Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism
The consumption of alcohol is prevalent in the United Kingdom. For many individuals across the U.K., alcohol use has become a serious problem that has led them down a path to alcoholism. The number of people currently being treated for alcohol addiction is significant.
In England alone, there were more than 75,500 individuals receiving treatment for their alcohol addiction in 2018/19. For those with a serious alcohol problem, everyday life often becomes difficult to successfully manage and this leads to many issues arising.
These points help to illustrate that the misuse of alcohol is one of the biggest social issues faced by the U.K. With this in mind, it is beneficial to take a look at how to identify the signs and symptoms of alcoholism.
Understanding the signs and symptoms of alcoholism can help a person to realise that they need to seek help. Coming to this realisation and then admitting it to yourself and your loved ones is that key step that must be taken to be able to get the help that will lead to eventual recovery.
Some of the Early Warning Signs of a Serious Alcohol Problem
Ofter arising from social drinking, one of the first tell-tale signs of problematic alcohol use is regular heavy drinking that leads to intoxication. Another second warning sign of an alcohol problem is engaging in dangerous behaviours while drinking. An example of this would be deciding to drive after drinking heavily.
One of the other primary signs that you might have a serious issue with alcohol includes frequent black-outs. If your personality shifts dramatically when you drink and you find yourself quick to anger and violence, you should take these as further signs that you have a problem that needs to be addressed.
The progression of alcohol abuse to the level of alcoholism begins to occur once your drinking starts to cause you problems in your life and you are unable to quit. The reasons that it becomes hard to quit are many and the presence of withdrawal symptoms can make it all the more difficult for you to put the drink down.
When your drinking has come to this point, it is time to seek the help of trained addiction treatment specialists. These professionals will be able to help you get to the root problem of your drinking issue. This is necessary as you work toward entering into recovery and sobriety.
Symptoms To Indicate You Have a Problem That Requires Help
There are specific symptoms that indicate that you have an alcohol use disorder or suffer from alcoholism. They include:
- You are unsuccessful in your efforts to quit drinking
- You regularly drink more than you intended to whether it was in amount or in the length of time
- You regularly crave alcohol when you are not drinking
- The majority of your daily routine revolves around your drinking habit
- You regularly fail to honour your responsibilities at school, work, and home because of your drinking
- You have stopped participating in social activities due to drinking
- Your drinking causes you problems in your personal relationships with your family, friends, and partner
- You are unable to quit drinking even though it is causing you health problems
- You use alcohol in inappropriate situations such as driving or operating other types of machinery
- When you attempt to quit drinking, you experience the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal
- You constantly need to drink larger amounts of alcohol to satisfy your cravings
- You regularly find yourself in legal trouble as a result of your drinking
If you experience these types of symptoms and problems as a result of your use of alcohol, it is important to quickly seek the intervention of a trusted addiction treatment provider. Individuals who have alcohol use disorder and alcoholism are generally unable to get past the cycle of addiction without the benefit of professional help.
You also might require a medically monitored detox to safely get the alcohol out of your system before you begin the process of rehab and recovery.
Physical Symptoms of Alcoholism
Beyond the behavioural issues and symptoms that are often a sign of alcoholism, there are also physical effects that are indicative of the problem.
These symptoms include:
- You have broken facial capillaries
- You do not maintain good hygiene
- You have yellowing of your skin and around your eyes
- You have lost weight due to failure to eat enough calories
- You have a persistent smell of alcohol on your breath
- You have dry skin due to dehydration from alcohol consumption
- You have brittle hair due to dehydration from alcohol consumption
Suffering from the signs and symptoms of alcoholism should be seen as a serious issue. It is important to seek out help in the form of a qualified alcohol rehab where you can get help coming to terms with your addiction issues and work toward recovery.
What Are The Risk Factors for Alcoholism?
The abuse of alcohol can begin at any age. Alcohol use disorder that develops into alcoholism generally begins for most individuals in their 20s and their 30s. It is a problem that can begin at any stage.
Some of the most significant risk factors that increase your chance of developing alcoholism include:
- You have a family history of alcoholism
- You have experienced traumatic events in your past
- You began drinking at an early age
- You are surrounded by others that regularly consume alcohol
- You consistently drink over extended periods
- You suffer from depression or other mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, and schizophrenia, among others
If you have these risk factors in your life, the statistics suggest you are at a greater risk of developing a drinking problem that can reach the level of alcoholism. These facts reinforce the importance of seeking help if you want to quit drinking but have been unable to on your own.
What Are the Long-Term Consequences of Alcoholism?
There are many long-term consequences related to alcoholism. These consequences can affect your safety, personal relationships, and your overall health. Some of the major consequences include:
- You can end up having a difficult time maintaining healthy relationships
- Your work or school performance suffers because of your drinking
- You end up turning to other forms of substance abuse as well
- You have an increased chance of becoming involved in violent crime
- You are at a higher risk of engaging in unprotected sex
- You are at a greater risk of making bad choices such as driving under the influence of alcohol
- You can develop a long list of health problems that include liver disease, heart problems, digestive system problems, eye problems, sexual dysfunction, a weakened immune system, stroke, an increase in your likelihood of getting cancer, and neurological problems, among other health consequences
These types of serious consequences help to once again reinforce the importance of being able to recognise the signs and symptoms of alcoholism.
They also help to reinforce the importance of seeking help from qualified addiction treatment professionals at an alcohol rehab if you are battling against addiction to alcohol.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of alcoholism is a great step toward being able to recognise that you have a problem. Another useful tool is known as the CAGE questionnaire.
This is a series of questions that can help to indicate whether an individual has a dependency on alcohol. It is typically used by doctors as one of the methods to gauge if a patient has a problem that requires treatment. These questionnaires ask information such as:
- Have there been times where you felt you needed to reduce the amount of alcohol that you consume?
- Have you ever been annoyed when other people have been critical of the amount of alcohol that you drink?
- Do you ever have feelings of guilt related to the amount that you drink?
- Do you ever start your day by having a drink to either calm your nerves, or to act as a remedy for a hangover?
Generally speaking, if your answer is yes to two or more of these CAGE questions, you may have alcohol use disorder. These questions can be a useful tool for helping you to admit the truth and seek the help that you need to get clean.
Recognising That You Have the Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism
Coming to terms with the fact that you have an alcohol dependency is not easy but it is also the important first step toward getting the help that you need in becoming clean and sober. It is difficult to admit to having a problem with alcohol and societal stigmas do not make it any easier.
You might feel embarrassed to admit this issue to yourself and others but it is a decision that you must make. Once you have admitted to your problem, you need to seek help rather than simply trying to quit on your own. Depending on your level of alcoholism, you could end up facing dangerous withdrawal symptoms that could become life-threatening. You might need to undergo a medically monitored detox programme.
It is important to speak with your doctor and to seek the services of a quality alcohol rehab program where you will have the benefit of trained addiction treatment professionals that can help you get to the bottom of your addiction problem.
Alcoholism Withdrawal Symptoms
If you suffer from alcoholism, it is important to know about the specific types of withdrawal symptoms that you can face when you detox. These symptoms of withdrawal include:
- High Blood Pressure
- A Heart Rate Increase
- Nausea and Vomiting
It is common to begin to experience these symptoms of withdrawal as early as six hours after you cease drinking alcohol. Symptoms often continue to occur for up to a few days. In some cases, the symptoms will get worse over a span of two or three days.
It is also common for some of the milder symptoms to linger for weeks. Some alcohol withdrawal symptoms are more severe and can represent a life-threatening situation. The most severe type of alcohol withdrawal symptom is known as Delirium Tremens. The signs of this condition include:
- Auditory, Visual, and Tactile Hallucinations
- Extreme Confusion and Agitation
These symptoms represent a serious medical situation that needs to be addressed immediately by medical professionals. For individuals suffering from alcoholism that are at risk for these more serious types of symptoms, it can be advisable to take part in a medically monitored detox.
Seeking Help for Your Alcohol Use Disorder
If you have come to terms with the fact that you suffer from alcoholism, it is important to take the next step and seek help. You need to discuss what option will be the best for you with your doctor. For many people, the best course of action will be to enter into a residential alcohol rehab programme.
When you enter into a residential alcohol rehab programme, you get the benefit of being able to focus solely on your issues with addiction while surrounded by highly experienced, knowledgeable, and caring staff members who specialise in helping people to get clean and sober. There are also great community organisations out there that can help you in your fight to attain sobriety.
Making this decision can be one of the best moves you have ever made for yourself and for those that love you. With the right dedication, you can overcome your addiction to alcohol and there is help available to assist you in doing it. Today is the perfect day to make a decision that will change your life for the better.
Get in touch today
Call now on 0800 088 66 86 for confidential and immediate advice.