There is a fine line between enjoying an occasional drink or two and binge-drinking alcoholic beverages every day. Those addicted to alcohol may have a hard time knowing or even admitting that their behavior is beyond what’s normal, and at times, they need help from other people to make them understand that their habits and vices may be causing them plenty harm.
Alcohol addiction is considered to be a disease which progressively worsens over time. It might be difficult to notice its effects on one’s health immediately, but constant heavy drinking is the cause of several acute illnesses, such as liver damage, liver cancer, high blood pressure, and neurological complications. Before an alcoholic completely destroys his or her own health, it’s best to try to nip the vice in the bud, and consult with a trained medical personnel from an established St. Louis rehabilitation center before the addiction causes further damage. If you fear your loved one is suffering from alcohol addiction, be sure to keep a look out for the following warning signs and behavior:
Constantly Craving for Alcohol
One major warning sign of alcohol addiction is when it becomes so ingrained in a person’s daily routine that going a day without it feels like torture. An addict craves for alcohol throughout the day, even during times which can be considered socially inappropriate (i.e. morning, while driving, during work).
Engaging in Risky Behavior
The National Highway Traffic Administration states that 10,322 people died due to drunk driving incidents in 2012. Studies show that alcohol addiction can cause people to participate in high risk behavior, such as driving under the influence, unprotected sex, and violence.
For substance abusers, activities that used to be of importance to them now take a backseat to alcohol use. Alcohol addicts repeatedly fail to attend work and social functions because of constant hangovers. Career and family responsibilities are taken for granted so often that relatives and friends begin to take notice of the change.
Losing Control over Drinking
Drinking to relax and relieve stress is a major sign of alcohol dependency. People who use alcohol to drown out emotions like anger and sadness are addicted to its sedating effect, while they turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the negative impact that alcoholism measures out to their health and personal life. Even with the awareness, they continue to drink anyway because they have no control over their habits anymore.
If you believe a family member or a friend is suffering from alcohol addiction, several outpatient rehabilitation centers in St. Louis such as the Midwest Institute for Addiction can provide the treatment and care that they might need.
(Source: Characteristics of Alcohol/Drug Dependence, DUI DWI Foundation)