Alcohol addiction and abuse are dangerous for both the mind and the body. Consuming vast quantities of alcohol harms both cognitive and corporeal function and has grave side effects and consequences. To move towards accepting that there is a problem, it is helpful to get to know the biggest signs of alcohol abuse and when you might be facing an addiction. Recognizing and acknowledging the symptoms is a vital first step toward being able to explore the options for recovery.
What are Alcohol Addiction and Alcohol Abuse?
Alcohol addiction impacts many things. It is when your body and mind become to depend upon alcohol to ‘function’ every day. Often addiction is a direct line to partaking in alcohol abuse, and vice versa. Both are major problems. Understanding alcohol abuse is the key to finding a treatment pathway because it can often be debilitating until you reach out and engage with what’s in front of you. Addicts typically suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and shakes or low mood when they are not drinking, whereas abusers are more binge drinkers that use their chosen drink to self-medicate or avoid dealing with something.
How Do You Know It’s a Problem?
So, when do the two intersect and become a problem? Keeping in mind that addiction is an everyday thing and abuse is a growing problem, the two concepts are still difficult to separate.
You Crave It
If the first thing you think about in the morning and the last thing you think about at night is your next drink, this is a craving. If you are sitting at your desk in the office and your mind keeps reverting to alcohol, and you’re having obsessive thoughts about binging on a night out, these are all big clues that there is a problem.
Alcohol Takes Priority Over Everything Else
Have you stopped seeing friends and family because you would rather sit drinking instead? Is it affecting your performance at work? Have you gotten behind the wheel inebriated? These three things point to you making alcohol a priority over responsibilities, common sense, and social time.
An Increased Tolerance
An increased tolerance is when your body is adapting to the effects of alcohol in the system, and you are needing more drinks to feel drunk or tipsy. Building up tolerance is not ideal because it puts you at risk of disease and worse.
You Convince Yourself It’s Not a Problem
Denial is hard to overcome and when you’re telling yourself there is no problem then you are closing your eyes to reality.
If any of the above resonates, speak to a doctor and investigate your options.