For many people with a drinking problem, it is not always easy to recognize there’s a problem at all, which is often the reason they fail to seek an alcoholism treatment program. Sometimes, it is down to those close to them to identify the signs their loved one is sinking into alcoholism and should seek treatment at an alcohol rehab center but often, people don’t know what to look out for. Hindsight is a great thing and many recovering alcoholics can trace the origins of their alcoholism as they learn to better understand the disease and use that information to prevent relapse going forward.
Whether someone is on the verge of developing alcoholism or has successfully completed treatment, it is extremely important to know what behaviors lead to problem drinking becoming full-blown alcoholism. Ultimately, when someone is combating any form of addiction, knowledge is power.
The Telltale Signs of Potential Alcoholism
- When social events are centered entirely on drinking and someone is disappointed if there is no alcohol available, they could be a problem drinker. Many drinkers feel alcohol increases their self-confidence in social situations and some can become reliant on its effects to make them feel at ease with others in a social context. If drinking is the only way someone can enjoy a social situation, there are underlying issues behind their alcohol use.
- Problem drinkers who are losing control of their need for alcohol typically deny the problem. As part of the denial of there being a problem, an individual tends to forget their bad behavior when drunk and sometimes blame it on other people or external factors beyond their control. Recognizing and accepting the consequences of someone’s bad behavior is an important part of an effective alcoholism treatment program.
- Having the conviction that antisocial behavior following drinking to excess is an isolated event rather than a recurring incident signals denial a problem exists.
- People who are losing control of their drinking show signs of lapses of judgment, even placing themselves in high-risk situations with ill-advised sexual encounters or driving under the influence.
- When someone becomes unreliable and withdrawn and becomes aggressive when challenged on their drinking, they can start to display destructive and aggressive mood swings that are hugely detrimental to themselves and their interpersonal relationships. Not being able to see the damage caused by their negative behavior is a sign that an individual’s drinking is out of control and they should consider attending an alcoholism treatment program.
- As dependence on alcohol develops into alcoholism, an individual will find their hangovers become more severe over time. When hangovers become heightened, it is actually a withdrawal symptom that is caused by the hours of abstinence while the person is asleep. When the body craves alcohol to this degree, drinking has definitely spiraled out of control.
- Turning up late for work or school and reckless behavior such as driving under the influence increases in regularity as someone’s dependence on alcohol deepens.
- Someone who has issues with alcohol always has a rational answer for their behavior, almost as if they are justifying their right to drink to excess. The fact is that we all have bad days but most of us don’t have the compulsion to make things better by drinking. Someone with alcoholism is not capable of making that judgment as their drinking to excess has become a response to a negative stimulus that’s beyond their control.
- An individual should consider checking in to an alcohol rehab center if they are in the mindset of ‘one drink is too one many and yet one more is never enough’. This is because they are at the stage where they accept that if they start drinking, they are unlikely to know when to stop. Recognizing this as a sign of an out of control drinking habit is a significant step towards successful treatment at an alcohol rehab center and a life of sobriety.
- Drinking often spirals out of control when someone finds themselves having to drink more to get the desired effects. The more used to a substance the body becomes over time, the less susceptible it is to its effects and people can develop an extremely high tolerance to alcohol which makes them drink even more.
- Problem drinkers commonly start to neglect their appearance and either gain or lose weight, while displaying the negative effects of drinking, such as a sallow complexion or even jaundice. Prolonged use of alcohol causes significant damage to the body and this is evidenced in the eyes, skin and general demeanor of an individual with alcoholism.
- Incidences of blackouts may increase as a drinking problem becomes worse. This can put a huge strain on close personal relationships and partnerships, particularly if the other party has been hurt by an alcoholic’s behavior and they fail to offer an explanation or apology.
When someone is on the verge of developing alcoholism, it is the optimum time for them to check in to an alcohol treatment center. Displaying any or all of the above signs is a clear indication that problem drinking is close or has already developed into alcoholism.
However, it’s crucial for sufferers to know that effective treatment is possible no matter how much control alcoholism has of them. Alcohol treatment centers not only provide medical and psychiatric therapies during rehab but also with a solid support network for a successful life in recovery once the program has been completed.