Whether it’s you or you’re a concerned family member, it’s not always easy to know when an alcoholic’s drinking has turned from social or moderate drinking to problem drinking. Alcoholism — and certainly alcohol abuse — can disguise itself, so it’s important to be aware of alcoholism warning signs and symptoms in order to take the first steps in beating it.
Alcohol Abuse Warning Signs and Symptoms
It’s important to realize that there are some distinct differences between alcohol abuse and alcoholism, and not every alcohol abuser will become an alcoholic. Unlike alcoholics, people who abuse alcohol have some control of their drinking, and are able to take steps to limit their drinking when they want to. Even so, alcohol abusers still can be both destructive to themselves and dangerous to others.
Common signs that you are walking on the path to alcohol abuse include drinking as a way to relieve stress or to relax, using alcohol in dangerous situations, like driving, getting involved in legal trouble as a result of your drinking, and neglecting responsibilities as a result of drinking, whether at work, school or home.
Alcoholism Warning Signs and Symptoms
On the other hand, the signs and symptoms of alcoholism to be on the lookout for include both tolerance sings and withdrawal signs.
- Alcohol Tolerance - This is often the first major warning sign and symptom of alcoholism. Do you find that you need to drink more and more than you previously did in order to get that same relaxed or “buzzed” feeling? Can you drink more than your friends or family members without getting intoxicated? What this can mean is that it takes more and more alcohol to feel the same effects. In other words, you’ve built up a tolerance for alcohol.
- Alcohol Withdrawal - Do you hands shake in the morning, which is relieved by having a drink? Other alcohol withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, sweating, nausea, vomiting, headache, depression, fatigue, loss of appetite, irritability, and insomnia. In very severe cases, an individual may experience hallucinations, seizures, fever, agitation, and confusion as alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Fortunately, there are alcohol abuse and alcoholism treatment programs available, including holistic drug and alcohol treatment and 12-step drug and alcohol programs. These and other similar treatment programs can be found through addictionsymptoms.org. Simply complete the form or call the toll-free phone number and a supportive counselor will be in touch with you right away.