Alcohol is one of the most cunning drugs available to man. It is socially acceptable, encouraged, celebrated with, commiserated with and abused by billions of people. Most people don't even realise that they have an alcohol addiction until it's too late. Alcoholism has been recognised as having a genetic link to previous generations and the life long debate exists as to whether it is "nature or nurture" that causes it. Much like the chicken and egg fable, nobody knows exactly where it starts. Should you have a grandparent or parents that are addicted to alcohol the chances of you becoming addicted is high. It could stem from how you were raised - if alcohol was available to you from a young age or if your parents tolerated or encouraged the use of it, the more likely you are to enjoy drinking. If you have an underlying psychiatric illness and struggle with emotional health, like depression, are dealing with stress, grief, loss, anger and even anxiety you are more than likely going to develop an alcohol addiction as an attempt to numb the emotional pain. Drinking is something that is socially accepted and widely available. It is common and affordable in most cultures. A lot of people don't seem to realise what the difference between social drinking and having a drinking problem is. If your life is affected by your drinking and the consequences are mounting up, this could be a sure sign that you have a problem.
Some of the actual signs to look out for are:
- Drinking more than you usually do
- Drinking in order to feel better or calm down
- Forgetting what happened whilst you were drinking
- Feeling guilty about drinking
- Suffering from physical or mental â€œblack outsâ€
- Lying about drinking
- Sneaking a few extra drinks
- Having loved ones who are concerned and talking about your drinking habits
- Drinking more than usual to get the same effect
- Mood changes when you drink
- Drinking more than others without getting tipsy or drunk
Due to the chemical composition of alcohol, it is highly likely that a drinker can develop a dependence on alcohol, therefore meaning that they are not able to go without having a drink. Many do try and control their intake, or change brands, justifying and trying to make sense of the chaos, often to no avail. They become irritable, uncomfortable or anxious if they are not able to have a drink. As soon as a person starts to justify their drinking, this is part of denial and will only cause more problems in your life and a long road of suffering with this painful disease.
Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the person. If you cannot go without a drink for 3-4 days, please seek medical help with the withdrawal. Rapid withdrawal from alcohol can induce seizures and it is highly recommended that you go to an addiction wise medical professional and never withdraw on your own.
Some of the symptoms are:
- Needing a drink in the morning to stop the shaking
- Loss of appetite
- Mood Swings
- Lying to yourself or others about why you need to have a drink