It’s not as hard as it may seem for a person’s harmless social drinking to turn into a full-blown alcohol use disorder, characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not drinking. Unfortunately, people who drink in excess tend to keep their compulsive drinking a secret from the people around them, and one of the hallmarks of chronic alcoholism is drinking alone, which means it can be difficult to recognize the problem in a friend or family member, no matter how well you think you know them. Because of this, it’s important to be aware of the signs of chronic alcohol use, so you can spot them in a loved one and get them the help they need to quit. For more information about chronic alcoholism and the signs and behavior of a chronic drinker, call Best Drug Rehabilitation today to discuss the available treatment options with a qualified addiction recovery counselor.
Signs of Chronic Alcohol Use
Alcohol is classified as a depressant, but the effect of alcohol on the body depends largely on how much of it is consumed. Many people use alcohol for its stimulant effect, drinking a glass of wine or a beer after dinner to relieve stress after a long day at work, or to “loosen up” around a group of friends. However, people who consume more alcohol than the body can handle at one time, or who progressively increase the frequency and quantity of their alcohol consumption, may experience its depressant effect, accompanied by the symptoms most often associated with being drunk. Some common physical and emotional signs of chronic alcohol use include:
- Slurred or incoherent speech
- Delayed reflexes
- Clumsiness or poor balance
- Loss of consciousness or blacking out
- Stomach pains, nausea, and vomiting
- Engaging in risky behavior
- Loss of control over the amount of alcohol consumed
- Prioritizing drinking over other obligations
- Unexplained anger or different negative emotions
- Unexplained injuries
- Tremors, shaking or convulsions
What is Chronic Drinking?
Chronic drinking occurs when a person drinks frequently and in large amounts, likely every day, despite serious adverse consequences, like job losses and family conflicts. These alcoholics will experience signs of withdrawal when they stop drinking, including sweating, shakiness, anxiety, loss of appetite, restlessness, irritability, and agitation and may continue to drink to avoid these symptoms. This dangerous cycle of chronic alcohol use is what ultimately leads to alcohol dependence, in which the body becomes physically dependent on alcohol, and alcohol addiction. It is also possible for a chronic drinker to suffer from alcohol poisoning, at which point their level of intoxication becomes life-threatening, their respiratory system becomes depressed, and they stop breathing. In addition to having adverse effects on the drinker’s physical well-being, chronic alcohol use can also have a negative impact on other aspects of his or her life, possibly causing trouble at work, at school, at home, or in other social relationships.
Call Best Drug Rehab Today for Help
Not only does chronic alcoholism have an immediate impact on the drinker, but it can also lead to long-term medical complications that may be life-threatening, including withdrawal symptoms and irreversible damage to the liver, brain, heart and other critical organs. Chronic alcoholism is a serious issue that requires treatment by those with experience dealing with chemical dependency, as abruptly discontinuing alcohol consumption after a period of abuse can also result in severe side effects. If you recognize signs of chronic alcohol use in a friend or loved one, call to speak to an experienced substance abuse counselor at Best Drug Rehab.