Alcoholism is a common name for symptoms of alcohol abuse, but in truth, it is a nonclinical term that medical professionals generally don’t use. Instead, they use the term alcohol use disorder, which allows for several levels of alcohol use and abuse. Roughly seven percent of Americans over the age of 18 have some level of alcohol use disorder.
Early Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse
Men are about twice as likely as women to experience signs of alcohol abuse. The experiences of those with an alcohol use disorder can vary widely. A clinical test with 11 symptoms helps diagnose the level of alcohol abuse for a particular person. If you experience two of the 11 symptoms in the past year, then you likely have an alcohol abuse disorder. Two or three symptoms means a mild case, four or five is moderate, and six or more symptoms means a severe case of alcohol use disorder. Four common symptoms at any level include:
- Continuous consumption of alcohol despite adverse life effects
- Consumption interferes with work, school, relationships and/or responsibilities
- Risky behavior during or after drinking like fighting, unprotected sex or driving
- Needing more alcohol to reach the desired level of intoxication
The earliest stage of alcohol abuse usually includes occasional binge drinking, which may lead to serious health consequences over several years. The most severe stage occurs when the person experiences dangerous withdrawal symptoms upon reducing or quitting alcohol.
Chronic Alcohol Abuse
More problematic signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse often occur later along the drinking timeline. Many binge drinkers belong to the younger set and may simply be experimenting. These people don’t always progress to become chronic and heavy drinkers. A moderate level of alcohol use disorder happens when the person consumes regular and increasingly heavier amounts of alcohol combined with a certain intent. For example, regularly having wine with dinner doesn’t have the same impact as having a psychological attachment to drinking alcohol. The latter might include drinking to de-stress from work or to open up in social situations. Generally speaking, problem drinking includes a loss of control over the amount of alcohol consumed as well as experiencing interference in normal life routines. Moderate levels of alcohol use may or may not include physical dependence.
Severe alcohol use typically includes a number of physical symptoms on top of the psychological ones. High blood pressure, nerve damage, dementia, heart problems, and cirrhosis are just some of the possible physical symptoms. The person has usually lost all control of drinking and is likely to experience withdrawal symptoms upon quitting.
Treatment for Alcohol Addiction
Find relief from your symptoms of alcohol abuse at an alcohol addiction rehab center in New Hampshire. New Freedom Academy treats adults age 18 and older with both holistic options and proven treatments. We offer the following programs and services:
- Sober Living & Aftercare Programs
- Intensive Outpatient Program
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Individual & group counseling
- 12 Step Program
Get free of alcohol addiction today by contacting New Freedom Academy in New Hampshire at 866.420.6222. Don’t let addiction control your life for another moment.