With this time and age of constant partying and merrymaking more so during the holiday season, one is bound to indulge a little too much into the festivities or special occasion that they lose track of their drinking.
It is easy to find an individual dwelling in alcoholism or alcohol use disorder becomes deeply rooted in frequent drinking. The high cost of living and strenuous circumstances especially during Covid-19 have made individuals choose to revel and delve a bit much into alcohol. ‘
The high costs and rates of living following the worldwide lockdown period during Covid-19 has seen individuals lose their livelihood, family, and social status. This has driven them towards binge drinking to handle life’s hurdles and grief.
The presumption that an alcoholic is constantly drinking, and their life is a constant mess has changed. Alcoholics can seem all composed and organized on the outside, but a constant mess on the inside. Therefore, alcoholics can be classified as functional or high functional.
Functional alcoholics often seem to have their life together. They can be having a normal life that comprises of a working and social lifestyle but is a functional alcoholic who deals with either mild, moderate, or severe cases.
A functional alcoholic may be responsible, focused, and targeted in their jobs and daily habits. The fact that their lives remain unchanged externally does not take mean they are not alcoholics. They might be indulging inexpensive alcoholic beverages daily or seem to be responsible enough not to have any financial setbacks, however, the frequency and rate of drinking will always catch up to them eventually.
Signs and symptoms of alcoholism
Before being classified as an alcoholic, the telltale signs are usually present. The recommended dosage for women is not more than two to three drinks in a day, while for men it is not more than four a day.
Constant day drinking changes the dynamic on the recommended dosage, therefore putting an individual at risk of alcohol use disorder. Most alcoholics often live in denial of the fact that they are struggling with alcoholism.
There are some noticeable signs and symptoms that show a person is an alcoholic:
- Loss of important relationships
Individuals struggling with alcoholism tend to lose out on their relationships. Their lack of responsibility and neglect of plans to go drinking makes important relationships in their lives lose and fade away as they no longer put in the effort to interact with them. This puts a strain on the relationships as most are lost due to negligence.
- Legal problems
Excessive drinking can lead to several problems that place one at risk of legal ramifications. For instance, individuals who drink and drive can get DUIs that potentially lead them to problems with the legal and justice system. This can lead to a permanent sentence in one’s criminal record which affects their probability of getting future employment.
- Confidence booster
Alcoholic beverages tend to make an individual feel more confident by increasing their self-esteem. This confidence booster can be addictive and make individuals strive to have the feeling as constantly as possible. The feeling of confidence prompts a feel-good hormone that makes individuals addicted to this feeling thus the constant drinking.
- Solo constant drinking
One of the major signs of alcoholism is the need to constantly drink alone even without being in a social setting. Severe alcoholics start their day with a drink and continue for the rest of the day almost every single day they can.
- Neglecting important responsibilities
Non-functioning alcoholics tend to neglect important responsibilities in their lives such as work or school and opt for day or night drinking. This tends to affect the productivity of the individual as they become fixated on the drinking and less on their actual responsibilities.
- Loss of memory
Although every situation has different variations, most alcoholics tend to have memory loss when drinking. The events of the day or night become hazy causing them not to recollect anything that happened. This can be extremely unsafe and put the individual in an unsafe position.
- Mental health problems
Individuals dealing with mental health problems tend to indulge a little bit more in alcohol. Depression and anxiety drive individuals towards binge drinking as they become reliant on alcohol to numb their sadness and feelings of inadequacy.
- Dishonesty and secrecy
Alcoholics tend to hide their drinking problem and pretend that they are okay with their condition. This creates dishonesty as they tend to use their savings on alcoholic beverages taking away from other financial or social burdens which need financial attention.
- Withdrawal symptoms
Stopping the regular intake of alcohol at once is hazardous for avid alcoholics. This cold turkey treatment can lead to serious withdrawal symptoms which affect the quality of life of the individual. It is however best to seek the counsel of a medical practitioner to advise on the net way to start the detoxification.
Treatments for alcoholism
Here are various treatments that range from medical to holistic practices that aim to treat alcoholism and guide an individual to sobriety. As alcoholism affects the psychology and psychosocial dynamics, engaging in counseling and therapies can help change individual perceptions and identify the real causes of drinking. Individuals, therefore, end up focusing on the beneficial practices and not dwelling on the harmful practices.
Cognitive-based therapies aim in changing any negative or sabotaging practices that encourage the patient towards alcoholism. Cognitive-based therapies engage the patient in understanding their childhood traumas and life experience to be able to identify the start of their addiction.
The use of medications to reduce alcoholism has also been employed in severe cases. This helps with the withdrawal symptoms and lessens the cravings that prompt individuals to want a drink.
Group counseling through alcoholic groups such as AAA encourages recovering patients on how to live in the outside world without relapsing. Understanding alcoholism from different perspectives helps patients to understand different perspectives and attitudes.