Alcohol use is popular, and the symptoms of a serious drinking problem are often overlooked due to how common alcohol abuse has become in the united states. However, there are a few signs and symptoms that you may want to pay attention if you are concerned that you or somebody that you care about may be developing a serious drinking problem that could be leading into alcoholism. If you at a point that you are questioning it, chances are that you do in fact have a problem with alcohol abuse.
If you have more than four or five drinks in one day, you meet the criteria for being a binge drinker. Binge drinking even one or two days per week can do serious damage to your body over time and is considered to be alcohol abuse.
Alcohol abuse and binge drinking do not necessarily mean that a person has developed a dependence on alcohol. However, binge drinking is the number one risk factor when it comes to whether or no a person becomes dependent on alcohol. There are some things to look out for to determine if binge drinking is escalating into full-blown alcoholism.
If you notice that you have started planning your days and weeks around consuming alcohol you may be at risk of becoming an alcoholic. Planning activities around the consumption of alcohol is one of the tell-tale signs that a more serious drinking problem is developing. It is also one of the easiest symptoms to ignore due to the fact that alcoholism often masquerades as simply being social due to the prevalence of alcohol abuse across the country.
Symptoms of physical dependence
If you notice that you are experiencing mental cravings for alcohol between drinks during the week than you may be developing a physical addiction. If you have tried to stop drinking for an extended period of time and have been unable to do so, you may be physically dependent. This is especially true if you also notice that when you do allow yourself to drink, you are unable to control the amount that you drink and have difficulties stopping.
An increase in tolerance and needing to consume more alcohol than you have in the past is another sign that you are becoming physically dependent on alcohol.
If you notice that you experience mood swings and irritability when you go without alcohol, you are likely experiencing withdrawal symptoms related to having a physical dependence on alcohol. If you notice that your mood swings and irritability are accompanied by tremors and shaking of the hands, this points to a severe physical dependence on alcohol. If you drink to alleviate any of the symptoms mentioned above, you are likely in need of treatment.
Some other symptoms include defensiveness about drinking patterns when confronted, continuing to drink despite having already faced serious consequences as a result of drinking and lying to friends and family members about the amount of alcohol that has been consumed by an individual.