How do you know if you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism? What if you only drink on the weekends or during the evening? Are you still considered an alcoholic?
The signs of alcoholism are clearly defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. When you’re ready to discover the most common signs to determine whether you’re suffering from an alcohol disorder, read on.
Definition of Alcoholism
Alcoholism, otherwise known as alcohol use disorder (AUD), is defined by an impaired ability to control one’s alcohol use despite the negative repercussion it has on one’s life. Those suffering from this disorder display psychological and physical signs of alcoholism. It often affects all aspects of one’s life: job, school, and home life.
1. Participating in Unsafe Behaviors
One of the early signs of alcoholism, especially in teens and young adults, is your likelihood of participating in unsafe behaviors while drinking. Such behaviors include activities like the following:
- Driving under the influence
- Swimming while intoxicated
- Visiting dangerous areas for fun
- Participating in unprotected sex
If you would second guess pursuing the behavior while sober, then it’s considered an unsafe behavior.
2. Affecting Your Mental Health
Do you continue to drink though it makes you feel depressed or anxious? Do you have memory blackouts? Does your drinking have a negative impact on your thought or emotions?
If so, it’s one of the most common signs of alcohol addiction. If you feel as though you can’t stop drinking even though you know it’s hurting your mental health, then it might be a sign you need some form of alcohol detox.
3. Imbibing Large Quantities Regularly
How often do you drink? How often do you drink? If you regularly drink more or longer than you intended, it’s one of the signs and symptoms of alcoholism.
Moderate drinking means 2 alcoholic drinks or fewer per day. That’s the norm for folks who don’t suffer from AUD.
4. Drinking Interferes with Regular Activities
How often does drinking, or do hangovers, interfere with your home life? Your family life? Your school or job?
AUD will cause a ripple effect throughout your life. It often affects everything from your marriage to your career. If you’re using one of those factors (family, work, or school) as an excuse to avoid a resident alcohol rehabilitation program, consider an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) instead.
5. Suffering from Withdrawal Symptoms
Do you feel terrible when you try to stop drinking? Do you suffer from any of the following symptoms:
- Excessive sweating
- Racing heart
These are withdrawal symptoms, a sign that your body’s neurochemistry is dependent on the chemical effects of alcohol.
Beyond the Signs of Alcoholism
Understanding the signs of alcoholism is your first step toward a diagnosis. The next step is to visit your primary care physician or psychologist. If you have additional questions or would like to enroll in a recovery program, contact your local recovery center today.