As alcoholism is experienced in myriad ways, it has a different face for different people. Moreover, people avoid admitting the demonic side of drinking due to the underestimation of their challenges and problems.
It is a disease that sets in slowly and shows the true colors mostly unannounced. People are caught unaware when casual or social drinking gradually turns into more serious drinking. During this life-changing transitional phase, every schedule starts revolving around catching up with friends and other acquaintances for a few drinks. While drinking becomes the decisive aspect of life, other priorities take a backseat.
Overall, alcoholism is not easy to diagnose right away. It may take months or even years for the physical symptoms of this disease to manifest externally. By the time a person identifies the warning signs, the stage has already been set for a severe condition. The level of this disorder depends on a person’s drinking habits, weight, gender, history of alcohol use, etc. Hence, the severity and speed at which one is affected by alcoholism would vary from individual to individual.
Identifying common tendencies among people with alcoholism
A number of platforms have highlighted the key signs to distinguish a person wrestling with alcoholism from their counterpart. It is crucial for the family member and friends to be aware of such signs that raise a red flag. Some of the common tendencies prevalent among people with alcoholism are mentioned below:
- Drinking alone.
- Lying about the amount of alcohol consumed.
- Hiding alcohol and drinking in secret.
- Drinking before an event where liquor will be served.
- Increasing tolerance toward alcohol spikes and the amount of alcohol required to reach intoxication.
- Planning the day’s schedule around drinking
- Experiencing concerns from others over their drinking habits.
- Witnessing dramatic mood changes.
- Experiencing negative behavioral changes, such as aggressiveness, violence, etc.
- Facing doubts about one’s own drinking problem.
Demarcating the stages of alcoholism
It is helpful if one is aware of the signs to keep oneself and loved ones in check. Generally, there are about five basic stages that lead to alcoholism. However, it is not necessary that everyone will go through the same order or sequence. Hence, the journey toward alcoholism may differ from person to person.
The first stage can be characterized by occasional binge drinking seen typically in college-going children and young adults occasionally indulging in binge drinking. Binge drinking is risky, even if occurring occasionally, as excessive indulgence in alcohol could lead to dependency, blackouts and fatal accidents in severe cases.
The second stage is characterized by increased drinking. Compared to the first stage, drinking at this stage is more frequent. As a result, social drinking is replaced by more frequent personalized time revolving around drinking to combat stress, boredom and loneliness. In the third stage, one’s drinking starts affecting others negatively at work or school. During this stage, personal relationships with friends and family are tension ridden. One’s behavior is seen to be unreliable by others. The previous drinking buddies may no longer accompany him or her as they may be put off by his or her behavior when inebriated. This leads to a lack of appetite, insomnia, etc.
Gradually, the person shifts to the stage of dependence when alcohol becomes part of his or her regular routine. It becomes a ritual to have a few drinks every day. As tolerance begins to increase, the number of drinks also rises. At this stage, one may begin to experience physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, such as nausea, vomiting, tremors and profuse sweating.
The final stage is alcohol addiction when drinking is no longer only for pleasure. It becomes a survival tool as one is not able to function without drinking and the body craves for it. At this stage, the amount of alcohol being consumed impact the key organs, such as liver, heart, brain, etc..
Denial of problem leads to worsening of condition
Upon observing the early signs of alcohol abuse, one must point them out to the loved one even when countered by staunch denial. Through gentle and consistent persistence, a person with the problem of alcoholism will relent and open up for treatment.
If you or someone you know is addicted to alcohol and is looking for alcohol addiction treatment centers in the U.S., contact the Alcohol Addiction Get Help Helpline for assistance and guidance. Call at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 281-3014 or chat online with our experts to know about some of the finest alcohol addiction treatment centers in your vicinity.