Alcoholism is a chronic disease that can cause much different health and mental problems if left untreated. It can even lead to an early death. If addiction is caught early on and prevented then most of the problems it causes can be reversed. This isn’t the case if it continues for many years.
Drinking heavily doesn’t necessarily set you on the path for alcoholism. But it does begin a pattern that makes you far more likely to develop it.
Heavy Drinking vs. Alcoholism
Heavy drinking is considered to be when women have more than one alcoholic drink per day and when men have more than two alcoholic beverages per day. Many people drink beyond those guidelines today especially with a culture that so enjoys drinking.
Of course, not everyone who drinks will become an alcoholic. There are plenty of things that factor into potential alcoholism. They include:
- Family history
- Psychological stressors
- Social environment
It is never too early to get help if you think you are developing a pattern of alcohol abuse.
Signs Of Alcohol Use Disorder To Watch For
If you suffer from alcoholism, then it will change everything about your life. If you’re worried you might have an alcohol abuse problem, then there are signs to look out for.
- Being unable to limit your drinking. You start out your night thinking you’ll have a set number of drinks, but then you go beyond that regardless even though you don’t want to and know you shouldn’t.
- Drinking more than everyone else. When you drink consistently, you grow tolerant. That means you need more alcohol to feel the effects you desire. This means over time you’ll end up drinking more than everyone else you hang out with.
- Drinking before and after social events. It is very common for alcoholics to drink before and after events, so they don’t seem to be drinking as much at the event. This is them trying to hide their drinking.
- Family and friends have mentioned your drinking. If the people in your life have noticed you’re drinking too much, they may comment on it or ask you about it. They are likely to see you have a problem before you notice.
- You spend a lot of time thinking about the next time you get to drink. Addiction involves obsession and compulsion, so you may constantly be thinking about your next chance to drink.