|All about alcoholism and drinking alcohol abuse signs and symptoms of alcoholism causes of alcoholism risk factors for alcoholism effects of alcoholism fetal alcohol syndrome moderate drinking health benefits of moderate drinking alcoholism treatment alternative therapy for alcoholism treatment effects of alcoholism on women
What are the signs and symptoms of alcoholism?
Most alcoholics deny that they have a drinking problem. Other signs of alcoholism and alcohol abuse include:
Drinking alone or in secret
Not remembering conversations or commitments — sometimes referred to as "blacking out"
Making a ritual of having drinks before, with or after dinner and becoming annoyed when this ritual is disturbed or questioned
Losing interest in activities and hobbies that used to bring pleasure
Feeling a need to drink
Irritability as usual drinking time nears, especially if alcohol isn't available
Keeping alcohol in unlikely places at home, at work or in the car
Having legal problems or problems with relationships, employment or finances
Building up a tolerance to alcohol so that you need an increasing number of drinks to feel alcohol's effects
Experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating and shaking, if you don't drink
People who abuse alcohol may experience many of the same signs and symptoms as people who are dependent on alcohol. However, alcohol abusers don't feel the same compulsion to drink and usually don't experience physical withdrawal symptoms when they don't drink. A dependence on alcohol also creates a tolerance to alcohol and the inability to control your drinking.
More information on alcoholism and drinking
What is alcoholism? - Alcoholism is an addictive dependency on alcohol characterised by craving, loss of control, physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms.
What is alcohol abuse? - Alcohol abuse differs from alcoholism in that it does not include an extremely strong craving for alcohol, loss of control, or physical dependence.
What are the signs and symptoms of alcoholism? - People who abuse alcohol may experience many of the same signs and symptoms as people who are dependent on alcohol.
What causes alcoholism? - D2 dopamine receptor gene increases a person's chance of developing alcoholism. Usually, a variety of factors contribute to the development of a problem with alcohol.
What're the risk factors for alcoholism? - Steady drinking over time can produce a physical dependence on alcohol. Drinking over 14 drinks a week for men or seven drinks a week for women increases the risk of developing dependence on alcohol.
What are the effects of alcoholism? - Alcohol depresses your central nervous system by acting as a sedative. In some people, the initial reaction may be stimulation, but as drinking continues, sedating or calming effects occur.
What is fetal alcohol syndrome? - Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a group of birth defects caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
What is moderate drinking? - Four or five drinks may be moderate for large individuals but excessive for small or light people. The typical woman should generally consume 25 to 30 percent less than the average man.
What're the health benefits of moderate drinking? - Moderate drinkers tend to have better health and live longer than those who are either abstainers or heavy drinkers.
What is alcoholism treatment? - Treatment may include detoxification (the process of safely getting alcohol out of one's system), taking doctor-prescribed medications, and individual and group counseling.
What alternative therapy is available for alcoholism? - Acupuncture may reduce anxiety and depression, which lead some people to drink alcohol. Involving a spouse in the treatment process may increase the chances of success in treatment and in staying sober after treatment.
Why does alcohol affect women differently? - Women are effected by alcohol more rapidly because they tend to have a higher proportion of body fat than men.