Not all who abuse alcohol become alcoholics. Sometimes, it can develop suddenly in response to stressful changes such as a breakup or job loss. Or, alcoholism can start slowly as your tolerance to alcohol increases. If you drink every day or binge drink, the risks of developing alcoholism are greater.
Understanding Alcoholism & Alcohol Abuse
Alcoholism can be caused by many different factors which may include genetics, how you were brought up, your social environment and your emotional health.
Do you abuse alcohol? If you answer yes to any of these questions below, you may have alcohol use disorder:
- Do you feel guilty or ashamed about your drinking?
- Do you lie to others or hide your drinking habits?
- Do you have friends or family members who are worried about your drinking?
- Do you need to drink in order to relax or feel better?
- Do you “black out” or forget what you did while you were drinking?
- Do you regularly drink more than you intended to?
Unlike alcoholics, an alcohol abuser has some ability to set limits on their drinking. In alcoholism, alcohol use is self-destructive and dangerous to themselves or to others.
Warning Signs & Symptoms of Alcoholism & Alcohol Abuse
- Drinking as a way to relax or de-stress
- Drinking although your alcohol use causes problems in your relationships
- Drinking greatly affects your mood and behavior
- Repeatedly neglecting your responsibilities at home, work or school because of your drinking
- Drinking in situations that are physically dangerous such as drinking while driving or mixing alcohol with prescription medication
- Alcohol takes up your energy and focus
- You want to quit drinking, but cannot
- You have lost control of your drinking
- You have given up many activities because of alcohol
Tolerance is the first major warning signs of alcoholism. It means that over time you need more and more alcohol to feel the same effects as when you started drinking. The second major warning sign of alcoholism is withdrawal. If you are drinking to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms, it could be a sign of alcoholism. Alcoholism withdrawal symptoms can include:
- shaking or trembling
- nausea and vomiting
- loss of appetite
Find the Right Treatment for You
There are many effective treatments for alcoholism available to you, and quitting alcohol doesn’t need to ruin your social life. If you’re ready to admit you have alcohol use disorder, you’ve already taken the first step. Support is essential to your recovery—without support, it’s easy to fall back into old patterns. Make an appointment with 2nd Chance Treatment Center to help you with a lasting recovery, with the lowest chance of relapses.