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Sometimes, it can be difficult to determine when a person’s drinking has become a problem. It is common to occasionally share an alcoholic beverage with friends. However, when a person begins drinking alcohol to avoid negative feelings or to cope with the stresses of life, there may be a cause for concern. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 13.7 million Americans are dependent on alcohol. Before you can treat your problem or help someone else with a problem, it is essential to recognize the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse.

Drinking to Relax

After a stressful day, it is common for a person to unwind with a glass of wine or a can of beer. However, it is easy to keep reaching for alcohol to escape reality or to get through rough patches in life. When a person uses liquor as a means for relaxation, he or she may have a drinking problem. For example, it is not normal for a person to consume an entire bottle of alcohol after a fight with a spouse or a bad day at work.

Drinking that Causes Irresponsibility

accidentsEveryone has responsibilities. Some individuals have jobs, some people go to school, and others must take care of their families. When alcohol causes people to get drunk and hung over, it may cause them to miss work, cut school, or neglect family. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence explains that over 7 million children are trapped in homes where at least one parent abuses alcohol. When these negative behaviors occur frequently, alcoholism may be to blame.

Alcohol Use Under Dangerous Conditions

A common sign of a drinking problem is consistently consuming alcohol and performing dangerous acts. For instance, an individual may drink and drive on a regular basis, constantly mix prescription medications with alcohol, or use heavy machinery while intoxicated. These are all serious issues that must be addressed.

Becoming Less Active

Most people enjoy hanging out with their friends, exercising at the gym, or other hobbies. However, when alcohol becomes the focus of their energy, it becomes difficult to participate in any of these activities. When drinking problems become extreme, it is common for individuals to withdraw from social involvement.

Legal Issues

controlselfWhen a person abuses alcohol, it is not unusual for the habit to lead to legal issues. Most likely, an alcoholic will become arrested for driving while intoxicated or for exhibiting disorderly conduct. Since these behaviors can scar a person’s record indefinitely, it is essential to seek help before it is too late.

It Becomes Impossible to Quit

Even though an alcoholic believes that he or she can control his or her drinking, this is never the case. Even after multiple attempts to quit, it is impossible for this type of individual to stop consuming liquor. Although the bad habit may be causing relationship or health problems, a person simply cannot stop reaching for the bottle.

Builds a Tolerance

drinkingWhen a person regularly consumes alcohol, his or her body develops a tolerance. To achieve a buzz or to feel relaxed, the individual must drink more to get the same effect. This is one of the earliest signs of an alcohol problem.

Since alcohol abuse can take a devastating toll on a person’s health and relationships, it is vital to learn the signs and symptoms of a problem. If you are ready to admit that you abuse alcohol or if you recognize the classic signs in a loved one’s behavior, it is crucial to seek help. Although the recovery process can be emotionally challenging, it is the only way to get back onto a sober and fruitful path.