Having a glass of wine with dinner never caused any trouble, but for some people, it’s a relationship that can simply topple over to being toxic. Like any substance, alcohol can easily slip from being a “good time” to taking over one’s mind, health, and family dynamics as well as jobs. Alcohol use disorder (AUD), which encompasses both alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence, affects approximately 14.5 million adults in the United States.
This represents about 5.8% of the adult population. Alcoholism is a slippery slope and one struggling with alcohol abuse needs to get help as soon as they can. There is plenty of help available for the ones seeking help, and Pacific Ridge online is definitely a place you should look into. If you are unsure about whether you stand in the spectrum and whether or not you need help, read on for the signs listed below.
Signs to Watch Out For
- No control: If you are unable to control your drinking habits, it might be the first sign that you need rehab. Despite your best efforts, if you find that you are not able to stop drinking once you start or may find that you drink more than you initially intended to, it means alcohol is in control of you, and not the other way around. You may also find that your cravings for alcohol become overwhelming and that you struggle to resist the urge to drink. This is an indication to seek help.
- Negative impact on mental and physical health: If you notice that your physical and mental health is deteriorating as a result of your drinking habits, it’s a sign of dependency. Alcohol impacts both mental as well as physical health in a massive way. You may experience frequent hangovers, headaches, or nausea. You may also find that your mood is negatively affected by alcohol and that you are experiencing anxiety or depression.
- Professional and personal relationships: If you find that your drinking habits are causing problems in your personal and professional life, it’s a warning sign to seek help. You may have difficulty maintaining relationships, whether it is with your family, friends, or your colleagues, or find that your work is suffering as a result of your drinking. You could be missing deadlines or not showing up for an important meeting. You may also find that you are withdrawing from activities that you used to enjoy in favor of drinking, and this can be a clear sign that you need help.
- Isolation: If you find yourself starting to choose isolation over socialization and want to spend most of your time alone, this might be a sign that you need to seek help. People struggling with alcoholism may isolate themselves from loved ones, friends, and social events, as it enables them to indulge in alcohol consumption without having to deal with the judgment involved. If you find yourself canceling plans, avoiding get-togethers, and skipping work so that you can do something involving drinking, it is definitely a red flag.
- Poor performance: With alcoholism, performance is bound to deteriorate whether it is at work, in physical activities, or just in daily chores. Whether it is missing commitments made previously or falling short in your fitness goals, alcoholism can chip away at your performance, both physical as well as mental. Alcoholism can affect your performance at work, school, or home. You may find that you have trouble focusing, completing tasks, or making decisions as alcohol strips away your performance ability, and makes previously easier things much more challenging.
- Risky behaviors: Even the boldest and bravest among us adhere to some unsaid social or moral boundaries, but alcohol can make one feel uninhabited, enabling one to partake in risky behaviors which can land them in problems. People with alcoholism may engage in risky behaviors such as driving under the influence, getting into fights, or engaging in illegal practices. If you find yourself indulging in such risky behaviors, it might be a sign that alcohol is not a great influence on you, and you need help.
Finding your own red flags can be challenging but it’s worth the effort. Denial is the first enemy of alcoholism and recognizing the signs of the addiction is the first step toward recovery. If you have even a slight amount of doubt that you might have alcohol dependence or addiction, and want clarity on that, you are already on the right track. If you find yourself nodding along to some or all of the red flags above, it might be time to get some professional help and start the road to recovery.