It’s never easy watching someone you love suffer with an addiction, especially when they might not yet be willing to admit to themselves that there’s a problem. Alcoholism is one of the biggest health challenges we face today, and it’s in part due to our social acceptance of alcohol, which can make it challenging to identify and understand alcohol abuse and alcoholism.
Like other types of addiction, alcoholism is a disease of the brain, and it can affect every facet of a person’s life. If you’re concerned that someone you care about has drinking problems, it’s important to be able to identify the signs of alcoholism, understand the disease and learn about the options for alcohol treatment.
We can become addicted to a number of different things. We tend to think about addiction as being primarily related to drugs and alcohol, but the word is used to describe an unhealthy relationship with a substance where both physical and mental dependence are formed. An addiction to alcohol is often difficult to spot in the earliest stages because of how socially acceptable it is to drink.
It’s important to understand that alcohol addiction is a disease. Just like any other disease, it requires a proper diagnosis and plan for treatment. Addiction disorders can also be chronic – meaning that even though the symptoms may be alleviated, the chance for relapse exists long term.
The Signs of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a progressive, self-inflicted disease. For each person, the problem can start out differently. For example, someone with a strong family history of alcoholism may see these behaviors as normal and just naturally adopt them into their own lives without much thought. Alcoholism can also develop slowly over time, stemming from occasionally unhealthy drinking habits and spiraling to the point that the individual feels out of control with their alcohol use.
Despite the roots of alcoholism, the symptoms are usually consistent across the board. Some of the most common signs of alcohol abuse and alcoholism include:
- Mood swings that grow more frequent and more severe
- Justifying reasons to drink, such as needing a drink to relax or to deal with daily stress
- Short term memory loss that may include periods of temporary blackouts
- Hiding their drinking habits by drinking alone or keeping alcohol hidden in the home
- A sense of isolation from friends and family
- Noticing that drinking has become a priority over other obligations and daily responsibilities
- A sudden, unusual change in friends or social groups
- Headache, fatigue, shakiness, nausea and other signs of withdrawal when not drinking
Seeking the Alcohol Treatment You Need
If you’re concerned that someone you care about has a drinking problem and want to speak with someone about getting them the help they need, we’re here to help. At Bayshore Retreat, we take an individualized approach to alcohol treatment that includes healing the person, not just the disease. Alcoholism is a serious health condition that demands the best in recovery care. Contact us at Bayshore Retreat and learn more about our unique approach to caring for your loved one and helping them overcome their alcohol addiction.