Alcoholism signs and symptoms are clues that alcohol may be a problem. If left untreated, alcoholism signs and symptoms and alcoholism can affect the quality of life of the person as well as those around them. Alcoholism is a disease where alcohol consumption (beer, wine, or hard liquor) is at a level that interferes with the person’s physical and mental health, and negatively impacts family, social or work responsibilities.
Alcoholism symptoms can be recognized relatively early in the disease’s progression, but if not dealt with, alcoholism can be fatal. Here are alcoholism signs and symptoms that indicate alcohol may be a problem:
• Becoming Angry When Confronted About Drinking
• Daily or Frequent Alcohol Consumption Needed to Function
• Drinking Alone
• Finding Excuses to Drink
• Food Intake Neglect
• Hiding Alcohol Related Behavior
• Inability to Stop or Reduce Alcohol Consumption
• Memory Loss, Blackouts
• Morning Shakes
• Nausea, Vomiting
• Physical Appearance Neglect
• Violent Episodes Occur When Drinking
When considering alcoholism signs and symptoms, alcoholism can be broadly divided into two categories — alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. Alcohol abusers may drink heavily at various times, but they have not yet become alcohol dependent. Alcoholism signs and symptoms for alcohol abusers can be problems that happen while being intoxicated such as drinking and driving, violent episodes, or missing appointments, work or school.
Alcohol dependence can develop over the years and follows a generally predictable pattern. A tolerance of alcohol develops first, which means a person needs to consume greater quantities of alcohol before the same effects are noticed. Over time, the person may lose control over their drinking and may not be able to stop even if they want to. And if alcohol consumption is reduced or stopped, withdrawal symptoms can be experienced which can range from annoying to life-threatening.
If the alcoholic continues drinking, he or she may become obsessed with drinking to the exclusion of almost everything else. Many of the above alcoholism signs and symptoms may be noticed. The most severe kind of drinking is called ‘binge drinking’, periods of time with continuous heavy alcohol consumption.
If alcoholism continues to progress, the mental and physical health of the alcoholic can seriously deteriorate. Many of the body’s organs can become damaged which lowers resistance to disease and infections. Relationships at home or socially may become damaged, and there can be financial and legal problems due to the alcoholic’s inability to stop drinking.
If the alcoholic continues to drink, alcohol can ultimately cause their death one way or another. Accidents and related injuries, suicide, drownings and falling asleep in bed while smoking and intoxicated and burning to death are examples of the consequences of alcoholism. Health-wise, damage to the body’s organs and systems due to long-term excessive drinking means the person will likely suffer from a number of diseases and conditions such as heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver, malnutrition and cancer.
Are there different stages of alcoholism? Yes, most definitely. If the alcoholism signs and symptoms indicate that alcohol consumption is becoming or is already a problem, there are resources available to help with alcoholism and the serious consequences of this disease.