Alcohol addiction can negatively impact a person’s life and lead them to making choices against their own best interests.
Even though this type of addiction is detrimental to people who suffer from it and their loved ones, it’s incredibly prevalent in the United States. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 14.5 million people ages 12 and older suffered from Alcohol Use Disorder, or AUD. These numbers are explosive because of how easy it is to attain alcohol, since it’s widely available in most stores and there are various price ranges. Moreover, alcohol isn’t as stigmatized as other drugs, as most recreational drinkers consume it in social gatherings.
If you suspect that you’re living with alcohol addiction or that a loved one is suffering from it, continue reading to learn more about it and the five tell-tale signs.
1. Avoiding Situations That Don’t Involve Alcohol
Often, when someone experiencing addiction spends some time without a drink, they begin to experience intense and painful withdrawal symptoms. As a result, they may feel nauseous, anxious, and experience tremors. These feelings become so powerful, they’re no longer able to tolerate them.
People who are addicted may stop showing up to work, school, and other events and social functions where alcohol won’t be served or it’s unacceptable to drink. Since many people who are addicted crave this substance day in and day out, they see no reason to spend time away from their drug of choice. This can damage their interpersonal relationships and ability to form new friendships.
2. Feeling Irrationally Angry
It’s normal to experience anger every now and then. We’re only human, after all. However, for people living with addiction, they tend to experience this anger randomly and may even take it out on their loved ones. The link between anger and alcoholism is like a cycle. One enables you to escape from your other emotions, whereas the other can push you further into anger. These two feed off each other when left unchecked.
Most times, these episodes of anger can be stemming from an underlying health condition. According to Dr. Ayanna Abrams, a licensed clinical psychologist based in Atlanta, Georgia, a dual diagnosis is, “…co-occurring mental health diagnoses; someone presents with a psychiatric condition simultaneous to (not necessarily caused by or causing) a substance use diagnosis,”
Whatever the reason behind the anger, it’s important to not be hard on yourself or a loved one. When someone is battling alcohol addiction, they’re prone to saying things they don’t actually mean.
3. Having a Very High Alcohol Tolerance
Because people living with alcoholism are chronic drinkers, over time, their tolerance for this substance increases. It doesn’t happen overnight, but an addict may need more and more drinks just to feel drunk. When this occurs, the number of drinks they used to consume will no longer be enough to give them the adrenaline rush they’re craving.
The worst part is, many addicts don’t even realize that they’re now consuming more alcohol to experience the same type of rush. They may mistakenly believe this is normal and that other recreational drinkers behave the same way. Sadly, this entire process can turn into a downward spiral because many addicts end up drinking multiple beers a day just to function properly. Moreover, they end up spending too much of their money on these beverages and start to fall behind on real financial responsibilities.
4. Becoming More Absent from School or Work
As we mentioned earlier, many addicts find no reason to partake in events that don’t have alcohol. An alcoholic may start to be too absent from work or not be able to stay awake on the job. Other common symptoms of substance abuse include bad decision-making, having issues with coworkers, and overall relationship struggles. Sadly, important commitments and other responsibilities end up taking a back seat, and drinking alcohol becomes the driver of motivation.
If you start self-isolating and find yourself disinterested in your daily activities, this is a red flag. Many of these drastic changes are also due to shame; someone who’s grappling with addiction may be too embarrassed to show loved ones how badly the addiction has progressed, resorting to isolation.
Hiding Alcohol Becomes the Norm
If you suspect you have an alcohol addiction, do you notice yourself hiding alcohol from your loved ones? Perhaps you suspect a loved one has an addiction and you notice them engaging in this secretive behavior. When someone has a drinking problem, they drink alcohol in places where it’s prohibited. They’ll also begin to stash alcohol in their car or in areas with low foot traffic around their home to make it seem like they’ve stopped drinking.
Remember this: when someone feels the urge to hide something from their loved ones, it typically means they know they have a problem and are ashamed to admit it.
5. What Can Be Done to Treat Alcohol Addiction?
Successfully overcoming this type of addiction can feel nearly impossible, but it’s certainly doable. Although the best treatment plan involves personalized, holistic treatment, we do know that DIY treatment at home never works. Some people try to quit drinking alcohol cold turkey and end up only being able to quit for a few days, only to fall back into the cycle of drinking. The best way to beat addiction is to stay in a treatment center under the care of medical professionals.
Ardu Recovery Center is Here to Help
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, you don’t have to go through the recovery process alone. At Ardu Recovery Center, we’ve helped countless people defeat addiction and reclaim their lives.
Our specialists have helped people of all backgrounds conquer the following addictions: drug, alcohol, prescription drugs, cocaine, opioids, marijuana, and so much more. We believe in nourishing the entire person, including mind, body, and soul.
Please get in touch with us if you have any questions about our programs. We’re located in scenic Provo, Utah.