If your drinking is getting out of control you may not be the first to know it. You may be in denial but your family, friends, and coworkers can recognize the signs. Maybe you are one of those people who are adept at hiding your flaws. You don’t think anyone has noticed that you are drinking more than normal but that is the part where you start lying to yourself. If you notice a problem, other people are going to notice, too, but they may feel uncomfortable broaching the subject with you. There are several signs that your drinking has become a problem. If you take notice of them soon enough you can take preventative measures to get it under control. An alcohol addiction treatment center can help get you on the path to sobriety.
Alcohol affects every part of the body. And not in a positive way. Excessive drinking can cause lifelong damage to the physical body. From damage to organs to brain shrinking, the myriad complications related to alcohol abuse are why it is so important to consider entering an alcohol addiction treatment center if you are unable to control your alcohol intake. Alcoholism is the most challenging of the alcohol use disorders to treat and the withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening if not under medical supervision. The specter of relapse hangs over you during this stage and is hard to resist.
What Is Alcohol Use Disorder?
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) has different stages with alcoholism being the most severe. You can have alcohol use disorder without being an alcoholic but that does not mean that your excessive drinking is an easy problem to solve. There are a number of criteria laid out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The DSM’s current version, known as DSM-5, has 11 criteria for evaluating the severity of someone’s alcohol dependency. If two of the 11 are met during a 12 month period, then that person is considered to have AUD. The more of them you can check off as having, the more severe your drinking problem is.
Binge drinking is drinking an excessive amount in a short time frame:
- Most binge drinkers don’t drink every day but when they do, they drink a lot.
- For men, more than five drinks in two hours is considered binge drinking.
- For women, it is four drinks in two hours.
- This may be considered problem drinking rather than binge drinking if it is a young person drinking in their late teens or early twenties when many young people engage in this type of behavior.
Drinking Alcohol for the Wrong Reasons
Most people drink socially to enhance positive feelings and emotions when among friends. But to drink when your emotions have been a bit tangled due to life circumstances or depression, you are putting yourself in a difficult position. You are not drinking to have fun, you are drinking to mask your pain. This is a complex issue and your treatment, if you seek it out, will have to deal with these mental health issues.
Has your drinking got to the point where you don’t want anyone to see you like this? You begin to drink alone at home or find a bar out of the way where no one will recognize you. Do you lie about how much you are drinking? Do you dispose of the empty cans and bottles so no one will see them? These are clear signs of too much drinking becoming a health issue.
By drinking on occasions when you promised yourself or someone else that you would abstain is a clear sign that you cannot manage your drinking problem on your own. This is the type of behavior that will only lead to worse outcomes.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Alcohol can have a devastating effect on the body and mind. If you are experiencing nausea, vomiting, headaches, or anxiety, these may be signs of alcohol dependency. The most serious of these symptoms is delirium tremens, which causes changes in both the mind and the nervous system, is a product of long term alcohol abuse.
Reach Out to Virtues Behavioral Health Today
Alcohol is a socially acceptable drug of choice for most people. It is served at parties, sporting events, in restaurants, and now, even at the movies. Our freeway overpasses have electronic signs warning of the consequences of drinking and driving. But for those who are more than social drinkers and recognize that they have a problem, there is help. At Virtues Behavioral Health in Los Angeles, California we provide comfortable private therapy spaces, lounge areas with games, modern group session rooms, and coffee, tea, and refreshments. We are located in West Los Angeles and provide a warm and welcoming space to attend to your recovery and rejuvenation. We can be reached online or at 855.579.8599 for you to take the first step on your journey to wellness and recovery.