Alcoholism/Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol is generally considered socially acceptable in moderation, but in sometimes behavior that begins socially can morph into serious abuse, and even severe alcoholism, over time. Alcoholism can have serious physical, mental and financial consequences. Determining when exactly you or a loved one has crossed the line to alcoholism or abuse can be unclear or difficult to establish, but there are signs that can help identify if one is at that point.

Signs of Alcoholism or Alcohol Abuse

  • The Need drink to relax or feel better
  • Blackouts (forgetting entire periods of time) or whiteouts (forgetting specific things within a period of time)
  • Habitually drinking more than intended
  • Feelings of guilt or shame about drinking
  • Lying to friends, family, and co-workers to hide drinking habits
  • Have friends or family members who are worried about drinking habits

Effects of Alcoholism on One’s Health

  • Hangovers – Headaches, nausea, vomiting, aches, and pains.
  • Weight Gain – Alcohol consumption leads to high intake of empty calories.
  • High Blood Pressure – High blood pressure is associated with many serious health problems.
  • Depressed Immune System – Impaired immunity increases likelihood of sickness and serious disease.
  • Cancer – Between 2 and 4% of all cancer cases are related to alcohol.
  • Liver Disease – Alcohol abuse may cause serious liver problems including hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.
  • Alcohol Poisoning – Drinking large amounts can result in alcohol poisoning, which in extreme circumstance can be fatal.
  • Heart or Respiratory Failure – Heart or respiratory failure can be fatal.

Effects of Alcohol Abuse on One’s Life

  • Relationship Problems – Substance abuse puts a strain on relationships, marriages, and friendships.
  • Poor School Performance – There is correlation between drinking alcohol and poor grades.
  • Problems at Work – Alcohol abusers tend to miss more work days, are less productive, are more likely to have problems with their boss, are more error prone, and are more likely to be fired.
  • Personality Changes – Alcohol abusers can become difficult to interact with or even violent.

Effects of Alcohol Abuse on One’s Safety

  • Drowning and Other Accidental Injuries – More than half of drownings involve drinking.
  • Car Accidents – Almost half of all fatal auto crashes are alcohol or drug- related.
  • STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) or Unplanned Pregnancy – Those under the influence of alcohol are more likely to contract AIDS and other STDs, or have an unplanned pregnancy.
  • Fights – 2/3 of violent behavior in bars and on college campuses involves alcohol.
  • Trouble With The Law – People who are under the influence of alcohol are more likely to break laws.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, call us for a free consultation.