Casual drinking habits can morph into abuse or addiction in time. Warning signs include:
It can be challenging to figure out when alcohol consumption crosses the line from frequent enjoyment to abuse or addiction, and to determine when someone needs help with an alcohol problem due to excessive alcohol use.
Any of these issues can be considered a drinking problem, depending on the effects of the drinking on the person’s life, ability to function, and relationships.
The website WebMD lists varying degrees of physical symptoms of alcoholism. At the beginning of the disease, these symptoms may be limited and hard to recognize. However, as the disease progresses, the symptoms become more pronounced and easy to recognize, and these symptoms are clear signs that help is needed. The symptoms include:
Alcoholism also results in needing more alcohol to produce the same results that were previously achieved with smaller amounts.
Some of these symptoms are signs that a person’s alcoholism has been present for a long time, and intervention via rehab is undoubtedly warranted. When alcoholism is sufficiently advanced, more severe physical manifestations may occur, such as various cancers or cirrhosis of the liver.
The psychological signs of alcohol addiction can be a little harder to see. Behaviors and events to look out for include:
Even feeling a slight loss of control over drinking behaviors can be a sign that an individual should seek professional help. If a number of these psychological signs are present, an alcohol use disorder is likely the issue, and rehab is required.
If a person is experiencing seizures and hallucinations when attempting to stop drinking, it may be due to a condition called delirium tremens (DTs). This is a serious condition that requires medical intervention to detox from alcohol. Because of the risk of DTs, a person struggling with alcoholism should never attempt to quit drinking altogether. In order to withdraw from alcohol, medical detox is required.
When an individual’s drinking interferes with life to this degree, rehab is the best option to regain control and achieve recovery.
State and local governments often offer rehab information and resources for local facilities and programs through their substance abuse or behavioral health divisions; the organizations to contact can be found through the Directory of Single State Agencies (SSAs) for Substance Abuse Services. In addition, the federal government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA) provides an online search engine that can provide guidance to those seeking a facility.
For alcoholism or severe alcohol abuse, medically supported, research-based residential rehab is the most recommended option for treatment.
This type of care provides the services most likely to help individuals develop and implement tools and strategies that can sustain recovery from alcohol abuse.