24/7 Admissions Hotline +1-866-916-3211

Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Friday, November 22, 2019 | By tricia

inpatient alcohol rehab in los angeles

Table Of Contents

Approximately 22 million Americans are currently addicted to one or more mind-altering substances. Out of that 22 million Americans, 16 million are addicted to alcohol. 

Alcohol comes in several forms, such as wine, liquor, and beer. It is regularly included in people’s everyday lives. From after-work happy hours and family dinners to holidays and weddings, alcohol is more prevalent today than ever before. It is so popular, in fact, that more than 86% of Americans have drank alcohol at least once in their lives. Unfortunately, about twelve percent of those who drink alcohol develop alcohol use disorder. 

 

What is Alcohol Use Disorder?

Alcohol use disorder, or AUD, is a disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use. Those experiencing AUD will struggle to control their alcohol intake and become irritated when not using. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), people with AUD experience two or more of the following:

  • Alcohol is often taken in larger amounts and/or over a longer period than the patient intended
  • Persistent attempts or one or more unsuccessful efforts made to cut down or control alcohol use
  • A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain, use, or recover from alcohol
  • Craving or a strong desire or urge to use alcohol
  • Recurrent substance use resulting in failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home
  • Continued alcohol use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by effects of alcohol use
  • Important social, occupational, or recreational activities given up or reduced because of alcohol use
  • Recurrent alcohol use in situations in which it is physically hazardous
  • Alcohol use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that has been caused/exacerbated by alcohol

In addition to these includes symptoms of tolerance, which include:

  • Needing to consume more alcohol to achieve the desired effect
  • Noticeably diminished effects when continuing to use the same amount of alcohol
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using
  • Continuing to use to prevent withdrawal symptoms

Individuals experiencing 2-3 of the above-listed symptoms are classified as having a mild AUD. Those with 4-5 symptoms have moderate AUD and people with 6 or more symptoms have a severe AUD. 

 

How Do I Know If I Am Abusing Alcohol?

Alcohol is so widely accepted throughout the country that it is hard for some people to determine if they are abusing it or not. One serving of alcohol equals one of the following:

  • 12 oz regular beer
  • 8-9 oz of malt liquor
  • 5 oz of wine
  • 1.5 oz of 80-proof distilled spirits

Consuming multiple servings of alcohol in one period of time is considered alcohol abuse. Continuing to partake in alcohol abuse on a weekly or daily basis can constitute AUD, however, there are several other factors that go into making that diagnosis.

The first thing you can do to determine if you are abusing alcohol is to see if any of the diagnostic criteria from the DSM-V are applicable to you. Remember, you only need to be experiencing two of those symptoms to have AUD. There are other things in your life that you should evaluate when considering if your alcohol use is abusive. They include:

Psychological symptoms

Specific to alcohol, abuse often causes several psychological side effects that tend to include both anxiety and depression. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, meaning that it slows your nervous system down. It also means that it can promote feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and hopelessness. Not being able to drink when you are used to abusing alcohol can promote anxiety. This can happen for several reasons, including because of the constant getting drunk/being hungover cycle. Going from being drunk to hungover often triggers the onset of anxiety. 

Withdrawal symptoms

The DSM discusses withdrawal symptoms in relation to alcohol tolerance. If you are tolerant and/or dependent on this substance because of your alcohol abuse, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can include chills, sweats, tremors, vomiting, headaches, hallucinations, and a fast heart rate. Your alcohol use has definitely become a problem if you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Change in quality of life

Alcohol abuse leads to changes in all areas of your life. Your alcohol abuse has the potential to cost you your job, placement in school, and good standing among your family. As a result, you may begin seeing financial, legal, and interpersonal issues develop. One of the most prominent signs of alcohol abuse is when individuals put alcohol above everything else in their lives.

 

What Do I Do If I Have Alcohol Use Disorder?

If you are abusing alcohol, the most important thing that you can do is reach out for help. You can do things by going online and researching treatment centers. You can call your primary care doctor and set up an appointment to obtain a referral. Reaching out to a therapist, a friend, or a family member is also an option if you want to get help. 

Depending on the severity of your alcohol abuse, you will receive treatment that corresponds with your need level. Inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs, and outpatient treatment are all options for professional treatment. Local alcohol rehab is often an excellent place to start if you are ready to stop abusing alcohol. 

It is critical to note that going from full-blown alcohol abuse to not using at all can be deadly. If you abuse alcohol and experience withdrawal symptoms when unable to use, get professional help immediately. By doing so, you are ensuring your physical wellbeing. 

 

Enroll in Alcohol Rehab Right Now

Abusing alcohol may seem like a minor problem, however, it is anything but. Continuing to abuse alcohol can put your life in jeopardy and hurt those around you. Reaching out for help at our alcohol rehab can save your life.

Do not waste another minute wondering when is the best time to ask for help. There is no better time than right now. Call us today. We can help you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Don't Just Take Our Word For It

  • Discovery Transitions changed my life!! Great food, great staff, wonderful place! Awesome to get to know the amazing clients and see that i was not alone in my recovery. I made friends for life in the short time i got to spend there. Not a better facility anywhere in my opinion!!The team of employees, from the Technicians all the way up to the Owner, all have a patient first mentality.

    Leto M

  • Going to treatment at Discovery Transitions was one of the best programs I've participated in, they helped me get my life back. They have amazing staff and overall good-natured people. They focus on all aspects of counseling, case management, meetings, different types of therapy, including trauma, one on one counseling. This is coming from someone who has been traumatized and neglected. They helped me get to the root of the problem. Which most times can feel very uncomfortable but they provide groups that you participate in and communicate with other addicts and hear their life stories. They really are an organization of team working to help heal the conflicted minds of us addicts that we faced every day. I would highly recommend this treatment program to anyone suffering from substance abuse or mental health.

    Skyy S

Latest Articles

  • Managing Holiday Stress without Compromising your Sobriety

    Managing Holiday Stress without Compromising your Sobriety

    Attending a festive family gathering where everyone is toasting away holiday stress can be agonizing for those in recovery. Stress of any kind can accelerate the relapse process, and the winter holidays can provide not only the stress of shopping, cr

    LEARN MORE
  • Childhood Trauma Linked to Understanding Drug Addiction

    Childhood Trauma Linked To Understanding Drug Addiction

    As medical experts and substance abuse professionals continue their quest for understanding drug addiction, they have discovered a link with childhood trauma. Research shows that children who suffer traumatic events not only have a higher chance of d

    LEARN MORE
  • substance abuse intensive outpatient program

    Johnny Manziel seeking Treatment for Alcoholism

    Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, popularly known as “Johnny Football,” has entered rehab for alcohol problems. Manziel, who was the youngest freshman to receive the Heisman Trophy, has had alcohol-related troubles in the past, but mor

    LEARN MORE
  • The Cycle of Addiction

    The Cycle of Addiction

    The ability of alcohol and drugs to strongly activate brain reward mechanisms is the primary catalyst in the cycle of addiction. But there are also certain risk factors and characteristics leading a person toward alcohol and drugs in ways which can c

    LEARN MORE
  • Dealing With Death Without Turning to Drugs or Alcohol

    If ever there were a time when we want to ease our pain, it is when we are dealing with death. Losing a family member, friend, even a pet, is one of the most difficult challenges we face, and the temptation to turn to quick fixes is high. The appeal

    LEARN MORE
  • Negative Emotions Can Compromise Your Sobriety

    A growing body of evidence supports what many therapists know from experience: patients with a fighting spirit have a better chance of recovery than those who surrender to their addiction. There is solid evidence on how negative emotions and mental a

    LEARN MORE
  • Family Therapy Drug Rehab Los Angeles

    Emotional Sobriety is Equally Important as Physical Sobriety

    Physical sobriety and emotional sobriety are two parts to a single unit in living a life free of alcohol and drug abuse. Physical sobriety means more than putting down the drink or refusing to pick up the drug. In other words, it means more than abst

    LEARN MORE
  • intensive outpatient therapy los angeles california

    Battling Addiction: Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment Programs

    Addiction treatment centers offer various types of drug recovery therapies that include inpatient services and outpatient services. The nature of an individual’s drug dependence and circumstances helps addiction specialists determine what type of t

    LEARN MORE
  • Family Therapy Drug Rehab Los Angeles

    The Power of Outpatient Addiction Treatment

    When people think about drug and alcohol treatment, they usually picture a stay at a residential rehab facility. While an inpatient substance abuse program may offer the best chance of success for individuals with a severe addiction or an unstable h

    LEARN MORE
  • intensive outpatient alcohol treatment los angeles california

    Intensive Outpatient Therapy for Addiction: Does It Work?

    Addiction is a multi-faceted disease that requires comprehensive treatment. Residential inpatient rehab is generally the preferred option among drug and alcohol addiction specialists. However, many substance abusers prefer to engage in outpatient tre

    LEARN MORE

This time today, you or your loved one could be in treatment. Get help now!

We Are Here To Help 24/7

+1-866-916-3211