If you are worried about your alcohol consumption, it is important to research what healthy alcohol consumption looks like and what unhealthy consumption looks like. Getting the help you need to control or discontinue alcohol use is important if you think you might be developing an addiction. To determine if you should enter treatment for your drinking, consider these four statements: Four symptoms of alcoholism.
Your level of drinking suggests the need for rehab.
You have several risk factors for alcohol abuse.
You demonstrate several symptoms of alcohol abuse.
You want to avoid the complications associated with alcohol abuse.
If you occasionally feel hung over after drinking or become nauseous while drinking, you are getting a clear message that you are drinking too much. But how much is too much? The post, “,Alcoholism In-Depth Report,”, provides a detailed look at various aspects of alcoholism including a guide that helps you determine appropriate drinking levels.
People often think it is the type of liquor that they consume that dictates what is too much. However, it is not the type of liquor that matters, it is the amount of alcohol consumed. For example, one drink can be defined as 12 ounces of beer or 5 ounces of wine. Three categories are used to define drinking levels including the following:
Most common symptoms of alcoholism
Moderate drinking is defined as no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women. Even at moderate levels, people should not drink before driving, during pregnancy or if alcohol interferes with medications or a medical condition.
Low-risk drinking is defined as no more than 4 drinks a day, or 14 drinks per week, for men and no more than 3 drinks per day, or 7 drinks per week, for women.
At-risk (heavy) drinking is defined as more than 14 drinks per week, or four drinks in a day, for men, and more than seven drinks per week, or three drinks a day, for women.
If you are at the at-risk level of drinking, you will want to explore your treatment options for alcohol abuse so that you can take action as soon as possible.
Risk Factors for Alcohol Abuse
In exploring your personal consumption, you may wonder why some people have a greater risk for alcohol abuse and alcoholism. The previous post addresses this inquiry as well by explaining that there are conditions that can influence a person’s reactions to alcohol including the following:
Age –, Anyone who begins drinking in adolescence is at risk for developing alcoholism. The earlier a person begins drinking, the greater the risk.
Family history –, Young people at highest risk for early drinking are those with a history of alcoholism, abuse, family violence, depression and stressful life events.
Elderly population – Because alcohol affects the older body differently, people who maintain the same drinking patterns as they age can easily develop alcohol dependency without realizing it. Older organs are more easily damaged by alcohol and many medications prescribed for older people interact adversely with alcohol.
Gender – While most alcoholics are men, women are more vulnerable to many of the long-term consequences of alcoholism, such as developing alcoholic hepatitis or suffering with brain cell damage caused by alcohol.
Psychiatric and behavioral disorders –, Severely depressed or anxious people are at high risk for alcoholism, smoking and other forms of addiction often because they abuse substances to self-medicate.
At this point, you have the information to determine whether you are at risk and whether your current consumption levels are unsafe. To further define your current state of alcohol use and determine whether you should enter treatment, you may want to look at the symptoms and complications of alcohol abuse.
Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) describes symptoms of alcohol abuse in their post, “ Signs and Symptoms.” Two obvious symptoms are tolerance, which means that you need more alcohol to feel the same effect, and withdrawal, which means you experience symptoms when you discontinue using alcohol.
Common symptoms of alcoholism
Less obvious signs that require your close attention include your inability to control your drinking, your inability to stop drinking, the fact that alcohol takes up considerable time, energy and focus that often causes you to neglect responsibilities and other activities, and that you continue to drink even though you experience negative consequences.
Complications Associated with Alcohol Abuse
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are many behavioral complications associated with alcohol abuse including poor performance at work or school, relationship problems, legal problems, engaging in risky behaviors and an increased risk of suicide.
In addition there are several serious health complications that alcohol abuse can contribute to including liver disease, digestive problems, heart problems, diabetes complications, sexual function and menstruation issues, eye problems, birth defects, bone damage, neurological complications, weakened immune system and an increased risk of several types of cancer.
Get Help to Learn More About Treatment for Alcohol Abuse
You’ve been thinking about your use of alcohol and have been wondering whether you are at risk for alcohol abuse. While this post provides information for you to consider, you may have more questions. This is where we can help, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have and provide you with useful resources.