Signs of alcohol misuse are varied and not always immediately apparent. Anyone suffering from an alcohol problem often neglects their responsibilities at home, work or school. While not always apparent, the following five signs could indicate that your or a loved one might be abusing alcohol.
1. Neglecting responsibilities or other activities due to alcohol misuse
Someone who abuses alcohol will typically neglect basic responsibilities or activities. Activities that used to be significant to the person will start to become less important. An alcoholic might no longer be involved in, or enjoy, the activities they once enjoyed. Someone who jumped at the chance to go shopping may prefer, instead, to try out a couple of new bars. Work, school, personal life, hobbies, and relationships become less important to finding the next drink.
Whether an alcoholic admits it, when first confronted, they will often lie or make excuses to cover up their drinking. They will lie about how much they drink, that they haven’t been drinking at all—despite signs to the contrary—or avoid their loved ones altogether.
3. Loss of Control
Another sign of alcoholism is when someone can’t control how much or how often they drink. An occasional over-indulgence doesn’t necessarily mean a person has an alcohol problem. It’s not unusual for people to get caught up in the moment and drink more than they intended. But drinking more—and more often—is atypical.
Because alcohol is a depressant, and because heavy drinking can cause feelings of extreme shame and guilt, depression can often create the cycle which produces depression. Symptoms of depression include chronic fatigue, sadness which lasts longer than two weeks, feelings of hopelessness, and even thoughts of suicide.
One of the primary symptoms of alcohol abuse is when build up a high level of tolerance without realising it. Just like exercise builds up a tolerance to soreness, more drinking requires more consumption to achieve the same euphoria. If you find that you or your loved one think you need to drink more to enjoy it more, you’ve most likely built up your alcohol tolerance to an unhealthy level.
If you suspect that you, a friend, or family member is an alcoholic, you can begin by calling a professional to get advice. Alcoholism is often a hidden disease but, with help, it can be overcome.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol misuse, please contact Brian Burgess on 020 3096 6277 for a free initial consultation. Brian is an expert on addictions and a qualified therapist and counsellor.