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What Are the Signs of Alcohol Abuse?

man distraught while holding alcoholic drink showing signs of alcohol abuse

At times in their lives, many people wonder if they’ve developed a dependency on alcohol. Recreational drinking may become a frantic compulsion. Suddenly, you can’t function without reaching for the bottle. Signs of alcohol abuse are prevalent—there’s a fixation on where to get that next drink, despite growing problems caused by the excess.

And with increased tolerance, someone struggling with alcohol addiction needs to drink more to feel the same effects. Once you recognize alcohol addiction and the symptoms or signs of alcoholism, you should know that steady, supportive help is available. Alcohol addiction treatment moves people toward more functional, fulfilling lives.

Alcohol Addiction Symptoms

From reliance on alcohol to cope with responsibilities or relationships to escalating binge drinking, signs of alcohol abuse are varied. While not all conditions are severe, signs and symptoms are often universal. Some may include:

  • Abandoning or cutting back on everyday activities to find and use alcohol
  • Feeling an intense craving or urge to drink alcohol
  • A growing inability to function without alcohol
  • Drinking despite the realization that alcohol-related behaviors are destroying job or personal relationships
  • Repeated and failed attempts to cut back or stop drinking
  • Reliance on alcohol despite unsafe conditions—using machinery, driving, physical activities that demand attention
  • Growing tolerance and needing to drink more to feel the same effects
  • Withdrawal symptoms like shaking, profuse sweating, nausea, restlessness, and depression

Signs of Alcohol Abuse and Ways to Help

Alcohol abuse to alcoholism can be a short transition. Your growing commitment to alcohol outweighs your dedication to everything else. You ignore growing physical and emotional side-effects to keep drinking. Denial goes hand-in-hand with alcoholism. When people become overly dependent on alcohol, they may think they can control their drinking and stop whenever they want. Overcoming denial is essential in treating alcoholism, as is recognizing the signs and symptoms. Knowing what’s happening comes first and foremost. Next is asking for help.

Commonly known as an intervention, friends, and family may intervene by sharing concerns about drinking levels and growing signs of alcohol dependency. Speaking with a loved one about alcohol addiction can be challenging. Counselors or those who’ve progressed through stages of recovery can be an asset to recovery. In addition, 12-step programs or support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous harness the power of shared experience and daily practice to help those struggling with alcohol addiction progress toward recovery.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

From interventions to residential treatment programs, there is a wide range of treatments for those struggling with alcoholism. Like all medical methods and mental health programs, finding the right blend of treatment varies for each person. However, understanding the common practices can help ease the transition:

Mental Health Therapy

From psychotherapy to group therapy, through inpatient and outpatient programs, mental health professionals play a crucial role in recovery efforts. Therapy can help us recognize patterns and reasons behind addictive habits through exploring triggers and thought patterns. Recovering alcoholics can learn more about the how and why of their condition. Then, through various therapeutic methods, clients learn how to make different choices and change the lines of reasoning that led to problematic behaviors.

Family Support Therapy

While a client seeks help, support from family and friends is also crucial. Family therapy may include working through dynamics contributing to the problem and helping improve communication between client and loved ones. Families and clients work toward improved communication and better understanding. Furthermore, families find much-needed support as they work to help their loved ones.

Managing Withdrawal and Detox

Unfortunately, coping with the physical discomfort of quitting alcohol is part of recovery. Detox can take up to a week, and certain medications may help combat the physical discomfort of withdrawal. By enlisting medical experts to help navigate the process, clients can better manage the physical side effects of recovery.

Aftercare Programs

After intensive therapy, aftercare programs help with follow-up goals—including maintenance of new habits, relapse prevention efforts, and upholding healthier lifestyles. From a support group to resources for staying the course, aftercare programs play a crucial role in sustaining recovery.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Peachtree Recovery Solutions

At Peachtree Recovery Solutions in Georgia, you’ll find a collaboration between medical and mental health providers. Our team of experts navigates the recovery process through various therapy options, including outpatient, inpatient, and special populations therapy programs. If you or your loved one recognize the signs of alcohol addiction and are ready to find your way to a better life, Peachtree Recovery Solutions can help. Call us at 866.863.1129 to find the support you need.