7 Signs of Severe Alcoholism: What You Need To Know
16 May, 2022
Addiction is a complicated, destructive disease, and those struggling with an addiction to alcohol can find that every aspect of their life is affected.
Addiction impacts the body and mind in equal measure, and those with the disease may not realize how often they are drinking or the extent to which it affects their life. Recognizing the signs of severe alcoholism as soon as possible can ensure that an individual is proactive in helping a loved one take the first step to a sober future via drug and alcohol rehab.
The Many Forms of Addiction
Addiction affects everyone who struggles with it differently, and each individual will have their own unique symptoms and signs. While some may struggle with an alcohol addiction by excessive binge drinking, others may constantly drink throughout the day without reaching a state of complete disorientation all at once.
However, both of these relationships with alcohol can be classified as an addiction. Rather than measuring addiction as drinking a certain number of drinks per day or week, it is more impactful to look for addiction by how alcohol affects one’s daily life, regardless of how much one consumes.
Recognizing the Signs
Addiction manifests in many ways, and each person’s journey with alcohol addiction and recovery will be unique. Not everyone exhibits the same signs of addiction, and there are varying degrees by which different signs may present themselves. However, it is important not to overlook any signs of alcohol abuse, and remaining vigilant in recognizing the effects of alcohol can help one discover the most objective, accurate evidence when identifying and overcoming addiction.
Educating oneself on the signs and risks of addiction can add needed perspective to identify a problem and begin support and recovery efforts. Below are some signs of severe alcohol addiction to watch for.
Increased Tendencies for Isolation
Addiction is a very isolating disease, and while it affects entire families and social groups, those struggling with it can feel entirely alone in their daily lives. They may become reluctant to engage in any kind of social outing and instead become more isolated as their usage increases, creating a destructive cycle.
Pervasive feelings of loneliness, along with difficulty breaking out of these feelings, can be a sign that an individual’s alcohol use is overpowering other interests or social needs.
Disinterest in Hobbies
One’s hobbies are a part of their identity, and those with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) may slowly lose interest in things that once made them happy or were used as a method of expression. The growing distance between an individual and their established hobbies is another way in which alcohol may be interfering with one’s life and becoming dangerously prevalent.
Inability to Tend to Responsibilities
Alcohol interferes with one's ability to tend to regular responsibilities. There are multiple ways this can manifest. First, those with an alcohol addiction may find themselves too impaired to accomplish tasks, and this level of intoxication is a cause for immediate concern. However, this is not the only way in which these responsibilities can be compromised.
Feelings of isolation and loneliness can also sap an individual’s motivation and willingness to tend to daily tasks at all. One may begin to feel as if they are unnecessary or even be unwilling to accomplish necessary duties due to this altered perspective. Even if an individual is not overtly intoxicated, the inability or unwillingness to tend to responsibilities may further represent a developing and dangerous relationship with alcohol.
One may also begin to skip out on work responsibilities or work at inconsistent times. Calling out sick, getting to work late, or leaving early can all be signs of alcohol addiction. While some may call out sick to stay home and drink or go to the bar, others may find work difficult due to persistent hangovers and fatigue. Not only does this make it difficult to maintain employment, but it also highlights one’s shifting priorities because of addiction.
Consistent and dangerous alcohol consumption can also overtake one’s regular diet, and an individual may skip meals, overeat, or prefer unhealthy food choices. This can bring on drastic changes in weight that may be indicative of alcohol use, either through a dramatic weight loss or gain or malnutrition, as an individual finds it difficult to regulate their dietary choices.
Increase in Risky Behavior
Risky behavior can also become more prevalent in those with an addiction to alcohol. These behaviors put one’s physical well-being in harm's way, either through lack of safety precautions or through engaging in known risky behaviors such as unsafe sexual practices.
The use of addictive substances always comes with consequences. However, even after an individual has been negatively affected by the fallout of drinking, either by causing them to miss a day of work, negative emotional outbursts, or intense hangovers, they may dismiss these negative consequences and continue to engage with alcohol. Ignoring the consequences of use is a hallmark of addiction, demanding a change in both one’s daily routine and mentality to overcome.
Knowing Alcoholism’s Symptoms Is Key To Getting Support
Alcoholism is a devastating disease. Recognizing the signs of alcohol addiction is paramount for getting the proper support for a loved one. At The Edge Treatment Center, we understand the difficulties of overcoming an addiction to alcohol, and we are prepared to help you take the first step toward sobriety. From detox to outpatient treatment and more, we can personalize your recovery each step of the way.
Call to speak to one of our caring, trained staff members about your needs today.