In today’s culture, where drinking–and even drinking excessively–is marketed as fine, if not preferable; the signs of alcoholism, a real problem can be harder to discern. While drinking is touted as a way to de-stress, unwind, and even cope with the daily rigors of work and family life; it can easily become a genuine health concern, with long-term alcohol abuse causing organ failure, cancer, and death. If you’re wondering if you have a problem with alcohol, here is a short list of common signs of alcoholism.
Physical Signs of Alcoholism
Alcoholism can have a number of short and long-term symptoms that are qualified as both physical and psychological or behavioral. The most common physical signs of alcoholism are experiencing some or all of the following in relation to drinking:
- Having blackouts, both temporary or permanent–cannot remember what happened while drinking.
- Feeling “hungover” or physically unwell after a period of drinking.
- Feeling sluggish or unwell when not drinking.
- Experiencing physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal from mild to severe, which include but are not limited to: irritability, shaking, anxiety, headaches, nausea/vomiting, insomnia, and sweating.
- Experiencing extreme mood swings regularly.
- High tolerance for alcohol or being able to drink more alcohol and not feel the buzz.
Behavioral Symptoms of Alcoholism
While physical symptoms of an alcohol problem are typically tied to withdrawal and recovery from alcohol excess, behavioral signs of an alcohol addiction show a pattern of how a person interacts with the world. The most common behavior signals of alcoholism are:
- Using drinking as a means to cope with anxiety, depression, stress, social issues, etc.
- Being unable to stop drinking at 1 or 2 drinks in a sitting.
- Rationalizing drinking because it helps you relax or unwind, deal with stress or responsibilities.
- Changing your friends, activities, or environment to always include alcohol.
- Drinking alone.
- Hiding your drinking from friends or family, or lying about how much you’re drinking.
- Not being able to go for a short period of time without alcohol.
- Not being able to keep up with responsibilities at work or home.
- Trying to quit but being unable to do so, because of physical and/or behavioral need
- Having problems in your relationships because of drinking. (friends, family, etc).
- Drinking when you shouldn’t be– before/during work, during the day, before driving, with medication, and other risky situations.
If you think you may have a problem with alcohol, there is help available. We have two inpatient alcohol treatment centers in New Hampshire (one with an on-site medical alcohol detox facility) to help you take the first steps toward a life free from your alcohol addiction.
Call our alcohol rehab admissions staff for help at (603)339-4160.
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