Alcoholism is one of the most common addictions now experienced across the UK. Down to its rapid effects and easy accessibility, more and more people turn to alcohol, where it’s used as a coping strategy, as an escape. It’s also perceived as a low-risk addiction to experience, down to the normalisation of excessive alcohol consumption. Yet, this branding is even more dangerous, pushing the signs of alcoholism to the backburner, allowing an addiction to develop.
Although a common consensus shows the addictive tendencies of alcohol, the key difference is that the signs of being an alcoholic can vary from person to person. From genetics, environments, and underlying causations, to the type of alcohol and quantity which has been consumed, many factors can control the early signs of alcoholism.
There are however a group of common signs, which we encourage all alcohol drinkers to familiarise themselves with. This is important as an alcohol addiction can impact any individual, at any given time. Alcoholism is a brain illness, unintentionally developed through alcohol abuse. With this in mind, recognising the signs of alcoholism, physical, psychological, behavioural and social is very important, potentially saving your own or someone else’s life.
If you’re personally suffering with alcoholism, spot the signs of alcohol abuse within a loved one, or worry that your alcohol consumption is becoming excessive, we can help you here at Action Rehab. Reach out for support if you are affected by alcoholism.
What is alcoholism?
As touched on above, alcoholism is where a dependence on alcohol is present. Here is where individuals will rely upon alcohol for its escapism effects, for its relaxing or distressing characteristics.
Down to the normalisation of binge drinking, especially in the UK, there are high concerns for alcoholism rates. Many individuals will believe that their alcohol consumption is safe or reflects the consumption of an average person. Through the blurred lines, many alcoholism diagnoses are undetected, where the development of chronic alcohol addictions can arise.
As alcohol consumption is also perceived as less hazardous, the signs of alcoholism can also be brushed under the carpet. Many will associate the signs and symptoms of an addiction with stress or their lifestyle. However, here is where alcohol abuse can develop into a severe psychological dependence on alcohol, difficult to break away from.
With this in mind, understanding the signs of alcoholism is very important for your own benefit and for those around you. Some individuals will genuinely fail to recognise alcoholism within themselves, while others will live through denial.
Signs of alcoholism
The signs of being alcohol dependent can vary from person to person. There are a number of contributing factors which can disproportion the signs and symptoms. From personal factors, such as genetics and pre-existing mental health issues, to environments, social triggers, existing physical health problems and the type of substance, signs can deviate significantly.
However, there are common signs of alcohol abuse which can be recognised, especially if excessive, long-term alcohol consumption is taking place. Familiarising yourself with them will be recommended, reducing the chance of addictive behaviours.
Physical signs of alcoholism
There are many physical signs of alcoholism which you can look out for personally. Although some will reflect further physical health problems, it is important that you consider your alcohol consumption rate before justifying your drinking habits.
- The need for greater quantities of alcohol to influence intoxication.
- Insomnia, headaches and dehydration.
- Experience of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, if high levels of alcohol consumption have reduced.
- A change in weight.
- Excessive sweating, or the general feeling of flu.
- Early signs of liver damage from alcohol.
Psychological signs of alcoholism
Psychological signs of alcoholism can be harder to personally pinpoint, especially as a large proportion of addictions are fuelled from underlying mental health issues or cognitive changes. However, there are some signs to look out for.
- Associated mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety.
- Memory problems.
- Irritability or the inability to focus.
- Psychological cravings of alcohol.
- Justifying alcohol consumption.
- Stress related alcoholism.
- Mood swings, coinciding with alcohol consumption.
- Psychological reliance on alcohol.
- Reduced self-esteem.
If you do notice that your mental health has changed, coinciding with increased alcohol consumption, it is important that you consider the support of specialists. An addiction, or even a dual diagnosis could be developing.
Behavioural and social signs of alcoholism
Long-term, excessive alcohol abuse will change behaviours over time. Alcohol will soon cause adaptations within the brain, changing actions, decisions, outlooks, attitudes and personalities.
- Prioritising alcohol consumption.
- Drinking heavily, alone or at inappropriate times.
- Hiding alcohol consumption from others.
- Associating oneself with other heavy drinkers.
- Avoiding contact with reality, whether that’s loved ones or career responsibilities.
- Fuel ongoing alcohol consumption, no matter the consequences.
- Losing interest in other activities, which do not involve drinking alcohol.
Getting help for alcoholism
Above are the common signs of a functioning alcoholic. If you’re concerned that your consumption has increased, where signs of alcoholism have presented themselves, please do not panic. Recognising the signs of alcoholism will benefit your long-term quality of life, by advancing your exposure to early intervention.
Through our referral service here at Action Rehab, we can help you find effective addiction treatment to work through alcoholism. We can also help you if you believe that a loved one is abusing alcohol, where the signs of alcoholism are easily identifiable.
The above range of physical, psychological, behavioural and social reactions are the first signs of alcohol damage to the body and mind. Without considering professional support, here is where the impacts of alcoholism can deteriorate, turning into a high functioning addiction, controlling all aspects of life.
With this in mind, as soon as you spot the signs of alcoholism, reaching out for support is recommended. It’s important that assessments can be made, either ruling out alcoholism or progressing ahead with addiction treatment. Through our referral service, we can help you with these steps, confidentially and efficiently.
Understanding the dangers of alcohol abuse is important. Likewise, recognising the signs of alcoholism can reduce the damage you personally experience, or those around you.
Posted on Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 at 12:35 pm in Latest News.