Identifying Signs of Alcohol Abuse
The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that in 2014, 87.6 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime – up from 86.8 percent in 2013. Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States, which raises the question: How can you tell between alcohol use and alcohol abuse?
Some major indicators of alcohol abuse include neglecting major work, school or home responsibilities, lying about drinking or sneaking drinks, and an inability to quit. Changes in behavior, such as impulsivity, antisocial behavior, self-harm, harm to others or lack of restraint are also signs that alcohol consumption has crossed the line to alcohol abuse. If the person has started to experience personal, professional, or legal problems due to alcohol use, such as driving under the influence or drinking on the job, then it is likely that alcohol use has become abuse.
It is important to note that not all alcohol abusers become alcoholics. Alcohol abuse does put one at greater risk, but each person is different. Alcohol abuse and alcoholism not only cause damage to a person’s health, but also have considerable effects on their personal life including family and friends. These social consequences can be just as, if not more, devastating than the physical consequences. Alcohol abusers are more likely to:
- Encounter financial problems/live in poverty
- Divorce or have other marital problems
- Have incidents of domestic violence
- Have work-related issues
Naturally, it is common for family members and loved ones to feel obligated to take care of the person struggling with a drinking problem. Oftentimes loved ones will try to alleviate the burden by cleaning up the abuser’s messes, such as lying for the person or getting a second job to make up for their lost income. With more than 10% of US children living with a parent with alcohol problems, it is important to realize that children are especially sensitive and may suffer long-lasting emotional trauma if exposed to a heavy drinker or alcohol abuser. If you have a loved one struggling with addiction click here for tips on how to interact with your loved one.
If you or a loved one are suffering from alcohol abuse, please contact Silicon Beach Outpatient Center today to learn about our intensive outpatient alcohol addiction treatment program at 310.846.8215.