Signs of Alcohol Addiction for Social Drinkers
Many people don’t understand that the disease of addiction, so they don’t know when they’ve truly developed a problem. This is especially true when it comes to alcohol.
Most people of legal drinking age can drink without having a problem, so nobody wants to feel that they are different than other people. There comes a time, however, when a line is crossed and someone’s social drinking has turned into a problem. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize it.
Alcohol abuse causes people to lose the power of choice when it comes to drinking, but individuals may try to justify their drinking as just being social. It’s important to know what the signs of addiction are so you can get help before it’s too late.
Why the Signs of Addiction are Hard to Notice
There are various levels of drinking, and not everyone who drinks regularly develops alcoholism. Alcohol is a substance that’s completely legal, and many people use it as a social lubricant that helps them loosen up at parties, work events, bars, and clubs. Some people may socially drink five to seven nights of the week, but they may not have a problem with their drinking. The moderate drinker is able to go out and drink socially, but they’re able to stop long before they’re too drunk to drive. They also know when to stop if they need to be up early the next day for work.
There are also hard drinkers who get drunk regularly, yet don’t suffer from alcoholism. Once faced with dire circumstances like they may lose their job, they’ve had a DUI or they’re having problems with their spouse or friends, they are able to taper off their usage. Certain health issues may arise from regular drinking in excess, but these particular drinkers can logically see that their social drinking is negatively affecting their life, and they can stop when they want to. Someone who is developing alcoholism simply can’t do this, and it’s one of the first signs of addiction.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism
Symptoms of alcohol use disorder include:
- Mood swings
- Alcohol used for a longer period of time or in greater amounts than intended
- Desire or failed attempts to cut down on alcohol use
- A great deal of time is spent obtaining, using or recovering from alcohol
- Alcohol use leads to failure to fulfill major role obligations
- Continued use despite recognition that alcohol disorder has led to repeated interpersonal or other problems
- Important activities abandoned due to alcohol use
- Recurrent use in situations that could be dangerous such as when driving a car
- Continued use despite recognition that alcohol use disorder is related to chronic psychological or physical illness
- Extreme aggression
- Slurred speaking
- Bloodshot eyes
- Liver disease
- Withdrawal effects if alcohol is not consumed regularly
- Diminished capabilities to perform actions with large muscles
- Unsteady gait
- Alcohol cravings
- Belief that one is more desirable when drunk
- Reckless behaviors – driving under the influence
- Risky behaviors – unprotected sex
- Poor judgment
- Delusions of grandeur
Signs of Addiction Involve a Mental Obsession and Craving
What separates someone with alcoholism from a moderate drinker or hard drinker is a mental obsession and physical craving. These are the primary signs that a person’s drinking has become problematic, and has gone past the social aspect of the situation. Some of the questions you can answer are as follows
- Can you limit your number of drinks?
- When you do limit your drinking, do you feel anxious, restless or irritable?
- Once you have your first drink, are you already thinking of the next one?
- Have your friends or family confronted you about your drinking?
These are only some of the important questions to ask yourself because addiction is a disease that tells you it’s not there. Without knowing what to look for, the disease of addiction can progress to a point where it’s extremely difficult to find the help that you need.
Coming to treatment to learn how to overcome your struggles with alcoholism is the best thing you can do for yourself, your career, your friends, and family. The disease of addiction tells you that you can’t be social or have fun without having alcohol, but that’s not true.