Since drinking is socially accepted all over the world, it can be hard to tell when someone has an actual problem with alcoholism. However, long-term alcoholism can cause serious mental and physical health complications, so it should be treated as soon as possible. Even though alcoholism can come with dangerous risks, full treatment and recovery is possible.
A person who has alcoholism may be in denial of their own disease and might not think they have a problem. On the other hand, their friends and family members might not even know that their loved one is suffering because they hide it so well. That is why it’s important for those suffering from alcoholism and the people close to them to understand the warning signs of this disease. So what signs should we be looking out for when trying to identify alcoholism?
Signs of Alcohol Abuse
If you think that a loved one is suffering from alcoholism, there are some signs that you can look out for. If someone displays these signs, it does not automatically mean that they have alcoholism. These signs are simply used to help people identify when a problem may be occurring. You should not approach someone about having a problem if they do not display some or all of these behaviors. If someone that you know is showing the signs below, it may be time to talk to their doctor or approach them about receiving help from a substance abuse or mental health professional.
It is also important to keep in mind that the signs may vary depending on the severity of someone’s alcohol abuse. Everyone who endures alcohol abuse has a vastly different experience. However, there are some general warning signs that could point to a problem. Some signs of alcoholism may include:
- Drinking in private or in secrecy
- Isolating or distancing oneself from others
- Temporary blackouts or memory loss
- Constant hangover when not drinking
- Weight changes or differences in one’s appearance
- Spending time with new acquaintances and groups
- Making excuses to drink (to relax, to deal with stress)
- Choosing to drink over other responsibilities or activities
- Irritability and extreme mood swings
One of the most outward and obvious signs of alcohol abuse is irrational anger. When someone experiences anger as a result of alcoholism, they will have bursts of irritability and extreme mood swings.
Anger & Alcoholism
You’ve probably heard of the term “mean drunk” before. This term can describe someone who picks fights while drinking, fails to be sympathetic or empathetic when under the influence, or becomes physically aggressive when they’re intoxicated. It is no secret that drinking too much alcohol can cause someone to become angry in a way they wouldn’t normally be when sober. It’s clear that there is some association between alcohol and anger — so how are they connected?
Alcohol, which is classified as a depressant, targets GABA receptors in the brain. These receptors have an effect on functions like motor skills, sight, speech, and emotions. Anger is one of the emotions that alcohol can strongly impact.
Alcoholism can affect a person’s personal and professional life, as well as the lives of the people close to them. But if alcohol abuse is treated in time, there is hope for individuals to make a full recovery and live a healthy life.
Treatment should be administered by a recovery specialist at a rehabilitation facility. Programs can be either inpatient or outpatient, depending on the severity of someone’s condition. Those who enroll in treatment will usually experience symptoms of withdrawal while they are flushing the alcohol out of their system. In order to ease the effects of withdrawal, substance abuse specialists at treatment facilities will usually create a plan to help them detox more comfortably. Detox treatment will usually include certain medications, plenty of rest, and lots of liquids.
After someone has successfully detoxed, they will follow an individualized treatment plan. Treatment plans will vary based on the individual, but typically entail a combination of therapies, education, medication, and group support.
To learn more about the signs of alcohol abuse and the treatment options for alcoholism, contact our team of substance abuse treatment professionals by calling 267.719.8528.