Alcoholism is a serious disorder that is responsible for almost 90,000 deaths in the United States annually. You may not always know when someone is suffering from alcohol abuse. In fact, it’s hard to identify your own symptoms.
But there are certain alcohol-related behaviors that you can come familiar with. Read on to learn more about alcoholic behaviors and attitudes.
A Change in Attitude
Alcohol abuse is an addiction. For those who abuse the substance, the more they consume, the more their body craves it. Trying to cut back on these behaviors is hard when the brain craves and depends on the substance to function.
For anyone that is working towards sobriety, the time leading up to a possible relapse can be a difficult and confusing time.
Those that become dependent on alcohol can have a hard time trying to quit, which can greatly affect their behaviors.
Leading up to a relapse, you might experience a sudden or gradual change in attitude. Friends and family might feel like you’re not being yourself. You might also feel increasingly irritable for no obvious reason.
Changes in personality can also be a warning sign. At first, they might appear happier and generally more excited than usual. But alcohol abusers can also happen to be more aggressive when they drink.
They might become defensive about their ability to stop drinking. But their lack of control is usually a red flag.
A High Tolerance
A usual sign of alcoholism is a high tolerance. People who can still function with a high tolerance for alcohol run a risk of abusing the substance. Functioning alcoholics exhibit the same symptoms but to a lesser degree.
A high tolerance encourages more drinking behaviors. A person with a high tolerance can easily toe the line between being able to handle many drinks and suddenly spiraling.
For someone with a high tolerance, it might be more difficult to tell when they’ve had too much, which can result in dangerous blackouts.
People who have a high tolerance usually already have a high dependency on the substance.
The withdrawal symptoms are very unpleasant for those with a high tolerance who are trying to reduce their alcohol consumption.
Relying on alcohol to supply dopamine to the brain can cause a recovering alcoholic to suffer from depression and anxiety. Alcohol sends signals to the brain that tell it to feel happy.
While trying to recover from addiction, the brain experiences withdrawals, making cravings stronger. This is why it is often difficult not to relapse in the recovery period.
One of the most difficult aspects of alcohol abuse is the recovery process. Recovering from alcoholism is not a linear process, and relapses are likely.
For this reason, if a person has suffered from alcohol abuse in the past, it is important to be sensitive to their recovery efforts. Relapses can happen at any time and under unexpected circumstances.
A family history of alcohol abuse can also greatly put someone at risk for alcohol dependence. There are certain traits that parents can pass on in relation to addiction.
Environmental factors also play a huge role. If the presence of alcohol was common in a household, it’s likely that a growing child will normalize such behaviors. Being exposed to substances at an early age can affect lifestyle choices early on.
Functioning alcoholics who abuse the substance might feel pressure from friends and family to cut back. They’ve likely been warned that their behaviors are concerning or that they’re crossing a line.
For this reason, it’s possible that addicts that to alienate themselves to avoid conflict. They might prefer drinking amongst crowds that enable them to drink more, not cut back.
Getting defensive about their consumption is a common addict behavior. Alternatively, addicts may want to hide away or drink in secrecy to avoid hurting their loved ones.
Addicts might also be completely in denial. Someone that is suffering may not want to admit that they have a drinking problem, and therefore they will suppress it. Denying an addiction is a sure sign that someone is suffering from alcohol dependency.
Making an Excuse to Drink
Drinking is often associated with social celebrations and happy occasions, like weddings, work parties, or holidays. But these events can also be inherently stressful, and alcoholics can use their dependency to cope.
It may be difficult for a recovering alcoholic to be around others who casually drink during the holidays. Sometimes, they might look to find any excuse to drink. Alcoholics not only turn to the substance when celebrating but during rough times.
If someone’s immediate response to bad news is to drink, that might be a warning sign. They may look for any excuse to drink.
Those with a history of addiction are also likely to co-depend on multiple substances, like marijuana or other drugs. Alcohol consumption encourages the use of other substances.
Alcohol enables these dangerous behaviors. It may be easier to turn down drugs while sober, but after a few drinks one might make more impulsive decisions.
Alcoholic Behaviors and Attitudes
It can be difficult to pick up on alcoholic behaviors and attitudes when you’re struggling through recovery. Alcohol dependency is a difficult disorder that requires a lot of strength and patience to overcome.
For other health and lifestyle tips, check out our page.