include vodka, whiskey, gin, rum, and tequila.

Liquor Has The Highest Alcohol Percentage of About 40%. (Image Source: Shutterstock)
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Liver disease
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Digestive problems
  • Pancreatitis
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Brain and nerve damage
  • Dementia
  • Unintentional injuries to others or self

What is Alcohol Use Disorder or Addiction?

Most of the time, it’s hard differentiating between casual use and abuse. Just over 85 percent of people aged eighteen and older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime. In 2019, almost 70 percent of US adults reported consuming alcohol in the past year. While there is no telling how much alcohol is risk-free, some drinking patterns can increase your risk of addiction.

Alcohol Use Disorder — A New Approach │ Interior Health
  • 25.8 percent of people aged 18 and older report binge drinking in the past month.
  • 29.7 percent of men and 22.2 percent of women aged 18 and older report binge drinking.
  • 6.3 percent of adults (8.3 percent men and 4.5 percent women) report heavy alcohol in the past month.

What are the 3 Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse?

Alcoholism progresses over time, and many people don’t even realize that they have a drinking problem until it’s too late. Learning how to identify the signs of alcohol use disorder can help you start treatment early. Alcoholism can affect you physically, psychologically, and socially.

Physical

The physical signs of alcohol abuse include:

  • Drinking more than usual
  • Sacrificing more of your time, energy, and money to drink
  • Spending a lot of time blacked out, being hangover, or getting over the effects of alcohol
  • Engaging in risky behavior like driving too fast or having unsafe sex
  • Injuring yourself more often since alcohol and workouts don’t tend to mix
  • Having poor hygiene and not taking care of yourself
  • Experiencing signs of intoxication like poor coordination, walking problems, and slurred speech regularly
  • Constantly smelling alcoholic drinks or empty alcohol bottles
  • Weight loss
  • Cardiac issues like irregular heartbeat, stroke, and high blood pressure
  • Weakening of the immune system
  • Liver problems like fibrosis, cirrhosis, hepatitis, and fatty liver
  • Certain cancers

Psychological

Psychological signs of alcoholism occur when long-term alcohol use interferes with brain functioning. The signs may include:

  • Mood changes
  • Increase in anger, irritability, and aggression
  • Memory, attention, and concentration problems
  • Anxiety
  • Failure to follow through on your responsibilities
  • Hallucinations and delusional periods, especially during withdrawal

Social

Alcohol can affect your social life leading to the following:

  • Isolation or spending less and less time with family and friends
  • Spending more time with new people, especially those who drink
  • Increase in shady behavior like deceit and lying
  • Refusing or forgetting to follow through on plans
  • Declining of performance at work, school, and sports
  • Increase in conflict with people around you like family, co-workers, and friends

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Alcoholism is a progressive disorder where the impact and effects get worse over time. Treating AUD in the early stages is the best way of preventing the long-term health effects of alcohol abuse. When you’re trying to recover from alcohol abuse, it goes beyond a simple hangover remedy. It even goes beyond knowing what foods to eat before drinking to avoid a hangover.

How to Treat Alcohol Addiction? — Doctor Explains │ How To Medicate
  • AA Speakers To Go
  • I Am Sober
  • NA Speakers
  • Recovery Box
  • Sober Grid

Alcohol Addiction Hotline: It’s Never Too Late to Get Help

Alcohol addiction can lead to physical, social, and psychological problems. A person struggling with alcoholism will find it difficult to quit independently and may even relapse several times. Alcohol anonymous hotlines are there to help those struggling with alcohol addiction. The numbers are usually toll-free, and calling one will connect you to a treatment facility, plus recovery and support groups like AA. Calling an AA hotline is the first step towards recovery. The numbers are also open to those struggling with withdrawal symptoms and those with loved ones going through alcohol addiction. It’s never too late to get help because there is always someone on the other end of that line willing to help.

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