Are you worried about the amount you drink? Or are you concerned about a loved one? In this blog post, we’ll look at the warning signs of alcoholism and what you can do about them.
What are the warning signs of being an alcoholic?
The following are possible warning signs of alcoholism:
– You want to cut down on alcohol use
– People who know you are concerned about your use of alcohol
– You drink first thing in the morning to recover from a hangover
– You often exceed the low-risk limit for drinking
– You experience memory loss as a result of drinking
– You let people down as a result of your drinking (e.g. you miss appointments)
The above list is not a set-in-stone definition. It’s possible to be an alcoholic of some kind and tick none of the items above.
What is an alcoholic?
There are two main things to think about when considering how a person uses alcohol. Alcohol misuse (sometimes called alcohol abuse) and alcohol dependence. It’s the second phrase there — alcohol dependence — which is sometimes called alcoholism. From a medical perspective, there’s a difference between the two.
What is alcohol misuse?
Alcohol abuse is excessive drinking which has a negative effect on your life.
For example, if you drink to the point that you risk your own health or another person’s health, you are misusing alcohol.
Drinking to the extent that it has a negative effect on your ability to work is another example of alcohol misuse. For example, you turn up late to work due to a hangover.
Another common example of alcohol misuse is when excessive drinking has an impact on your relationships. If you break up with a partner because you are unable to stop drinking, you may be misusing alcohol.
If you misuse alcohol, you should consider rehab.
What is alcohol dependence?
Alcohol dependence, or alcoholism, means that you feel that you are unable to function without a drink. For people dependent on alcohol, it is a very important (or even the most important) part of their life.
People who are alcohol dependent often build up a tolerance to alcohol, meaning they need to drink more to feel the effects of alcohol.
Also, they can become physically dependent on alcohol. This means that you will experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop drinking.
Overcoming alcohol dependence usually requires rehab and therapy. You’ll also need to detox from alcohol — which can be dangerous. We recommend detoxing under medical supervision.
What are the signs of alcohol withdrawal?
The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are split into three sets. The first symptoms of alcohol withdrawal usually occur within eight hours of the last drink. These include nausea, anxiety, insomnia and abdominal pains. The times given here are typical, but not exact — sometimes they can occur much later than normal.
The second set of symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can occur from 24 hours to 72 hours after the last drink. These include high blood pressure, confusion, increased body temperature and an unusual heartbeat.
The final set of symptoms of alcohol withdrawal usually occur 72 hours after the last drink. These include hallucinations, fever, seizures and agitation. This final stage is by far the most dangerous. Get medical help immediately if you are experiencing the above.
What are the signs that an alcoholic is drinking again?
We often hear from family members or partners who are worried that a loved one has started drinking again. Be alert for the following signs of a relapse:
– Obvious signs of drinking, such as empty bottles, missing money or hangovers.
– They are missing appointments, especially therapy sessions.
– They are exhibiting withdrawal symptoms again, such as nausea, anxiety and insomnia.
– They are stressed. This is often a trigger to relapse.
– They deny or downplay their alcohol problem.
– They have started hanging out with people who drink excessively.
You can contact Charterhouse Clinic 24/7 if you are worried about a family member relapsing.