Three Signs You’re Addicted to Alcohol
Red cups. Ping pong balls. Hazy nights. That god-awful headache in the morning.
What do all these things have in common? Alcohol. There are many ways to determine if you are addicted to alcohol. If you or someone you love has a problem, read on.
Alcohol, as a substance, is a colorless, volatile, and flammable liquid that is used in a variety of liquors, beers, wines, and other drinks. It is used, outside of imbibing, as industrial machine fuel. That alone should give an idea of its potency.
Unfortunately, alcohol leads to addiction for many. It may go from those beer pong nights, hazy nights, and hangovers, to full-scale blackouts, drunk driving, and even arrests. Unchecked, alcohol addiction can lead to death.
So what are the signs of alcohol addiction and when is it time to go to a rehap detox center? Here are three.
The Number of Drinks
A common measure of alcohol addiction is simply how much a person drinks. A person falls into five categories: sober, light drinking, moderate drinking, heavy drinking, or alcohol use disorder.
Heavy drinking, often the precursor to alcohol use disorder, means consuming 15 or more drinks per week for a man and eight drinks or more for a woman. While alcohol use disorder involves more than just the volume of drinks, knowing the heavy drinking alcohol criteria can help with the making of a decision to seek help.
This help can come from an addiction specialist or a rehap detox center.
There are some common questions psychologists ask when diagnosing a person who exhibits symptoms of alcohol addiction.
More than once, have you tried stopping or cutting down drinking, but failed?
Have you experienced a craving or a strong urge to drink?
Have you found that drinking affects your ability to care for your family, do your job, or perform other responsibilities?
Have you had to drink much more than previously to get the same effect? Or found that the same amount of drinking had less effect?
A good resource is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They have a web page that lists the questions psychologists typically ask when diagnosing alcohol use disorder. You can ask those questions yourself, if you feel you might have an addiction to alcohol. Family members may use those questions to analyze or confront a person with a problem.
The Withdrawal Effects
A fact generally remains: Only people who drink hard and for a long time experience withdrawal effects from alcohol. They are a tell-tale sign that something has gone amiss. Alcohol is the number one drug in America and its withdrawal effects are well-known.
The first is delirium tremens, oftentimes called “DTs.” Delirium tremens is a sudden and severe condition in which the nervous system suddenly changes. The condition tends to develop within 48 to 96 hours after the last drink. People experience shaking, sweating, an irregular heartbeat, or shivering. They may hallucinate.
The second is a shaking of the extremities. The hands of a person who drinks heavily may shake, which indicates a withdrawal from alcohol. The face of a person might also twitch, and their legs may as well.
These are two conditions but there are many others. Alcohol withdrawal is so dangerous that doctors always recommend a person to detox in a rehap detox center under the supervision of healthcare professionals. Doing it alone can lead to death.
What to Do to Get Help
If you feel this article has resonated with you, that you or a family member is addicted to alcohol, the first step is to call a mental health or addiction specialist. This can be outpatient, such as a therapist that works independently. This can also be there a hotline, as seen online and within TV info-ads.
You may also call a rehap detox center. An alcohol detox center or rehab detox center has many detox doctors that specialize in safe ways to help patients detox from alcohol with minimal withdrawal symptoms. They also have tools for recovery.
Those are three ways to determine if you or a family member is addicted to alcohol. Reach out for help. Addiction recovery saves lives.