Alcoholism is a common condition. In the US, 17.6 million adults have identified alcohol dependence issues. Several million more engage in risky alcohol consumption, which could manifest into addiction. Between 2010 and 2012, alcoholism was a contributing factor in 30 percent of those who died from alcohol poisoning.
Identifying alcoholism can be tricky. Some people drink in excess for one night, and never think about touching alcohol again. Others find that the desire to drink becomes uncontrollable and intoxication quickly becomes a way of life. When it comes to alcoholism, it’s not just quantity or frequency of alcohol consumption, but the impact it has on your life.
Susceptibility Of Alcoholism
Genetic predisposition can play a big role in the development of alcoholism. Over 50 percent of adults are predisposed due to family ties to alcohol dependence. Socioeconomic, psychological, and the use of other substances can also increase the chances that alcoholism will develop. Studies have concluded that:
- 75 percent of alcohol poisoning deaths involve adults between the ages of 35 and 64.
- The majority if alcohol deaths are among male Caucasians.
- American Indians and Alaskan natives have the highest concentration of alcohol poisoning deaths per million.
- Starting to drink earlier in life can greatly influence your relationship with alcohol later on.
Excessive drinking increases the likelihood of developing some form of dependency. Excessive drinking is defined by binging, heavy drinking, or any alcohol consumption by pregnant women or people who are underage. Binge drinking is defined as consuming 4 or more drinks for women, or 5 or more drinks for men, during a single occasion. Heavy drinking is defined as consuming 8 or more drinks per week for women, or 15 for men.
Identifying a predisposition to alcoholism can work in your favor, as you are able to be more mindful of your relationship with alcohol. If you find yourself questioning whether or not you are an alcoholic, there may be some issues that need to be addressed. Alcoholism is best identified when you consider the place that alcohol has in your life. Many people are unaware of the impact of alcoholism until something catastrophic happens. Knowing the symptoms can help prevent such occurrences. Some symptoms of alcoholism include:
- Legal, relationship, or work troubles due to alcohol use
- Inability to control consumption once you’ve started drinking
- Spending a lot of time drinking and recovering from the effects of alcohol
- Drinking at inappropriate or dangerous times, like while driving a car
- Blacking out without memory of your time under the influence
- Hurting yourself or others while under the influence
- Continuing to drink despite damage to health, or warnings from a physician
- Concern from loved ones that your drinking has gotten out of hand
- Making excuses for excessive drinking, or you hide it altogether
- Drinking alone, or first thing in the morning
- Being concerned with alcohol supply, and feel anxiety when alcohol can’t be obtained
- Feeling guilty for your drinking, but continue to drink
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you are not under the influence – Fever, chills, gastrointestinal discomfort, clamminess, agitation, depression, and anxiety.
There is a big difference between looking forward to having a beer after work and fixating on the beer until you get home. If you rely on alcohol for fun or function, this could be a red flag for you. If you feel that you spend too much time with, or recovering from, the effects of alcohol, it may be time to seek help. Addressing these issues swiftly can prevent more unfortunate circumstance and aid in regaining control of your health.
Help For Alcoholism
Alcoholism affects the lives of millions of people every day. While it is not easy, many of these people require some form of treatment to get better. Identifying the warning signs of alcoholism in oneself is the first step in finding a solution to the problem. If you believe that you are an alcoholic, you may wish to pursue treatment. There are many options for finding sobriety, including inpatient or outpatient rehab, AA, and one-on-one therapy. These methods of treatment have help many people regain control in their lives, and can help you, as well.
We Can Help
If you believe that you are addicted to alcohol, you may wonder where to go from here. The caring staff at AlcoholTreatment.net is here to help. We can guide you through the treatment process and help find resources for maintaining sobriety. Contact us today.