Author: Alex Thompson

How To Identify An Alcoholic: Signs And Symptoms Of Alcohol Abuse

how to spot an alcoholic

That someone has become a staunch addict or that he is abusing beer or any other alcohol might not be obvious at a first glance. Despite its prevalence, alcoholism often goes undiagnosed and untreated. Understanding certain terminologies related to alcohol use will help facilitate a better understanding of the disorder. In other words, their behavior, rather than your reaction to their behavior, becomes the focus. It is only when they experience their own pain that they will feel a need to change.

Symptoms of dependence include becoming tolerant to some of alcohol’s effects and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when alcohol is not consumed. A person who is physically dependent on alcohol may also experience cravings — an intense need or desire to drink. That said, regular heavy drinking is an important warning sign for alcohol addiction, according to addiction experts at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Heavy drinking in conjunction with other behaviors can also signal a problem. As a person drinks more, the body learns to compensate by adjusting. As dependence develops, it becomes difficult for the person to stop drinking.

Unexpected and unaccounted mood swings in a normally tempered person, or someone who doesn’t suffer from mood swings might signal the beginning of the withdrawal symptoms. If a person displays alcohol withdrawal symptoms, it is plausible that he or she has been indulging in alcohol consumption for quite some time. Alcoholic thinking forces the person to obsess over trying to get drunk, which can lead to mood swings. Needing a drink first thing in the morning — or even in the middle of the night — to stave off nausea or stop the shakes are signs of dependence and withdrawal.

Alcohol has become his or her way of de-stressing, and without it, the person cannot calm down. Alcoholics often have defective red blood cells that die prematurely, which can cause a lower-than-normal red blood cell count. Gastrointestinal bleeding, a symptom some alcoholics experience, can also cause anemia, as can iron deficiency. Heavy drinking in and of itself doesn’t make someone an alcoholic. In fact, an estimated 40 million adults in America drink too much, and most — 90 percent — are not alcoholics. Drunk driving, drinking before or while at work, or drinking against doctor’s orders are clear indications of alcoholism.

A sudden change in alcohol tolerance is a revealing sign of on-going alcohol addiction or chronic alcohol abuse. The individual not only drinks more but also displays the symptoms of being inebriated long after the majority of his or her drinking companions. His or her body has gotten used to drinking alcohol in large quantities. This is an easy example of how to spot an alcoholic female that tries to hide her addiction.

how to spot an alcoholic

But the reality is that not even the person dependent on alcohol can control their drinking, try as they may. Individuals in the young adult subtype make up 31% of people addicted to alcohol in the U.S. They drink less frequently than the other subtypes, but when they do drink, they’re likely to overdo it and binge. They typically come from families with low rates of alcoholism.

Showing Physical Signs Of Alcoholism

This means that the body has adapted to constant alcohol exposure. A support group such as Al-Anon Family Groups may also be a helpful source of support when you have someone in your life with a drinking problem. The group can give you a place to get social support and encouragement from others going through a similar situation.

how to spot an alcoholic

You are likely to engage in several forms of therapy, from individual to group therapy. Disulfiram is an older drug that works by causing an adverse reaction to alcohol whenever you drink it. You’ll experience symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and flushing whenever you drink alcohol when on the medication. Alcohol use disorder is often linked to other mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety. Talking to a qualified therapist can help you get to the root of your condition and devise a means to kick it. The NIAAA has identified five subtypes that can help you better understand alcohol use disorder and how it affects different individuals.

Learn More About Alcoholism

Screening tests are available to help you assess your drinking habits and relationship with alcohol. Heavy alcohol use is the most identifying feature of alcohol use disorder. This indicates that the individual is conscious of the fact that his or her drinking habits are abnormal or troublesome and is trying to hide or play them down. People who misuse alcohol lie about or hide their drinking in an attempt to downplay the issue. If family members try to “help” by covering up for their drinking and making excuses for them, they are playing right into their loved one’s denial game.

  1. Casual drinking is having a few drinks with friends, having a glass of wine with dinner, or enjoying one glass of champagne.
  2. You do not have to put up with unacceptable behavior in your life.
  3. Symptoms of alcoholism and alcohol withdrawal may take a few hours or days to show and get worse over time.
  4. If family members try to “help” by covering up for their drinking and making excuses for them, they are playing right into their loved one’s denial game.
  5. It’s common for someone with AUD to try to blame their drinking on circumstances or others around them, including those who are closest to them.

Treatment for alcohol use disorder varies depending on the severity of your symptoms and how long the condition has persisted. The most common treatment options for people with the condition include the following listed below. The term alcoholic refers to a person with a condition known as alcohol use disorder (AUD). The disorder makes a person who has it experience an intense desire for alcohol even when it adversely affects their health.

Warning Signs You’re an Alcoholic

The combination of increased MCV levels and elevated GGT levels has a 90 percent sensitivity for detecting alcohol abuse, according to a study published in Current Psychiatry. Alcoholism is a disease that can affect both children and adults, but it doesn’t affect everyone the same way. For some people, just one drink can result in intoxication, while for others, many more drinks are necessary to create the same effect. Of distilled spirits, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). In terms of the effects on the body and brain, excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of various health issues for any user. If there are several similar episodes, you can assume with certainty that he or she often engages in binge drinking.

Your vigilance, appreciation, and swift action in reducing alcohol tolerance can save a life. Even if an addict has some conditions that do not let him enroll in the rehab for alcoholics for a long period, there is an outpatient treatment for alcoholism. Many people use the terms “alcohol abuse” and “alcoholism” interchangeably. However, alcoholism refers to alcohol addiction or dependence, where the individual has a physical or psychological compulsion to drink alcohol. Alcohol abuse refers to a pattern of behavior where a person drinks excessively in spite of the negative consequences.

Signs of Alcoholism & Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

As soon as the warning signs of alcoholism have become apparent, it is best to seek treatment right away and not wait for the disease to progress further. When alcoholism starts to affect day-to-day life, an intervention is needed. This unpleasantness forces a person to keep on drinking despite the fact that he or she is aware of the harmful symptoms of alcoholism and intents to quit. For many alcoholics, these manifestations start within a few hours of drinking the last alcoholic beverage. This is the rarest subtype, making up only 9% of people addicted to alcohol in the United States. Most individuals in this subtype are middle-aged and started drinking early.

Withdrawal symptoms appear when the body’s need for alcohol isn’t met. This usually happens when an alcoholic decides to suddenly stop drinking or has not consumed alcohol for a long period of time. Jellinek has contributed to how medical professionals understand alcoholism to this day. You may tell yourself that surely there is something you can do.