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Warning Signs Of Alcohol Abuse

Detecting the warning signs of alcohol abuse can sometimes be difficult if you don't know what to look for. Warning signs of alcohol abuse will often present themselves obscurely and if you are not educated or informed on some of the specific warning signs of alcohol abuse, they can be easily overlooked and neglected at first. However, as alcohol abuse escalates, the warning signs of alcohol abuse become more and more apparent and become easier to detect.

When drinking alcohol leads to trouble in job, health or relationships, these are all warning signs of alcohol abuse. Detection of alcohol abuse is possible if one observes the following warning signs of alcohol abuse:

Physical Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse:

  • Red-eyes and slurred speech: A person who is abusing alcohol will have bloodshot eyes even during work hours or early morning and his speech will be slurred during intoxication.
  • Lack of hygiene: The person suffering with alcohol abuse will be presenting poor hygiene habits and mostly looks unkempt.
  • Sudden weight gain/loss: Drastic gain or loss in weight in a short time period is a major warning sign of alcohol abuse.
  • Lowered immunity levels: Alcohol abusers tend to fall sick more often than non-abusers of alcohol.
  • Change in sleeping pattern: A person suffering from alcohol abuse may be following an irregular sleeping pattern which may vary from sleeping for too many hours to sleeping too little leading to insomnia.

Behavioral Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse:

  • Mood Swings: A person suffering from alcohol abuse may be undergoing variations in mood ranging from throwing temper tantrums to display of verbal as well as physical aggression under the influence of alcohol.
  • Lack of interest in enjoyable activities: An alcohol abuser is likely to suffer from depression and may exhibit a lack of interest in pleasurable activities enjoyed previously.
  • Negligence of duties at home and work area: A person who is drinking and displaying laxity in performing tasks at home or office is decidedly suffering from alcohol abuse. For example- Neglecting ones children, not able to meet deadlines at work due to hang-over, performing poorly in exams and dropping out of college are a few warning signs of alcohol abuse.
  • Irresponsible social behavior: Drinking and driving rashly on the road endangering other people’s lives, picking up physical fights in an inebriated condition and combining drugs with alcohol are extreme warning signs of alcohol abuse.
  • Persistent drinking: Alcohol abusers continue to drink even when their drinking problem adversely affects their relationships at home especially with their spouse and children. Most of the times persistent drinking problems lead to domestic violence and end with divorce.
  • Irritability: A person shows irritable behavior in the form of aggressive arguments; temper tantrums and restlessness when he/she is not drinking. This is undoubtedly a warning sign of alcohol abuse.
  • Hiding the drinking habit: An alcohol abuser tends to disguise his/her drinking habit from his/her family members and colleagues. The person may even go to the extent of buying liquor from different sellers in order to camouflage ones addiction to alcohol.
  • Lack of self-control: A person abusing alcohol generally starts drinking for relaxation or for social obligations but he/she is unable to stop drinking once started. It generally results in the drunken person passing out and his/her inability to remember events later on.

Recognizing the Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse

If you are questioning if you or someone you know has an alcohol abuse problem, answers to the following questions will help you to recognize the warning signs of alcohol abuse.

1. Do you find that it takes more alcohol to feel good than it did in the past? If you are getting to the point where you can 'drink anyone under the table', it is not a bragging point. It indicates you are developing a tolerance for alcohol, and that is a warning sign.

2. Do you start focusing on keeping a constant alcohol supply handy? Does the idea of not being able to get a drink easily start to occupy your thoughts more than it has in the past?

3. Do you ever drink or use more than you intended to? Have you set a limit for yourself and then not been able to keep it? This may be not drinking until the weekend, or only having one drink after work. The loss of the ability to control alcohol use is a warning sign of alcohol abuse.

4. Do you have blackouts or periods where you can not remember what has happened or conversations? This is a warning sign you have had too much to drink and abused liquor. Frequent blackouts is a warning sign of addiction.

5. Do you find yourself reaching for alcohol as a solution when you feel emotionally upset, need to calm yourself, or feel anxiety of any kind? This can indicate an increasing emotional dependency on alcohol.

6. Have you ever been drunk or high at work, school, special occasions, etc. to the point where you could not fulfill your obligations? Has your drinking become so important your life is grinding to a halt?

7. Have you ever driven while drunk or high, or done any other activity which would have placed you or others in harms way? That is certainly alcohol abuse.

If you have answered "yes" to 3 or more of the previous questions, this is a warning sign that you are most likely exhibiting traits of alcohol abuse.

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