Although alcohol is a legal substance that you can purchase if you are of legal age, it is still possible to develop an addiction to the drink. When you are worried about the heavy drinking of a loved one, you will want to recognize the signs that they have developed an alcohol addiction.
Changes to Normal Behaviors
An addiction of any type causes changes to behavior. In the case of alcohol, the changes primarily relate to withdrawing from normal activities and losing interest in social hobbies.
Changes that you may see in a loved one include:
- Ignoring personal responsibilities, such as skipping school or missing work
- Drinking alcohol alone
- Refusing to enjoy personal hobbies
- Developing mood swings or getting angry when loved ones suggest they quit
The changes to behavior can vary between individuals, but withdrawal from social activities is a potential sign of an addiction to alcohol.
A sign that you may notice initially is that a loved one is able to drink more each day. Developing a tolerance for alcohol and drinking more to get the same impact on the body and mind is a sign that an addiction has developed or is starting to develop.
Developing Withdrawal Symptoms
Identifying a physical dependence to alcohol is a primary factor that sets addiction apart from substance abuse. Every case of heavy drinking does not necessarily result in an addiction.
Developing withdrawal symptoms is a key identifying factor when it relates to alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms occur when an individual does not drink for a certain amount of time. Depending on the level of addiction, the symptoms of withdrawal may occur within a few hours of the last drink or within a day.
Symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Tremors or shakes in the hands
- Flu-like symptoms, such as sweating, nausea and chills
- Inability to sleep
- Mood swings, particularly depression, irritability and anxiety
- Even more dangerous symptoms
When withdrawal symptoms are present, it means that a physical dependence on the alcohol has developed. If a loved one is exhibiting signs of withdrawal when he or she tries to avoid alcohol, then it may be time to seek professional help.
An addiction to alcohol is a potentially dangerous problem, but it is possible to find help to recover from addiction. Contact us to learn more about the signs of alcohol addiction and the treatment solutions that are available.