For someone that drinks moderately, alcoholism isn’t much of a concern, but if it starts to consume all of your time and looks like its getting out of control, this could be a sign of going down the dangerous road to addiction.
The term alcoholism is quite often used commonly and jokingly in our American society. However, alcoholism is a serious addiction that can lead to many health and family problems. So whether you’re reading this for yourself or a friend, it’s important to know the early signs of alcoholism.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism or alcohol use disorder is the most extreme form of alcohol abuse. There are 3 different stages of the disorder; mild, moderate, and severe. Each stage has a number of different symptoms and harmful side effects.
A person that is grappling with alcoholism will have the feeling as though they cannot function without drinking alcohol, they become fully dependant on it. That in itself is a serious issue, but it also brings on many other overall health and relationship issues too!
What Are the Early Signs of Alcoholism
According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, more than 7.2% of American adults in 2012 had been diagnosed with alcoholism (that’s more than 17 million people).
This is a serious problem in American and raising awareness and knowing the early signs can help prevent and recover from it.
We can break alcoholism into 5 different stages
In the first stage of alcoholism, drinkers tend to be younger adults who are experimenting and testing their limits without even realizing it.
They engage in regular binge drinking and consume an exceptional amount of alcohol all at one time.
Once in stage two, drinkers are no longer experimenting and consumption become even more frequent. This usually involves them drinking every weekend instead of just at parties.
The drinker will begin to start looking for excuses to consume more alcohol at this stage as well.
In this stage, they will start losing control and the abuse becomes problem drinking. This involves the person starting to experience the results of their bad habit.
You also can start becoming more depressed, increased anxiety, and lose sleep.
After they reach stage four, drinkers have developed dependence and addiction. Although it is possible to develop both of these before stage four. The addiction to alcohol has taken over your regular day to day life and have lost complete control over your alcohol consumption.
With dependence, you may be experiencing withdrawal symptoms as you sober up.
In the final stage of alcoholism, you no longer drink for please and have a constant need to have alcohol in your system.
You mentally and physically crave alcohol and can be inconsolable.
Addiction to Alcohol
One of the biggest problems with heavy drinkers is they don’t think they have a problem. Alcoholism can not only ruin your relationships and friendships, but also your body.
It leads to
- Liver and brain damage
- Malnutrition and heart disease
- Mental disorders and increased risk of suicide
Help is available though and now you know the early signs of alcoholism. If you or someone you know might be becoming addicted or has already, contact us for help!