Drinking alcohol is associated with festive occasions, food, and relaxation. But for the 18 million Americans who can’t control their alcohol consumption, there is nothing festive about drinking. Alcohol addiction, also called alcoholism and alcohol dependence, is when someone can’t control their drinking.
Many people can enjoy a drink with dinner or after work and stop at just one or two drinks, but some people occasionally have one or a few too many. Those who can’t stop after just one or two may have a problem with alcohol. People who drink too much raise their risk for a variety of health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and even early death. In fact, excessive drinking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States.
How can you tell if you or someone close to you has an alcohol addiction? Read on to learn more about the top warning signs of alcohol dependency that you shouldn’t ignore.
Not being able to cut down or stop drinking
You suspect that you might have a problem with alcohol, so you make an effort to stop at one drink or to stop drinking altogether. But if not drinking makes you anxious, stressed, or depressed and leads you to drink more and begin the cycle again, that is an alcohol addiction warning sign. Often people with addiction problems find themselves making excuses for drinking, such as needing alcohol to get over a bad or stressful day.
You are having problems at work or school
If you’re having trouble meeting or keeping work or school commitments because of drinking or frequent hangovers, seek help for alcohol addiction.
Your personal relationships are suffering
People don’t like to be around someone who drinks too much, especially someone who gets drunk often. If your friends are shunning you because of your drinking, that’s a red flag. Drinking too much can also lead to problems with your family and significant others, especially if they want you to stop and you can’t.
You put yourself in dangerous situations because of your drinking
When you’ve drunk too much, your judgment is impaired. You may misjudge a situation or say or do something inappropriate that gets you in trouble. Every day, 29 people die in car crashes caused by a drunken driver. That means more than 10,000 people die each year in alcohol-related accidents. You may think you can drive just fine after drinking alcohol — but you can’t.
You need more alcohol to feel its effects
The more you drink, the more tolerance you build up to the effects of alcohol. When you build up a tolerance to alcohol, you need to drink more and more to feel buzzed or drunk. When you find yourself needing to drink more to get to the same high feeling, that is a warning sign.
You experience blackouts or can’t remember what happened the night before
People who can’t stop drinking can wreak havoc on their health. If you black out or have no recollection of events from the previous night of drinking, you need to get help for your alcohol addiction.
Treating alcohol addiction
When you need to quit but you can’t, it requires some type of intervention and treatment to stop drinking. At Lori Scott Family Care, Dr. Lori Scott offers the Sinclair Method to help those addicted to reduce dependence on alcohol.
With the Sinclair Method, Dr. Scott prescribes a medicine called Naltrexone that blocks the signals in your brain that make you feel high. By blocking the signal, your urge to drink eventually diminishes. The Sinclair Method is a safe and effective way to help you conquer your alcohol dependence.
Don’t ignore the signs. You can get help. If you think you’re addicted to or dependent on alcohol, contact Lori Scott Family Care in Kinston, North Carolina, for a confidential consultation. You can also make an appointment online.