Alcohol addiction takes over a person’s life and makes their situation almost unrecognizable. It is easy to overlook minor alcohol abuse. However, these seemingly small issues can grow more dangerous as time goes on. As a result, you should not ignore the early signs of alcohol abuse. Seeking professional treatment at an addiction treatment center can change your life for the better. If you need alcohol addiction treatment, getting the care you need does not have to be complicated.
Signs of Alcohol Abuse
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, close to 138.9 million Americans used alcohol in 2018. Furthermore, 1 in 19 people, or 14.8 million, struggled with an alcohol abuse disorder. It is important to note that adolescents and teenagers are not immune to alcoholism. Close to 401,000 of that 14.8 million people were between the ages of 12 and 17.
Because no two individuals are the same, no two people experience alcohol addiction in the same way. That said, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health determined that there are 11 critical signs for treatment specialists to look for when diagnosing addiction. If a person has two or three of these symptoms, you probably have a mild addiction. However, as the number of symptoms goes up, so does the severity of the addiction. The signs of alcohol abuse include:
- Drinking more or for longer periods of time than you’re meant to
- Spending a significant portion of your time getting, drinking, or recovering from using alcohol
- Trying to cut down or stop drinking but being unable to do so
- Getting cravings and other urges to drink
- Not competing responsibilities at work, school, or home due to your drinking
- Continuing to drink, even if it causes problems in your relationships
- Giving up social, professional, or recreational activities to drink
- Using alcohol repeatedly, even if it puts you in danger
- Continuing to drink, though you know you have psychological or physical problems that alcohol causes or makes worse
- Developing a tolerance for alcohol, meaning you need to drink more to get the same effect
- Developing withdrawal symptoms, which can only be relieved by drinking more alcohol
It’s vital to get help as soon as possible if you see these signs in your life.
What Signs Should I Look For In a Loved One?
It’s not always easy to determine whether your loved one has any of the signs of alcohol abuse. For instance, you may not be aware that they have developed a tolerance to alcohol or that they’re having withdrawal symptoms. However, there are some specific things that you can look for in your loved ones.
- Are they experiencing short term memory loss or temporary blackouts?
- Have they been having extreme mood swings or showing signs of unreasonable irritability?
- Have they been making excuses for their alcohol use, such as needing it to relax or deal with stress?
- Do they drink alone or in secrecy?
- Have they pulled away from family and friends?
- Do they choose to drink instead of fulfilling obligations or responsibilities?
If you’re answering yes to several of these questions, you should encourage them to get treatment as soon as possible.
Seek Treatment Today
With the right professional treatment for alcohol abuse, you can get the tools they need to move forward. For instance, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an excellent therapy service for treating addiction, as you learn to evaluate how your emotions and thoughts influence your actions. Other useful therapy options include:
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy
- Trauma therapy
At Treatment Connection, those seeking treatment for addiction or mental health conditions can search for area providers anonymously. Our site will assist you in assessing what type of care you need, and you’re able to submit referral inquiries confidentially to addiction treatment providers near you. To learn more about the advantages of seeking treatment, visit Treatment Connection today.