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      Sober Nation

      Putting Recovery On The Map

      05-15-13 | By

      What is an Alcoholic?

      What is an Alcoholic? – Signs to Look For

      The most concrete definition of “alcoholic” is someone who suffers alcoholism, and alcoholism is a form of the chronic brain disease of addiction. There is a difference between an alcoholic, someone who abuses alcohol, and a casual drinker. How can you tell when someone’s crossed the line and become an alcoholic?

      An alcoholic has a physical compulsion to drink and a mental obsession with alcohol. Even if they want to, an alcoholic will be unable to control their drinking or stop drinking without help.

      what is an alcoholic

      It can be very difficult to get an alcoholic to admit to their alcoholism, but there are lots of characteristics that are commonly seen. Here is a list of signs that can help you recognize if you or someone you know is an alcoholic.

      -Frequently drinking more than intended
      -Occasional or frequent blackouts
      -Frequently regretting things you did when drunk
      -Requiring more alcohol to get drunk (increasing tolerance)
      -Drinking alone or in secret
      -Feeling the urge to drink (cravings)
      -Hiding alcohol in your home, workplace, etc.
      -Stopping or losing interest in hobbies
      -Missing work or other activities due to drinking
      -Neglecting responsibilities due to drinking
      -All or most social activities revolving around drinking
      -Legal problems related to alcohol (DUI, etc.)
      -Work, relationship, or money problems related to alcohol
      -Having drinking rituals or routines and being upset when they’re disrupted
      -Lying about your drinking habits
      -Feeling guilty or ashamed of your drinking habits
      -Others being concerned about your drinking (family, friends, coworkers, etc.)
      -Needing to drink in order to relax, socialize, or feel good
      -Being upset and irritable if you cannot drink

      A person does not have to exhibit all of those signs to be considered an alcoholic, and they may show only a few. Generally, the more signs a person shows, the more severe their alcoholism is. An alcoholic may also be very good at hiding signs of their alcoholism. Despite the negative impact drinking might be having in their life, an alcoholic is still unable to stop drinking.

      There are also several risk factors that can increase a person’s chance of becoming an alcoholic. Here is a list of risk factors.

      -Beginning to drink at a young age
      -Family history of alcoholism
      -Stress
      -Easy access to alcohol
      -Depression
      -Low self-esteem
      -Peer pressure

      An alcoholic will experience withdrawal symptoms when they are unable to drink. Without alcohol in their system, an alcoholic might feel or experience any of the following signs.

      -Nausea
      -Vomiting
      -Sweating
      -Chills
      -Shakiness/shaking hands
      -Body tremors
      -Anxiety
      -Irritability
      -Mood Swings
      -Depression
      -Insomnia
      -Fatigue
      -Headache
      -Difficulty concentrating
      -Heart palpitations

      If a person experiences alcohol withdrawal, then they have a serious problem. Severe alcohol withdrawal can also result in life-threatening delirium tremens, which are also known as DTs and result in confusion and hallucinations, and seizures. An alcoholic must be careful when they quit drinking because doing so without proper medical care can result in death.

      It’s also important to note that an alcoholic is not a person with bad morals, poor self-control, reckless intentions, or bad judgment. An alcoholic is not irresponsible, stupid, or worthless. An alcoholic is a person with a chronic, debilitating disease that requires physical, mental, and spiritual care and support.

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