It is important to know the signs of alcoholism that indicate a drinking problem in yourself, a family member, or a friend. Health professionals claim that two to three drinks a day for women and three to four drinks a day for men are acceptable levels of alcohol consumption, but alcoholism is a destructive and fatal disease that can be harmful to others. If a friend or a family member is having difficulty controlling the effects of drinking and displays a combination of more than one or two of the seven clear signs of alcohol addiction listed below, that person may need a detox center that will help him or her learn to manage the disease and maintain sobriety and peace of mind.
The first and biggest sign of alcoholism is increased tolerance, or the ability to consume ever-increasing amounts of alcohol without feeling the effects. A high tolerance is a sign that you are drinking too much and causing damage to your body. When it takes four drinks to achieve the alcohol buzz you used to get from just two drinks, it’s one of the signs of a need for treatment. When the body deals with an overdose of alcohol on a regular basis, it learns to compensate and minimize the damage. This means that if you consume the same amount of alcohol over a long period of time, the effects of drinking will decrease, which can drive you to increase your consumption and cause more harm to your body.
2) Inability to Control Consumption
One of the clear alcohol rehab signs is telling yourself that you’re not going to drink for a certain period of time or only planning to drink one or two drinks but then finding yourself drinking despite these promises. Alcohol should not be mixed with certain prescription medications, and if you are unable to refrain from drinking while taking your prescriptions, it indicates a lack of control that can grow exponentially worse with the addition of doctor-prescribed mood-altering substances.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually start within five to ten hours after the last drink has been consumed and can last for days afterwards. Symptoms get worse within 48 to 72 hours and may last for weeks after the last drink, depending on how much was drunk. The symptoms of withdrawal include anxiety, depression, fatigue, clammy skin, shaking, headache, nausea and vomiting, sweating, and tremors. One of the worst signs is delirium tremens, which is a result of extreme alcohol withdrawal and can cause agitation, severe confusion, hallucinations, fever, and seizures. Alcohol withdrawal is more life-threatening than any other withdrawal, including heroin. Alcohol withdrawal should ideally occur under a doctor’s care at a detox center to help the patient safely through the process.
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4) Neglected Responsibilities
Failing at school, losing your job, neglecting your children, and failing to meet your commitments are all clear signs of alcohlism. Calling in sick to work due to hangovers and committing errors that destroy your career indicate a lack of control, but drinking can also destroy the motivation you need to be successful in most careers. Alcoholics are unable to maintain their daily lives as they abandon the chores and tasks necessary to keep their homes well maintained and their bills paid, affecting their credit scores and quality of life. While taking time off to go to a detox center is not a boost to anyone’s career, the resulting sobriety and improved work performance and productivity will more than make up for the lost time spent at an alcohol rehab center.
5) Legal Problems
Getting arrested for driving under the influence is a clear indicator that alcohol use has become a problem, but driving is not the only alcohol-related legal problem that can indicate a need for treatment. Many people have problems with law enforcement when drunk due to fighting, violent outbursts, stealing to support their addictions, and attempting risky and harmful activities due to impaired judgment. Alcoholism can lead to many legal issues, such as monetary fines, jail time, and lost employment and personal freedom. If someone is convicted of a felony crime induced by alcohol, sentencing may involve an opportunity to go to a treatment center for alcoholism before prison time is imposed.
6) Destroyed Personal Relationships
Alcoholism ruins marriages and can rip families apart, and damaged personal relationships are signs that cannot be ignored. If your parents or children have lost their trust in you or resent you for neglectful, violent, or abusive behavior, it could be time for you to check into detox. Children who are raised by alcoholic parents are at a higher risk of growing up to be alcoholics themselves, neglecting and abusing their own children due to drinking. Symptoms of alcoholism can easily transfer from one generation to the next, and a treatment center can help stop the cycle of destruction as parents learn to live sober, happy, and free while teaching their children to live without alcohol.
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Drinking until you have a blackout is one of the most telling signs that you need rehab due to the nature of binge drinking and the spike in blood alcohol content (BAC). If you drink enough to cause long-term memory loss for hours, days, or weeks at a time, it is a definite sign that you need help. During an alcohol-induced session of amnesia, alcoholics are capable of causing harm to themselves and others due to their severely impaired judgment. While social binge drinkers may experience a blackout or two, those social drinkers tend to learn from their mistakes and adjust their behavior. If you have experienced more than one blackout due to excessive drinking, it is one of the signs that you should consider when deciding whether to check yourself into an alcohol treatment center.
When you’re ready to visit an alcohol rehab center, read our official guide on the timeline for alcohol detox so you have the best chance for full recovery.