Drug and Alcohol Use Symptoms
The actual diagnosis of Drug and Alcohol Use or Drug and Alcohol Use is best left to a professional, but there are signs and Drug and Alcohol Use Symptoms that help the rest of us see the potential for health problems. The following is a checklist of signs and symptoms to look for when the possibility of a problem exists:
1. NEED: The illness causes a person to experience a strong craving for alcohol, a compulsive need to drink. The daily schedule begins to focus on access to alcohol, and some will develop rituals to accommodate that need. They may become angry if the ritual is interrupted, or be irritable when they don’t get that first drink of the day on time.
2. OUT of CONTROL: People who are in the grips of this disease often find they cannot stop drinking once they start. They may isolate themselves and drink alone, or sneak a drink when no one is looking. They may hide alcohol in unusual places to make sure they have access to it. The disease can cause a person to lose interest in family, friends, hobbies and work. They may lose track of conversations, or not remember conversations from the previous day. As the disease progresses they might encounter legal problems, such as DUI, financial, etc.
3. DEPENDENCE: Once addicted, people will suffer withdrawal Drug and Alcohol Use Symptoms if they don’t drink. People may get “the shakes,” become anxious, sweat, get chills, or have nausea.
4. TOLERANCE: More and more alcohol is needed to get “high” as the disease progresses. Perhaps they order doubles, or guzzle drinks to get intoxicated. It takes more to “feel normal” How long this takes, or how much alcohol is needed depends on the individual. The drink of preference is not the determining factor.
This checklist helps us to understand that alcoholics are suffering from a disease, and telling them to exercise a little willpower to overcome the problem is not the solution. They need to drink, the craving, is powerful and to the alcoholic can be just as “necessary” as eating and sleeping. The first step in the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-Step program is admitting that “we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.” Like cancer, or heart disease, intervention is necessary to help a person through the recovery process. The first step is important because the person who has the disease is probably going to be the last person to accept that fact.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about your own experience with alcohol, or what you observe in another person.
Do you think it would be good to drink less?
Do you need a drink right away in the morning?
Do you feel guilty about drinking?
DO you get angry if someone comments about your/their drinking?
A “yes” answer to these questions does not necessarily mean the disease has set in, but does indicate the potential that the problem is there. If you suspect there is a problem in your life, we encourage you to get help from a professional.
If someone you love, one of your friends, someone you work with exhibits any of the signs or Drug and Alcohol Use Symptoms, or gives “yes” answers to these questions, you need to encourage them to seek help.
Try to catch it early!
Like any other disease, if the signs and Drug and Alcohol Use Symptoms are caught early, the long-term chances for recovery are improved. Catch the problem before it causes serious health problems, broken marriages, destroyed relationships and legal entanglements. For the person suffering from the effects of the disease, it’s very difficult to be objective about what is really happening to them. Intervention is important.
If you are watching alcohol harm someone you know, do not be afraid to be the “bad guy.” Intervene, seek help, and speak up. You may just save a life.
HOW TO USE THIS SITE:
This site contains five MAIN pages that EVERYONE should read:
Read these five pages and learn what you need to know to spot Drug and Alcohol Use in:
Yourself... Your Family... Your Friends... Your Community...
The rest of the pages are there for your reference to explain important topics in more detail.