Category: Alcohol abuse

alcohol problem

5 Signs You May Have an Alcohol Problem

How many mornings have you woken up with a pounding headache, a foul taste in your mouth, and a fear that you might throw up? Have you ever found your wallet empty, texted a friend to ask what happened, or discovered a stranger in your bed?

How many times have you said “I’m never drinking again, and this time I mean it”? If these questions hit a little too close to home, maybe it’s time to admit that you have an alcohol problem. Of course, there are other warning signs that alcohol has taken over your life. Let’s explore 7 of them.

1. Lying About or Hiding Your Consumption

Let’s say that your friend meets you at the bar and asks if you’ve been pre-gaming. Do you answer honestly, or do you say you’ve only had one beer when in fact you’re on your second or third?

Have you ever kept a bottle hidden in your closet, dresser drawer, or gym bag so that family members or roommates won’t know you’re imbibing? Maybe you have switched from wine bottles to boxes of wine because no one can see if that box is full or empty.

2. Shirking Your Scheduled Responsibilities

One sign that you might be dealing with alcohol addiction is if you frequently miss work, skip morning classes, or have to bail on a brunch date because you are too hungover.

Similarly, some alcoholics deliberately plan for hungover mornings by scheduling appointments or meetings later in the day. Either one of these scenarios points to a problem.

3. Not Being Able to Stop Once You Start

Another pretty common scenario you may have experienced is telling yourself, and/or the people around you, that you’re only going to have one or two glasses — but somehow polishing off the whole bottle anyway.

If this happens more often than not, especially when you do have to get up early or bring your A-game the next day, you might have issues with alcohol.

4. Drinking is Your Default Response

An argument with your spouse. A dressing-down at work. Losing a client or being passed over for a promotion. Feeling stressed. Worrying about the state of the world or bad news of any kind.

Whenever one of these situations occurs, is your first thought, “I need a drink”? When drowning your sorrows has taken center stage and pushed other, healthy coping skills to the wings, you could be addicted.

5. Engaging In Risky Behavior

People in the grips of addiction often make poor decisions. These include driving while intoxicated, going home with strangers, spending too much money, or drinking while taking a contraindicated medication. So-called “drunkorexia” — skipping a meal to get more intoxicated, more quickly — is another risky behavior.

So if you’ve frequently uttered “What was I even thinking?” in addition to “I’ll never have another drink,” you need to take a long, hard look at your relationship to alcohol.

Concerned That You Might Have an Alcohol Problem?

Everyone makes bad choices occasionally, and many people have had nights when they drank more than was reasonable. But if “occasionally” has turned into “often,” consider getting help for your alcohol problem.

Have questions? Want to find out how we can help? You can contact us anytime.

alcoholism stages

4 Stages of the Functioning Alcoholic

In 2018, an estimated 15 million people in the US showed signs of an Alcohol Use Disorder, but not every alcoholic hits rock bottom.

A functioning alcoholic is someone who is traversing alcoholism stages and has already developed a dependency, but still manages to maintain a hold on their life.

The 4 Alcoholism Stages of the Functioning Alcoholic

If you’re concerned about your own relationship with alcohol or someone close to you, then understanding the 4 stages of alcoholism can help you identify and prevent the development of alcoholism.   

Stage 1: Early Use (Pre-Alcoholic)

As with most relationships, the early stages are somewhat of a honeymoon period. A person’s relationship with alcohol is no different.

In the first stage of alcoholism the individual is yet to build up a notable tolerance or dependence on alcohol.

The individual is beginning to experiment with alcohol. Their drinking is often done socially, and they are beginning to experience the ‘buzz’ of drinking for the first time.

In this stage, the individual tries different types of alcohol to have a feel for the different effects.

There will be no sense of using alcohol as a coping mechanism at this point, although the individual will be becoming aware of how good drinking makes them feel.   

Stage 2: Increased Use (Early Alcoholic)

The most notable change as the individual enters this stage is the shift away from social drinking. 

The individual is likely to prefer drinking alone at this stage, often as a means of easing negative feelings such as anxieties and depressive thoughts. 

The individual’s tolerance is now increasing, and the individual will need to drink more to experience the same ‘buzz’ as before.

Alcohol will begin to become more prevalent in the individual’s life. More of their activities will be centered around drinking. The individual may begin to rely on alcohol in order to feel comfortable in social settings.

During the latter part of this stage, the individual may start to experience ‘blackout drunks,’ where they fail to remember anything from their drinking experience the night before.  

Stage 3: Problem Drinking (Middle Alcoholic)

In this stage, people around the individual will usually begin to notice behavioral and physical changes. They may be less obvious in a higher functioning alcoholic, but the individual will still display observable changes, such as:

  • Drinking during working hours
  • Increasing risks around alcohol such as driving after a few drinks
  • Increasing levels of aggression when drinking, often around loved ones.
  • Fluctuation in weight
  • A decrease in energy levels
  • Symptoms of depression

During this stage, the individual may verbalize their relationship with alcohol. It is often done defensively, comparing their drinking to more heavily affected alcoholics to illustrate that they don’t have a problem. 

They may also make seldom kept promises to people close to them regarding cutting down the frequency and amount of alcohol consumption.

The individual will often further isolate themselves as those around them become more concerned about their behavior when drinking. 

Stage 4: Addiction (Late Alcoholic) 

This is the point at which alcohol consumption becomes the chief priority of an individual. Drinking takes priority over employment, family, friends, and health.

Whilst a high functioning alcoholic will still be able to hold a job and maintain social ties, they will often feel it takes much more effort to behave normally.

The individual may experience shaking hands in the mornings and frequent heartburn as the physical addiction symptoms become more prevalent.

Attempts to cease drinking, even for a day, now come with negative side effects, which can include tremors and hallucinations.   

Finding Help

With around 20% of reported alcoholics being classed a ‘functional’ it can be difficult to notice the importance of seeking help.

If you or someone close to you is showing any signs of the four alcoholism stages mentioned in this article, then finding help is of utmost importance.

For further information on the four stages of functioning alcoholism and available treatments for alcoholism contact us today.  


functioning alcoholic

What Is a Functioning Alcoholic?

Alcoholism is far more common than you think. When people think of alcoholics, they have this image of someone who is always drunk. This person has possibly lost their job and fractured many relationships.

In reality, many are considered a functioning alcoholic and are not factored into the stereotypical image. The truth is that there are over 14 million Americans with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).

Read on to learn more about alcoholics who are considered highly functional. Explore why it is difficult to spot them and what to do when a problem is identified.

What Is a Functioning Alcoholic?

Every alcoholic is different in how they respond to and behave while under the influence. Some alcoholics can maintain a normal life despite heavy consumption. Medical professionals refer to these individuals as high-functioning alcoholics.

They can show up on time after a late night of drinking. Perhaps they are unaffected by hangovers.

These individuals are usually very social and have a good time with others while drinking. Therefore, they do not always jeopardize relationships with bad decisions.

For these reasons, it is hard for family members and friends to identify an issue. They merely see a person who is having a good time and keeping up with their responsibilities.

Is This Lifestyle Dangerous?

The negative consequences of alcoholism are undeniable. While a functional alcoholic may avoid issues in the short-term, the long-term will be a different story.

Consuming too much alcohol has many negative health outcomes. The most notorious is its impact on the liver.

The liver is a vital organ as it screens out blood toxins, regulates cholesterol and blood sugar, and creates proteins. The liver cannot adequately process excess amounts of alcohol.

This leads to inflammation, scarring, and buildup of fats. The result is alcoholic liver disease.

Jaundice and tremors are two of the most common symptoms of alcoholic liver disease. Early signs of the disease include diarrhea, abdominal pain, and frequent nausea.

Besides the liver, alcoholism is bad for the heart and weakens the immune system. It also increases your risk of developing cancer.

What Are the Signs There Is a Problem?

While it is hard to spot the highly functional type, there are warning signs of a functioning alcoholic. For example, you may notice that they start drinking very early in the day. Another sign is that they can consume large amounts of alcohol without getting drunk.

These individuals may use alcohol as a coping mechanism for stress. Also, they can get irritable if alcohol is not present.

In some cases, they will drink alcohol discretely or hide it altogether. When confronted about their alcohol use, these individuals will deny it and refuse to acknowledge a problem.

Seek Help Today

Continuing on this path is certain to lead to long-term health complications. For this reason, intervention and professional assistance are needed immediately.

Do not be afraid to seek help from an alcohol rehab center. Your loved one’s life may just depend on it.

If you are looking to help a high-functioning alcoholic, don’t wait. Our Florida rehab center is here for you, so contact us today for assistance.

early signs of alcoholism

What Are the Early Signs of Alcoholism?

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

Stage One

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. 

Stage Two

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.

Stage Three

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. 

Stage Four

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. 

Stage Five

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!



Types of Alcoholics

All Alcoholics Are Not the Same. 5 Types of Alcoholics You Did Not Know

Did you know that one in eight Americans are considered alcoholics? And while this may come as a surprise to you, there is more to this disease than meets the eye.

Let’s face it. Dealing with a loved one who battles alcoholism can be one of the most difficult challenges. But if you’re trying to find relevant treatment options, it’s important to understand who you’re dealing with.

Alcoholism has become a great problem in society. Unknowingly, people think that all alcoholics are similar. Here are the 5 types of alcoholics you didn’t know about. 

1. Young Adult Alcoholic

Did you know that the largest percentage of alcoholics are young adult alcoholics? Because this age group considers drinking to be a part of life, it’s harder to catch over overdrinking tendencies. 

In addition, many young adults aren’t always up for seeking help. And because alcoholism doesn’t normally run in their families, peer pressure can lead a young adult to problematic drinking. 

2. Young Antisocial Alcoholic

The second type of alcoholic is the young antisocial alcoholic. Teens who consume alcohol at an early age are more likely to acquire the disease. And because alcohol alters brain chemistry, young antisocial alcoholics are dysfunctional without it when they reach their mid-20s.

3. Functional Alcoholics

Successful and financially stable, these types of alcoholics are usually middle-aged adults. From the outside looking in, they look fine and don’t display rare behavior.

But as you begin to dig deeper, you will notice that functional alcoholics tend to have a smoking habit as well. Normally, they come from a family of functional alcoholics and will deal with depressive episodes frequently.

4. Intermediate Familial Alcoholics

The intermediate familial alcoholic comes from family members of alcoholics. Because the disease has become a part of the genes, it’s normal for your loved one to consume alcohol as a means to escape reality

In addition, intermediate familial alcoholics are also known for their cocaine use. An intensive detox program is essential in order for this type of alcoholic to heal.

5. Chronic Alcoholics

Last on our list of types of alcoholics are going to be chronically ill drinkers. Very few people in the population are considered these kinds of alcoholics. When asked to stop, these types of alcoholics just don’t know how to. In addition, it is not uncommon that these types of alcoholics usually have a problem with the law.

Learn About the Different Types of Alcoholics and More!

Whether you’re looking to learn about the different types of alcoholics or want to research the different rehabilitation options for your loved one, we’re here to help. We know how difficult it may be to find a trusted rehabilitation facility. Fortunately, we’ve been serving Florida residents for over 30 years, giving their families the help they need to overcome this difficult time. 

Want to take a tour of our facility? We’d love to have you. Feel free to Contact Us and a member of our team will be more than happy to answer all of your questions. 


Stages of Alcoholism

Which Stage Are You? 5 Different Stages of Alcoholism

No one wakes up one day and decides, “I’m going to be an alcoholic.” 

First of all, that would be insane, and secondly, alcoholism isn’t that simple. It’s something that builds over time, even if that timeline is a week or a month.

Everyone who becomes an alcoholic goes through the stages of alcoholism, whether they know it or not. 

Some stages are shorter or longer than others, but they build on each other all the same. 

Learn what they are (and what to look out for, below). 

Stage 1: Binge Drinking or Experimentation

Many of us go through stages in our life where we binge drink. For most, it’s due to a binge drinking culture, like there is in college. 

 The only “qualifier” to be in or have gone through this stage, is drinking a large amount of alcohol at once. 

Consuming those large amounts starts to lead to dependency, even if it’s years down the line. 

Stage 2: Tolerance 

When someone doesn’t drink often, they’re usually called a “lightweight.” That means it doesn’t take much alcohol to get them drunk. 

But as you drink more and more often, your tolerance builds. That means it takes more alcohol to get you to the same level of drunk, over time. 

As you start needing more and more alcohol, to feel the same way as you did a month ago, your body is building a physical dependence.

People in this stage are moderate drinkers, though still drink mostly in social settings. They may find they seek out more opportunities to drink, even if it’s subconscious.  

Stage 3: Problem Drinking 

Once you start to build up a physical dependence on alcohol, it’s not long until you create an emotional one. 

This stage is the most obvious, as it marks a clear change in the persons’ behavior. We see that in the form of relationship issues, changes in friend groups (like only hanging out with people that drink), more unpredictable and unsafe behavior, and, sometimes, isolation. 

Stage 4: Withdrawal Symptoms 

After you start building a physical tolerance, then an emotional one, your body starts to expect alcohol. 

When it doesn’t get alcohol (, or your current “dose” wears off, it creates a reaction to get you to give it more. We call this alcohol withdrawal. 

Symptoms include:

  • Irritability
  • Racing heart
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Body tremors

As addiction progresses, the symptoms of withdrawal get worse, and in the cases of long-time alcoholics, it can sometimes be fatal. 

We recommend supervised withdrawal treatment for anyone attempting to get sober.

The Stages of Alcoholism: Addiction

We call the final stages of alcohol addiction just that, addiction. It’s when the person cannot function without alcohol, due to emotional and physical withdrawal symptoms. 

Alcohol and finding alcohol are the only thing that matters to this person – which hurts themselves and everyone else in their life

If you’re witnessing someone you love going through the stages of alcoholism, don’t wait! Getting them the help they need early on can save their life. 

Please don’t assume that you or a loved one isn’t “addicted enough” to need treatment – call our helpline and talk to a counselor today!  

how to stop binge drinking

Signs and Symptoms of Binge Drinking: How to Stop Binge Drinking

Some people can have an alcoholic drink and be able to stop at just one. Others can feel strongly compelled to have multiple drinks and can struggle to see if their drinking is problematic or not.

Binge drinking is a problem that affects people from a variety of backgrounds. It is a prevalent issue, but many people have trouble identifying binge drinking behavior.

If you want to know the signs of binge drinking and how to stop binge drinking, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s our quick guide on the symptoms of binge drinking.

What Is Binge Drinking?

Binge drinking is a pattern of excessive drinking that can bring a person’s blood alcohol level to 0.08 grams or above.

This usually occurs when men consume five or more drinks in two hours. For women, the number is typically around four in the same time frame.

One important thing to understand is that binge drinking isn’t the same as alcoholism.

Alcoholism involves having a physical and mental dependence on alcohol. People who binge drink can go several days or weeks without drinking, but tend to consume a large amount of alcohol when they drink.

That isn’t to say that someone that binge drinks isn’t at a huge risk for developing alcoholism, they just aren’t technically alcoholics at the moment.

What are the Signs of Binge Drinking?

There are signs of binge drinking that go beyond drinking a lot in a short amount of time. If you exhibit any of these behaviors, you could have a problem with binging alcohol.

Inability to Have a Single Drink

Whenever you start drinking, you can’t stop at one or two even if you feel like you should slow down.

You always want to drink as much as you can, as fast as you can. Your aim isn’t to have a few drinks with friends, you want to get drunk.

Blacking Out and Forgetting

When most people think about blacking out when they’re drunk, they think about dramatically losing consciousness. The truth is that you could be “blacking out” in less intense ways when you binge drink.

Tending to forget what happened during large chunks of your night out can be a sign of binge drinking. Also, being surprised at the number of drinks you’ve had is another sign of having a binging problem.

Shame and Concern

Are you concerned about the amount you drink? Have your friends or family members commented on the number of drinks you have when you’re together?

You may have fleeting thoughts about cutting down on your alcohol intake. It’s possible that you may even feel ashamed of the way you act when you drink, and your inability to cut down.

How to Stop Binge Drinking

If you’re reading this post and see yourself identifying with troubling behavior, it’s time to get help.

Letting your friends and family know about your concerns over your drinking behavior can help. They can help ensure that you don’t drink a lot when you’re out and can give you plenty of love and support.

When you’re at the point of searching for the phrase “how to stop binge drinking” for help, sometimes simply promising to stay away from alcohol isn’t enough. It may be time to get professional help.

We’re experts on addiction. If you have any questions about treatment or how to stop binge drinking, we’re always here to help. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today so we can help you on your journey to sobriety.

common behaviors of an alcoholic

4 Common Behaviors of an Alcoholic

Coming home after a long day at work and pouring yourself a strong drink can be the perfect way to end the evening.

Unfortunately for some, it doesn’t always end with just one drink. Alcoholism affects approximately 15 million American adults, but only one in 10 will actually seek treatment. Those that suffer from alcoholism may not seek treatment for the simple reason that they might not be aware of or refuse to acknowledge the disease.

More often than not, it takes a loved one to point out the signs and symptoms.

It’s easy to hide alcoholism behind a bad day or social drinking, so it can be difficult to spot the disease. There are, however, several common behaviors of an alcoholic that you can look out for.

Keep reading for some of the top behavioral traits to look for.

1. Regular Blackouts

A blackout happens when a person has had so much alcohol that they lose their memory and can even physically pass out.

While it’s not uncommon for a person to have a few too many and experience a blackout, alcoholics are more susceptible to experiencing regular blackouts. If you notice that someone is regularly passing out after drinking or has trouble recalling the night they went drinking, this could be a sign of alcoholism.

2. The Inability to Stop Drinking

When we are out partying with friends, it can be tough to stop pouring the drinks. After all, why should the fun stop?

A person who is not suffering from alcoholism will have the self-control to know when it’s time to stop drinking. However, a person struggling with the disease will be unable to know where the line is or simply won’t want to put down the drink.

You will also notice that a person suffering from alcoholism will be unable to go long periods of time without drinking. This could be as little as missing out on the weekend drinking or it could be as severe as needing to have a drink on a daily basis.

3. Sudden or Unexplained Aggression

A person who is suffering from alcoholism may exhibit more aggressive behavior than they normally would.

This sometimes results from over intoxication, but it also happens because alcohol addiction can cause severe cravings. When a person is experiencing cravings, it can be related to feeling like every receptor in your brain is screaming at you for alcohol. You can probably understand how this can make a person feel angry.

4. Isolation

Those suffering from the disease often try to hide it from their loved ones.

Alcoholics may act sociable at work or family outings, but when they’re not required to be somewhere, they often spend their time drinking at home alone or in bars. It’s not uncommon for alcoholics to discourage family and friends from visiting because they would rather spend their time drinking in solitude.

What to Do If You Notice These Common Behaviors of an Alcoholic

Remember that these are some of the most common behaviors you’ll notice, but they are not the only signs. Each person suffering from alcoholism will show signs in their own unique way.

If you have noticed these signs in a person close to you, you might feel the need to confront them right away. It is important that you hold off on confronting the individual, as alcoholism is not very easy to accept.

It is critical that you reach out to professionals to guide you through the intervention process. Contact us today if you feel as though you know someone exhibiting any of these common behaviors of an alcoholic.

how to prevent alcoholism

How to Prevent Alcoholism: 5 Strategies to Avoid Abuse and Dependence

What are the best strategies to avoid alcohol? There could be people in your life struggling with excessive drinking. They will also have a hard time stopping this problem on their own.

To fight this issue, there are key techniques you can use to keep your alcohol consumption under control.

This article provides important tips to prevent abuse and dependence.

1. Learn How To Prevent Alcoholism — Stop Going to Bars

To learn how to prevent alcoholism, be more conscious of the social places you frequent.

If you’re a social person, you might be in the habit of frequenting bars with your friends. However, if you have a drinking problem, you need to stop going to bars where you’re likely to engage in unhealthy drinking.

This does not mean you have to stop being a social person.

Instead of going to a bar, there are other alternatives you can try. You can go to the movies with your friends, to the park, football games, and other fun non-drinking activities where you will not be tempted to drink.

2. Socialize With Non-Drinkers

You’re more likely to drink if you’re surrounded by other drinkers. Therefore, you need to learn how to socialize with friends who are non-drinkers. This is the safest and most effective way for you to interact with your social circle.

If you don’t have friends that are non-drinkers, try making new friends. This helps you to stay sober and to make adjustments for less alcohol consumption.

3. Avoid Binge Drinking

If you’re not careful, you could end up drinking too much booze. Since heavy drinking leads to alcohol dependence, you should limit the amount of alcohol you drink in one social setting.

At a social scene, you don’t have to drink alcohol. To avoid binge drinking, it is better for you to drink sips of water or fruit juice beverages. By engaging in this healthy habit, it is easier for you to avoid alcohol and alcoholism.

4. Remove Alcohol From Your Home

When you’re dealing with depression, you might feel the need to reach for some booze. Remove alcohol from your life by throwing out all the bottles you own.

To cut back on alcohol, it is necessary to discard all the alcoholic beverages from your home. Keeping alcohol can be difficult and makes it easier for you to get tempted to take a drink. Each time you look at a bottle, you will have to deal with the powerful urge to start drinking.

To avoid alcohol cravings, keep your home completely alcohol-free. This is a precaution that helps you to achieve long-term sobriety.

5. Get Help from a Support Group

To stop alcohol abuse, consider joining a support group. This solution helps you to learn how to reduce your dependence on alcohol and helps you to have control of your situation.

Get Your Life Back on Track

Drinking alcohol is a normal social activity, but it can also cause you to develop an unhealthy habit.

If you want to get information that teaches you how to prevent alcoholism, learn about our support groups and addiction treatment.

ptsd and alcohol

PTSD and Alcohol Addiction: How Are They Related?

15 million adults in the U.S struggle with alcoholism. 88,000 will die from it every year. The figures are even more alarming for alcoholics who have also been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Research shows a clear link between PTSD and alcohol abuse. We’ll take a closer look at the connection, the reason behind it and where to find help.

What Is PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a psychiatric disorder that occurs in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. For example, many military veterans experience PTSD as a result of their time in combat.

PTSD can also affect people who survive a natural disaster, an accident, a terrorist act, sexual assault or childhood trauma. Someone can develop PTSD even if they didn’t experience the event themselves but only heard about it from a person close to them. 

PTSD affects 3.5 percent of adults in the U.S. Women are twice as likely as men to have it.

It’s most often seen in veterans. 11 percent of combat vets show symptoms of PTSD soon after deployment. Nearly 17 percent experience symptoms six months after returning home.

What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?

People with PTSD often relive the traumatic event through flashbacks or nightmares. They experience profound sadness, fear, and anger. They may appear detached from other people.

Other common symptoms can include:

  1. Intrusive thoughts like reoccurring dreams. Someone with PTSD might feel like they’re actually going through the traumatic experience again.
  2. Avoidance of anything that may remind them of the trauma. This can include people, places, activities, and situations. 
  3. Negative thoughts about themselves. They may experience feelings of horror, anger, guilt, or shame.
  4. Unusual reactions to everyday events. They may be irritable and demonstrate angry outbursts. They may act recklessly or in a self-destructive way. They’re easily startled and have trouble concentrating and sleeping.

Some people may experience one or more of these symptoms temporarily after a car accident, for example. In people with PTSD, symptoms can last for months and sometimes years. 

What Is the Connection Between PTSD and Alcohol Abuse?

The data is clear in establishing a connection between PTSD and alcohol abuse.

As many as 75 percent of people who survived abuse or traumatic events report drinking problems.  Up to a third of those who report drinking problems have survived traumatic accidents, illness or disaster.

The question often becomes, which came first? The drinking or the trauma? Mental health professionals now believe it can go either way.

Some people drink heavily to cope with the trauma they experienced. Others experience traumatic events as a direct result of their addiction to alcohol. 

Effective treatment then would involve integrated therapy to address both issues. The most commonly used treatments are talk therapy and medication. The goal is to help them recover from PTSD and also learn to enjoy a sober life

Final Thoughts

If you’ve experienced a traumatic event, know that you’re not alone. 60 percent of men and 50 percent of women have experienced at least one in their lives.

Treatment is available for PTSD and alcohol addiction. If you or someone you love needs help, please contact us any time.