Addiction to alcohol is a complex issue and sometimes it seems easiest to ignore the problem or hope it goes away on its own. Unfortunately addiction is a chronic disease that only gets worse over time. Understanding the warning signs of addiction will help you determine if a family member needs treatment for alcohol abuse or addiction.
Although symptoms of addiction may vary somewhat from person to person there are several common signs:
- A person deep in the throes of alcohol addiction may black out or forget what he or she did during the drinking episode.
- Alcoholics often express denial and resentment when confronted about their alcohol use. People who drink excessively often lie about their drinking habits they underestimate their alcohol intake.
- Alcoholics often have difficulty controlling their emotions. They may become angry with little provocation.
- As a drinking problem escalates an alcoholic often stops caring about grooming hygiene or personal appearance.
- They may smell from alcohol or their clothing may appear wrinkled or dirty.
- A person who is confronted about alcohol use may minimize or downplay the problem. She may admit that she drinks too much while claiming the problem really "isn't that bad."
She may say others are being unreasonable or blowing the problem out of proportion.
- Alcoholics often rationalize the problem or display self-pity. They may justify excessive drinking by blaming a rotten boss a stressful job a nagging spouse out-of-control children or even their unhappy childhood.
- Alcoholics tend to deny that their drinking affects other people.
- A person who abuses alcohol may have problems at work or school including poor performance no-shows or chronic lateness. They may receive frequent complaints by employers instructors friends or co-workers.
- Legal problems are often associated with a drinking problem. Some alcoholics may get in fights or become verbally or physically abusive.
- Heavy drinkers often deflect criticism by blaming others or by pointing out the faults of other people. They may compare themselves with people who drink more or have “worse problems.’
- Alcoholics often display remorse shame or guilt. These emotions frequently emerge after damaging or embarrassing incidents and are often followed by promises to stop or cut back. The promises are usually short-lived.
- People who abuse alcohol often claim they can stop any time they want. They may acknowledge they have a problem but they refuse to attend support groups or seek professional help.
If you think somebody you love or if you are concerned about your own drinking it is important to seek help as soon as possible. Although it will be challenging treatment can lead to a happier balanced life a better health and a longer life expectancy.You may wish to take the anonymous alcoholism self assessment.