Alcoholism is a major health issue plaguing the United States. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimated that just over 14 million Americans over 18 have an alcohol use disorder. Additionally, 65 million Americans reported engaging in binge drinking in the past month. Despite being seen as an accepted part of social life in this country, alcohol is a dangerous drug. People addicted to alcohol not only ruin their lives; they ruin the lives of their families.
If you suspect that a loved one is struggling with alcohol abuse, you need to be fully aware of the signs of alcoholism. This article will outline the common alcoholic signs and how Thrive Treatment can help them reclaim their health and life.
What is Alcohol?
Alcohol is a beverage that is produced by the fermentation of yeast, sugars, and starches. Ethyl alcohol is the active ingredient that provides its’ intoxicating effect. Alcohol is a powerful central nervous system (CNS) depressant that slows brain function and impacts the body’s autonomic functions, such as heart rate and respiration. When consumed, alcohol crosses the blood/brain barrier, increasing the production of dopamine which stimulates nerve activity and heightens arousal.
Over time, people need to increase the amounts they drink to achieve the pleasurable effects of calm and sedation. As people consume more significant quantities of alcohol, brain chemistry becomes significantly altered. As a result, the body becomes dependent on alcohol for basic bodily functioning daily. Unfortunately, this creates a vicious cycle of dependence and addiction that is very difficult to break.
The Root Causes of Alcoholism
When discussing alcoholism signs, it is essential to understand the root causes that make people vulnerable to becoming an alcoholic. There is no one central cause; instead, there are some common factors that increase the risk of alcoholism. The first cause is having a family history of the disease. This can include family members who have been addicted to alcohol or are currently battling alcoholism. A second factor is the presence of a mental illness. People may drink to deal with the feelings and emotions of a mental illness, or drinking itself may bring some form of mental illness to the surface.
A third factor is peer pressure. Peer pressure is often seen in adolescents and young adults who may drink to “fit in” to a particular clique, but this can also happen well into adulthood in the workforce. An additional factor in the development of alcoholism is consistent stress related to work and the family. Stress can be particularly high in high-stress professions such as first responders and the medical field. At home, constant financial burdens or relationship issues can cause constant stress.
What Are the Causes of Alcoholism?
There isn’t a single universal cause that makes people vulnerable to alcohol abuse. Instead, several factors can make people most susceptible to becoming an alcoholic. One major factor is a family history of alcoholism or having family members currently struggling with alcohol abuse. A second factor is the presence of mental illness. Those with mental illnesses may turn to alcohol to cope with their feelings.
Another major risk factor in the development of alcoholism is high levels of stress at both work and home. Additionally, peer pressure can play a major role in individuals developing alcohol addiction. While this is mainly seen in teenagers and young adults, peer pressure can also be seen in older adults. It is important to note that having these risk factors does not mean someone will develop alcoholism.
What Are the Signs of Alcoholism?
The signs of alcoholism can be hard to pinpoint since alcoholics go to great lengths to conceal their use. Many alcoholic signs mirror other common physical or mental illnesses. While difficult to detect, it is important that you know and takes a close look at the signs of alcoholism in a loved one. Early detection gives them a better chance at recovery. The most common alcoholism symptoms are the following:
- Lack of self-care and personal hygiene
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Weight loss or gain
- Redness in the face, nose, and cheeks
- Yellowish skin tone
- Risk-taking behaviors
- Problems with school, work, and relationships
- Loss in the interest of activities
- Drinking during unusual times during the day
Many times, people who abuse alcohol are abusing other substances. When you see any combination of the above signs, you must find professional help for your loved one.
Thrive Treatment Can Help Your Loved One With Alcohol Addiction
Alcoholism destroys individuals and ruins families. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol abuse, you cannot wait another day. You must find a rehab that features evidence-based programs, family support, and compassionate staff that have years of proven experience in dealing with alcoholics from all walks of life. Thrive Treatment has built a well-earned reputation for individualized programs that perfectly fit each client.
We offer a dynamic mix of traditional and emergent therapies, and we offer multiple levels of care to meet each client’s needs. Take back control of your life with the help of Thrive Treatment.