Alcoholism is a medical disease that affects as many as 140 million people worldwide. Despite being a well-recognized and treatable neurological disorder consisting of symptoms both physical and psychological, many sufferers go undiagnosed for fear of the potential for social repercussions. However, simply avoiding the issue of alcoholism will do nothing to help it go away; in fact, it can make the situation much worse, leading to debilitating illness and even death. Here are a few things to look for if you think you or a loved one might be suffering from alcoholism.
As alcohol is a depressant, those engaging in its consumption experience a range of effects to the function of both their brains and bodies. Long-term abusers can start to experience permanent changes due to their system’s attempt to regulate their productivity in the constant presence of alcohol, which is a powerful toxin. Significant changes in mood and demeanor can be a sign of depression brought on by alcoholism, as its effects may lead even the brightest and cheeriest of personalities to become increasingly withdrawn. Depression is an especially dangerous symptom in that it can be self-perpetuating; for instance, someone deep in the throes of alcoholism may start perceiving the need to have a drink or two “just to feel right,” a behavior that can spiral out of control as more and more alcohol is needed to produce this regulating effect.
Changes in Social Behavior
Alcohol has been shown to quite habit-forming, and many sufferers of alcoholism have been known to alter certain elements daily life in order to fit drinking into their schedule. While stopping off for a quick drink after work might seem therapeutic from time to time, it should not become an obsession. The same goes for a night out on the town, as there is a far cry between having a few cocktails with friends and being a constant customer at last call. Alcoholism can lead people to place their drinking priorities ahead of their social ones, becoming unpleasant or even downright belligerent when situations or circumstances interfere with their ability to drink at will. Some have even been known to abandon their established groups of friends altogether, instead choosing to turn their attention to new companions more likely to share in their dangerous behavior.
Trouble At Home
Despite its seemingly casual nature, full-blown alcoholism demands a considerable dedication of both effort and resources. For one, drinking is expensive, as going out to bars for drinks on a regular basis forces the drinker to pay for not only the markup on the liquor itself, but also for service in the form of tips. Even if choosing to drink at home, the cost will add up as alcoholics develop an increased tolerance over time, thereby requiring them to consume increasingly large (and therefore expensive) quantities of alcohol to achieve the desired intoxicating effect. This drain on the wallet can be quite stressful on a household, particularly one on a budget, leading to constant tension and eventual conflicts.
Alcoholism is treatable. At We Do Recover, our professionals can deal with the addiction, as well as the effects of withdrawal, to help an alcoholic straighten out his life and live with strength and control.