Looking Out For Signs Of Alcohol Abuse
What is Alcoholism?
Alcohol abuse ruins families, careers, and lives. People with alcohol addiction cannot stop drinking and do not care about how it affects them or the people around them. Therefore, if someone notices signs of alcohol abuse in a friend or loved one, they must take action. Alcoholism is a disease, and like other diseases it requires treatment.
The Strain Of Alcohol On Your Body
Alcohol is terrible for you physical health. Abuse damages your organs and glands, weakening your immunity and disrupting normal bodily function. Excessive alcohol deteriorates the liver, causing cirrhosis which leaves the organ unable to rid your body of toxic chemicals. Additionally, because alcohol is high in sugar and calories, abusers gain significant amounts of weight and often develop diseases like diabetes. However, even after causing severe physical damage, a person can recover from the effects and go on to live a full, healthy life.
Symptoms Of Alcoholism
The National Institute Of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) outlines four symptoms that generally denote an alcoholic:
- Craving – They feel compelled to buy and drink more alcohol to satiate their desire to drink.
- Loss of control – Once they start drinking alcohol, they cannot stop or control the amount they drink.
- Physical dependence – If they stop drinking, they experience withdrawal symptoms including the shakes, sweating, anxiety, headaches, lethargy, and nausea.
- Tolerance – The abuser must drink in large quantities if they want to “catch a buzz.”
Of course, the above is relative in many cases. For instance, physical symptoms like nausea are not always signs of alcohol withdrawal. For this reason, determining whether or not someone abuses alcohol is more nuanced than that. Symptoms of alcohol abuse can be physical, mental, or social. However, the majority of the time there exists a combination of all three.
Physical Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse
- Regular cravings for alcohol.
- Flu-like withdrawal symptoms.
- “Blacking out” or memory loss from drinking.
- Red, broken capillaries on the face, particularly around the nose
- Yellowing of eyes and skin (a sign of jaundice).
- Breath and sweat smell of alcohol on a regular basis.
- Dull, dry skin
- Brittle hair and broken fingernails
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Flushed skin
- A tired, aging appearance.
Mental Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse
- A preoccupation with drinking, particular at inappropriate times.
- A feeling of restlessness, agitation, or discontent when not drinking.
- Difficulty focusing on anything but the next drink during periods of alcohol abstinence.
Social Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse
- Friends and family comment on excessive drinking, causing the abuser to respond with irritation and frustration.
- Continued drinking despite detrimental consequences to career and relationships.
- Withdrawal from social situations.
- Use of alternative mind-altering substances when alcohol is unavailable.
- Broken promises to quit drinking. One has made an intrinsic pledge, as well as an outward offer to friends and family members, that one will not drink during a specific occasion, throughout an important weekend or before driving; sadly, they break these promises on a regular basis.
- An inordinate amount of money spent on alcohol, to the point of financial troubles.
- Suggestions of alcohol abuse from a doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist.
- Denial of alcohol abuse.
- Legal trouble such as a DUI or Public Intoxication.
Help With Alcohol-Related Charges
If you or someone you love abuses alcohol and gets into legal trouble such as Driving Under the Influence, you need legal representation. Just like seeking treatment early helps an addict beat alcoholism, seeking legal advice as soon as possible helps your defense in an alcohol-related charge. In that case, contact Chad F. Bank Attorney at Law for a free evaluation and consultation.