If you suspect you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism, here are a few of the warning signs that I learned after what happened, maybe this will help to save someone’s life:

1. Increased alcohol use

There may be a problem if you notice yourself or your loved one drinking higher amounts of alcohol than usual, or at odd/inappropriate times of day (such as before or at work, or while caring for children). According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “at-risk” or “heavy” drinking is defined as more than four drinks a day or fourteen total per week for men, or three drinks a day or seven total per week for women.

2. Hiding drinking habits and/or alcohol

A warning sign of alcoholism is if you or your loved one has alcohol hidden away, or always has it on-hand in odd/inappropriate situations (such as keeping alcohol in the car, hiding alcohol where no one will know where it is except for them). Sneaking alcohol into non-alcoholic drinks, like adding it to coffee or juice, so they can drink at any time without other people knowing is also suspicious. Displaying anxiety over not having alcohol available is another warning sign.

3. Withdrawal/hangovers

Alcoholism is always accompanied by hangovers and/or withdrawals. If a person displays symptoms of withdrawal from a period of not having alcohol, they could be suffering from alcohol dependency. Symptoms of withdrawal include irritability, cravings, sweating, anxiety, shakiness, and nausea. If a person is hungover frequently or misses work or social events due to hangovers, it could be a sign of alcohol abuse.

4. Problems caused by alcohol

In the later stages of alcoholism, alcohol abuse will almost certainly affect other parts of an addict’s life. Please note that high-functioning alcoholics may not have or show this sign of addiction, but can still be alcoholics nonetheless. Often, though, alcoholics will have problems with work, finances, relationships, and even legal trouble connected with their drinking. Drinking lowers inhibitions and leads to a lack of coordination and riskier behavior, including unprotected sex, sex with strangers, other drug use, overspending, drunk driving, and more. Again, not every alcoholic will suffer these consequences due to their drinking, and it is possible to be an alcoholic without these problems; but it is more common in the later stages of alcoholism to encounter these issues.

5. Signs of intoxication

Your loved one may try to hide it if they are intoxicated, but symptoms of alcohol intoxication include slurred speech, blackouts, slowed reaction times, poor coordination, memory impairment or memory loss, lowered inhibitions and risky behavior.

Here you can also find more information about alcoholism abuse and where to look for a help.

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