Alcohol is not a new substance. Since the beginning of time, almost every single culture has used some type of alcoholic beverage. We even know that alcoholic beverages like wine and beer were considered healthier alternatives since they did not have the knowledge or filter systems about water that we have today. For some, a single drink here and there is nothing to be concerned about. However, alcohol is one of the most addictive drugs out there and can lead to intense long term and potentially life-threatening problems. In this blog post, we will be discussing what alcohol use disorder is and some of the warning signs. Keep reading to learn more!
Alcohol use disorder, which is also known as alcoholism, is a fatal disease that is characterized by tolerance, cravings, loss of control of alcohol consumption, and physical dependence to alcohol. Observers of those who have alcoholism sometimes may not even be able to tell when someone is or is not under the influence, which can be scary. Chronic alcoholism can lead to so many physical problems, even among high functioning alcoholics. While the liver is one of the most affected vital organs, alcohol affects the entire body. A person’s heart, intestines, and brain are all affected in a negative way. Their mental health is also compromised and many people who struggle with chronic alcohol addiction also struggle with feelings of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
Signs of Alcoholism
The signs of alcoholism can vary depending on the individual. There are signs that that can be split into multiple categories such as, physical, social, and emotional. These signs may also not be easy to detect. Physical signs tend to be easier to identify but they can also take years to define.
Statistically, people who struggle with alcohol dependence have run into legal trouble. These can be charges of DUI’s, public intoxication offenses, or other criminal charges that have stemmed from previous drinking activity. Alcohol disables our ability to make conscious and normal decisions that we probably wouldn’t make if we weren’t under the influence. Alcohol can also hinder people’s ability to make good choices when it comes to their day to day life. This can include skipping out on work or school to binge drink, putting responsibilities to the side, and other problematic behaviors. Relationships are also affected. Whether these be romantic relationships or relationships with friends and family, the user tends to have a negative view of these.
If a person has a high tolerance to alcohol, that can be one of the first signs. Building up that high of a tolerance means that the body has grown used to the presence of alcohol and will need more to become fully intoxicated. For example, to feel a slight buzz they’re consuming way more than most people would. Memory loss is another physical effect of alcohol. This can come from a single night but over time, the brain is affected and the individual may have permanent forms of amnesia. Internal damage to the liver, heart, brain, and other vital organs can also present visual appearance changes too.
Mental health is just as important as a person’s physical health. A person with alcohol dependence tends to experience frequent mood swings and may seem as if they “flip the switch” frequently. Defensiveness and aggressive anger is another way that a person may be displaying emotional signs of alcohol dependence.
What Causes Alcoholism?
Alcoholism or alcohol dependence can come from a variety of factors. For some, long periods of excessive alcohol consumption can cause dependence or addiction. But for others, there are more underlying factors. Biological factors can most definitely play a part in alcoholism. If a person has had a family member who has struggled with alcoholism, those genes can get passed down. Even if the child or relative of that family member hasn’t experienced symptoms of alcohol dependence, those biological factors may make it easier to become an alcoholic.
Environmental factors such as a person living location can also highly influence the way someone views alcohol. Those who live in areas of high traffic or that live close to bars and other alcohol retailers tend to have a more positive outlook on alcohol. The way that alcohol companies market their products also can influence a person’s viewpoint. Of course, no company is going to show the dark and real effects that alcohol can have. But instead, they will show clips of people having fun, hanging out with friends, and having the time of their life while drinking their product.
A person’s annual income can also influence the way you view drinking. One study showed that roughly 68% of people with an annual income of $65,000 or more consumed alcohol. Comparatively, only 45% of individuals who drank alcohol had a yearly income of less than $35,000.
There are also psychological factors that can influence a person’s desire to drink. Many people use alcohol as a way to escape, take the edge off, or relax from the realities of their day to day life. Alcohol is considered a depressant that can amplify feelings of depressions, loneliness, and anxiety.
Alcohol dependence is a real condition that affects so many people. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol, it’s never too late to change your life. Take back control with Go Sober.
The Go Sober alcohol treatment program is different from anything you have ever heard of or seen before. We’ve spent years working with the top neuroscientists, medical professionals, mental-health experts, and addiction specialists to develop an outpatient alcohol treatment program that has an incredibly high probability of success. We have one goal, and that is to help you go sober forever. We even offer everyone a free confidential consultation. This is your chance to be open and honest and receive advice from a trained addiction specialist. It’s no obligation and allows you to see where you stand and how to start on your road to a sober life. Connect with us today to start your journey on to a better life.