Signs of Alcoholism: Has Your Drinking Crossed the Line?

signs of alcoholism

Signs of Alcoholism: Has Your Drinking Crossed the Line?

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism are serious problems that can cause significant disruptions in the lives of users and their loved ones, resulting in devastating physical, emotional, financial, and social consequences that can take years to repair, if they can be repaired at all. Unfortunately, because drinking alcohol is socially acceptable, and because the effects of drinking vary widely from person to person, it’s not always easy to recognize the signs of alcoholism, even for yourself or someone you spend lots of time with. If your drinking is causing problems in your life, or in the lives of your loved ones, contact the substance abuse recovery counselors at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to discuss your possible treatment options.

Warning Signs of Alcoholism

Substance abuse experts note a significant difference between alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Unlike alcoholics, alcohol abusers are still able to set some limits on their drinking. However, among alcoholics and alcohol abusers alike, their use of alcohol presents a danger to themselves and others. Still, it’s not always easy to recognize the warning signs of alcoholism in others or acknowledge when your drinking crosses that line between moderate and social use to problem drinking. There are clear signs of alcoholism that you can watch out for though, in yourself and others. You may be abusing alcohol if you:

  • Consume alcohol to cope with stress or to avoid feeling bad
  • Feel guilty or ashamed about your drinking
  • Need to drink to relax
  • Repeatedly neglect your responsibilities at home, school or work because of your drinking
  • Experience repeated legal problems because of your drinking
  • Regularly drink more than you intend to
  • “Blackout” or forget what you did while drinking
  • Lie to others to hide your drinking habits
  • Have friends or loved ones who are worried about your drinking

Adverse Effects of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

Alcoholism is the most severe form of problem drinking, and it is characterized by a physical dependence on alcohol, which means the person relies on alcohol to function or feels physically compelled to drink. Alcoholics may experience a variety of problems related to their drinking, including serious health consequences, financial instability, strained relationships and emotional trauma. Drinking too much, on a single occasion or over time, can take a significant toll on your health in particular, especially if you lose control over the amount of alcohol you consume. People who abuse alcohol make drinking their top priority, displacing healthy activities and relationships, and ultimately putting their health and well-being at risk. Among the adverse physical effects of alcoholism are:

  • Irregular heart beat
  • Liver disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Pancreatitis
  • Changes in mood and behavior

Call BRS Rehab for Help

Progressive increases in the frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption may be a warning sign of alcohol abuse, a problem that can lead to more severe physical, emotional, financial, and social signs of alcoholism if the drinking continues. Not all alcohol abusers become alcoholics, but abusing alcohol is a major risk factor for addiction, which can develop suddenly in response to a significant stressor, like a breakup, retirement or a tragic loss. If you recognize the warning signs of alcoholism in yourself or someone else, and you are unable to stop the problem drinking, call Behavioral Rehabilitation Services at our toll-free number to speak to a certified addiction recovery counselor.

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