The definition of alcohol abuse
Alcohol abuse is defined as the excessive use of alcoholic beverages whether it is on individual occasions (i.e. binge drinking) or as a regular habit. For example, for certain individuals such as children or pregnant women almost any quantity of alcohol that is consumed may be considered legally as alcohol abuse, depending on the local laws of the state one resides in. Additionally, the heavy consumption of alcohol can lead to addiction and even be fatal.
Alcohol abuse symptoms
When an individual persists in drinking long after they are having health problems associated with it or they endure recurring problems as a result of their drinking, this is defined as alcohol abuse. For instance, those recurring problems include continuing to drink despite it causing problems on the job or in school, driving under the influence of alcohol, constantly getting into legal trouble, or shirking family and financial responsibilities. This is typically what alcohol abuse is comprised of.
When a person continues to drink alcohol in dangerous situations (e.g. driving while intoxicated or operating heavy equipment or machinery), or after having occupational, physical, psychological, and social problems, this is how alcohol abuse is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, IV. The harmful use of alcohol such as drinking until you have mental or physical health damage is the definition of alcohol abuse according to the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases.
How can a person tell when they have a drinking problem?
The short answer to “how can I tell if I have a drinking problem?” is that if you need to ask, then there is a real possibility that you already have a problem with alcohol. If there are other people in your life who have expressed their concerns about you having a problem, then you most likely do. Finally, if you continue drinking alcohol in spite of numerous negative consequences, this could be a serious indication that a problem exists. Surprisingly, many people are able to quit drinking on their own.
When you believe that you have become addicted to or dependent upon alcohol there are additional questions that you will have to answer. It may be time to seek the professional help of an addiction treatment and recovery facility. The addiction specialists and staff members of these facilities are well-versed at dealing with alcoholism.
Recognizing the most common signs of alcohol abuse -The 7 most common
Whether you are concerned about yourself or someone close to you having a problem with alcohol, there are some very significant signs and symptoms that you need to be aware of. The following are the seven most common signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse:
- When you are drinking alcohol, you get hurt or you hurt others.
- You blacked out after drinking alcohol. In other words, you were unable to remember what occurred during your drinking episode.
- You continue to drink despite having health problems caused or worsened by drinking alcohol, such as cirrhosis.
- You drink alcohol when it is risky, such as before driving a vehicle or while you are driving.
- You have problems at school or work because of drinking alcohol, such as excessive absenteeism or tardiness.
- Your drinking has led to legal problems, such as arrests for causing injury to someone or while driving under the influence.
- Your family members, loved ones, and close personal friends express their concern regarding your drinking.
There are additional signs or symptoms that you should be aware of which may indicate that your alcohol abuse has elevated itself to the next level. These include:
- You change from drinking beer to drinking mixed drinks or wine because you think this will keep you from getting intoxicated or enable you to drink less alcohol.
- You do things in order to hide your alcohol consumption such as purchasing alcoholic beverages at different convenience stores or liquor stores or make excuses to justify your drinking.
- You drink alone, early in the morning, and are often drunk for long periods of time.
- You feel guilt and shame after your drinking episodes.
- You have physical signs of alcohol abuse or addiction, such as gastritis (a sore or upset stomach), redness of the cheeks and nose, and noticeable weight loss.
- You worry that you won’t have enough alcohol to drink during the evening or for the entire weekend.
Another issue to consider if you are worried about a family member or loved one is that when it comes to children or teenagers, the indicators of an alcohol problem can be completely different from those that apply to adults. If you are concerned about one of your children or teenagers having an issue with alcohol, you should research the subject of teenager alcohol abuse or addiction.