Do you, or someone you know, have an alcohol problem?
The following symptoms are associated with alcohol use disorder:
- Temporary blackouts or memory loss.
- Recurrent arguments or fights with family members or friends as well as irritability, depression, or mood swings.
- Continuing use of alcohol to relax, to cheer up, to sleep, to deal with problems, or to feel “normal.”
- Headache, anxiety, insomnia, nausea, or other unpleasant symptoms when one stops drinking.
- Flushed skin and broken capillaries on the face; a husky voice; trembling hands; bloody or black/tarry stools or vomiting blood; chronic diarrhea.
- Drinking alone, in the mornings, or in secret.
Signs of addiction include the following:
- Loss of control: Drinking or drugging more than a person wants to, for longer than they intended, or despite telling themselves that they wouldn’t do it this time.
- Neglecting other activities: Spending less time on activities that used to be important (hanging out with family and friends, exercising, pursuing hobbies or other interests) because of the use of alcohol or drugs; drop in attendance and performance at work or school.
- Risk taking: More likely to take serious risks in order to obtain one’s drug of choice.
- Relationship issues: People struggling with addiction are known to act out against those closest to them, particularly if someone is attempting to address their substance problems; complaints from co-workers, supervisors, teachers or classmates.
- Secrecy: Going out of one’s way to hide the amount of drugs or alcohol consumed or one’s activities when drinking or drugging; unexplained injuries or accidents.
- Changing appearance: Serious changes or deterioration in hygiene or physical appearance – lack of showering, slovenly appearance, unclean clothes.
- Family history: A family history of addiction can dramatically increase one’s predisposition to substance abuse.
- Tolerance: Over time, a person’s body adapts to a substance to the point that they need more and more of it in order to have the same reaction.
- Withdrawal: As the effect of the alcohol or drugs wear off the person may experience symptoms such as: anxiety or jumpiness; shakiness or trembling; sweating, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, depression, irritability, fatigue or loss of appetite and headaches.
- Continued use despite negative consequences: Even though it is causing problems (on the job, in relationships, for one’s health), a person continues drinking and drugging.