Did you know that more than 14.5 million people ages 12 and above have been diagnosed with alcoholism? Additionally, only 7.2% of those people receive help. Alcohol dependency is an addiction that is the first leading risk factor in premature deaths.

Keep reading if you want to learn about the warning signs of alcoholism or how to beat addiction.

Warning Signs of Alcoholism

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), there are 11 signs you’re an alcoholic. Those symptoms include:

  • Drinking large amounts of alcohol frequently
  • Struggling to limit the amount of alcohol you consume
  • Spending a significant portion of your day/night drinking
  • Frequently being hungover
  • Strong urges to drink
  • Facing issues in your personal and professional life due to your drinking
  • Continuing to drink despite the above issues
  • Getting into situations where drinking becomes dangerous, such as driving
  • Drinking despite feelings of depression and anxiety
  • Tolerance constantly increasing
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms

If you have six or more of these alcoholism signs, you should reach out for help.

Health Conditions Surrounding Alcohol Abuse

While many alcohol abusers are high functioning, making it difficult to notice some warning signs, they may begin to develop health conditions. These health issues will vary in severity, but many are due to chronic, heavy alcohol abuse.

Health conditions include but are not limited to high blood pressure, nerve damage, dementia, and cardiovascular disease. In addition, in cases where there is severe alcohol dependency, the individual can also experience pancreatitis or cirrhosis of the liver.

Physical Signs of Alcoholism

When someone is drinking alcohol excessively, they begin to exhibit physical signs. Those signs can include the lingering smell of alcohol on their breath or clothes, weight loss, dry skin, brittle nails, increased aging, broken capillaries on the face and nose, yellowing eyes and skin, and overall poor hygiene.

Seeking Treatment

There are many types of programs and resources available to those who are in the process of getting sober. Popular treatments include detox, medication, alcoholics anonymous (AA), counseling/therapy, or rehab.

Studies have shown that behavioral treatments are beneficial. Medications are as well, and you can take them individually or combined with behavioral treatments. While support groups like AA are popular, the effectiveness cannot be determined due to anonymity.

If you notice any physical signs or the above health issues in yourself or someone you love, you should seek help. Oftentimes a person who exhibits several symptoms is a risk for self-harm. Again, you can reach out to loved ones or call SAMHSA’s national helpline.

Start Noticing the Warning Signs of Alcoholism and Get Help

While drinking may be fun and loosen you up at first, you can quickly develop a dependency. However, there are numerous ways to get help and countless benefits of sobriety once you start your journey. If you worry about your drinking or a loved one’s, refer to the warning signs of alcoholism above.

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