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In order to avoid the potentially devastating consequences of alcoholism, it is important to know the difference between social drinking and alcohol abuse.

With alcohol being widely celebrated, it can sometimes be hard to tell if a person is abusing it or just having fun. Some people will drink occasionally and never have an issue, while others will develop unhealthy habits that can lead to addiction. Eventually, it impacts their health, career, family, and relationships.

It is possible to stop this downward spiral .If someone in the family has a drinking problem and you think their drinking is out of control, there are ways to spot the signs and symptoms.

The most telling sign of an alcohol addiction is if someone attempts to quit but can’t. Even though they want to quit, their attempts will fail. They may even try quitting alcohol repeatedly, only to be disappointed and frustrated over and over again.

This is not just a matter of willpower. Addiction is a medical condition that affects a person’s ability to make good decisions. The cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with substance abuse may also hinder an individual’s ability to stop drinking.

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, a person who is addicted to alcohol may find himself consistently doing things they regret while intoxicated. This leads to a desire to cut down on drinking or quit altogether, but they will keep on drinking anyway.

Developing a tolerance to alcohol may either be an early warning sign of addiction or it could mean that the person is already addicted. The person may eventually develop physical dependence, wherein they feel like they couldn’t make it through the day without drinking.

Developing tolerance means that the person can drink significantly more than they could when they first started drinking. They will find that it takes a lot more alcohol for them to feel drunk now. People with alcohol tolerance tend to drink faster and with the intention of getting drunk rather than just to enjoy the social experience.

At the same time, the usual amount of alcohol no longer affects them in the same way. They will have to drink more just to get the desired effect.

Another sign of alcohol use disorder is often finding yourself in risky or dangerous situations. Alcohol abuse makes a person more confident, and also more prone to making bad decisions because of their reduced inhibitions. They are more likely to break the law, or get into a terrible accident, especially if they decide to drive while under the influence of alcohol. They might engage in unprotected sex, or get into fights, etc.

Generally speaking, the person might have a different personality when drinking. Their sober personality and their personality once they’ve had a lot to drink are dramatically different. This is a sign of not only a drinking problem, but also an underlying emotional or psychological issue that urges them to turn to drinking as the “solution”.

Other common signs of alcoholism include having memory lapses, black-outs, withdrawal symptoms, and interpersonal issues. If the person starts having problems with friends, family members, co-workers, as a result of their drinking, then the problem with alcohol needs to be addressed.

Lastly, the alcoholic may no longer participate in activities and hobbies that they used to like, simply because they don’t enjoy it anymore. Instead, they will prioritize their drinking. They may also neglect their old responsibilities in favor of drinking.

If someone in the family is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it is important to seek help. A combination of medical detox and behavioral therapy can go a long way in the fight against drug abuse. But because every individual is affected by addiction differently, a comprehensive program tailored to their specific needs is necessary. Look for a nearby addiction treatment facility today and find out how drug treatment programs work.

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Fel Clinical Director of Content
Felisa Laboro has been working with addiction and substance abuse businesses since early 2014. She has authored and published over 1,000 articles in the space. As a result of her work, over 1,500 people have been able to find treatment. She is passionate about helping people break free from alcohol or drug addiction and living a healthy life.

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