Alcoholism, or Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), is defined as the act of drinking alcohol in a way that leads to physical or mental health problems. Many of the individuals who suffer from alcoholism have a hard time recognizing what is happening, or they may deny that there is even an issue at all.
For those individuals who are worried about their own dependence on alcohol, or the dependency of a loved one, there are signs that you can look for that suggest alcoholism. It can be helpful to look for these signs on a daily basis, to determine whether or not there is a looming problem that needs to be addressed.
Here are five warning signs of alcoholism:
- Avoiding Responsibilities
The more an individual relies on alcohol consumption, the more their priorities will start to shift. Essentially, the importance of getting their “fix” will take precedence over their previous responsibilities and hobbies, and they may begin to avoid those obligations entirely.
Some of the things that an individual may begin to avoid include sports, relationships, education and their overall well-being. These are the sorts of changes that others will likely notice before the individual does, since attitude changes can rarely be hidden from others.
- Lying About Drinking
An individual likely has an underlying problem with their drinking if they tend to lie about their habit. For many people struggling with alcoholism, they feel as though they need to lie about the amount they’ve had to drink, or they will drink in secret so as not to raise alarm.
While this can make it difficult for family members and friends to spot a potential issue, this is a clear sign for individuals that they are likely struggling to control their drinking habit.
- Continuously Using it to De-Stress
A glass of wine or a bottle of beer can often help the body to relax, which is why many people tend to reach for a beverage after a long day or after a tough situation. For those struggling with alcoholism, this is often an ideal justification to continue drinking, even after a stressful situation has passed.
An individual might make up false situations as an excuse to drink, and oftentimes this will lead to a dependency on alcohol regardless of the situation.
- Losing Important Aspects of Your Life
Of the five warning signs of alcoholism, this sign is the most tell-tale for the people surrounding an alcohol abuser. When an individual becomes highly dependent on alcohol, they may find themselves struggling to maintain their regular life on a daily basis.
It is not uncommon for alcohol abusers to lose their jobs, their homes and their relationships with others because of their constant struggle with alcohol. Without a clear mind and a healthy body, an individual will begin to struggle with maintaining their routine, using their valued skills and sustaining meaningful relationships.
- Signs of Dependency
An individual who cannot function on a daily basis without consuming alcohol is certainly experiencing signs of alcoholism. For alcohol abusers, drinking will take up more and more of their time, and they will require larger and larger amounts to reach a state of intoxication.
Many of the individuals struggling with alcoholism will try to quit on their own; however, not everyone is capable of quitting without help. It is important that if you recognize these five warning signs of alcoholism in your own life or in that of a loved one’s life, that you seek help from a local treatment center as soon as possible.