Alcoholism is a serious illness that takes the lives of more than 88,000 people each year. As the third leading cause of preventable deaths, alcoholism affects teens, the elderly, and all ages in between. Knowing the telltale signs of an alcoholic can help you evaluate your own abuse problem or a loved one’s. Even though someone addicted to alcohol may appear to function in various aspects of their lives, alcoholism will wreak havoc on their physical and mental health in time. Like other forms of substance addiction, alcoholism requires high-quality treatment. Knowing the telltale signs of an alcoholic is the first step in identifying this problem that plagues a myriad of individuals and their families throughout the country.
Ignore the Stereotypes
It’s sadly true that many addiction sufferers do wind up homeless, penniless, and in legal hot water because of their addiction. However, the vast majority of people suffering from alcoholism do not fit that stereotype. They may hold down a job or find new jobs as needed. They may have families or they may be working on a college degree. Nevertheless, alcoholism affects their health and well-being profoundly. It’s important to understand the closet alcoholic signs as many addiction sufferers are adept at masking their problem. Hiding drinking from loved ones, for example, is a classic sign of an alcohol abuse disorder.
Spot the Signs
Even if you or a loved one is skilled at hiding their drinking, there are signs that can reveal the nature of an addition problem. Heavy drinking and binge drinking are signs that there may be an addiction or a serious abuse issue at hand. Excessive drinking is one of the telltale signs of an alcoholic. Other classic signs of alcoholism include:
- Cravings for alcohol
- Drinking alone
- Mood swings
- Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Engaging in high-risk behaviors
- Continuing to drink in spite of relationship, legal, or financial troubles
- Drinking when stressed
- Drinking to escape problems
- Neglecting responsibilities
- Suffering from withdrawal symptoms after going without alcohol for a period of time
Withdrawal is one of the classic telltale signs of an alcoholic. If you or your loved one suffers from withdrawal symptoms when alcohol isn’t consumed in a certain period of time, an alcohol addiction should be suspected. Withdrawal symptoms typically include: shaking, tremors, anxiety, irritability, nausea, vomiting, muscle tension, racing heart, and sweating. Withdrawal can be dangerous in severe cases. People suffering from withdrawal should seek medical care to guard against any health complications.
“I Don’t Have a Problem”
Denial is another of the telltale signs of an alcoholic. Many people who are addicted to alcohol minimize the extent of their problem. They may say they have their drinking under control or laugh off the other party’s concern, saying they are exaggerating the situation. Drinkers with closet alcoholic signs may know deep down that they cannot stop drinking, but they are apt to deny that their problem is beyond their control. Addiction specialists have long asserted that admitting the problem is the first step in the recovery process. By admitting that they may have a drinking problem, individuals can take the next logical step and get evaluated at an addiction treatment center. By refusing to acknowledge that excessive drinking is harmful, alcoholics only perpetuate their problem and allow their addiction to deepen.
An addiction treatment center can evaluate a sufferer in order to create a personalized treatment plan. For most addiction sufferers, medical detox is an early part of the treatment process, but counseling and lifestyle changes are also essential for recovery from this chronic disease. Alcoholism cannot be cured, but it can be managed with abstinence. A high-quality addiction treatment center can help.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.