5 Signs of Alcoholism

Chances are high that you know someone affected by alcoholism. Along with non-addicted alcohol abuse, this condition ranks as America’s most common substance problem. The official name of this problem is alcohol use disorder (AUD). Help for AUD is available in a properly designed alcohol addiction treatment program. 

People with serious alcohol problems typically develop notable signs of their condition. Such signs may reveal the effects of alcoholism and/or non-addicted abuse. While only a doctor can diagnose AUD, the things you notice may help your loved one seek timely treatment.

Signs of Alcoholism

Alcoholism, or alcohol addiction, is the end result of a series of changes inside your brain. In typical order, these changes are:

  • The development of physical alcohol dependence
  • Further development of psychological dependence
  • The onset of an involuntary need to find and drink more alcohol

Physical dependence occurs when your brain becomes chemically reliant on alcohol. Psychological dependence adds to this problem by triggering an emotional need for alcohol. In response to these dual forms of dependence, involuntary alcohol-seeking begins.

Several things can serve as signs that this series of changes has occurred. These signs of alcoholism include:

  1. Repeatedly drinking more and/or more often than planned 
  2. Trying to quit using alcohol multiple times without succeeding
  3. Becoming increasingly tolerant to the effects of drinking
  4. Strongly craving more alcohol between bouts of drinking
  5. Developing withdrawal symptoms after trying to quit or cut back on alcohol

You may also notice other alcohol addiction symptoms. One such symptom is having a daily routine that revolves around alcohol use. An affected person may also prioritize drinking over other pleasurable activities. In addition, they may keep drinking even after suffering obvious harm from their alcohol use. 

Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Not all problem drinkers develop full-blown alcoholism. Some remain in what’s known as the alcohol abuse stage, where certain changes also take place in the brain. These changes make it more likely that a person will keep drinking despite clear evidence of harm.

Signs that alcohol abuse has occurred include:

  • Skipping work, school, or important social engagements to drink
  • Drinking in hazardous situations, such as before driving
  • Suffering legal problems related to alcohol, such as DWI/DUI arrests
  • Experiencing repeated relationship problems caused or worsened by drinking

AUD and Signs of Alcoholism

It only takes two AUD symptoms to be diagnosed with the condition. In some cases, only alcoholism symptoms are present. However, alcohol addiction symptoms and abuse symptoms may also overlap. In addition, an affected person may only be affected by symptoms of abuse. In all of these scenarios, the official diagnosis is AUD.

Treating the Signs of Alcohol Addiction

It’s vitally important to treat the signs of alcohol addiction. The same holds true for the signs of alcohol abuse. Several medications can help you recover from AUD. You may also recover with support from psychotherapy. 

Residential treatment is the norm for severe AUD. However, if you have mild-to-moderate AUD, an intensive outpatient program (IOP) may be a better option. IOPs help you regain your sobriety without residential care. They also allow you to continue leading your life during alcohol recovery.

Turn to Tree House for Help With the Signs of Alcoholism

Concerned that you or your loved one have AUD? Consult the addiction specialists at Tree House Recovery. We can give you a full rundown of the likely signs of this disorder. When can also help determine if you have diagnosable symptoms.

Tree House features an IOP for alcohol problems. This program helps you meet your crucial recovery goals. It also helps you keep your active lifestyle while on your sobriety journey. To learn more about how we can help, just call us today at 910.519.8835 or contact us online.