- April 3, 2023
- Healthy lifestyle
10 Warning Signs That Tell You Suffer From Alcohol Abuse
If you have ever asked yourself, “Am I an alcoholic?” you are not alone. Many people who consume one light beer every night or occasionally overindulge at social events or gatherings may question their relationship with alcohol. It is possible for anyone in any of these categories to have alcohol abuse, but it ultimately depends on their connection with drinking.
According to Sarah Allen Benton, an addiction treatment therapist and author of Understanding the High-Functioning Alcoholic, the key factor is not the amount of alcohol consumed, but an individual’s relationship with it. Benton explains that daily consumption of a small amount of alcohol may be safe for some people, while occasional binge drinking could pose a health risk for others. It all boils down to the role that alcohol plays in an individual’s life.
What is Alcohol Abuse?
Alcohol abuse is a serious problem that affects millions of people around the world. Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to recognize the signs of alcohol abuse, as many people who struggle with this issue may try to hide their behavior or downplay its severity.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines one standard drink as any of the following:
- Regular beer (about 5% alcohol) in a 12-ounce (355 milliliter) serving
- Malt liquor (about 7% alcohol) in an 8 to 9-ounce (237 to 266 milliliter) serving
- Wine (about 12% alcohol) in a 5-ounce (148 milliliter) serving
- Hard liquor or distilled spirits (about 40% alcohol) in a 1.5-ounce (44 milliliter) serving
Drinking alone or in secret
One of the most common warning signs of alcohol abuse is drinking alone or in secret. If you notice that someone is frequently drinking alone, it could be a sign that they are using alcohol to cope with stress, anxiety, or depression.
Increased Tolerance in Alcohol Abuse
Over time, people who abuse alcohol may develop an increased tolerance to its effects. This means that they may need to drink more and more alcohol to achieve the same level of intoxication. If you notice someone drinking more and more alcohol without seeming to be affected by it, it could be a sign of a problem.
Blackouts or memory loss
Alcohol abuse can lead to blackouts or memory loss, where the person cannot remember events that occurred while they were drinking. If you notice someone having difficulty remembering what happened while they were drinking, it could be a sign that they are consuming too much alcohol.
People who struggle with alcohol abuse may begin to neglect responsibilities such as work, school, or family obligations. They may miss important deadlines or events or begin to perform poorly in their jobs or studies.
Changes in behavior
Alcohol abuse can also lead to changes in behavior, such as increased irritability, mood swings, or aggression. People who abuse alcohol may also become more withdrawn or isolated from others.
Alcohol abuse can be an expensive habit, and people who struggle with it may experience financial problems as a result. They may struggle to pay bills or accumulate debt, or they may start to prioritize alcohol over other expenses.
Physical health problems
Long-term alcohol abuse can have serious physical health consequences, including liver damage, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. If you notice someone experiencing frequent health problems, it could be a sign of alcohol abuse.
Alcohol abuse can also lead to relationship problems, as people who struggle with it may become more distant or uncommunicative with their loved ones. They may also experience conflicts or fights with others while under the influence of alcohol.
People who abuse alcohol may experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop drinking, such as tremors, sweating, or anxiety. If you notice someone experiencing these symptoms when they haven’t been drinking, it could be a sign of alcohol dependence.
Denial or defensiveness
People who struggle with alcohol abuse may deny or downplay the severity of their behavior, or become defensive when confronted about it. They may also make excuses for their drinking or refuse to acknowledge the negative impact it is having on their lives.
If you notice any of these warning signs in yourself or someone you love, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. Alcohol abuse can lead to serious health problems, including liver disease, heart disease, and cancer. It can also damage relationships and cause financial problems. Don’t wait until it’s too late to get help. Reach out to a medical professional, a support group, or a therapist for assistance.
Onco-Radiologist & Medical Research Writer