Signs And Symptoms of Alcoholism or AUD Alcohol Use Disorder
Although not all of the following signs and symptoms are always present, they are common in persons suffering from alcohol use disorder (alcoholism)
Alcohol use disorder (AUD), also known as alcoholism, is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism outlines eleven symptoms that can indicate the presence of AUD, including cravings, tolerance, withdrawal, desire to cut down drinking, time spent drinking at the expense of other activities, and persistence of drinking despite the physical or psychological harm it causes. A person exhibiting two or more of these symptoms may be diagnosed with mild, moderate, or severe AUD depending on the number met. The development and course of AUD is influenced by a complex mix of genetic, psychological, social, and environmental factors. Left untreated, AUD is a progressive disorder that follows a predictable course as drinking behaviors become more severe over time and alcohol-related problems multiply and intensify.
- They can not stop drinking after the first drink. The urge to continue is stronger than their self-control.
- As time passes, they must drink ever larger volumes to get the same result. They also seem less intoxicated than others after ingesting more alcohol than other people.
- When they stop drinking and become sober, they get withdrawals, including headaches, trembling, nausea, shortness of breath, restlessness, high pulse rate, weakness and anxiety. In extreme cases they experience delirium tremors, dementia, delusions and hallucinations.
- They need a drink to start the day or immediately after waking up from a binge to avoid withdrawal reactions.
- They avoid running out of alcohol by always trying to have more than enough immediately available. They aggressively protect their supply and sometimes they hide it.
- Buying and using alcohol, checking how much is left and persistent thoughts about alcohol take up most of their time.
- They try to be alone as much as possible, so they can drink without being disturbed.
- They over-indulge when they are alone and not just during festivities or when socialising.
- They drink secretly and sometimes hide a bottle and sneak drinks from it when others can not see them.
- Their family members stop inviting friends to the family home, because their drinking embarrasses the family.
- Their family members frequently complain that their drinking is embarrassing and stressful for them.
- Their family members have frequent discussions and arguments about their drinking.
- Their romances, friendships and marriages often end in separation and children disrespect them.
- They routinely drink too much during parties. They also drink before arriving at a party and again when they arrive back home.
- They have fixed drinking routines, for example every day after work, every weekend, or at fixed times of the day.
- They often drive while intoxicated, have vehicle and other accidents, start fights, have risky sex, and have trouble with the law.
- They struggle to co-ordinate their movements or to judge distances correctly. For example; they may spill liquid when trying to pour it into a glass.
- They display loss of bodily balance. Their walking gait is unstable and directionless. Their bodies sway when they are standing still.
- They exhibit sluggish thinking, poor reflexes and impaired judgment skills.
- They display poor productivity, are often absent from work, and may frequently seek new employment.
- They completely forget things that happened while they were intoxicated, although they were awake and present during the events or participated in it.
- They assume a defensive or dismissive attitude when somebody wants to discuss the drinking problem with them.
- They promise to reduce consumption, then break the promise and resume the drinking pattern after a while.
- They have tried several times to get their drinking under control, but failed each time.
- They often feel guilty, ashamed or hopeless about their drinking and the problems it causes.
- Alcohol destroys vitamins, enzymes and minerals and they exhibit symptoms of the deficiencies.
- Alcohol dehydrates their bodies, causing severe illness. Additionally, vomiting and diarrhea caused by excessive drinking can worsen the dehydration.
- Their organs are damaged, the most critical being the brain, heart, pancreas, kidneys, stomach and liver, and it is evidenced by the severe symptoms these conditions evoke.
- Despite awareness of the negative consequences, they continue to use more and more alcohol.
Alcohol addiction takes an enormous toll at both the individual and societal levels, but help and hope exist for those suffering in Johannesburg. Through evidence-based alcohol addiction treatment programs utilizing detoxification, counseling, support groups, medication, and relapse prevention strategies tailored to the individual’s needs, many are able to achieve recovery and vastly improved quality of life. For the greatest chance at sustainable sobriety, those struggling must seek help from accredited facilities staffed with certified addiction specialists. With the right treatment plan and support, the chronic brain disease of alcoholism can be successfully managed. Lives devastated by alcohol can be rebuilt and restored. If you or a loved one in the Johannesburg area battle alcoholism, reach out today to discover the possibilities of a happier, healthier tomorrow free from the bonds of addiction—the help you need is here.
Visit Changes Alcohol Rehab in Johannesburg for more information on help and care for alcohol addictions.