signs of alcohol use disorder

Spot the Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder

Drug and alcohol detox treatment is usually the first step for many who struggle with a substance use disorder or addiction to alcohol or drugs. At Brazos Valley, our team of experienced and compassionate addiction treatment professionals is poised to help you or a loved one heal and make a lasting recovery.

Alcohol Use Disorder: When Does Drinking Become a Problem?

Drinking alcohol occasionally and in moderation doesn’t indicate a problem for most. But it’s also not unusual to underestimate the severity of your drinking. According to the CDC, moderate drinking equates to one drink or less per day for women or two drinks per day for men. Anything beyond that falls under the heavy or binge drinking category. Does that surprise you? If so, you may have an alcohol use disorder. 

A person’s behavior is also useful to gauge if they may have an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol recovery programs often suggest looking for these red flags:

  • An inability to limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
  • Using alcohol in situations where it’s unsafe, such as driving or swimming.
  • Develop a tolerance so that you need to drink more to get the same effect.
  • Continuing to drink despite consequences like relationship or job problems. 
  • Experiencing signs of alcohol withdrawal like nausea, sweating, and shaking when you don’t drink. 

If any sound familiar, you may have an alcohol use disorder. If you’re observing these in someone else, it should cause some concern. 

Alcohol Use Disorder Signs and Symptoms

When a person is consuming alcohol to excess, it’s difficult to hide all the signs. Alcohol lowers inhibitions, so a person acting under the influence may behave inappropriately. The reaction to alcohol varies from person to person, but it can take the form of being overly friendly or amorous or irritable and trying to pick a fight.

Physical signs that someone is under the influence include slurred speech and compromised coordination and balance. The smell of alcohol on a person’s breath is pretty unmistakable, too, if you’ve ever smelled it. 

Some “functioning alcoholics” are remarkably adept at showing up for work, powering through a hangover, and somehow holding their lives together, albeit with duct tape and baling wire. But the signs are still there. It’s hard to hide a hangover. 

Someone with an alcohol use disorder is also more apt to have financial trouble. Whether it’s because of mammoth bar tabs or irresponsible spending while on a bender, it is something frequently seena person dependent on alcohol will almost always plan things around drinking. Do you have a friend who will bail out on an otherwise fun activity unless they can drink during it? Do you avoid places where you won’t be able to drink?

Finally, the physical effects come from consuming alcohol to excess. Redness of the eyes is a common one. Shaking or trembling hands is another, particularly in the later stages of alcohol dependence; it becomes hard to hide shaking when alcohol is unavailable. The longer someone drinks excess, the more pronounced the physical signs become. 

Address the Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder with Help from Brazos Valley

At this point, it may be clear to you that you or someone you know has a problem with alcohol. Perhaps you suspected already but the information laid out before you makes it impossible to deny. The next question in your mind is, “What can I do about it?” 

The answers are simpler than you might expect. Simple does not always mean easy, of course, but there isn’t a lot of guesswork here. Alcohol recovery programs have a solid track record of helping people transform their lives. Much research has been done on alcohol and drug dependency in recent decades. Alcohol rehabilitation programs are more effective today than ever before. 

If your relationship with alcohol concerns you, then it’s time for some reflection and honesty with yourself. Chances are you have already tried to limit your drinking with mixed results. Some part of you, at least, recognizes that you could benefit from some outside help. 

Let’s discuss what we can do to help you or your loved one reclaim their life. Call 979.426.0086 to learn more.

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