The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that in 2013, 86.8 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime. This brings the question to mind, how do you know when the use of alcohol has crossed the line and become alcohol abuse?
Symptoms of alcohol abuse include failure to fulfill major work, school or home responsibilities. Changes in behavior, such as impulsivity, antisocial behavior, self-harm, harm to others or lack of restraint are also signs that alcohol consumption has crossed the line to alcohol abuse. If the person has started to experience legal problems due to alcohol use, such as driving under the influence or drunk and disorderly conduct then it is likely that alcohol consumption has become abuse. Finally, if family members or friends have become worried about the persons drinking, it may be time to consider that they have begun to abuse alcohol.
It is important to know that not all alcohol abusers become alcoholics. This is a risk factor to consider, but each person is different. Those that abuse alcohol can greatly effect those closest to them. The social problems that can arise from alcohol abuse can be equally as divesting as the physical problems. Alcohol abusers are more likely to get divorced, struggle with employment, have issues with domestic violence, and to live in poverty.
It is not uncommon for family members and loved ones to feel obligated to cover for the person suffering from the drinking problem as well. Oftentimes loved ones will try to alleviate the burden by cleaning up the alcohol abusers messes. They may lie for the person, or take on additional work in an effort to make ends meet. It is important to realize that children are especially sensitive and may suffer long-lasting emotional trauma if exposed to a heavy drinker or alcohol abuser.
If you or a loved one are suffering from alcohol abuse, please contact A New Start, Inc. today to learn about our intensive outpatient alcohol treatment program.