Signs of Alcoholism - Addiction Treatment Services

Problematic Drinking: Signs of Potential Alcohol Dependence

Problematic Drinking Signs of Potential Alcohol Dependence - Addiction Treatment Services

Most people don’t know when they’ve developed a physical and emotional dependence on a substance. Many ask, “Can you have a drinking problem and not be an alcoholic?”

The answer is yes, and only help in the early stages can stop it from getting worse. Intervention by friends and family should happen as soon as possible, but to do that, everyone needs to know what to look for.

Basic Signs Of Alcohol Abuse

These signs of habitual drinking may indicate a growing alcohol problem:

Defensive Response to Comments

Family and friends are the first to notice the changes that alcohol causes in a person. Don’t ignore this input from other people, and pay particular attention to the individual’s response.

An individual who may develop alcoholic addiction down the road will often react to these types of comments with irritation and anger.

Cravings

If a person makes comments about needing a drink or that a drink would really hit the spot, this person may be showing signs of problematic drinking.

If such a craving exists, the individual is showing one of the first signs of addiction: a chemical alteration to the brain created by alcohol that the brain now demands to continue functioning consistently.

Legal Problems

Continued run-ins with the police or other legal violations that stem from alcohol abuse warn of pending problems. If the individual can’t stop getting into this kind of trouble, it’s indicative of an addiction taking hold.

Issues in Relationships

A person who begins having issues in their relationships with family, friends, and coworkers – as a result of their alcohol consumption – has taken the first step toward addiction. Soon, he or she will have the same problems interacting with anyone, including complete strangers.

Other Drugs

If a person can’t find the desired alcohol, they may turn to other options to fill a craving. The person may become desperate to find a fix. This has the potential to lead to multiple substance abuse problems.

Agitation/Irritability

After growing accustomed to the presence of alcohol in the system, people can experience mood swings when that substance is gone. This can include becoming angry or irritated with everything and everyone they encounter.

Promise to Quit

If people who enjoy too much alcohol in their life begin making promises not to consume any for an event, this serves as a warning sign. They are aware that they consume too much to realize avoiding it in certain circumstances is a good thing. People often make such promises around important events, such as a wedding, a work event or before driving somewhere.

Doctor’s Warning

If an individual is told by their doctor, or some other medical professional, that they are exhibiting signs of an alcohol problem, and then they argue with the medical professional or ignore them, a problem exists or has already begun.

Losing Consciousness

If a person wakes up and has no recollection of what happened or how he or she got there, it is likely the result of some form of substance abuse, such as alcohol. Alcohol consumption at this level indicates the problem has moved closer to full addiction.

Expenditures on Alcohol

People developing a dependence on alcohol will begin spending more and more money on alcohol. This may progress to detrimental spending levels that leave the person in financial trouble. This, in turn, reinforces the perceived need for a drink to escape the problems or one’s low self-esteem.

Inability to Focus

If an individual successfully chooses to abstain from alcohol for a day or a week and he or she begins complaining of difficulties in focusing or completing tasks, this person is exhibiting signs of dependence. Withdrawal symptoms will further exacerbate these issues.

Additional Problem Drinking Signs

Other indicators can be warning signs of a person’s path toward alcohol addiction. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

1) Hangover with Shakiness or Trembling

No one enjoys a hangover, and such an event is not indicative of a developing addiction, in and of itself. However, the severity and resulting effects can indicate a blossoming problem.

If the hangover keeps a person confined to bed for long periods of time or causes the person begins to feel shaky or starts to tremble, this is another warning sign that shows how easy it is for a person to cross the line from a simple hangover to serious consequences from overindulging.

If these types of hangovers become more frequent, the person affected is likely heading toward addiction.

2) Alcohol Use for Moderation of Stress

Most people know when they need to take a specific type of painkiller based on the type of pain they are experiencing, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen for reducing inflammation or muscle soreness.

If the body sends the signal that alcohol is the remedy to reduce the stress or anxiety, the person has likely created a dependence on the substance, altering the body’s chemical make-up.

3) Alcohol Inventorying

If a person can list precisely how much alcohol is left in his or her possession, a problem generally exists. Worse still, if the person includes plans for how to replace their consumed alcohol, it’s a signal that the person has grown so dependent on the substance that they’ve altered their lifestyle to accommodate their habit.

What You Can Do When You See Signs of Alcoholism

Alcohol abuse, dependence, and addiction happens slowly, but it does progress. The person experiencing the progression often not see it happening even if the changes are steadily worsening.

Be aware of your friend or loved one’s habit and monitor it for signs of a more serious problem developing in the future. Contact Addiction Treatment Services today for more information about intervention and treatment for alcoholism.

Find Out How to Arrange an Intervention

Why Children of Alcoholics Are More Likely to Face Prison - ATS

Study: Children of Mothers Who Misuse Alcohol Are More Likely to Face Prison

Study Children Of Alcohol Misuse Likely To Face Prison - Addiction Treatment ServicesThe Research Society on Alcoholism recently conducted a study of the link between mothers who misused alcohol and their children’s likelihood of engaging in criminal activity later in life.

Most people are aware of the ways alcohol abuse contributes to crime rates, including DUI accidents, interpersonal violence and domestic abuse. However, parents with alcohol-related disorders can have many more negative influences on their children, including propelling them into early contact with the criminal justice system.

The study of nearly 60,000 mothers concluded that children of mothers with alcohol-related disorders were nearly twice as likely to face the justice system as children of mothers with no alcohol-related disorders. At Addiction Treatment Services, we want everyone to realize that seeking treatment for yourself or your struggling loved one sooner rather than later can help prevent contributing to this trend.

How Alcohol Abuse Affects Kids

Children of parents with alcohol-related disorders often suffer in numerous ways due to their parents’ behavior. This can include direct abuse from parents, neglect, financial ruin, trauma and psychological disorders later in life.

Children caught in these situations often don’t have much choice in the matter, nor do they typically have the capacity to seek help on their own behalf. The various possibilities all trend toward these children growing up with a higher likelihood of giving in to risky behavior.

Here are a few of the ways parental alcoholism contributes to this crisis:

Domestic Abuse

Children often suffer physical abuse from alcoholic parents. Alcohol significantly impairs judgment and increases emotional volatility. Advanced alcohol-related disorders can cause parents to lose touch with reality.

Physical abuse early in life often causes children to develop unhealthy attachments to, or interpretations of, violence. Children with abusive parents often grow up to have difficulties in other relationships as well.

Neglect and Financial Ruin

Parents with advanced alcohol-related disorders regularly fail to complete daily household tasks or other mundane but essential actions, such as cleaning clothes and preparing food. In some cases, parents neglect obligations such as getting to work and paying bills on time, leaving their children with little choice but to endure the consequences.

In these situations, children may go extended periods without clean clothes, utilities, decent food or other necessities. Over time, financial burdens can lead to homelessness, disease and other negative health effects.

How Kids Interpret Their World

Children of parents with alcohol-related disorders often consider their surroundings normal, because they don’t understand the severity of the situation. Kids in these situations aren’t likely to seek help because they simply grow accustomed to their environment.

Not only are they unlikely to seek help for their parents’ alcohol-related issues, but the abuse and neglect they endure becomes normalized. Children who grow up in these conditions are more likely to develop antisocial tendencies and engage in risky behavior.

Seek Treatment with Addiction Treatment Services’ Help

If you or someone close to you is struggling with alcohol abuse, it’s imperative to seek treatment as soon as possible. If children are involved, the need is even greater. Kids who grow up exposed to substance abuse are more likely to engage in it themselves, and this is just one possible avenue of exposure to the justice system.

At Addiction Treatment Services, we understand the dramatic effects alcohol-related issues have on families, especially children. Your children are more than statistics. Help prevent your kids from making dangerous choices by seeking professional guidance in your search for alcohol treatment now.

When Addiction Occurs in the Family, Children Face the Risk of Becoming Addicted Too

When Addiction Is Passed Down Among Generations

alcohol abuse and thyroid disease

The Connection Between Alcohol Abuse and Thyroid Disease

Millions of people in the United States suffer from thyroid issues. For most of these individuals, having an occasional alcoholic beverage isn’t a big deal.

Alcohol abuse, on the other hand, can have potentially dangerous health effects, especially among those who already have thyroid problems.

The Link Between Alcohol Abuse and Thyroid Disease

Alcohol abuse can depress the thyroid gland and cause physical imbalance and strain.

Acetaldehyde, a compound that causes hangovers, can interfere with thyroid hormone receptors. Then, when these receptors try to compensate for the lack of feedback, the thyroid gland becomes overworked.

Too much acetaldehyde can also cause symptoms of hypothyroidism, even when thyroid function is normal in the absence of alcohol.

Although alcohol has pretty strong effects on the thyroid gland itself, it has a much stronger influence on the liver and adrenal glands. In fact, these organs endure the brunt of alcohol’s adverse effects.

And, since the functionality of the liver and thyroid are so closely related, alcohol abuse leaves a notable impact on both.

What Does the Thyroid Do?

Thyroid Gland Illustration Trachea Larynx - ATSThe thyroid is located along the windpipe in the front of the neck and contains many blood vessels.

It plays a role in the sound of a person’s voice, as the vocal cords stem from the cartilage at the front of the thyroid.

The primary role of the thyroid gland, however, is the secretion of two essential hormones: T3 and T4.

These hormones influence:

  • energy levels
  • metabolic rate
  • body temperature

Overall, the T3 and T4 hormones are crucial for normal bodily functions and general well-being. However, T4 must be converted to T3 before the body can make use of it. To change T4 to T3, the liver, kidneys, and muscles process the hormones, although this primarily happens in the liver.

The T3 hormone influences every cell, tissue, and organ in the body. And since the hormone T4 can only be utilized after it’s been processed, the conversion process can get complicated when the liver is preoccupied with metabolizing alcohol. In other words, the longer it takes to convert the hormones in the liver, the more sluggish the body will feel.

Thyroid Disease Stats and Facts

The causes of thyroid disease are mostly unknown, and many people who have thyroid complications are unaware that they have them.

The American Thyroid Association (ATA) has compiled several statistics regarding thyroid conditions in the U.S. According to ATA:

  1. Thyroid disease, to some degree, affects an estimated 20 million Americans.
  2. More than 12 percent of the U.S. population will have a thyroid condition during their lifetime.
  3. Women are 5 to 8 times more likely than men to develop thyroid issues, and one in 8 women will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime.
  4. Thyroid diseases are lifelong conditions, but most can be managed with medical treatment.

The primary reason that women are more susceptible to thyroid issues than men is the hormone estrogen. Estrogen can speed up the inflammatory process of the immune system. And, since women naturally have higher levels of estrogen than men, they have a higher risk of developing thyroid issues.

The Role of the Liver and Thyroid in Alcohol Consumption

The liver is in charge of several vital functions, including:

  • enzyme activation
  • fluid and hormone excretion
  • storing vitamins and minerals
  • metabolizing nutrients from food to produce energy
  • producing and excreting bile, which is necessary for the digestive process

The most essential function of the liver, however, is detoxification. The liver acts as a filter, pulling out any harmful compounds and preparing them for expulsion.

Help with Addressing Alcohol Abuse

Quitting alcohol cold turkey can be dangerous. Learn about how to safely detox from alcohol by reaching out. All calls are 100% free and confidential.

(855) 713-7262

Assuming everything about the body is healthy, a person weighing in at 150 pounds (lbs) will need an average of two hours for the liver to process a single alcoholic drink. The more alcohol the person consumes, the more preoccupied the liver will be.

Issues in the liver often compound with frequent alcohol consumption. Alcohol abuse would severely impact the liver’s ability to filter and expel toxins from the body. Moreover, it would exacerbate the breakdown of both T4 and alcohol in the liver.

In other words, if a person is already suffering from thyroid issues, alcohol abuse can cause T3 levels to plummet. Then, when the body isn’t producing enough of this hormone, it could result in hypothyroidism and a slew of uncomfortable symptoms.

People suffering from hypothyroidism exhibit:

  • fatigue
  • dry skin
  • joint pain
  • depression
  • hoarseness
  • weight gain
  • constipation
  • facial swelling
  • sensitivity to cold
  • slowed heart rate
  • impaired memory
  • weakness in muscles
  • muscle aches and stiffness
  • increased blood cholesterol

It’s important to note that many medications for thyroid problems require a healthy liver. Methimazole, for example, is a medication that requires regular liver filtration to treat the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. So, any time the liver is strained, the medication becomes less effective.

Additional Problems Associated with Alcohol Use and Thyroid Disease

For anyone who already has issues with thyroid hormone production, alcohol abuse is only going to make the issue worse.

Of course, the effects of alcohol reach far beyond the liver and thyroid gland. Drinking affects nearly every part of the body. For example, the presence of alcohol in the stomach interferes with the natural production of acid. When acid levels drop, so does the rate of digestion.

An even more significant threat to digestive health is the physical damage that alcohol abuse can cause, such as:

  • liver disease
  • malnutrition
  • brain damage
  • various gastrointestinal cancers
  • “leaky gut,” which can trigger a severe autoimmune response
  • erosion of the lining of the esophagus, stomach, intestines, etc.

Know Someone with a Drinking Problem?

Help is available to those struggling with alcohol abuse. Let us guide you in the right direction. All calls are 100% free and confidential.

(855) 713-7262

Treatment for Alcohol Abuse and Thyroid Disease

The best choice for those with thyroid complications is to stop drinking altogether. Seeking professional treatment for alcoholism may be necessary.

For more information about treatment options for alcoholism, please contact us here or call us at (855) 247-4046.