Alcoholism remains one of the most looming substance abuse problems nationwide. The heavy drinker will experience an urge to drink that is overwhelming and uncontrollable. This will inevitably lead to complications in his or her personal life and professional life. Therefore, it will be important for friends and family members to know how to spot the signs of alcohol dependence. Doing so could increase the odds of saving the person’s life and health if done sooner than later.

Causes

There are a number of different factors which can play a role in alcoholism. Such behavior can be influenced by genetic factors, as with a hereditary link in the family. However, social and environmental influences can also increase the odds, as well as psychological characteristics. Usually, the dependence to alcohol occurs over a length of time. On the other hand, some demonstrate unusual responses to drinking right from the start. Changes in experiencing pleasure, reasoning and control of behavior can result.

Being able to spot the causes and signs is so important because the sooner alcohol dependence is caught, the better it can be treated. Though the person can be defensive if the issue of alcohol is brought up or perhaps go into a state of denial, treatment will be in their best interest. Otherwise, there will be a number of health, relationship and financial risks and immently the possibility of untimely death.

Behavioral Symptoms

Alcoholics will clearly have a compulsion to drink they are unable to manage. This person will clearly have developed a tolerance, meaning that he or she will need greater amounts of alcohol over time to achieve the same effects. In fact, these drinkers can feel as though they need to drink to even feel normal. Oftentimes, relationships can become strained due to excessive drinking. Family members, friends and coworkers often feel that the relationship with the person revolves around use of alcohol and associated consequences.

The alcoholic can hide alcohol in the home, office or other secret location, such as a garage refrigerator. The drinker is more prone to drinking privately or secretly. Those dependent on alcohol are more at risk for drinking in containers that are not immediately identifiable as such beverage. Other hobbies and activities can become less significant to the person. Periods of impaired memory can also occur from heavy drinking as well.

Another alarming sign is an increasing need for money. This comes as no surprise as the alcoholic can be making more than one trip daily to obtain more alcohol. Of course, the amount spent on the habit can vary greatly depending on the amount and type of alcohol being consumed. Those who suddenly find themselves no longer able to afford a preferred alcohol can begin choosing cheaper options so that they are able to purchase larger quantities.

Physical Symptoms

Those severely dependent on alcohol could suffer from involuntary shaking and perspiration as a result. Those in such extreme circumstances can also hallucinate or throw up. Naturally, the greater the amount of alcohol consumed, as well as its concentration, will increase the odds of nausea or vomiting. Heavy drinkers also put themselves at risk for alcohol-related diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver. Of course, watery eyes, unsteady gait and the smell of it on the breath can also be indicators.

Psychological Symptoms

There are also a number of changes in psyche that an alcoholic can undergo. This can include sudden and alarming changes in mood. There can be an inability to focus or show appropriate reactions to a situation. Perhaps the individual has been diagnosed with a health disorder, such as anxiety or depression. Alcohol can serve as a means for such people to try to self medicate for such conditions, which in reality will only make the problem worse.

Treatment

First, it will be necessary to treat the underlying physical symptoms of the alcohol dependence. This period of recovery can often be accompanied by great discomfort, as the patient seeks to overcome the tolerance he or she has built up to alcohol. The detoxification process can prove valuable when it comes to matters such as liver damage as result of excessive drinking. Once this process has been completed, it will be time for the client to look at the underlying causes of the illness.

The alcoholic can undergo cognitive behavioral therapy as part of a treatment plan. This will allow the drinker to examine more closely the reasons for the drinking and finding more effective coping mechanisms. Perhaps he or she can benefit from group therapy, which will allow a connection with others who have experienced similar circumstances. Family therapy can help if the excessive consumption has led to a number of personal problems within the function of the family unit. Please contact the Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California today at 855-980-1715 to learn more about how we can help you or a loved one beat alcohol addiction today.