Often times we can recognize the signs of someone who has had a few too many drinks… slurred words, disorientation, delayed responses or even poor balance. However, seeing the signs of someone with an alcohol addiction may not be so clear.
Those that have AUD or alcohol use disorder, are more likely to be able to disguise their alcohol usage, and do so for an extended period of time. Once a person gets to a place of addiction there are usually two points of view. First, many people with addiction don’t believe they have a drinking problem at all and are in denial about their drinking. Secondly, some individuals know they have a problem but have created pardons for why they drink and are so far into their practices that they don’t see a way out, or have accepted their drinking as a means to function.
According to Healthline, there are a few very distinct signs of someone with AUD.
Some of those signs include:
- being unable to control how much you drink
- being unable to control when you drink
- feeling compelled or having uncontrollable cravings to drink
- having a “tolerance” to alcohol so that you need to consume increasingly larger amounts of alcohol in order to experience the same effects
- having to drink in order to feel “normal” or “good”
- storing alcohol in hidden places, such as at work, in your car, or in unusual places in your house
- drinking alone or in secret
- irritability if you can’t drink when you want to
- continuing to drink despite negative consequences in your personal or professional life
- preferring to drink over engaging in other activities and hobbies, including spending time with friends and family
- experiencing blackouts, or periods of time when you can’t remember what you did, where you were, or who you were with
When someone with AUD has not had alcohol in what they measure as a long time, physical symptoms may also begin to set in, known as withdrawals. Whether it be sweating, hallucinating, vomiting or convulsing, the body can go through a number of occurrences in result of the lack of alcohol.
There is no clear cut way to determine instantly if someone has AUD. A doctor may take into consideration all of the actions, behaviors or patterns one has exhibited due to alcohol use and make an addiction diagnosis accordingly. Sometimes doctors will also use evaluations or inquiries to help determine AUD as well. Once that is completed and all proper avenues have been explored in confirming the addiction, then the best course to treatment can take place.
If you feel as though you or a loved one is displaying these characteristics, contact Hamilton Community Health Network. We have a full program dedicated to addiction and dependency at our Hamilton-Flint clinic, along with treatment at our Lapeer clinic. Call 810-406-4246 to make an appointment, or visit us online at Hamiltonchn.org.