What is an alcohol problem?

What is an alcohol problem?

An alcohol problem exists when there is a disruption in consuming alcohol that causes physical, psychological, and social consequences as a result of drinking an alcoholic beverage. There are hundreds if not thousands of potential alcohol-related problems. Alcohol is a legal substance for those over the age of 21 years of age in the United States. There are many people who become addicted to alcohol and develop alcohol use disorders.

However, 217 million people aged 12 or older have used alcohol in their lifetime. Alcohol is a legal substance that is frequently used in social situations by people that consume it occasionally and experience no adverse effects. However, for all those that do not experience adverse effects, there are millions of people that do become addicted to the substance.

Alcohol is considered a drug, even though in our society it’s not regulated the same as other drugs. Those that do become addicted to alcohol often experience potential health and social consequence and will need treatment to stop drinking alcohol. Alcohol rehab programs are the single most effective way to help someone who has become addicted to alcohol.

Alcohol Misuse

People who become addicted to alcohol usually develop alcohol-related problems and begin to misuse alcohol before they develop an alcohol use disorder. There is great emphasis placed on trying to prevent alcohol misuse before it develops into an alcohol use disorder.

Individuals that use alcohol regularly several times per week are at the highest risk of developing alcohol-related problems. The frequency of usage of alcohol will be a factor in how fast a person develops an alcohol problem. Many individuals will find themselves drinking during the day, while others may begin to use the substance alone rather than with their friends.

Once alcohol misuse increases an individual may begin to manipulate their emotions; to experience the pleasure that alcohol produces. Then slowly a person may begin to drink alcohol to cope with stress and uncomfortable feelings such as pain, guilt, anxiety, and sadness; and to overcome feelings of inadequacy. Once this begins to happen a person may begin to move from misusing the substance to alcohol addiction or alcoholism.

Alcohol Misuse Behavioral Indicators

  • Begin to have trouble with school or work performance and the individual’s attendance may decline with the usage of alcohol or because an individual is recovering from the effects of alcohol.
  • Individuals have reported experiencing various mood swings during and after drinking alcohol. Sometimes others will notice this change with emotional mood changes before the individual notices the change.
  • Most people notice a change in personality or shift in attitudes and values may begin to take place.
  • Drinking may increase along with frequency; an individual could begin to start lying or deny there is a problem. If you point out inconsistencies in behavior or voice concerns, they may deny that an alcohol problem is taking place.
  • In some cases, you may notice a shift in friendships or people close to the individual. Individuals may begin to distance themselves from people close to them.
  • An individual may decrease extra-curricular activities or cease participating in activities that were once important to them.
  • When drinking increases family members have reported that conflicts in their relationship become more frequent.
  • Depending on attitudes and maturity levels there may become a rebellious streak or obvious anger outburst or depression that begins to be displayed.
  • The focus can shift to procuring more alcohol or more attendance in places where alcohol is available to satisfy the desire for more alcohol.

Alcohol Use Disorder

In many cases, alcohol misuse progresses into an alcohol use disorder. During this stage an individual will continue to misuse the substance, however, brain changes are taking place at the physical level that is now causing a person to be addicted to alcohol. The individual may attempt to stop or moderate their drinking, but not recognize that they are experiencing physical and psychological distress upon discontinuing the alcohol.

Sometimes it becomes obvious that the individual’s body is craving the alcohol and other times the change is subtle. The compulsive drinking and impaired control over the amount ingested are not recognized at times, and a preoccupation with the desire for more alcohol may not be noticed by the individual. During the increased drinking an individual will begin to experience adverse consequences as the drinking continues.

Alcohol Use Behavioral Indicators

  • The individual may notice physical deterioration that includes weight loss and other health problems when the drinking continues.
  • Many people attempt to stop drinking and develop withdrawal symptoms and then resume drinking alcohol to stop withdrawal symptoms.
  • Some individuals may begin to display a poor appearance or struggle to maintain healthy hygiene. Many family and friends notice these changes and become concerned with the individual’s physical health.
  • People that have developed an alcohol addiction will eventually begin to experience memory loss or other memory-related problems.
  • In some individuals, increased blackouts or volatile mood swings may take place and some people don’t have any memory of these events.  
  • Difficulty with attendance at work, missing days at work because the individual is trying to recover from the drinking from the night before. Poor work performance may even begin to take place. Loss of jobs or difficulty gaining employment may be experienced.
  • Possible alcohol poisoning, lack of care about operating a motor vehicle under the influence, and risk of experiencing alcohol-related legal issues increase as drinking continues.
  • Alcohol becomes the central focus of their lives; its importance begins to be the primary objective of daily life as the alcohol use disorder progresses.

The above is just some of the Alcohol Use Behavioral indicators that are more common than others. There are hundreds of more behavioral indicators not mentioned. The list is given for informational purposes and is not intended to be a diagnosis of an alcohol use disorder. If you or a loved one has some of these problems mentioned above, please contact our alcohol use disorder treatment program today. Summer Sky can be reached by calling us at 1-888-857-8857.

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Do you have an alcohol problem?

If you or a loved one has been struggling with alcohol-related problems, or an alcohol use disorder then Summer Sky would like to help you become free from your alcohol-related problems. Summer Sky is open 24 hours a day 7-days a week and our admissions department can help you arrange for immediate admission or schedule an admission into one of our many alcohol rehabs. Summer Sky can be reached at 1-888-857-8857.

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