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Alcohol substance abuse occurs when a person drinks so frequently that they become physically and psychologically addicted.
Although alcohol is legal, and definitely readily available, it’s still a substance that is used and abused by people of all ages, geographic locations and socio-economic conditions. In other words, alcohol abuse can affect anyone, anywhere.
If you’re worried that you might have a problem with alcohol, or concerned that a friend of family member might be addicted, here are some warning signs to be aware of:
1. An increased tolerance for alcohol.
The first warning sign for alcohol substance abuse is tolerance. The higher your tolerance increases for alcohol, the more you’ll need to get the same effect. This means that you’re exposing your body to more and more alcohol, and increasing the chances of complete alcohol addiction.
2. You lose control over your drinking habits.
What starts as a one glass of wine per week, or beer on the weekend with friends, can quickly lead to substance abuse if you’re not careful. If you start to drink more alcohol than you intended to, or have trouble controlling how much you drink once you start, it’s a sign that you’ve started to become psychologically and physically addicted.
3. You want to quit drinking, but have trouble keeping your promise to yourself.
Maybe you’ve noticed that you have a problem and are trying to cut back on your drinking, but are unable to. If you have a persistent desire to cut back on your drinking, but find it impossible to, then you’re struggling with alcohol substance abuse. Your addiction is taking over your ability to control yourself.
4. Alcohol consumes your thoughts and takes over your focus.
If you spend your day thinking about when you’ll have your next drink, or your find yourself going out of your way to get alcohol, you’re dealing with a substance abuse problem. Alcohol shouldn’t be consuming your thoughts and you need help to get over your addiction.
5. You continue to drink even though it’s causing problems at work or in your life.
Alcohol substance abuse can make it impossible to quit even when you’re well aware of the consequences. Continuing to drink even though it’s affecting your marriage or causing problems at work are signs of an increasing problem.
6. You’re giving up other activities in order to drink more.
You choose to spend more time with alcohol than with your hobbies or your loved ones. Withdrawing to spend time with your drinking instead of your friends and family can indicate that you’re becoming more addicted.
7. You’re experiencing physical withdrawals.
Alcohol substance abuse becomes a real problem when you get shakes, irritability and headaches when you stop drinking or when you wake up in the morning after a night of drinking. The withdrawal symptoms are a result of your body trying to detox from alcohol. If you keep drinking, you’ll become more and more dependent and it will be more difficult to quit entirely.
If you notice any of these alcohol substance abuse problems in yourself or others, take the time now to seek out help from an alcohol substance abuse professional.
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