Alcoholism is one of the easiest vices to fall into. It can start innocently, usually with drinking with friends or even with dinner. But over a long period of time, the body can grow dependent on those few drinks. And at the very least, it will begin to crave more.
But whether it is through regular intake or explosive benders, the issue with alcoholism is that it can be as difficult to end as it can be to endure. Unlike other illicit substances, withdrawal from alcohol can actually unexpectedly kill a person. That is not to be taken lightly.
That makes treatment highly complex. And society does not deal in complexity; it deals in black and white. Either you are a pure angel or an alcoholic bum. Or so it feels to the alcoholics.
Hence, they often hide their struggle until it is too late. That is why it is important to look for warning signs and know the alcohol addiction treatment programs. Let’s take a look.
The biggest problem with identifying symptoms of alcoholism is that they can be symptoms of other things. Memory loss can be related to alcoholism, but it is also a symptom of ADHD or just the result of a lack of sleep. There is, however, small details that can confirm it.
Alcoholism-induced memory issues will happen more and more as a person has gone longer without a drink. That means a person who starts lucid and gets forgetful is showing signs.
Identifying this symptom is easier than you might think. The key to it is not comparing it in the short term. What is the short term? Well, think about how a person acts over the course of a few days. Those few days will all interact with and build off of each other. Even if a person goes from terribly sad to ecstatically happy within that short time, that will just happen at times.
But if a person’s ability to remain emotionally stable degrades over weeks or months, then that is a sign that their control over their body is degrading with it.
Planning One’s Day Around Drinking
This usually manifests as planning one’s day around having meals at home or at certain restaurants. They do this to make sure they are somewhere that they are sure they can get a drink. They might even select their food based on what goes with their drinks.
People often assume that this only happens while drinking, but it can actually happen while the sufferer is sober. They will essentially seem like they are overly sleepy and struggling to stay awake, talking slowly at certain points or getting “stuck” on complicated words.
Many alcoholics use alcohol as a sleep aid, but one of the problems with that is the fact that it does not actually work. Alcohol will make going to sleep easier, but it will also make the alcoholic wake up at seemingly random times due to disrupted chemical processing.
This is essentially all brain and nervous system chemistry. Most sleeping chemicals are processed into different sleeping chemicals, which are processed into waking chemicals. If any step of this process fails, sleep fails, and waking up is extremely difficult to do.
Drinks More than Twice a Day
This one is a bit more obvious, but it is worth noting in the interest of not misdiagnosing someone. If someone drinks twice a day, then there are on the borderline but still technically safe. That means you can convince them to cut back before things get too bad.
More than that, however, they will start to have issues with their health.
Lack of Coordination
You have to be careful not to spot this too overzealously. Like many symptoms, this one has common, mundane explanations. The real test is when it happens, as usual. Do they start to shake as the day goes on or as meals approach? Then they might be craving a drink.
It is easier to spot this if you spend a lot of time around them in close proximity, where their inability to hold their hand straight or type accurately will be readily apparent.
Lack of Spatial Awareness
This goes along with the previous one, but it expresses itself in a different way. Rather than having difficulty holding their hands steady or working with dexterity, you are looking to spot them bumping into people or things instead. This can reflect an issue with their spatial awareness.
You might see this expressed in another way: They may suddenly start wanting to avoid driving. If they know that they have trouble keeping track of their surroundings, they may begin to avoid being subject to that issue.
Lack of Balance
And to cap off the physical issues one will face, we have a lack of balance. This is the hardest to spot, as it will look like they cannot walk straight or lean too heavily to one side or another when walking. It takes a long time for this to degrade, though, so it is difficult to hide for long.
When most people think of signs of alcoholism, this is usually the first thing they think of. But while it is true that this comes up, it is also important to note that “alcohol made them crazy” is not the beginning or end of the story. It just indicates that they are frustrated with their vice.
Alcoholics are too frequently characterized as people who make irresponsible decisions. Whether that is true or not, judging a person for their issue is never helpful to them.
What alcoholics need is treatment. So, if you or a loved one is suffering from these symptoms, ask your doctor about where you can go and what you can do to confront this addiction. And remember that it is never too late to start getting the help you need.