There’s a big difference between drinking socially, and suffering from alcoholism. It is sometimes difficult to ascertain whether someone is a heavy drinker, or an alcoholic who really needs help or an intervention. There are certain signs of alcoholism that can help you to determine whether you or someone you know is alcoholic.
Signs of alcoholism include a dependence on alcohol. This means experiencing physical symptoms of withdrawal when abstaining from alcohol. These symptoms might include sweating, shaking and feelings of nausea. Another sign of alcoholism is needing to drink in the morning. This is not referring to a late morning cocktail on holiday of course, it’s more a case of needing the alcohol at that time, than wanting it.
Anxiety and depression are often side-effects of a dependence on alcohol, and worrying about whether you’ll be able to get a drink – whether it’s a concern over the money to buy it, or the circumstances or situation you’re in, are clear signs of alcohol dependency. For example, if you find yourself feeling anxious because you’re going to an event or social situation where you know there will be no alcohol served, this would be a very definite sign of alcoholism.
Another consideration is developing a tolerance to alcohol. Those who keep increasing their intake of alcohol because they’re developing a tolerance for it, is an indication of a need for help.
Alcoholism currently affects one in ten men and one in 20 women, in the UK, and is on the increase. If you find you can’t function without alcohol, or you are not able to relax or enjoy yourself without having had an alcoholic drink, you may be dependent on alcohol, and it’s important you contact one of the many organisations that offer their support and help.