Why Are Knowing the Symptoms of Alcoholism Important?

Why is it important to know the symptoms of alcoholism?

The biggest reason to be aware of the signs of alcoholism is because, in certain situations, it could save someone’s life.

It could even save your own life.

You could be the person that recognizes that your friend has had one too many.

Taking their keys away from them could prevent their death, or someone else’s.

Asking them to stay because you notice them stumbling could prevent them from doing something they will regret later.

Whatever case it may be, it is useful to understand and know the symptoms of alcoholism.

One of the biggest reasons why is someone who has had too many may argue with you.

They may say they are fine.

That they had a cup of coffee, ate some food, and have sobered up.

If you are well versed in facts and signs you could help save someone’s life.

Why Are Knowing the Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse Important? Emerald Isle Health and Recovery - A group of individuals in residential treatment for alcoholism is discussing various coping strategies to help manage stress and pain without turning toward an alcoholic drink.



Noticing the Symptoms During the Holidays

The holidays are a prime time for parties and whether you are hosting or attending a party it doesn’t hurt to recognize a few basic signs.

The tricky part is somebody who is under the influence might have tricks or ways of denying that they have an issue or are incapable of functioning.

The World Health Organization states that 8-10 drinks a week is what is considered excessive.

I never used to give a second thought to having a few beers after work. That was until I went to rehab. Having a few drinks was nothing compared to the 7 or 8 I would have on weekend evenings. That didn’t count the day drinking before brunch. I definitely got to a point where I got good at hiding the symptoms of alcoholism.

As an alcoholic, you learn how to hide things, especially when it comes to your drinking.

As I mentioned, I ended up going to rehab at Emerald Isle. Since then, I’ve been in recovery, and I’ve maintained sobriety. I have been one of the lucky ones to move forward with my life in a positive way.

I have a strong support system and the great program and staff at Emerald Isle to thank for that. It was only my support system’s ability to see what a problem I had with alcoholism and plan an intervention that saved my life.

They couldn’t have helped me without understanding the extent of the problem I had. The issue with so many people that are under the influence is that unless you know the signs of alcoholism you are not able to call them out.

It’s important to remember that even if someone isn’t showing all of these signs that they could be hiding them.

For the sake of making the signs easy to identify I’ve put them into two categories.

Physical signs and behavioral signs.

Why Are Knowing the Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse Important? Emerald Isle Health and Recovery - A young individual is meeting with an alcohol rehab specialist to go over their symptoms of alcoholism and which treatment plan would be the best option for them.


Physical Signs

One of the easiest physical signs is someone’s breath. If their breath smells of booze, they most likely have had one too many.

If they are trying to hide their intake, they might do something like chew gum to hide the fact they have had too many.

Someone may even have coffee to “sober” up. The notion of coffee sobering someone up immediately is a myth. According to information from the NIH even after a cup of coffee, it can take hours for alcohol to stop having an effect on the body.

Having a piece of gum or a cup of coffee will not save a person if they are pulled over by a cop on their way home.

Another surefire way to be aware of someone who has had too much to drink or has abused alcohol is if they are slurring their speech. It might be subtle. It doesn’t have to mean they are downright out of it. But, if you hear it, you typically can assume they have abused alcohol.

The volume of someone’s voice may be altered as well. Whereas someone is usually quiet, they may become very loud all of a sudden. Their inhibitions are loosening, and they have most likely consumed one too many alcoholic beverages.

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Behavioral Signs

I have witnessed a lot of bad behavior in my days of drinking.

Friends going home with people they just barely met. Friends losing awareness of their surroundings and leaving their purses out, and later realizing that their wallet was stolen. Friends tripping and falling from having a lack of balance. Friends drinking more when you know they have had enough.

There are more subtle signs though. Perhaps you are explaining something simple to a person that has been drinking, but they can’t follow your line of thinking and their responses do not make sense. This is a sign they have had too much to drink.

Some people may seem more confident and able to engage in conversation but talk too loudly or have trouble remembering things you just told them.

The best idea if you put yourself in a situation where there could be an abuse of alcohol is to have a plan.

The NIH has done studies of effectiveness of preventing drunk driving. A few ideas are to have a sober driver on hand, take people’s keys, offer them a place to stay, and have lots of food and water available.

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Going Forward for You and Your Loved Ones

I have experienced bad behavior myself while drinking.

I met and developed relationships with people who I would normally be friends with when sober.

Until I went to Emerald Isle, I didn’t even completely understand what a healthy relationship was.

It was only after having exposure to programs that helped me regain my sobriety that I realized a lot of the decisions I made while drinking was unhealthy.

I displayed risky behavior and made poor decisions.

Understanding the symptoms of alcohol abuse can help save you and your loved ones from making decisions you will later regret and have lasting effects on your life.

The signs of alcohol abuse can be subtle or downright obvious.

No matter what recognizing them is crucial to the safety of you and your loved ones.

Especially during this pandemic, decreasing your own alcohol use and understanding the signs to help others is a good idea.