An alcohol use disorder doesn’t develop overnight. But it can take many people by surprise. Would you know the signs of alcoholism? And if you suspect that you manifest them, do you know how to get help?
Alcohol Use Disorders Have Stages
It’s interesting to note that the term alcoholism isn’t entirely accurate. An alcohol use disorder is an addiction. It typically presents in three stages. Each has its signs of alcoholism.
Two Signs of Alcoholism in Early Stage Use Disorders
Missing the earliest signs of addiction is easy. For instance, the first sign is the occasional decision to binge drink. You ingest a large number of drinks in a brief period. You achieve intoxication and may black out.
The second sign is the gradual reduction of time between the binges. In the past, you might have gone binge-drinking every Saturday or Sunday. Now, you do so during the week, too. Eventually, you’re bingeing more often than not.
Chronic Alcoholism Manifests with Two Additional Signs of Alcoholism
Daily drinking is one of the next signs of alcoholism. You can’t make it through the day any longer without having a drink. In some cases, you might start drinking early in the morning. You may also drink at lunch while working.
This introduces the fourth sign of addiction–negative consequences. You may encounter professional ramifications because of intoxication on the job. Some people lose employment because of alcohol abuse. Others deal with legal troubles because of DUIs or fighting while drunk.
End-Stage Use Disorders Present the Fifth Sign
A single-minded focus on obtaining the next drink characterizes end-stage alcoholism. Your attention is on getting and using the drug. You no longer care about friends, family members, jobs, or any responsibilities. You wish you could stop, but the withdrawal symptoms keep you using.
Treatment Offers Hope
There’s good news, no matter which stage of an alcohol use disorder you currently experience. Alcoholism treatment makes it possible to overcome the addiction during any of the signs of alcoholism. However, because it’s a chronic disease with potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms, it’s vital to get professional help. Examples of effective therapies include:
- Alcohol detox program that helps you to withdraw safely from alcohol while keeping you comfortable and pain-free
- Cognitive behavioral therapy that encourages you to recognize and change dysfunction in thoughts and actions
- 12 Step recovery groups for communal addiction education and relapse prevention training
- Nutritional support that helps your body get stronger and healthier
- Family therapy as a means to re-open avenues of communication and establish healthy boundaries
As soon as you notice signs of alcoholism, get help. It’s possible to undergo recovery no matter what stage of the use disorder you experience. When you’re ready to quit drinking, the compassionate therapists at Kemah Palms Recovery want to help you. Call 866.604.1873 to schedule an intake interview and take your first steps on the road to recovery.