Physical Signs and Other Symptoms of Alcoholism & Alcohol Abuse

Therapy is useful to help teach someone how to manage the stress of recovery and the skills needed to prevent a relapse. Also, a healthy diet can help undo damage alcohol may have done to the person’s health, like weight gain or loss. Many people addicted to alcohol also turn to 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). There are also other support groups that don’t follow the 12-step model, such as SMART Recovery and Sober Recovery. A health care provider might ask the following questions to assess a person’s symptoms. In some cases, alcohol abuse may exacerbate conditions but not cause them.

  • Because alcoholism rewires the brain and affects a person’s mood, thinking and behaviors, it’s classified as a mental illness.
  • The severity of use also plays a role, so knowing what to expect—and when to seek emergency help—is important.
  • If someone loses control over their drinking and has an excessive desire to drink, it’s known as dependent drinking (alcoholism).
  • However, their alcohol use is still self-destructive and dangerous to themselves or others.
  • This will aid you in your decision to seek professional help, as for most individuals, the realism of an addiction diagnosis can showcase the severity of an alcohol dependency.

You might feel worried about them, frustrated that they don’t seem to want help, frightened for them or even by them. All of these feelings are normal and there is help out there both for people who are dependent on alcohol and those caring for them. People with an alcohol use disorder can be secretive about their drinking, and may become angry if confronted. The severity of withdrawal symptoms can highlight the shock that both the body and brain experience through paused consumption, showcasing how chronic dependency is usually enabled. Alcohol misuse is when you drink in a way that’s harmful, or when you’re dependent on alcohol.

Binge Drinking

You may also want to consider if anyone in the list of friends and family should not be included. Committing to change includes stages of precontemplation and contemplation where a person considers changing, cutting down, moderating, or quitting the addictive behavior. Support groups or self-help groups can be part of in-patient programs or available for free use in the community.

signs and symptoms of alcohol dependence

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should ask their doctors about the risks involved in taking this medication. Drug interactions can also be dangerous when mixing different substances. People who have used an MAO Inhibitor (MAOI) such as Isocarboxazid, Linezolid, Phenelzine, Rasagiline, or others must wait at least 14 days before taking Trazodone.

Detox Is Not Stand-Alone Treatment

As a result, the developing fetus is exposed to alcohol for a prolonged period, increasing the risks of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Among them, 29 million individuals had an AUD, while 2.7 million had a disorder related to illicit drug use. These statistics establish alcohol as the most prevalent substance misused in the United States. Your doctor can see how well your liver is functioning by testing the levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine
aminotransferase (ALT).