Alcoholism Warning Signs
The actual diagnosis of alcohol abuse or alcoholism is best left to a professional, but there are Signs and Alcoholism Warning Signs that help the rest of us see the potential for health problems.
The following is a Checklist of Signs and Symptoms to look for when the possibility of a problem exists:
1. NEED EVERYDAY: The illness causes a person to experience a strong craving for alcohol, a compulsive need to drink. The daily schedule begins to focus on access to alcohol, and some will develop rituals to accommodate that need. They may become angry if the ritual is interrupted, or be irritable when they don’t get that first drink of the day on time.
2. COMMONLY OUT of CONTROL: People who are in the grips of this disease often find they cannot stop drinking once they start. They may isolate themselves and drink alone, or sneak a drink when no one is looking. They may hide alcohol in unusual places to make sure they have access to it. The disease can cause a person to lose interest in family, friends, hobbies and work. They may lose track of conversations, or not remember conversations from the previous day. As the disease progresses they might encounter legal problems, such as DUI, financial, etc.
3. DEPENDENCE/WITHDRAWAL: Once addicted, people will suffer withdrawal Alcoholism Warning Signs if they don’t drink. People may get “the shakes,” become anxious, sweat, get chills, or have nausea.
4. MORE TOLERANCE: More and more alcohol is needed to get “high” as the disease progresses. Perhaps they order doubles, or guzzle drinks to get intoxicated. It takes more to “feel normal” How long this takes, or how much alcohol is needed depends on the individual. The drink of preference is not the determining factor.
This list helps us to understand that alcoholics are suffering from a illness, and telling them to exercise a little willpower to overcome the problem isn’t the solution. They need to drink, the craving, is VERY powerful and to the alcoholic can be just as “necessary” as eating and sleeping.
The first step in the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-Step program is admitting “we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.” Like cancer, or heart disease, intervention is necessary to help a person through the recovery process. The first step is important because the person who has the disease is probably going to be the last person to accept that fact.
Am I An Alcoholic?
These are some questions to ask yourself or your loved one about your/their own experience with drinking, or what you observe in another person.
Do you need a drink right away in the morning?
Do you think it would be good to drink less?
DO you get angry if someone comments about your/their drinking?
Do you feel guilty about drinking?
Answering yes to these questions doesn’t necessarily mean the disease of alcoholism has set in, but does indicate the potential for the problem. If you suspect there is a problem in your life, we encourage you to get help from a professional.
If someone you love, one of your friends, someone you work with exhibits any of the symptoms of alcoholism, or gives “yes” answers to these questions, you need to encourage them to seek help.
How To Help An Alcoholic
Like any other disease, if the Signs Alcohol Addiction are caught early, the long-term chances for recovery are improved. Try to catch the problem before it causes serious health problems, broken marriages, destroyed relationships and legal entanglements. For the person suffering from the effects of the disease, it’s very difficult to be objective about what is really happening to them. Intervention is important.
If you are watching alcohol harm someone you know, do not be afraid to be the “bad guy.” Talk with them, intervene, seek help, and speak up. You may just save a life.
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