What Are the Signs of Alcohol Addiction?
There are many symptoms and warning signs common among those struggling from alcohol abuse. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the following, it may be necessary to seek treatment for alcohol addiction:
- Acting irresponsibly and neglecting responsibilities
- Becoming isolated from loved ones
- Lacking control of how much alcohol you consume
- Experiencing cravings for alcohol
- Building up a tolerance for alcohol and needing more drinks to reach the desired effect
- Building a physical dependence for alcohol
- Suffering from withdrawal symptoms when not drinking, such as anxiety, nausea, headaches, shakiness, sweating, and vomiting.
The Pressures of Social Drinking
Alcohol is the heart of many social situations and gatherings. You may be invited to go out for some drinks to celebrate a birthday, or for happy hour with some colleagues at the end of the work day. Maybe your friend is hosting a party to drink some beers and watch the game, or perhaps a bottle of wine is opened to go along with some conversation at the dinner table. No matter the situation, the opportunities and pressures to drink are abundant.
Due to the prevalence and easy accessibility of alcohol, it doesn’t always take much for “social drinking” to develop into an addiction. Before you know it, that addiction takes over and your life starts to spin out of control. Your career is put in jeopardy, relationships with loved ones become strained, money becomes tight, and your health starts to deteriorate. It can be difficult for you or a loved one to admit to having a problem, but overcoming this denial is the first step to overcoming your addiction.
Alcohol Abuse in America
Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance in the United States. Over 51% of adults in the U.S. are current regular drinkers. 16.3 million of these adults (8% of the American adult population) suffer from an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).
This widespread use has caused alcohol to become one of the main contributors to disease and death in the United States. Alcohol-induced liver disease accounted for one out of every three liver transplants in 2009. Excessive alcohol consumption and alcohol-related incidents, such as drinking and driving, account for more than 100,000 deaths per year in the U.S. The numbers don’t lie: alcohol abuse is a serious issue.