Alcoholism is a severe addiction to alcohol that can ruin your life. It results from drinking more than guideline recommendations, leading to problems like violence, divorce, and job loss.
In a medical context, alcoholism exists when two or more conditions are present: a person drinks large amounts over a long period, has difficulty cutting down, and alcohol tolerance has occurred with use.
This article has five early warning signs of alcoholism that most people ignore.
1. Drinking More Alcohol Than Usual
This one may seem obvious, but it’s often misunderstood. Drinking more alcohol than usual doesn’t necessarily mean someone is an alcoholic. However, it can be a red flag if someone is consuming far more than they used to or trying to drink more than they can handle.
2. Changes in Mood or Behavior
Do you find yourself turning to alcohol to deal with issues? As people age, they tend to drink more often to cope with personal problems, such as job or financial stress.
If your mood or behavior has changed significantly since you started drinking, this may be another early warning sign of alcoholism. If you are drinking more than usual or you find that you are acting differently when drunk, it may be time to get help.
3. Drinking Without Eating
Skipping meals has been linked to increased life expectancy for many years. It is possible that drinking heavily may sometimes be associated with malnutrition because drinkers may forego eating in favor of consuming alcohol.
In addition, the consequences of malnutrition include muscle loss, water retention, and even skin shrinkage. Moreover, alcohol makes individuals vulnerable to infections and chronic diseases by impairing their immune function.
4. Making Excuses to Drink or Hiding Your Drinking From Others
If you find yourself making excuses to drink or hiding your drinking from others, it may be an early warning sign of alcoholism. This is because drinking alcohol becomes more important than other activities and responsibilities in your life.
Also, you may start to lie about how much you drink or where you were when you were drinking. You may also try to keep your drinking a secret from your family and friends.
5. Experiencing Blackouts or Memory Loss
Another early warning sign of alcoholism is experiencing blackouts or memory loss after drinking. This is because alcohol affects the brain and can cause memory problems.
However, a blackout is different from a memory lapse. They are usually caused when a person drinks so much alcohol that they get drunk quickly and pass out.
During a blackout, people don’t remember anything from when they began drinking until the following day. At the same time, a memory lapse is when you can’t remember what happened in the past.
Most people who suffer from AUD have tried to cut back or stop drinking at some point but were unsuccessful. If you’ve tried to quit drinking and couldn’t, it’s essential to seek professional help.
Are you suffering from alcoholism? American Addiction Institute of Mind & Medicine is here to help you. We are one of the American addiction centers offering an extensive range of alcohol addiction treatment services to help you turn your life around. A path to recovery is available for anyone who suffers from alcoholism. Contact us for more information!