A person cannot become an alcoholic in the worst stage in a moment. It is a gradual process that has several steps. And the sooner he realizes the problem, the easier it will be to get rid of addiction and prevent the situation from irreversible consequences.
Alcohol addiction is determined by some criteria which are common to all psychoactive substances.
These are tolerance, withdrawal syndrome, uncontrolled consumption, unsuccessful attempts to reduce the amounts, much time spent searching and drinking alcohol, damage to family, work or leisure, and continued use without adjustment for health problems caused by alcohol. It is not necessary to collect all of them, 2-3 are enough.
But if you find out to have like more than 5 signs, there are many options for treatment. Start first with an alcoholics anonymous hotline.
The criteria usually are not so clearly formalized. There are three stages of alcoholism distinguished (four, if we consider “zero,” in which a person already tends to drink alcohol, but calmly abstains from it when the situation does not contribute to drinking).
A flexible set of parameters characterizes each, but the most noticeable of them is the suppression of the vomiting reflex in case of alcohol abuse in the first stage of addiction.
Then the expressed withdrawal syndrome and the need to “get drunk” in the second stage. And the complete impossibility to feel good without intoxication – in the third.
The development of each of them can take several years, and even at the second stage, a person can ultimately cope with his work and with the establishment of social ties, so that others may not consider him having problems with alcohol at all.
There are some simple visible signs which can uncover an alcoholic.
For a healthy person who has drunk the day before and now suffers severely from headaches and other unpleasant effects of drinking, the idea of drinking another bottle of beer will be disgusting.
But alcoholic will become enthusiastic in a minute because he feels terrible when the alcohol in his blood is literally running out.
● The first stage
It is characterized by mental addiction to alcohol.
The protective gag reflex disappears, increases the tolerance, and decreases the control over the amount of alcohol consumed.
● The second stage
Its main symptom is the formed withdrawal syndrome. A pathological craving for alcohol appears.
The drinker is no longer able to manage the situation. And also the amount of alcohol consumed: he drinks while he has something to drink. There are memory lapses.
● The third stage
Tolerance decreases, there are binges, and appetite is almost completely lost. There are also visible changes in character, and the degradation of personality becomes apparent.
The old diseases are aggravated, and new appear — alcoholics who have lost their jobs and family sink to the bottom. For the sip of alcohol or some surrogate, they are ready to do anything.
The eight signs which could help recognize an alcoholic
1. They do not think that they have a problem
Usually, no alcoholic recognizes that he is an alcoholic. They can be successful in life, have great achievements at work, and have a normal family.
“What’s wrong with the beer after work,” they say. But the truth is that hidden alcoholism is still alcoholism.
2. They may not drink regularly, but when they take a glass, they lose control
They do not have to drink every day to be an alcoholic. But such people can do all the routine without even a thought about alcohol: take their children to school, go to work, make a dinner, uncork a bottle of wine and drink it till the last drop.
When an alcoholic drink, they cease to control this process. For such occasions, there is always drunk hotline which you can call any time of the day and confess their problem.
3. They have memory problems
This is a common feature that unites both hidden and real alcoholics. Sometimes, even after a small amount of alcohol, their memory turns off.
They cannot retell what has happened how they got home or vice versa – why they have left. This is called alcoholic amnesia: a person cannot reproduce in memory the entire chain of events that happened to him during alcohol intoxication.
It appears in the first stage of addiction and is aggravated in the second and third. A healthy person cannot drink that much that to have amnesia – a gag reflex will occur earlier.
4. They become irritable without alcohol
A clear sign of alcoholism – a person, is extra grumpy, and over time this becomes only worse. When they do not have access to alcohol for too long, they sometimes become even aggressive.
From time to time, this can also show off itself physically: they begin to sweat a lot; their heartbeat gets faster.
5. They will refuse food in favor of a glass
Hidden alcoholics can use a meal as an excuse to drink another glass. At the same time, they may not touch food at all, preferring to drink.
6. They lie to hide alcohol addiction
To make others suspect less, they can even create quite a long truthful story as an excuse of absence. Like that they were stuck in traffic, while in reality, they went to the bar.
In such a situation, there is no sense to argue because people mostly do not like admitting being wrong or guilty. It is better to find alcohol helpline and
7. They hide from the world
They will also find an excuse not to go to a family dinner or party, which are not very important. Why? They want to drink for their pleasure so that no one can condemn them.
8. They will always have an excuse
Hidden alcoholics still have a reason: they “drink a little,” they “had a difficult day,” they “met a friend whom they had not seen for a hundred years.”
And this is connected with the first point – they do not recognize their problem.
It is tough for the alcoholic himself to understand that he has become an alcoholic since, in most cases, he no longer sees the endpoint and does not consider himself addicted.
However, you should seriously think about alcohol help phone numbers if you have the following symptoms:
- An obsessive desire to drink alcohol, despite the awareness of the harmful social consequences.
- An increase in the frequency of use, and the amount of alcohol, the ability to drink more with the same effect.
- Notable health effects are nausea, pain in the liver, and heart.
- And finally, the understanding that alcohol interferes and harms your life, but no power to refuse it.
Only about 5% of patients understand that they are in danger, and seek help on their own. However, most of those who come to the clinic themselves, want to get rid of alcohol poisoning only, and not stop drinking forever.
You need to be active in the spirit to recognize your problem as being solved.