Alcohol abuse is a serious issue. Estimates suggest that one in twelve adults in the U.S. suffer from alcoholism. Several million more people engage in risky, binge drinking patterns that could lead to alcohol problems. The chances are that you know someone that may be suffering from alcohol abuse.
The problem with alcohol is that is socially acceptable to drink. In fact, drinking has deep roots in our culture. Weddings, funerals, work functions, and birthday parties often involve the use of alcohol. Because of the social acceptability of alcohol, it is often easy to brush warning signs aside and attribute a person’s drinking to their current social situation. However, this can be a dangerous trap.
So, what are the signs that you should be looking for in your loved ones? Today we are going to help you spot issues that may lead to dangerous consequences.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse
The chances are that if you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol, there will be some common symptoms. Many people think that an alcoholic is a person on the corner panhandling for money. However, there are people who are not only able to maintain social acceptability but can also thrive while still struggling with alcohol abuse. Here are some of the common signs and symptoms:
- Repeatedly neglecting your responsibilities at work, school, or home because of your drinking. Examples include poor performance at work, skipping school, neglecting your children, or missing commitments because you are drunk or hung over. While some problem drinkers can maintain the other areas of their lives, many people struggle to keep up with everyday tasks.
- Using alcohol in dangerous situations. Drinking and driving repeatedly is a common example of someone not considering the consequences of their alcohol abuse. Another example is mixing alcohol with prescription medications against a doctor’s orders. Alcohol lower’s the consumer’s inhibitions and causes them to make poor decisions.
- Repeated legal problems because of your drinking. Do you have two, three, or four DUI convictions? Do you have an experienced Massachusetts DUI attorney on permanent retainer? This may sound like a joke, but a common sign of alcohol abuse is ending up in court over and over again for alcohol-related charges.
- Continuing to drink even though alcohol causes problems in your relationships. If you loved ones show concerns about your drinking and you can’t or don’t want to stop you may have an issue with alcohol. Most people can stop drinking when there is external pressure from family members. However, problem drinkers struggle with quitting even when faced with ultimatums and threats.
- Drinking as a way to relax or de-stress. Using alcohol as a way to face your problems is a cause for concern.
The section above is mainly about people who have a drinking problem and aren’t yet physically dependent on alcohol to get through the day. Regular consumption of alcohol can lead to serious health risks. The first sign that someone may be an alcoholic is drinking to deal with their problems. People use alcohol to escape from reality and forget about their problems for a while. The issue becomes that escaping reality works and people fall into the trap of drinking to avoid everything.
When people drink frequently, they can become physically dependent on alcohol. Alcohol abuse has physical repercussions. When someone who is physically addicted does not consume alcohol, they suffer withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms include shakiness, sweating, nausea, vomiting, and depression. If you notice a loved one experiencing any of these symptoms when they do not have alcohol, you will want to get the professional help immediately. Withdrawal from alcohol can cause seizures and even death.
If alcohol abuse goes unchecked, it can lead to serious health problems. These problems include seizures, liver disease, and even death. As you can see it is important to get help for yourself or a loved one as soon as you notice the warning signs.
The Consequences of Alcohol Abuse
If you or a loved one abuses alcohol, chances are that you will experience some of the consequences. There are more than just health consequences associated with alcohol abuse. Alcoholics and problem drinkers are more likely to get a divorce, struggle with unemployment, and live in poverty. Personal relationships with the people closest to the problem drinker suffer the most.
There are frequent legal consequences of alcohol abuse as well. Getting behind the while after drinking doesn’t sound so bad to someone who drinks all of the time. This leads to DUI charges and endangering other people on the road. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse and has already been charged with a DUI, consult an attorney on the best way to proceed. You may also want to consider getting the person some help not only because it is the right thing to do but also because it may help their DUI case.